Disney World

Trip Start Sep 13, 2011
1
Trip End Sep 19, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Florida
Monday, September 19, 2011

    For quite sometime I had been longing  to get back to this other dimension...the land that transforms your mind...the land where no worries and problems exist...the land that feeds your senses with magic potions...the land where you can hear the colors and see the sound...the land of the endless rainbows, unicorns, glitter and fairies...
To all of you cynics out there: noooo, it's not the effect of psychedelic drugs I am describing here - it's Disney World! :)

   

    Seriously though - I love Disney World...not in a wearing-Mickey-Mouse-ears kind of way...but in a screaming-in-delight-on-the-Splash-Mountain kind of way...if you know what I mean...I couldn't care less for corny souvenirs, rodent ears, mugs and t-shirts yet couldn't get enough of the shows, rides and the very spirit of this place...waiting in line to take my picture with Minnie is not me (besides, I don't care much for mice - real or fictional)...but waiting in line to get into the Haunted Mansion (for the third time in a row) is very much me...


    


    I had always thought that everybody else loves Disney World, too...what's not to love? - it's fun, fun, fun to the power of ten (at least)...besides, if it were not the case - why all the perpetual crowds?...the only person in the world (or so I thought) who didn't like Disney World was my dear angel...but I just thought it was one of his peculiar yet charming and endearing little quirks...





ME (innocently): "you really don't care about riding the Rock-n-Roll three times in a row?
 
HIM (wearily, since it's at least the 1000th time he hears this very question):  - "ask me if I care to ride it even once"

ME (relentlessly):   - "what about only two times in row?"

HIM (stoically): -  "you know that for you there is nothing I wouldn't do!"

ME (sweetly): "awww...you really would do it for me?...but on the second thought - I can't do that to you..."


    So yes - even though he said that of course he'll go with me to Disney World, I knew it would be unfair to us both - he would not enjoy the rides, I would try to spare him and ultimately would not enjoy it myself...and so - first time ever in our life together I went on a little vacation without my angel...


  
    


    I didn't go alone though...this time my "partner in crime" (or rather  - "in pleasure") was my daughter Alexandra (Sasha)...we had been to Disney World with her before, multiple times even...but it was during the time when she was still in school...she had been back to Disney World with some friends (and just this past summer - with her boyfriend and his family); as for me - I hadn't been there in more than 7 years!...well, a few years back I spent a day in Disneyland in California with David and his then girlfriend Becca, but a day is nothing...besides, I am a DisneyWorld, not DisneyLand person...so, Sasha agreed to keep me company, and since she loves Disney world almost as much as I do - I knew it would be fun...


    


    What I did find surprising was to find out that most adults I talked to about my upcoming Disney World trip were offering condolences rather than congratulations, almost like "oh, poor you! must you really go?"...I guess during my previous trips with my then school age child people assumed that it was inevitable - you have a child, you have to go for the child's sake...but now, when this child is an adult, most people could not understand the reason for inflicting such pain as a Disney World trip upon myself...it puzzled me to no end - I never knew there were so many adults who hated Disney World...why, why?...

  


    I actually found the answer to this puzzle, or at least I think I did...
    It was the middle of September, when the crowds were low (with older kids back to school), when the weather was warm and sunny, not oppressively hot and humid...our hotel was within a walking distance from the Magic Kingdom with the balcony overlooking Cinderella's Castle...I brought my favourite champagne (or rather had it delivered)...but even without that Castle view and champagne - it would've been fun just the same...it was Disney World, after all!...then why so many people there looked quite unhappy?!...



  
  
    



    There was no delight in their eyes, no "savoring the moment" expression on their faces...just stoic resolve and grim determination...mothers were propelling strollers with their whimpering kids while balancing the diaper bags, bottles, pacifiers and what-not (I think my suitecase is smaller than some of the bags I saw people brought for a day in a Disney World park)...fathers were meekly trotting behind laboriously dragging an exorbitant amount of Disney shopping bags - the obligatory Mickey ears and other junk...and how can you stop and smell the roses (or in this case - stop and drink the magic) when you have to constantly be on guard - because this very moment your precious little princess is trying to poke her brother's eye with a magic wand while he is trying to outfit her with a mouse-ears-shaped ice cream creation...and we all know what happens to ice-cream in the Florida heat and who will have to deal with the mess..


  



    Many kids were crying from being tired and overwhelmed...hey, even I felt a little tired by the end of the day...I carried a pedometer to count the distance I walked each day, and some days it counted 8-9 miles (12-14 km)...so, it's definitely not a leisurely stroll in a park...a little cocktail or two in the evening can cure the exhaustion just fine, but I don't think many families with little kids have such luxury - after all, milk bottles have to be warmed, babies have to be put to sleep, silly purchases have to be sorted and put away...

 


    So no wonder Disney World scars some adults for life - once you experience it with your babies and toddlers, the very thought of returning there evokes nightmares...to really appreciate Disney World one needs to go there when the kids are much older...preferably (like in my case) when they are old enough to sip a cocktail with you...it also helps if you don't rush - yes, I know that tickets are not cheap, food and hotels are not exactly cheap there, too (and not necessarily the best quality either), so the temptation to see and do as much in as little time as possible is great...but it's a futile effort - you can't see everything in one visit anyway, and not even in several visits...so - just relax and have fun!...

