Saturday, February 02, 2008


Samantha turns 4-years-old today so over the weekend we took her to Disney World for the first time. We had to decide between giving her a trip to Disney or the Hope diamond and decided to go with Disney because it costs more. We had been building it up for about three weeks and she understood that she was going to see Mickey Mouse and the castle and the princesses, but of course until you get there you really have no idea what's in store for you. The first thing that was in store for us when we arrived was that Bobbi lost my wallet. When you enter Disney World you have to pay for parking and the way it's set up a driver can pay or the passenger can pay. In our case, it was the passenger who paid so I gave my wallet to Bobbi and she paid the woman at the ticket booth ($12 for those of you keeping score at home). It wasn't until we got up to the front gate and were about to pay for the tickets ($72) that I realized that I didn't have my wallet. Paul was nice enough to go back to the car and look for it and eventually found it on the ground underneath the car. (Despite Bobbi's claim to the contrary, I'm convinced that the Disney parking lot is not the safest place to keep your valuables.) Bobbi had set it on her lap after she got the parking passes and then got out of the car. I was relieved when Paul found it because it meant I wouldn't have to cancel all my credit cards. Bobbi was relieved because the amount of oral sex that she would have to perform to make good for losing my wallet might have been insurmountable.

We didn't get ten feet inside the front gate before we ran into the first character encounter, which set the stage for what would be our entire afternoon. When you're a teenager or an adult and you go to Disney World it's all about riding the rides but when you're a small child, it's all about the characters. Just inside the front gate we ran into Chip and Dale, Pinocchio, and Pluto. Samantha wanted to meet Pluto so we got into our first line. I didn't want to stop for Pluto because I knew that there were other, bigger, more important characters that Sam would want to see. There's a reason Pluto is at the front gate and the reason is that nobody gives a shit about Pluto. You can't put Mickey up there for God's sake or you'd have a riot. People would never make it into the park. So, you put the lamest character you have up there, a character so lame it doesn't even get to talk. We stood in line for 20 minutes.

Now, the thing with Samantha is, if you want her to do something you have to convince her that it's her idea (like her mother is with sex or turning off a light). It took several examples of this before my family finally began to catch on. You can't just tell Samantha to go get an autograph from Pluto or go get a hug from Pluto or go pose for a picture with Pluto. Samantha is her own woman. So, what you have to do is go there yourself and talk to Pluto or get your picture taken and hope that Samantha will decide that she doesn't want to be left out. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Either way you're going to be spending a lot of quality time with Pluto.

Next, it was down Main Street through Cinderella's Castle and straight to the merry-go-round. After that we headed over to Mickey's Toon Town so that we could meet more characters. First up: The Princesses. Dispite seeing several characters around the park, Samantha kept talking about Cinderella and how much she wanted to meet her and that we needed to find her right away. Lucky for us Cinderella was one of the three princesses in the Princess meeting area. At first she was shy but then Cinderella knelt down and started talking to her and that was all it took. The next thing you know Samantha was in a full-blown conversation with Cinderella explaining that she was Princess Samantha and that I was King Daddy (it's good to be the King). Then she waved goodbye and explained that she had to go talk to Belle and Sleeping Beauty. She was girl on a schedule. After that we headed next door where we ran into Pluto again, Goofy and Donald. Next, it was over to Mickey's House where we met Mickey Mouse and then over to Minnie's House were we met Minnie. (Note to self: It's a little shitty that Mickey is inside his own special air-conditioned area and Minnie is forced to stand outside in the Florida sun. Check into forming some sort of giant rodent union. Oh wait, the Screen Actors Guild already exists...)

For anyone who might be reading this who has never been to Disney World let me give you a very valuable piece of advice. Make reservations for lunch at the Liberty Tree Café in Frontierland. The Liberty Tree is one of the very few places in Disney World where you can actually sit down and be served by a waiter. After an hour sitting inside an air-conditioned room being served by a waiter and having a nice lunch you are completely recharged and ready to tackle the park again. It sure beats the hell out of eating chicken nuggets on a bench somewhere next to Bebe's kids. Also, if it's your birthday they'll bring you a cupcake and sing to you, which is always nice, unless you're a 4-year old and you weren't informed in advance that there would be some sort of event after lunch. In that case, it just plain sucks to be you and there will be a willful display of defiance.

Next, we headed off to see Mickey's Philarmagic. This was probably my favorite thing of the day and it's definitely my sister's favorite thing in the park. It's a big 3-D movie featuring Donald moving in and out of all of the great Disney animated musicals. Unfortunately, having a giant Donald Duck hovering right in front of Samantha didn't sit well. I've got to give her credit though she stuck it out and she wore her 3-D glasses the entire time.

Our next stop was the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor and the Buzz Lightyear Ride. It's not until you get to Tomorrowland that you really begin to understand the epic proportions of the stroller problem in Disney World. Tomorrowland is like one giant stroller farm or some giant stroller graveyard were strollers go to die (insert your own stroller metaphor here...). Seriously, there's a shitload of strollers in Tomorrowland. When we were kids the only people who took strollers into Disney were people with very small children. Back in the day, your kids walked and when they got tired you carried them. Now, everyone takes a stroller because all the kids are obese and the parents are riding little powered scooters. It's so bad that Disney employees will actually move your stroller while you're in an attraction. When we came out of Monsters Inc. we discovered that our stroller had been hijacked. We eventually found it across the way 3-deep in a stroller corral. At first I was appalled that someone would move it but then I took a good look around and realized that stroller anarchy was not a good idea in Disney World. There must be some sort of order to the madness.

Our final destination for the day was "It's a Small World." Unfortunatly, we never made it to small world because Sam wanted to ride Dumbo. This turned out to be the longest line of the day at about 30 minutes. Then, Bobbi and Sam managed to get the only Dumbo that wouldn't go up and down on command. Thirty minutes online for a broken elephant. Afterwards, we headed out the front gate with a quick, hour-long stop to shop of course.


Blogger Marijayde said...

That was the best commentary on Disney World I have every heard. Throw in some other persons screaming kids, the crazy heat and trying to find someone within 5 yards of you that actually speaks English - and you have one F-ing fantastic day at the most wonderful place on Earth!

PS - Glad Samantha had a good time.

PPS - THANK YOU for not inviting us!

8:35 AM  
Blogger Booray said...

Of course we didn't invite you.... it would have required that you actually drive somewhere and spend time with your family. We're not CRAZY!

10:28 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I find it amusing that you have just set the stage for your daughter's (perhaps both of them) wedding at DisneyWorld. You think parking and admission prices are expensive? We should get together soon since you are now a dead man walking. But a good dad nonetheless.

8:40 PM  

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