Tuesday, August 5, 2008

381: Walt Disney World was wonderful!

hey y'all.

despite my fear and loathing of amusement parks, i have to say that we enjoyed a wonderful time in florida. and (of course) the disney parks and universal studios were the highlight of our vacation.

i am soooooo not the amusement park/carnival girl that i truly thought i would have a horrific time. but going with baby bliss and mr. bliss made it all magical. we could have been the poster family for a disney commercial.

that's not to say i got totally caught up in the commercialism of it all. i didn't forget that the magic of disney comes with a price tag. a hefty one if you don't research and plan.

the three of us did a 7-day trip and it cost us less than $1400. i'll do a separate post on the money-saving strategy we used.

2008 is disney's "Year of a Million Dreams", and our trip was a dream come true for baby bliss. i don't ever recall her asking to go to disney but when she was about a year old, one of her favorite videos was a disney sing-and-dance-along video.

i don't remember what it was called but i recall a few of the songs because she wanted to watch that video every day, all day long. one of the songs was a hawaiian-style number about a "hukilau"; another was about "going right down the middle of main street, u.s.a." i even videotaped her watching the video and dancing to it in her diaper.

back to our vacation...

i didn't realize that "walt disney world" is now actually four (4) separate theme parks: magic kingdom, epcot, hollywood studios, and animal kingdom. each park has separate admission costs unless you buy the park hopper pass. which we did.

universal studios is also separate and also has other parks attached to it: islands of adventure and wet 'n wild. we did universal studios itself but not the other two.

mr. bliss didn't go with us to universal. baby bliss and i did that one with the other girls from our group, my friend lady F. and her granddaughter, little miss D.

if you've never been to disney, a fantastic pair of walking shoes and/or foot-cushioning insoles is a must.

we walked so much at universal that by the time we left the park, everything below my boobs ached. no kidding.

everything was interesting and exciting, even for me, the woman who thinks she's seen it all. lol

as soon as we got into the gate, we were stopped by a photographer. she took our picture then directed the younger girls to pose for a photo that would include digital extras. it was fun and funny.

a few feet away, baby bliss joined the band that plays (i guess) daily near rodeo drive. she didn't really sing but i did get some shots of her at the mic and with the guitar player.


the band played "for the love of money" by the ojays and one of the band members asked the crowd which t.v. show the song was from. i wracked my brain and came up with nothing then thought he was joking. how could a t.v. show have that song for a theme without me knowing?

but baby bliss knew. she said it was donald trump's t.v. show but couldn't remember the name. i shouted, "the apprentice!" and won a string of red beads that i turned over to baby bliss. she wore them all day.

our next stop was the shrek attraction. the line was long and it was hot out. i don't think the ride had even opened yet when we got in line. but the line moved faster than i expected and they had fans blowing misting water every so many feet, so it wasn't too bad.

shrek was a sit-down-in-an-auditorium, 3D (or was that 4D?) attraction. it was better than i expected but for as long as we stood in line, it could have lasted longer. (we also had to stand in a sort of ante-chamber to watch and listen to some... i don't know what to call it... before we were allowed in the auditorium.

between rides we ran into lots of fun characters like the 3 musketeers, jack and jill, sleeping beauty, and some others.

the mummy ride was next. a roller coaster but a very short one and no long stomach-curdling drop-offs. (thank you God!)

waiting in line was almost as scary as the ride itself. not so much the length of the line as the interesting scenery the line wound through. part of it seemed to be underground which didn't feel so good to me. (i have a fear of underground places.)

