Monday, October 27, 2008

Magical Schmagical

We're back, broke and totally bummed out to break out the winter coats (flurries expected today--WTF???). The Disney Corporation hosted a fantastic vacation experience for us, complete with these memorable highlights:

* Team Testosterone loves 3-D movies. We didn't go to a single show, even the one we TRIED to see (Fantasmic) was rained out. But they appreciated the 3-D bugs, Muppets & shrinking. They also liked the fireworks and parade.

* Hollywood Studios? Major waste of time. Other than the 2 roller coasters, 3-D Muppets and stunt show, I left unimpressed. My question: WTF were you thinking, Disney People, to design a theme park to hold 200,000 and then try to funnel 500,000 people through it daily? Seriously, no fun at all. I can drive to Chicago for a similar experience at Six Flags for a fraction of the cost.

* Animal Kingdom, on the other hand, was wicked cool despite trying to feed Mr. G to the dinosaur fossils. So much to see--the safari rocked and there were exotic animals at every turn. I'd return to that park in a heartbeat.

* Expedition Everest FREAKED Mr. B RIGHT OUT. He worked out his Yeti phobias regularly on restaurant tables throughout the rest of our vacation.

The red spots are snow, the giant creature with long claws is the Yeti. Below the mountain are 2 dead bodies. I'll get him some counseling later this week.

* Housekeeping at the Beach Club resort was beyond fabulous. Every day they'd do something special--like propping up Team Testosterone's entourage after making their beds.

* We all loved the pool and spend many happy hours floating, bobbing, sliding and splashing. Team Testosterone met up with a trio of brothers from Stratford-on-Avon, England and met them nightly for volleyball matches.

* Despite the throes of kids, we rarely saw any bratty ones. I expected to see more melt-downs and tantrums than we actually encountered.

* Also amazing that so many people cram into Disney World without kids. I'm a purist--I don't see why families should go to Las Vegas. Likewise, I don't see why couples & singles should go to Disney World. It strikes me as very odd. Anyone care to comment on that opinion?

* Standing in line we saw many things, including one of Jen on the Edge's children waiting a turn:

* I tried to find Eurolush while passing through Germany. I wanted to have a beer with her, but no luck. She was probably standing in the queue in Ye Olde Pastry Shoppe.

* While a lot of kids enjoy the characters, mine were merely pleasantly surprised when they'd stop by our table at mealtimes. They had no desire to wait in line for further interaction. They'd stand obligingly for photos, slap 'em a high five, and return to their food.

* The Supreme Rip-Off (AKA Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party) did allow us to jump on many rides in Magic Kingdom without a wait. While everyone else stood in long lines to get candy and greet characters, we maxed out on the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Carribbean, and the rest of the rides. The music, decorations, parade and characters rocked.

* Every time I turned around I stumbled over a midget dressed like a princess. Was this because of Halloween or do most little girls dress up like this at Disney World? Either way, the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo Boutique made a killing on princess up-dos because every other girl child sported one.

* Because of the princess hype, I wondered what my sons would find in the shops. Silly me, we came home with 3 Buzz Lightyear space ranger blasters, 3 pirate swords and 3 Indiana Jones/Adventureland rifles. I feel safer now with all that firepower stored in our house.

* The fall decorations at Magic Kingdom were inspired.

* The food always tasted good--everyone found something to enjoy at each meal.

* The crowds at this place belie all media claims of a recession. Just sayin'.

* The weather cooperated (except for Thursday night). Being from Wisconsin, a little muggy heat this time of year was a blessing (even though my hair got really big and bushy).

* Mr. B's says his favorite things were the Muppets 3-D and the resort pool. Mr. T claims his favorite was the Twilight Tower of Terror & Expedition Everest. Mr. G loved Test Track & Stitch (no surprise, he strongly identifies with that creature). Mr. D's best memory is Mr. B FREAKING OUT on Expedition Everest.

* My favorite parts were watching the boys' eyes light up as we floated through It's a Small World, all the nostalgia & fantasy of Magic Kingdom, Soarin' at Epcot and walking through the world alone with Mr. B & Mr. T. (I made them say "cheese" in different languages while they posed for photos by landmarks. We had sublime strawberry-red bean and caramel-ginger root ice cream in China, saw the most twee train garden in Germany and made fish faces by the Neptune fountain in Italy.)

Bottom line: Team Testosterone had a blast and will remember this the rest of their lives. I guess a gal can't ask for much more.


  1. Welcome back! Your blog brought back wonderful memories of our own kids and Disney. We had so much fun there when they were little.

  2. No clue about the grown-ups cruising Disney without little people, but I find it a little weird. I can think of a zillion other places I would way prefer if it was just me, or just me & the Mr., rather than a Disney trip.

  3. Welcome Home. I'm so glad that you had a wonderful trip.

  4. So glad you had such a wonderful time. I'm sure it makes it even more difficult to come back to this freezing weather. Although I refuse to go and get our winter jackets out of storage just yet. It is supposed to warm up again this week. It better, anyway. ;)

  5. Welcome back!

    We LOVE Animal Kingdom and I can't tell you how many hours we spent at that dino play area. On one visit, Ellie and I were there for THREE HOURS.

