My wife and I just got back from a weekend at Disney World with the kids. It was a nice time to go since the good folks at Disney are still celebrating their Centennial Anniversary (motto: Celebrating 100 Years of Making Your Money Our Money!). I say “still” because they have been celebrating it for about two years now.
At least the weather was much nicer than it was a few years ago when we took advice from my sisters-in-law, Sandy and Susie, and went in the middle of August. “It’ll be great!” I remember them saying. I should have asked “Great what?” Well, this time we didn’t sweat and we spent more time on the attractions than in the LINES for the attractions.
Even the animals at Animal Kingdom (motto: You’ll Be Paying for This Adventure for 100 Years!) know better than to be out running around in the Florida heat in August. The last time we went there we left under the impression that they had no real, live animals at Animal Kingdom. The closest thing to ‘animal behavior’ we witnessed then was hordes of people kicking and clawing to stand under the cooling misters or buy a battery-operated fan.
This time, however, there were so many animals that I thought the good folks at Disney had soured on the whole idea of bothering with living animals and had resorted to using animated figures like the ones in “It’s a Small World”. It wasn’t until a rhinoceros walked next to our truck – close enough to touch - that I smelled the unmistakable truth: these were really live animals. Well, presumably live, as there were still a few ‘sleeping’ beasts. But at least you could see them - which is more than I can say for the previous time.
After Animal Kingdom, we went to Epcot (motto: It Costs More to Come Here than You Will Make in 100 Years!). Once inside, I managed to talk my wife into going on the “Test Track” ride. “It’s not that bad!” I assured her.
Now, in case you don’t know, the “Test Track” ride goes over 70 miles per hour so by “not that bad” I meant simply that we had gone that fast on the drive up to Orlando in our van. Of course, the Test Track cars are somewhat smaller. And not enclosed. And run on a banked railing. Around the OUTSIDE of the building. 30 feet in the air.
So it came as no surprise when the kids and I walked into the ‘briefing room’ and I turned to see my wife waving at us from outside the now-closing doors. She might have been saying something like “Have a nice time!” but it was probably more like something a football coach says when his star kicker misses an easy, game-winning field goal wide left.
When the ride was over, my daughter – who is all of 5 years old – didn’t want to get off. “Again! Again!” she cried. “No, we have to let some other people have a turn” I tried to explain. “But I want to ride it again!” she said. My son, who is 8, enjoyed it for the most part but wasn’t particularly interested in seeing it again.
And that’s pretty much how we spent the next day at the Magic Kingdom (motto: Making Your Money Disappear for What Seems Like 100 Years!) From the moment we entered the park, my daughter was yelling “Splash Mountain! Splash Mountain! Splash Mountain!” Since it was still a little chilly, we decided to try Thunder Mountain first (since it’s drier!) We got off the ride and were immediately inundated with “Again! Again! Again!” So off we went to do it again.
In closing, I’d just like to tell you that if you’re considering a trip to Disney World, now is the time to do it. The weather is nice and cool, you can get some good rates on accommodations and there are no lines. We finally made it to Splash Mountain and went on without waiting at all.
And if you do make it up to Disney World any time soon, make a point to go to Splash Mountain. Please! I’m getting really tired of this ride and need someone to take my place!