I awoke at 7am to the sounds of a typhoon. It was pouring rain in sheets, and it was so cold and humid I didn’t want to get out of bed to close the patio door. When Heather got up, we decided to go to the Starbucks up the interstate at the outlet mall, because it had wireless internet access. The folks there were super-friendly, and we got our email, so the day was off to a good start.
We drove over to Disney and pulled a free parking trick: drive up to the booth at one of the resorts (the Polynesian is closest to the parks), tell the lady in the booth you’re having lunch and shopping, and she’ll give you a free 2-hour pass. And they never check the passes. So we parked and wound our way through tiki schlock to the monorail.
Have I mentioned that I love the monorail? I’m considering trading my car in for one.
My overall impression of the Magic Kingdom wasn’t great. It was still rainy when we got there. I thought Disney controlled the weather, too, but I was wrong. We walked down Main Street USA and over to Adventureland. Heather was on a quest to have her pictures taken with all the furries, making rock hands. She was making rock hands, I mean. The furries can’t do that with giant paws.
We rode the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean, which felt more like the Arctic. I was wearing Heather’s jacket, and had my own wrapped around my legs.
I think the fact that everything is so old and cheesy at the Magic Kingdom is part of the reason it’s not that great. We went on the rides out of nostalgia, mostly. Another thing that sucked completely was finding food I could eat. Epcot had given me a false sense of security, with all their semi-healthy vegetarian options. At the Magic Kingdom, everything was either meat, or deep-fried, or both. We finally found a pirate restaurant, where I ordered a pirate salad, and threw it up shortly thereafter.
I’m sure there’s something to be said about puking in the Magic Kingdom, but I’ll just move on. Lunch depressed me; it was the combination of the rain and the food (we were sitting across from a McDonald’s french fry booth, which was surrounded by flocks of fat birds), and also the families. I noticed that everybody looked way more stressed than happy. Like the effort of getting everyone there, paying a thousand bucks, and transporting themselves around was too much, but they were going to have a good time if it killed them, dammit. I couldn’t stop staring at this woman who was alternately arguing quietly with her husband and telling her dumb kids to eat their PB&Js. She was tearing the crusts off one of their sandwiches, dunking it in ketchup, and eating it. What was I saying about puking? Right.
After lunch, the sun came out, so we were feeling better. We walked back up to the front of the park to stow our umbrellas and coats in a locker, then decided to hang out and watch the parade. Heather wanted a cigarette, and I just wanted to sit in the sun. When we found espresso and an ice cream shop with sugar-free butter-pecan ice cream, I was feeling 100% better. We took a seat on the curb and watched all the funny people while we waited for the parade.
I’m glad I wouldn’t let Heather take my picture, because now I have proof of ocean hair. It is fabulous, no?
The parade was really, really weird. I’m glad I was completely sober, or it might have brought on a psychotic episode. All the famous Disney characters rode in big glass bubbles on top of floats. They were flailing and gesticulating. I kept trying to imagine the people inside them, and I’m pretty convinced they’re all super-perverted. Which is cool. I’ve just heard rumors, is all I’m saying. They kept luring all the little kids into the street to dance, too. I don’t know. It’s just kind of creepy.
After the parade, we went over to Tomorrowland. It may have looked futuristic 20 years ago. But what’s the awesome thing about Tomorrowland?
It was pretty much the only reason for going to the Magic Kingdom. That, and ‘It’s a Small World’, which gives me flashbacks to the Precious Moments Chapel.
We grabbed FastPasses so we could get on the ride again as soon as we got off. I mean… yeah. Anyway. On the way up the miles of dark ramp inside the bowels of Space Mountain, I discovered the kind of thing that could excite only me: my pants had a FastPass pocket. It was the exact size, a tiny little pocket that velcroed shut. That is hot.
So, Heather hates roller coasters, but had agreed to go on them with me since I was tolerating her learning. She wasn’t pleased about Space Mountain. I was screaming and laughing hysterically; she was screaming, ‘Oh fuck!’ When it was done, we exited, sat for five minutes until our passes were good, and got back on again. Space Mountain rules.
We started wandering around again. We ended up mobbed with kids in ‘Toontown’. My blood sugar was dropping, and I was crabby as hell. Several of the restaurants closed at 5pm, which confused me. We found our way onto a boat, which floated us into ‘It’s a Small World’. Holy shit.
We found a fresh fruit stand, so I ate some pineapple and felt better. We went in the Haunted Mansion. Then I ate a pretzel (it’s a fetish). Then we waited in line forever to ride Big Thunder Mountain. It was the first time we had really encountered a wait at all, which was nice. Once again, I screamed and laughed, Heather just screamed.
We had had enough of the Magic Kingdom, so we headed back up to the front of the park. Heather shopped for souvenirs, and I lingered around outside while the fireworks started. We saw the rest of the fireworks from the monorail on the way back to the Polynesian. Unbelievable as it may seem, we lost the sexymobile and ended up wandering the parking lot. That’s because it’s not as sexy as I’m making it out to be, and in fact looks like every other vehicle in America, excepting my own, which is always easy to find.
I figured it would be easy to find dinner at Downtown Disney, over yonder by Pleasure Island. So we drove over there, parked, and started wandering. Downtown Disney features a bunch of stores, a movie theatre, and maybe 5 or 6 restaurants, but they’re all in supersized, comically giant versions of themselves. It’s bizarre. We looked at all the menus, and there was absolutely nothing I could eat. We decided to go to Rainforest Cafe, because I knew they had a gardenburger. So we followed the signs from one end of Downtown Disney, past Pleasure Island, and finally we could see it across this giant lagoon. So we kept walking. Heather was exhausted, and I was crabby again. I was pushing my way through crowds. After about a seven-mile hike around the lake, we reached Rainforest Cafe. They had an hour-long wait. We wanted to cry.
Instead, I left Heather by one of the giant shops and speed-walked the seven miles back to the car. I’m sure people could hear me yelling ‘excuse me! excuse me!’ in the doppler effect as I blew past them. I got the sexymobile, cranked up the stereo because that Holiday Inn song with Snoop was on, and there’s nothing funnier than a white girl in a sexymobile blasting that song in the parking lot at Downtown Disney. If only the sexymobile had hydraulics.
We drove around the entire state of Florida looking for food. Much like the Magic Kingdom, Orlando’s restaurants mostly feature deep-fried meat. We finally settled on Bahama Breeze, a tacky Jimmy-Buffett-style restaurant. We took turns going to the bathroom, and both got to witness a girl who was staggering-drunk and had vomited all over herself, being cleaned up by relatives. It was great. I ate my mushroom sandwich, and we went back to the condo to sleep.