Walt Disney World
As I stumbled to Central Hall with my Fug, I realized it was my last day, and tried to banish the ugly thorts I was thunking, of returning to the resort that night and packing up. I’d actually slept in a bit, and watched a movie on Lifetime from my bed. My television at home isn’t even plugged in at the moment, so going on vacation is a sort of a television glut for me – I didn’t bring my computer, so TV was my only option for news and weather.
At the bus stop, I heard two more tunes I hadn’t heard the whole stay thus far – Sting’s Fields of Gold, and Elvis doing Heartbreak Hotel. It was an Animal Kingdom day, as I hadn’t done the Maharajah trail the previous time, and I also wanted to see, if I was really patient, could I actually verify that there was indeed an actual kangaroo on Discovery Island. I’d yet to meet him – her – whatever!
Well, I got cheated out of an hour due to multiple ECV loadings. Yes, you heard me correctly – two busses in a row got filled up and time eaten up by ECV riders and fifty thousand of their closest personal friends and relations. I am convinced that this is a Really Bad Practice and that Disney is Doing Us Wrong by allowing this. You want to rent an ECV? Fine. You want a few of your party to accompany you? Fine. But this crap of allowing as many people as you want get on the bus with you, when there are people baking in the broiling sun who got there before you, is just a crock.
There, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve been politically incorrect.
I was rewarded, however. I have photographic evidence that there is, in fact, at least one kangaroo on Discovery Island!
At the Maharajah Jungle Trek, I waited patiently in front of one of the tiger windows to get a shot. I kept inching closer as people gave up on that window, for reasons unknown to me until I got there. People grumbled, walking around an oblivious woman and her daughter. I couldn’t get the shot, so I kept waiting, while more people grumbled, a little louder. “I guess we should go now <insert name of child, probably Ashley> - THIS woman wants to take a picture,” she said giving me an icy stare. Sheesh, people can be so rude! Is it a lot to ask to get a picture of the tiger that doesn’t also have her kid’s head in it?
Over in Asia, I actually got a shot of breastfeeding in the parks, oh my! It was those apes that hang out in the “temple ruins” in the middle of that pond. What a hoot! The baby was cute, but not so much of a baby any more – he was all limbs.
I checked out the construction on Expedition Everest up close. It was hard to tell what kind of progress they’d made since the fall – when I was there in November 2003, there were walls obscuring the construction. Now it’s all open and you can see the big equipment and the tracks that have been laid down thus far. I like that you can approach this attraction from either Asia or Dinoland, and wondered which would be the most expeditious, once it is completed. I’m thinking it might be Dinoland – given it is rife with rides for the under 48” crowd, I doubt a lot of people playing in that section will be tall enough for Everest, and there will be less traffic coming from that direction.
Dinoland was very crowded and noisy, and much to my disappointment, Dinosaur! was closed. I headed back to Discovery Island, and that is when I FINALLY witnessed the kangaroo and captured it on disk for posterity!
I headed out to the bus stops, and the bus to Epcot was taking a very long time, so I did the TTC and monorail route. I did Spaceship Earth again – I will miss that little Roman chariot and horse, and the portrayal of what amounts to the origins of the “pull my finger” joke. The ride actually went 101 a couple of times, and I sat in the dark wondering if Disney would finally release an official soundtrack when it closes, as a sort of a memorial, one that identifies all of the cuts of music used during the ride. I know that there are clips of the various narrators on the net (Walter Cronkite and Jeremy Irons – if there were more, I haven’t heard/found clips of them), but I’d like to know about the music. I also noticed that the news clip when you are going backwards on the ride doesn’t have President Clinton in it any more, and that there are vacant spots during the ride where the AT&T references have been removed.
After Spaceship Earth, I toured all of the dooryard gardens, did Universe of Energy, and strolled in the butterfly garden again for a bit. Then I headed up to the World Showcase for my beloved mango margarita, and to China for some egg rolls, hanging out in the peaceful shade, watching the lizards sun themselves, taking in the show with the amazing little acrobat children. I had a churro for dessert, rode the Rio del Tiempo (stopping for just a second upon getting into the boat, to pay silent tribute to my lost sunglasses from three trips ago), and then headed over to Norway, where I did the Maelstrom and stuck around for the film, which I don’t remember ever seeing before.
Somewhere in the World Showcase, the Festival folks had set up a display called “Waterful”, which was like a mini-tour of the Florida aquifer, wetlands, etc. There was also a tank of catfish there.
I browsed my way up the World Showcase and picked up a Napoleon in France, which I decided to munch upon while waiting for Illuminations to begin. I noticed that all the areas that are normally roped off for private parties and such were wide open, and that people were starting to stake out spots in them – so unusual for them to be wide open like that! I headed over to the UK, to the spot just adjacent to the Pub (which is closed, by the way – probably for renovations). While most of the Grads and music groups had departed, and the crowds were therefore much lighter at this point, there were still a few grads in the parks – somehow, they had managed to steal some chairs from the Rose and Crown, and relocated them to this particular terrace, getting pretty rowdy until a CM came along for a little corrective action.
The “whistler” fireworks that open Illuminations never went off that night, but it was otherwise a grand show from a grand viewing area. I can’t tell you how sorry I was when it was over, for that meant that I had to go back to the room and – ugh – pack!
I made my way out of the park very, very slowly. The Pop Century bus was only about half full, and I went back to my room and began to pack. While I was packing, I watched the news and then this weird thing called Chuck Norris, Texas Ranger came on – I’d never heard of this series before. I guess that’s what I get for not watching telly for almost two years now. Anyway, it was way hokey, with good ol’ Chuck performing absurdly impossible heroics throughout. I finished packing and went to bed.
Back to Spring Fling April 2004