Wednesday, February 23, 2011

EPCOT's Retro Tomorrow; Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL

1510 North Avenue of the Stars 
Lake Buena Vista, FL

'83 was a good year.  Despite the fact that I was wearing shorts that were too short and I was like 6'4" and not yet in middle school, I thought I looked pretty hip in front of Spaceship Earth the year this futuristic mothership opened.   It's been twenty-eight years and I am not sure how we have both aged.  I think I am little bigger around the middle, and so too is my friend EPCOT.

The foundation of a good day at EPCOT can be divided into food and robots.  Future World is chock full of animatronic, well-dressed characters that blast you to the past and the future.  We started our day with them in the Spaceship Earth Attraction and ended it with some crazy disappearing dragon called Figment (yes, of your imagination) at the Journey into Imagination.  We also stopped in on our buddy Nemo at The Seas.

But it was the food that took the day.  We went 'round the world in less than 80 days, yet managed to eat and drink from at least four continents.  We grabbed our passports in Canada and made our way to a surprisingly delicious lunch in Morocco (even though we missed the belly dancers).  We stopped for a fife and drum parade in the States and made our way over to Germany.  Now, I don't usually think good food when I think of Deutschland, but the beer was solid and the caramel covered pretzels even better.  We finished off our global tour with a ride on a Viking ship in Norway and terracotta warriors in China where we picked up our last passport stamps. We skipped the second DadBreak of a margarita in Mexico. It was a whirlwind tour, but it must be time to head home.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Disneyrific; Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom; Lake Buena Vista, FL

Walt Disney World; Magic Kingdom
4600 North World Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL

There are the haves and the have nots, the half-fulls and the half-empties, and then there are the Disney and the non-Disney.  Tonight, I saw the light, and I think her name was Tink (check it out on YouTube as she soars from the top of the Cinderella Castle to the roof of a Tomorrowland building).  My wife has always been hardcore Disney, much the way she is hardcore Grrrl punk.  I am not sure how the two mix, but it works for her.  Tonight, I watched Sydney's face light up as he yelled "woaaah" alongside me three hundred times and I left the Dark Side for her sunny side of the street.

After a brief ride over on the ferry we got the party started with what else? a party!  Mickey sure can shake it on Main street.  We hit Tony's (aka Tramp's mack daddy, from Lady and the Tramp  - our fav Disney flick of the moment) for lunch.  Yeah, I made Kami slurp up a spaghetti noodle with me 'til we kissed.  We then hit the Magic Carpets, grabbed a FastPass for Big Thunder Mountain for 4:30PM and headed for Fantasyland.   Between a nap for Liji, we still managed four turns on Prince Charming's Carousel, It's a Small World (check out how it's changed on this YouTube clip), Dumbo , the Mad Tea Party and hooked the boys up with embroidered Mickey ears.  The highlight of the afternoon was Sydney and I taking off for our FastPass date at Thunder Mountain (my fav ride from when I was a kid).  That kid loves a mean roller coaster!

You would think by 5:30PM we would be toast.  That's when auntie Dee pulled out the big guns.  Dinner with Winnie and co. at the Crystal Palace.  Perhaps it was the surprisingly decent buffet, but I swear Kam has never hugged me as hard as she squeezed that giant Eyore.  The highlight of the whole day though was the Main Street Electric Parade.  Lij sat speechless for 30 minutes as every character we introduced him to in the last six months passed by in flashing neon.  He didn't make it for the final act, but Sydney loved his first fireworks at the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.  That my friend, was not false advertising. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Seaworthy Break from the Cold; Sea World, Orlando, FL

It's been the winter we measured snowfall in Shaq's and you could tell by the sea of Sox caps as we deplaned in Orlando onto the runway; (where else can you still walk on the tarmac AND stay at a hotel IN the airport?)  Like every other law abiding Sox fan that couldn't afford spring training, we shacked up with the family for a week in sunny Orlando.  While we love us some good Disney, we warmed up at our family fav; Sea World.

Sydney and I hit the Journey to Atlantis flume with cuz Mikella early and paid dearly in drenched clothes.   Then the whole family, (I mean my uncle, in-laws, Kam's aunt, uncle and their two kids along with ours) headed for the show circuit.  We missed out on Pets Ahoy (no real loss here) and made it on time for Blue Horizons.  The music, the costumes, the trapeze artists, the dive bombing parrots and oh yeah, the dolphins.  It was like Cirque de Soleil on ice, except they forgot to freeze the pool.  Did I mention there were dolphins?

Last time we were here was pre-Shamu disaster.  Let's just say the show is a little different these days, and nobody is riding on top of a killer whale.  It was a little bit of a let down, 'cause watching trainers do flips off the nose of a humongous whale was pretty cool.  So we got our kicks on the rides at Shamu's Happy Harbor instead.  Plus, we never miss a chance at a good carousel and this one featured fish of the deep.  While we didn't hang with too many mammals this time (we missed the manatees, sea otters and seals) and the beer garden has gone the way of Anheuser Busch ownership, we still had a blast!