The highlight of tomorrow? A sticky, melty chocolate-covered Mickey Mouse ice cream bar, eaten lazily in the hot sun while sitting on the bridge that crosses over Splash Mountain’s death defying drop to the watery Laughing Place. I’m going to DISNEY WORLD – the place where country bears sing, pirates drunkenly carouse, children from all nations harmonize while swinging from culturally + geographically representative items and grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize.
Growing up in Florida, I spent much of my young life either at Disney World or thinking about the next time I could convince a family member to take me to Disney World. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been, it certainly must be over 50 … which leads me to believe I’ve spent around $4,000 on Disney admission in my lifetime. That’s GOOFY. You’d be hard pressed to find the native Floridian who’s never been to a Disney park, yet now that I’m a New Yorker, I meet folks all the time who have not experienced the magical land of underground trash tunnels, utterly non-futuristic future lands and unadulterated parade-induced joy. JOOOOOOY!
Strangely, almost as if by magic, park-goers are compelled to skip and dare I say, frolic, while on Main Street, USA. I honestly can’t NOT skip when Cinderella’s Castle comes into view for the first time.
We planned this family excursion around the annual Night of Joy event, which Mom & RaeRae go to every year on their own. Normally we’d have to beg and plead with Dad to do anything having to do with Disney, but this time, the man is as excited as the rest of us! We’re going to all the four parks, including Animal Kingdom, which I’ve yet to visit. RaeRae and I have spent the past week texting each other lines from our favorite Disney Sing Along videos, and in typical night-before-Disney fashion, we were both too excited to sleep.
Ohana’s – Probably my favorite restaurant in the world. I’ve written about it before here. Endless meat & hula dancing? Yes please.
Pirates of the Caribbean – I wouldn’t be BAA if I didn’t find a way to get to the Caribbean on every single trip out of NYC. I used to be terrified of this ride, but Johnny Depp really sold me on the concept.
Tinkerbell – Every night, When You Wish Upon a Star is played across the park, the lights are dimmed and Tinkerbell pops out of a window at the top of Cinderella’s Castle and flies over the crowd. That’s Disney magic.
Screaming toddlers – I should know, I used to be one.
Scary midday Florida thunderstorms
Stupid, stupid Maelstrom Viking ride at Epcot – It’s terrible. I just hate it.
Tourists – I work in tourism, thus logically I should love tourists. However, tourists stand around without a plan and get in the way, and I get mucho annoyed.
My parents’ outfits – Fanny packs and “I’m with Goofy” Disney shirts. Enough said.
Space Mountain – Closed until November 21.
Keep an eye on my Twitter feed to the right for pictures and updates from the Happiest Place on Earth throughout the weekend. I’m headed to Nassau for a presentation on Monday and another in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, but hope to find time to post about our ORTHAPALOOZA 2009 for you, dear Internet friends. Have a great weekend!