Published: August 19th 2008August 19th 2008
"What do you think about San Diego?"
"San Diego is too far of a flight for a couple of days, don't you think so?"
"What about New Mexico?"
"You and dad don't hike, what else are we going to do?"
"How about Disney World?"
"Haven't been since, gosh, I was 4. And I'll be down in Atlanta beforehand. Easiest for me to get there as well"
"So Disney then?"
"F**k it, let's do it!"
This is part of the phone conversation I had with my mother about a month before we headed down to Walk Disney World. Back when I was home for Easter, my mom brought up the idea of myself, her, and my dad going on a little trip over Memorial Day weekend. Given the choices, Disney was the clear winner. I must admit, for a guy in his early 20s, I was a bit hesitant about going to Disney. I mean, I hadn't been to any of those parks since elementary school, there wasn't enough thrill rides for my taste, and I didn't feel like giving a portion of my hard earned cash to the Disney corporation. Not to mention
it would be a crowded and hot holiday weekend in the Florida sun. While all of these factors swayed through my mind, there was one that stuck out like a sore thumb. Walk Disney World is the epitomy of "anti-traveler" and reeks tourist. There are people that make pilgramages to this place year after year, because they can't get enough Mickey and Minnie. There are families that save up their entire lives to have one special trip to Lake Buena Vista. Hell, there are people from all over the world that sweat this place. I'm the guy who has been to some of the most random places in Europe, eaten some very interesting foods, and has always gone for the off the beaten path. Now, I'm going to be admist the mobs of people that wouldn't have the slightest clue how to make it out of the airport and watch out for baby strollers every 10 feet? Yea, I was not having it at first. But then I realized what potential fun can be had. They do have sweet water parks which are a plus. It would be neat to see Epcot and all it's changes. And oh yea, I
can drink there now! Ok, screw it. Let's go.
Since I was already in Atlanta, it was easy for me to take a quick hopper flight down to Orlando. I arrived later in the evening, and had to wait forever for someone to shuttle me over to our hotel. When the driver came to pick me up for this arranged shuttle, I got the feeling he was not thrilled that he had to shuttle me. I got the impression that he was almost off his shift, and now he has to drag my ass over to some resort in Kissame. I'll also point out that this guy was about 70 years old and the definition of a grumpy old man. Just bitter about everything. I got in the van and we were off. Due to the graphic nature of the content, I'll leave out the conversation I had with the driver. Some key points to take away A). The guy was a blatant racist B). The guy loves to mess with dumb tourists C). He hates the shuttle company he works for, but can do nothing about it. Needless to say, an entertaining 30 minutes of my life. We
Not as cool as actual Munich
got to the hotel where I crashed and saved myself for the next day at Epcot.
My family and I arrived at Epcot pretty early and we ready to see the park for the first time in almost 20 years. After I bought my ticket (thanks economic stimulous package!), we headed straight for Test Track. This ride was absolutely bitchin'. The test car whips you around all these simulated auto tests, and then blasts you around the building on a 0-70 track. A good start to the day. We then headed to Mission Space and other attractions in FutureWorld which were good, and spent most of the morning clearing the area. I will point out, Disney fans, Soarin' is not all that it's cracked up to be. The damn thing literally just lifts you up to your feet are dangling, and blows air on you for 3 minutes, Where are the turns and dips? Nowhere! That was a one time deal for sure. In the afternoon, we headed to the World Showcase area of the park. Now this was something I was looking forward to, as I wanted to see how each country was represented. To start, we hit
the Mexico pavillion, and got some frozen margaritas that had some serious booze! Who would have thought, right? We rode the boar ride in Norway, and then putszed around Germany and China. We ended up eating at the German buffet/beer hall where old Dick K. couldn't believe his kid could finish a liter of German beer. Come on Dick, seriously. Good food, but not as good as the real thing. Not to mention, cute German waitresses, always a plus. We ended up sitting at this table with a family from Hagerstown, MD of all places with a 4 year old named, you guessed it, Jeffrey. This kid was a riot, and even told me he'd visit me in Bethesda. Ok kid, let me throw some beers in the fride for your visit. We then hit the rest of the pavilions and I proceed to have more drinks from around the world. Yea, getting drunk at Epcot is fun. One thing I did notice was that all the European pavillions felt very similar to me, with very little character. The one pavillion I did enjoy was Morocco, which had alleyways like you would find in Marakesh, along with the smell or
insence or something to that nature. Finally, we ended the day watching the fireworks over the lake at Epcot, which I must say was an impressive show. Only at Disney World can you end every single day with fireworks. We headed back to our hotel and called it a night, still buzzing from the tequila in the Mexican margaritas.
The next day was a trip to Typhoon Lagoon, which was awesome until I got a damn bad sunburn at the end. Lots of trips in the lazy river, wave pool, and water slides. Nothing earth shattering but fun. We headed to downtown Disney that night and poked around for a bit, filled with commercial stores left and right. One thing about the K family is that we don't buy all these Disney trinkets so really no need for us down there. Do you really need those Goofy slippers? No, absolutely not. We spent the next day in two parks, the Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom. We did the safari ride in the morning and saw maybe one giraffe and some water buffalo, and went on a couple of the slim pickin' rides there are at that park. My
mom dragged my dad and I to the Lion King show, which actually wasn't too bad, but made me want to vomit a few times. We then headed over to the Magic Kingdom, where Dick actually went on Splah Mountain. You may say to yourself, that's not such a bad ride, but Dick is like a 5 year old when it comes to ride. The ferris wheel is high velocity for him. After we got off Splash Mountain, we enjoyed a few more rides and then stuck around to watch the parade and fireworks. It was kind of funny to see all the Disney characters tricked out in lights, but people were going nuts. Mickey's enterance was comparable to Kobe Bryant in the Beijing Olympics. Everyone screaming and going bananas for some dude in a costume. As the fireworks ended, we got caught up in one of the worst exiting scenarios of all time, as it was mobbed trying to exit the park. Everyone and thier tired children were flooding the exit gates at once, far worse than leaving a sporting event or concert. We left Orlando the next day back to D.C. and MA having spent an enjoyable few
days amongst the Disney loyal. As Dick put it "I've had enough magic for the next 10 years. I have no reason to come here anytime soon" Right you are, Dick.
All in all, I had a good time at Disney, but I had my fill of the magic as well. Disney is a beast that can not be stopped, constantly changing. I'm sure if I went back in 10 years, it would still be a completely different expierence.
Until next time, safe travels.
There are more photos below