    Yes, little girls dress like princesses all the time at Disney. Not mine. They're not stupid. They go for comfort and polyester dresses in that heat are not comfortable.

  6. Welcome back! I'm so glad you and the troups had a great time. I was actually at Disney the same time last year, and the weather was great then, too - I guess October is a well-kept Disney secret.

  7. I sent you an e-mail BEFORE i read this. DUH.

    Expedition Everest FREAKS ME OUT.
    Animal Kingdom is THE BOMB. We watch the Silverback Gorillas for a long time.
    MANY little Princesses at Magic Kingdom. I think the little tiny ones (under 5) look so sweet.

    I was with my nephews on their very first trip and I look forward to doing it with grandchildren.

    Because we can get there in 30 minutes, my husband and I go about 3 times a year, on WEEKDAYS.
    Last year, we were there the day they were filming the Christmas Parade and saw Regis and Kelly and a lot of really good high school marching bands.

    Epcot- we like to go to the French Bakery and sit at a little table in the courtyard at night, sip tea and share a Napolean. Quite romantic.

  8. Sounds like you had a great time.

    I'm with you, about adults without children visiting Disney. I don't get it (and don't get me started on people having their weddings there... and please, no one throw things if you did).

    As for the Yeti, I'm alternately freaked out and fascinated. So maybe I could use some counseling, too. :-)

  9. Welcome back- In Epcot did you go have a beer in Canada?

  10. I for one see absolutely nothing wrong with going there with no kids. As long as you bring the kids at least once for every time you go by yourself. My DH has never been to Disney, and I've been dying to take him without the hassle of dragging kids around. I went with a bunch of friends my senior year of high school and had a blast.

  11. Oh, that sounds like so much fun. I can't wait to take my kids.

    Glad you're back!

  12. How wonderful - memories like that aren't easy to come by!

  13. Welcome back! Sounds like a blast. I love the Yeti drawing!

  14. Probably worth every penny - for the memories and smiles alone. Welcome home.

  15. Also, meant to tell you that October has been a favorite time of year for many British and Irish tourists at Disney and Florida in general. I have met many that come here every year and rent a place for the whole month.

    It'd been very good for the economy of Orlando. They do a LOT of shopping in stores that they don't have at home and spend a lot of money at the local pack and ship stores sending their purchases back home.

    I've met so many lovely people that are so happy to be here. But rumor has it that our recession is causing recession issues over there, too. The exchange rate for our dollar and the fuel surcharges that the airlines are charging may
    mean fewer tourists coming in 2009.

  16. Oh man, reading this brought back great memories. We did a November trip and the weather just rocked. I don't remember any twee princesses, but we went many years ago. And no, I do not understand adults without kids doing Disney. Just seems strange to me.

  17. Oh how neat! I can't wait to go! I'm glad you had a good time and thank you for sharing it with us!

  18. I like going to Disney World because I feel thin there!

  19. What a great time was had by all!
    I haven't been to Disneyworld ever, but if I do, I'm taking this post with me.

    Also, so with you on single people at Disney. And like Jennifer, I'm baffled by the wedding and/or honeymoon thing. Not sexy. Not sexy at all.

  20. Glad it was fun! Daughter's roommate works for Disney, sometimes as a character. She loves being out and about and making kids happy.
    Sounds like a winner of a job for me!

  21. How fun! We loved Disney, even if our money seemed more like Monopoly cash by the time the vacation was over (spend, spend, spend!)
    That Yeti scares me.
    (He's quite the artist!)

  22. Welcome home!

    I'm all for the kidless attending kid-like functions. We did it before kids and I hope we do it when they are all grown. It is the happiest place on earth, after all.

    We won't be taking the whole family to Vegas, though. You have to draw the line somwhere.

  23. Welcome back! And glad Team T found their fun. It's a good thing. And great memories you made.

    Paramedic son and his wife went there for their honeymoon because it was a package they could afford; they ate dinner each night in a different 'country' and stayed in a place with a lake outside and romantic boats for just the two of them. They loved Animal Kingdom, too. I was surprised because I think of it as a family place, but they enjoyed it~who knew?

  24. You're back! Yay! We missed you so! Maybe some of the grownups who were there never got to go as kids? And it's a lifelong dream kinda thing? I wouldn't, but then I wouldn't even go WITH my kids because I can think of so many other ways to spend the money. It's weird, the Disney phenomenon is so huge. Many people feel that their lives just aren't complete if they haven't been.

  25. I'm glad you had a great time. I'm with you--I'm not taking a Disney vacay unless I have kids with me.

    We actually liked the Hollywood Studios for the shows and thought Wild Kingdom was a waste of time--then again, my kids have been weaned on the World Famous San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park.

    You couldn't ask for more than a lifetime memory!

  26. I am with you...Animal Kingdom is just down right cool. More than any other park, there is something for everyone.


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