As I noted in this space 24 hours ago, my family spent the last week as guests of Walt Disney World. I have this blog thing that I inflict upon the world and I operate under the credo of Garrison Keillor: "For a writer there are no tragedies, everything is material." So welcome to...
Before we get to the actual territory of the Happiest Place on Earth (or as I frequently referred to it, the Friggin' Happiest Friggin' Place on Friggin' Earth), there are a couple of side stories I must share.
While shopping in a location of a national retail chain that I shall not name...let's call it "Ball Fart"... I came across a rather good deal on some sneakers. Not just relatively inexpensive but in my size, 13 1/2. Yes, those are big shoes and you know why? I have big feet. And you know what they say about men with big feet, right, ladies?*
*Seriously, women, could someone set me straight on that? I've heard that big feet are proportional to penis size and I've heard that big feet are an inverse indicator of penis size.
Men with big feet have... to buy big shoes.
As I figured I would be doing a LOT of walking and even MORE standing at Disney World (more on that later), it wouldn't hurt to have a 2nd pair of sneakers.
So I made my purchases at Ball Fart which went incredibly fast. There were actual people working the actual check out registers. You don't see that much at Ball Fart anymore. Mostly it's one or two workers nonchalantly pointing at the self-check outs which I almost never make work without at least one screw up.
Then I get outside and look closer at the shoes. It's now I discover something wrong with the shoes. Or rather, something too right. As in both shoes are right shoes.
Yes, I had tried on the shoes. OK, I tried on one of the shoes. But hell, if one fits, I expect them both to fit. I never expected that the right shoe would be accompanied by another right shoe.
So I go back in. Now remember how quickly and efficiently I made my purchase of the shoes? Yeah, that same thing ain't happening with returning them. There is a long, long line of people returning stuff. I hoped one of them might be a customer returning a pair of 13 1/2 sized sneakers with two LEFT shoes. Oh, what a fine tale that would've made. But no, I stand in this long line (practice for Disney) at the customer service return desk which is being staffed by that sloth from Zootopia (ooh, Disney film) working at the DMV.
When I finally made my way up to the return desk, the person there asked me what's wrong with the shoes and I said, "There's nothing wrong with the shoes; they are TOO right!"
No, the Ball Fart worker did not deliver her line, denying me my clever punch line.
OK, I've typed a lot of words in a post about going to Disney World and so far I haven't gotten to Disney World yet. Don't worry, I will get the narrative to Disney.
Heading into Orlando on Interstate 4 is a nerve racking experience. I should be able to claim combat pay from the Pentagon for driving that stretch of road. The traffic is packed and apparently construction projects started back in 2009 are still underway. Meanwhile, my wife and daughter are insisting on listening to Disney tunes to get us in the mood. In the mood... for MURDER! Well, that's what I was getting out of it. Suffice to say I'm under a lot of stress.
Then the check engine light comes on.
I should note that we're making this nearly 700 mile excursion to Orlando FL in a 2002 Toyota Camry. It has been a good car which has given us few problems and we've worked diligently to keep in good working condition. Still, it is an older car and we're on the last 10 miles or so of our trip to Disney. The check engine light coming on is cause for concern.
But the car is continuing to run well, it isn't overheating, it isn't making weird noises. So I put the light out of my mind for the moment. And so should you, dear reader. Until we get to Part 4. But for now we have arrived at...
Specifically the Carribean Beach Resort.
In the four previous visits to Disney in Florida, we have stayed at this resort. It's a rather nice resort for staying on site at Disney World without completely busting the budget. I booked our reservations back in June for this resort with the accompanying passes to the Disney parks. I received various emails confirming things and I had been online setting up stuff in advance like Fast Passes and dinner reservations through our dining plan, all that stuff. With all that advanced planning, I expect check in with be simplicity itself.
We now come to the part in the narrative I have chosen to call...
Right. The very friendly Disney hostess at the check in desk has no record of a reservation for me and my family. Well, that can't be! I made reservations in June. I have emails!
On closer inspection, however, the very friendly Disney hostess at the check in desk notices that there was a reservation but it was cancelled.
Cancelled? Who cancelled it? The very friendly Disney hostess at the check in desk informed me that I did. Apparently (and as I write this, I'm still not sure what the hell went wrong), a final payment to secure my reservation had not gone through.
At this point, the very friendly Disney hostess at the check in desk consulted with the very friendly Disney check in desk manager who...
Made things right.
Yes, I know that some Disney corporate stooge with a regulatory stick up their butt saying sorry but there's nothing we can do would make for a much better story but not so much a better vacation and sorry, as much as I am dedicated to providing you entertainment for this blog, it's not all about you, you know.
So we're off to our room which I'm tempted to call Fortress of Ineptitude South but damn it's a nice room with a flat screen TV in the wall that is bigger and nicer than what I have back home. Screw the park passes! This is the Fortress of Amaze-itude! Let's just stay here!
No, we must venture forth! But first....
Oh, we lucked out with our room this trip. Normally our room in the previous four visits was a long way from Old Port Royale, the central hub of the Carribean Beach Resort where the food is. This time, we were about maybe 50 yards from the food court. Sweet!
Let me offer a word of advice about Disney and their dining plan. If you're staying on site, the dining plan is not a sucker bet. Trust me, food at Disney World is WAY over priced and if you're eating on site, yeah, you're a sucker but don't be a sucker twice. The dining plan is a valuable thing to have if you manage it right.
For a late lunch, we had a monster slice of pizza, a salad, a dessert and (because we bought the refillable commerative cups) ANOTHER dessert. (That 2nd dessert was our snack when we returned to our room later that night.) Seriously, Disney can lay the food stuff on you solid, yo!
Riveting stuff, I know. And we haven't gotten to a park yet. But I think I will save that for the next installment of Disney Daze.
Going live at 5 PM (Eastern Time, USA) is a 2nd post for today as I look at what apparently is a "post truth" world we're living in.
Going up at 5 AM Wednesday, it's Disney Daze - Part Two. What theme park did we visit first? And my daughter meets her arch nemesis for the week. All that's coming up on the next installment of Disney Daze.
Until next time, remember to be good to one another.