 



    In my observation there was a category of people who did manage just that - relax and have fun in Disney World - the older couples...I saw many of those...maybe some of them were on their very first visit...maybe others forgot about painful trips of their youth (hey, there are advantages to failing memory, after all!), but...they all seemed to enjoy it...they didn't rush, they seemed to savor the moment, they laughed often...many were still holding hands - so sweet!...I don't suppose my beloved spouse would choose Disney World for our golden days enjoyment, but! -  I'll take Boulevard St. Germain just as well! :)



  
  


     Despite this being far from our first visit to Disney World, there was something that was totally new for us both - attending Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom...on selected days beginning mid-September and until Halloween the Magic Kingdom closes for everybody but the ticket holders for this special event...the Party lasts from early evening until midnight or so...we actually went twice during our stay, and both times we enjoyed it a lot...people (not just kids, but many adults as well) wear Halloween costumes (some of them quite creative!)...there are parades, trick-or-treating, fireworks and all, but the best thing (for me at least) is that there is absolutely no wait for any of the rides...and my favorite Haunted Mansion is such a delight on the night of the Halloween Party!


    

      


    Universal Studios in Orlando also have their own Halloween Party nights, and I hear they are really intense - neither for the children nor for easily spooked adults...and of course I wanted to go, but unfortunately they had not yet started during our stay in Orlando...oh, well, maybe one day in the future...it would be fun, I am sure...we did, however, spend a day at the Universal (both theme parks - Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure)...we both had been there before, but that was quite some time ago, so there was something new for us this time around - namely, the whole Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of the Islands of Adventure...

      

    I am not a huge Harry Potter fan - I saw only one of all the Harry Potter movies and haven't read any of the books...so a lot of the subtle details of the Wizarding World (and this theme park within the theme park is very-very detail-oriented) were meaningless to me...but Sasha, on the other hand, have read Harry Potter books, so she was enlightening me about all things Harry Potter...I declined sampling Harry Potter jelly-beans-of-every-flavour (with my luck I had a pretty good feeling that I would end up with some disgusting flavour!), but found the Butterbeer surprisingly pleasant to taste...apparently I wasn't the only one - this drink seems to be extremely popular among the visitors of the Wizarding World (which should please the creators of the real-life version of this fictional brew favored by wizards and witches)...


  


    However, the rides at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter were somewhat disappointing to me...don't get me wrong - they are not bad, but because of all the hype my expectations were a little too high...even the most talked about - the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - although nice, was still less than I expected...the Dragon Challenge had very little to do with the whole Harry Potter theme, although as far as roller coasters go it was nice...the Flight of the Hippogriff was short and unsatisfying...but it was fun to wander around the Hogsmeade with its shops like Honeydukes and Ollivanders selling all the Harry Potter paraphernalia...


  

    This day spent at the Universal was nice, but I am still more of a Disney person...I even enjoy Disney's sillier things - like  the Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue dinner show...that was the first for both Sasha and myself, and since it was only a short boat ride directly from our hotel (the show is at Disney's Fort Wilderness resort), we decided to go...this vaudeville-type show was unpretentious, contagiously enthusiastic and fun, so we both had a great time...

  


    We also went to the Cirque du Soleil in Downtown Disney one day and wandered around the Pleasure Island afterwards...we tried tried new rides at different theme parks (like Toy Story Mania and Soaring) and new shows (like American Idol in the Hollywood Studios), revisited (multiple-multiple-multiple times) old beloved rides - The Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain and others..."haunted" for delicious, "only in Disney" treats - like the Dole Whip (sold only at 2 places in Disney - Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom and Captain Cook's at the Polynesian Resort), Zebra Domes (delicious bite-size cakes served only at Boma-Flavors of Africa restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge), famous grapefruit cake at the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant at the Hollywood Studios...

      

    We had my early birthday celebration at the California Grill - a restaurant on the 15th floor of our hotel that allegedly has the best sushi in all Orlando...I know, I know, who would expect to find the best sushi in Disney World of all places!...but!...everything is magic in Disney World, and the sushi were truly delicious - feast for the eyes and for the taste buds...the view from the restaurant was also quite beautiful, and we had a wonderful evening (would it be too corny to say "magical"?) which ended with watching the fireworks over the Cinderella Castle while sipping champagne on the open terrace of the restaurant...and - on a slightly different subject - I got Kindle for my birthday from Sasha and her boyfriend Neno, and since then I grew to like my Kindle a lot...

 
 
  
 
  
 

    So it was a really great week...and what made it even better is that Sasha and I got to spend all this time together...we live in different states, and between that and work, travel and various other obligations we don't get to see each other as often as we would like, let alone spend the whole week together...


  

      

    As for the Disney World itself - I don't know when, but I know I shall return...like the lyrics for "Hotel California" that I like to apply now and then to the places that touch my heart: you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave...so, yes, I shall return :)

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