Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Still Enchanted

It's true.

Now that I'm back in Eugene, I want to go back to the Magic Kingdom. I'm very surprized. I was expecting to be Disneyed-out by the second hour. But they do what they do at DisneyWorld very well. I could have easily spent another two weeks there (it's probably better for our bank account balance that we didn't... but...)

I think part of the fun was that it was 78 degrees with reasonable humidity. I've been back in Eugene (and in front of computers) and already I can feel the places where my hands sort of hurt and all the funny little winter twinges are back in my feet.

That and Mark and I have decided that the cast members at Disney dress better than a majority of the citizens of Eugene.

There must be a metaphor in there somewhere.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Quintessential Disney Moment

OK. The first thing you need to know is that Tomorrow Land, in the Magic Kingdom, is really dark. I don't mean in a cyberpunk, Mel Gibson way, either. I mean the lighting is all dark reds and blues and deep purples. It looks cool from a distance, but you can't see anything if your night vision is bad.

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Luckily, the dark makes Tomorrow Land a great place to view the fireworks over Cinderella Castle. And it's even better if you just happen to be riding a rocket in the Lunar Orbiter. Loud music, explosions, and a carnival ride three stories high with Art Deco planets -- even if I was riding with my six-year-old niece-out-law and not Mark, it was one of the coolest moments of our visit.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Water Up My Nose at 55 MPH

Tuesday Mark and I spent the afternoon at Blizzard Beach. Think ski-challete meets the Beach Boys. The set is decorated as if you're visiting the Alps, but there's also sand and lots of beach chairs. The plank fences alternate with pine and palm tree cut-outs. It's very clever, and the puns are turned up full blast. The park mascot is the "Ice Gator".

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The reason we went to Blizzard Beach instead of Typhoon Lagoon was for the Plummet Summit. It's a water slide 120 feet tall at a 60 degree angle. There are no curves, so by the time you reach the bottom you're in free fall. There's a long run for you to loose your momentum, so for about 80 feet you're hydroplaning wearing nothing but a swim suit at about 55 MPH. I watched other people coming down and they sent sprays of water up about 8 feet.

We went down the slide three times, and the last time I got a water spray up my nose. It was like a water-pic for my sinuses. Mark and I are still saying, "ooh, ow" from all the little bruises we got from the slide.

I'll probably get into trouble for suggesting this, but I think the theme song of the park should be It's a Large World After All (and Tattooed). Let's just say that I'm no longer worried that at fourty years old I'm too fat.

Dredging Up Memories

Tuesday morning we returned to the Magic Kingdom.

This was a ride visit
  • Splash Mountain ("Don't throw me into the briar patch!")
  • Alladin's Carpet Ride ("A whole new world.")
  • The Haunted Mansion ("A ghost will follow you home...")
  • The Enchanted Tiki Room ("Do not anger the Tiki Gods!")
  • Pirates of the Carribian ("Dead men tell no tales.")
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What was strange for me was how memories of some of the rides and shows in Disneyland in 1969 interacted with their 2005 Disneyworld counterparts. More on that later...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Mission SPACE!

Well... I had fun in the centerfuge. And we got to slingshot around the moon and dodge asteroids before nearly crashlanding on Mars. Mark wants to change the tag-line for this ride from "hurtling through space" to "hurling through space."

Yes. He took dramamine beforehand.

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What was interesting to us was how difficult it was for some adult guests to follow instructions. At least, we think he could speak English.

The Animal Kingdom

OK. My experiences recording things at NorWesCon convinced me that there's more to making an NPR report than talking into a microphone in the middle of some street. So I wrote this one down.

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It's about 3 and a half minutes long.

I'd have to say that the Animal Kingdom might be just a little bit better than the Magic Kingdom. It's certainly less frantic.