Saturday, January 05, 2008

Apologies & Finally, Disney Part 2

I owe my three readers (maybe that's an optimistic overstatement) for the non-blogging. I had every intention of finishing the DisneyLand post. I had a pretty good time. Of course, there are family issues, and the more I thought about the Disney trip, the more I thought about the time spent with family there, which was stressful and tense for many reasons, and I just couldn't make myself write any more about it.

I do want to mention the "new" "Finding Nemo" submarine ride. Seriously, they closed "20,000 Leagues" for this? The line was endless, but then it always was. It would have been fine if they had a canopy over the queue for shade, but they only has semi-strategically placed moveable umbrellas. Perhaps I’ve been to Disney World too many time, where they figured out how to protect the guests from overwhelming heat.

Once we got to the ride, it was a cross between the new “The Seas with Nemo and Friends” at Epcot and the old “20,000 Leagues” ride. As we rode through the water, images were projected onto the portal windows that made it appear as though Nemo and friends were swimming through the water. The plot of the ride followed the plot of the movie (Spoiler alert: They find Nemo!), and the water was filled with jellyfish swarms and current turbulence. Our sub was stalled toward the end. The crew cast said we should look for the sea monster and the old ruins, as an homage to the original ride, but I didn’t see anything. Since I have an unreasonable love of the sea monster I looked really hard. (He was crosseyed, and his tongue hung out like a puppy. My eight-year-old self fell in love!)

On the other hand, the clock tower which houses “it’s a small world” was back to the original white and gold color scheme I love. I do think it is one of the more beautiful architectural facades I’ve ever seen. It touches a deeply buried sentimental side in me that taps into the child in me. I always remember how beautiful I thought it was when I first saw it when I was about four. When I took Icepick out there during the summer of 1996, it had been painted in an assortment of pastels and wasn’t nearly as pretty as I remembered. I thought my memory was faulty until I saw it during my trip.

It also bears mentioning that the “small world” ride itself is significantly different enough from its Disney World to merit riding. It’s expanded and has more tableaus (including mermaids). Embrace the song. It’s hopeful and optimistic, and we can all use a little of that in our lives. (Note: I have been known to frighten people by singing all the verses. It’s a gift.)

One more note, if you want to avoid some of the crowds, you can have your ticket take at the monorail entrance at Downtown Disney. The monorail will drop you in Tomorrow Land, right in the middle of the Nemo submarine line. It turns out it is possible to spend the several hours at DisneyLand and never actually see the castle (which is still closed anyway. Stupid security measures.).

A good time was ultimately had by all. It was just so blasted hot, which made everybody cranky, no matter how much I insisted we go back to the hotel room and return in the evening. See, in Florida, we have the good sense to stay indoors until at least 5:00; it’s how we survive.

So that sums up the Disney trip. The other days were spent visiting family in the desert until I could make my escape to the loving arms of my husband and my cats. On the up side, I don’t think I will have to go back any time soon. Everyone seemed very excited about the prospect of us starting a family this year and understood the need to save money. We’ll see how it goes.

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