(and there was a creepy guy behind us who seemed a little too interested in the children. he kept making conversation with me but i got the distinct feeling that he was trying to cop a feel or some other nonsense that would get him pulverized and me in the county jail. the girls were between lady F and i but baby bliss has a tendency to lollygag. i was careful to keep her in front of me and at arm's length.)

the roller coaster itself wasn't too bad but i haven't been on one in 20 or more years. so i got a bit whipped.

another thing scarier than the coaster itself was the lockers. no bags, purses, etc. are allowed on the ride so they provide lockers to store your stuff before you enter the building. the lockers are free (really? yes, really.) for people getting on the ride and/or for a certain time limit (45 minutes i think).

they are supposed to be secured by your fingerprint. all you have to do is remember your locker number.

wellllllllllllllllllllll how about when we got off the ride, i saw a group of people with a disney employee standing in front of the lockers. i heard the disney employee asking them their locker number but they couldn't remember it.

the method of locking and unlocking the locker is your fingerprint but it sounded to me like the employee could override the fingerprint requirement. and i began to worry.

i ran to my locker and yanked the little handle and sure enough, it was open! the skies immediately darkened and a storm of magnificent proportions lay poised to shut down the entire east coast.

my blood boiled and if i had screamed, they would have heard me in nepal.

i yanked my bag from the locker, thanking God the whole time that it was a bag and not a purse. i immediately searched for my change purse and the card holder i keep my debit card in. all was exactly where it should have been.

i thanked God and the sun reclaimed her rightful spot in the sky.

of course i wondered if my bag would have disappeared if there had not been a sign that said the area was monitored by video cameras.

our next destination: fear factor live.

one of the few things i abhor more than amusement parks is fear factor.

baby bliss loves it. go figure.

but since the other girls wanted to go, i put on my girl scout badge of fearlessness and trooped in along with the rest of the gross-out mongers. there's a picture of the set in the previous post.

baby bliss was overjoyed to see that the host was the actual guy from the t.v. show.

great for her.

i was too busy wondering if i would have to see (or hear) people getting sick from drinking ground up lizard toes sauteed with wombat eyeballs or watch someone sit in a pool of water while piranha swirled about their nether regions.

thankfully, the universal studios version of fear factor live wasn't as yucky as the t.v. version. the contestants were park guests so that probably helped.

there were times when i turned my head away from center stage but overall, it wasn't bad.

our next stop was the men in black attraction because it was raining and folk said disney rain capes were being sold in the m.i.b. store.

the jaws ride was on our to-do list but by the time we got there, the wait was over an hour.

um, we passed on that one and opted for the jaws exhibit/photo op. the younger girls formed a trio with a little boy from the crowd and they (accidentally) broke the line. i wasn't paying much attention and didn't see the line because it went off at an odd angle. i'm guessing the little boy's mom didn't see it either.

the children posed for pictures (since they were already there) and we went on our merry way. when i looked back over my shoulder, i saw the end of the line and followed the snake up to the front.

aha! but too late.

our day was winding to a close...

we stopped for more photos (as we had been doing all day), all the while heading for the exit. although i said i wouldn't, i bought a few souvenirs (at an amazingly inexpensive souvenir cart). we also stopped to play an arcade game (that i won), garnering baby bliss a big ole souvenir dog that shall keep her other big ole dog company for eternity.

back on the main road of the lot, i remembered the photo taken of us when we arrived at the park so full of life and freshly-limbed.

i thought it would be nice to have at least one professional photo to commemorate our visit so i stopped in the shop. it seemed our longest stop of the day.

first lady F couldn't find the ticket. then she found the wrong one. in the meantime i was asking if our photo could be located using our arrival time.

when the photos were finally found, burak from turkey, (the cast member who helped me) made the honest mistake of telling me i had options for the digital framing and characters displayed in the photos. :-)

yes, we were all dog tired but i took my time in exploring all the available graphics options. i was a little frustrated that certain combinations weren't available but in the end i got a product i liked and at a 10% discount with my AAA card.

our tails dragged and shoulders sagged as we walked and rode the moving walkways back to our parking space in the cat-in-the-hat section.

our first day of disney excitement was over.



Susan said...

I was wondering where y'all had gone! Good to see you back, and I'm loving reading about your trip!

bliss said...

Hey Susan!

I thought about y'all while we were at Disney. :-)

There's a ton more to write about our vacation and I'm hoping to get to it soooooooooooooooooon. LOL

We took about 500 pix in FL. Thank God for digital cameras!

ladylinoleum said...

Glad you had a good trip! I have a CA season pass to Disneyland. It's 'spensive. I think you did very well at $1400 for the entire trip!