Chuck’s Corner July, 2006
I ran across a book in the library the other day called “Vamos a Orlando en el Verano”. It is filled with pictures of happy, smiling, frolicking children and their families enjoying a variety of rides and attractions at Disney World and not ONE of them is standing in a line or showing even the slightest hint of perspiration. I think this is just disgraceful and our children should not be exposed to this flagrant collection of lies.
In case you haven’t already guessed it, I'm at Disney World as I write this. In July. If you think that the heat is the worst thing here you'd be wrong. Before I get cranky, let me give you some background information: Being a reasonable person, I decided long ago to NEVER visit Disney World – or the Orlando area – EVER during the summer months. Unfortunately, my wife had to attend a conference here and it was either stay at home alone with the kids or come here.
We are staying at the Dolphin/Swan resort (specifically, we’re staying in the Dolphin side.) It's on the Disney World property so you'd think it would be at least tolerable. You'd be wrong.
To start with, we were supposed to have a "suite". Imagine our surprise after checking in when we entered our "suite" only to find that it was really just 'adjoining rooms'. A quick phone call to the front desk corrected THAT problem (a bit). We now have something that RESEMBLES a suite and THIS room even has FREE CANDY IN THE DRAWERS! Yes, it appears that the housekeeping staff here is averse to sweets since they left a handful of Skittles (including the bag) in a drawer in one room and a few randomly strewn pieces of Sweet Tarts on the floor in the other. Throw in a spare coffee stirrer and miscellaneous pieces of plastic wrap and you'd be hard-pressed to claim that our rooms have been cleaned in the last YEAR.
We decided to overlook these minor deficiencies and enjoy our stay. Around 9:00 last night, we called and asked for some additional pillows and blankets. We called again at 9:45 to remind them. At 10:00, some guy showed up with some things that looked like pillows and blankets. I took them just to make him go away. My wife pointed out that they were not the "feather" pillows and blankets that they advertised. I agreed but at this point I didn't care.
At 11:00, the guy came knocking at our door again with the feather pillows and blankets. Ahhhhhhhh!!!! "Gee, Chuck, why didn't you put out the 'Do not disturb' sign?" you might ask. Well, because THERE AREN'T ANY IN EITHER ROOM! Yes, we are staying in the ONLY hotel rooms in the ENTIRE USA without 'Do not disturb' signs in them.
You'd think that would be the end of the pillows and blankets story but it's not. At 4:35 AM (Note the "AM"), our phone in the room rang. By the time I got to it, the caller had hung up but the message light was blinking. After 10 minutes I finally figured out how to retrieve my messages. "Why, yes, we just wanted to know if you received your pillows and blankets!"
Now, that's still not the worst part. Since a little before 9:00, we heard these little kids SCREAMING in the room next door. They kept it up until shortly before midnight. I decided to be nice since it IS Disney World, after all, and they are probably excited.
The next day the kids and I went off to the theme parks while my wife went to her conference. We went to Animal Kingdom first to ride the new “Expedition Everest” roller coaster. From there we went to Disney/MGM to ride the “Rockin’ Roller Coaster” and a few other rides and, finally, we went to Epcot to ride “Soarin’”.
We were planning to then go the The Magic Kindom but by this time we were all exhausted. It wasn’t so much the 20 minutes of actual rides that we had been on that tired us out but the 3 hours of waiting outside in the heat for buses and boats to transport us from one park to another, the hour or so riding on the buses and boats plus the 20 miles we walked FROM the buses and boats to the rides that did it. The kids didn’t need much convincing to forego The Magic Kingdom and, instead, head back to our air-conditioned rooms for a good night’s rest.
After a quick dinner at the hotel we retired to our rooms to relax. Unfortunately, the kids in the next room started in with their screaming routine again around 8:00. This time, however, I decided to play their little game with them. I opened our side of the adjoining doors and started to scratch THEIR door with my fingernails while jingling some keys and moaning like a ghoul from The Haunted Mansion! (OK, I might have pounded on the door a few times with my elbow, too.)
Suffice to say, we haven't heard a peep out of the little brats since then. Something tells me that this wasn't a nice thing to do but I'm over it. And I'll get to sleep in peace tonight.
In closing, I hope that by writing this that I can save at least one other person from having to endure the pain and suffering of going to Disney World in the summer. In fact, I’m going to go to the next School Board meeting and demand that the “Vamos a Orlando en el Verano” book be banned from our public school libraries.
If anyone out there happens to have Frank Bolanos’ phone number, please send it to me at ChucksCorner@ComCast.net.