Thursday, November 11, 2004

Live From Orlando! (Pre-Taped and Edited to Fit Your Screen)

So I had to go to Orlando this week for a work conference. I know, what a tough break for me. But I had dreams of doing a sort of journaling thing along the way and I thought I was off to a good start when our (small) local airport had wireless access and my computer was surfing pretty well on it. I posted some comments to 2+2=5 while I was waiting for the plane last Friday (went a weekend early, of course!) and all was right in my world. When I got to the Charlotte airport - no wireless. Unfortunate, but not a problem. I brought up Neverwinter Nights and made up a new character instead. Things were not perfect in my world, but they didn't suck. We got to Orlando, checked into the Sheraton, and when I got to the room my computer told tales of there being a wireless access point for the hotel. Oh glorious day!

Then my computer wouldn't hold onto the signal.

As a result, no travelogue. I know you're all heart-broken.

So let me sum up. The weather was beautiful - 70 degrees and sunny the entire time we were there. Being the big ole goofs that we are, we had to get park hopper passes to Disney. We did the Animal Kingdom, MGM Studios, and Epcot. We also checked out Disney Downtown, including a late night at Paradise Island, and nosed around the resorts to see which one was our favorite (we're caught between the remote and cozy Wilderness Lodge and the cheerful, busy Boardwalk).

Favorite things:
  • Putting our names and faces (and wedding date) on the "Leave a Legacy" monoliths at Epcot. We're guaranteed to be there until 2020 I think. The pictures are tiny so it might take you that long to find us.
  • Mission: Space at Epcot - what position did Cmdr Sue play? Commander, of course! It was pure chance because I didn't realize the circle I was standing on would mean anything. Unfortunately this ride also made me lay-down-on-the-carpet- why-in-the-*bleep*-did-I-do-this-after-eating sick. Then they told us they've had to turn the intensity of the ride down twice since starting it because people get motion sick from it. When a ride actually has barf bags in it... well, there you go. Even though it made me quesy, the ride was totally worth it. It's a simulation of taking off in a shuttle from Earth and flying to Mars. I have (almost) reached out and touched the face of God.
  • Norway at Epcot. The only thing it was missing was Dennis Storhoi. But they almost made up for it with a pastry shop serving double chocolate cake (tender cake topped with a layer of mousse and a thin layer of fudge for frosting).
  • The Safari at Animal Kingdom - it really just made me want to go on a real safari and donate money to help fight poaching and support the animal reserves.
  • The tiger at Animal Kingdom who was a total ham. He reminded me of my orange tabby. (Anyone who knows my Mr. Bond can just imagine.)
  • Star Tours at MGM - although it wasn't the ride as much as the stuff that you see while waiting in line. And the gift shop rocked.
  • Muppet 3D at MGM - I've always LOVED the Muppets. And I was glad to see a big role for Sam the Eagle. (I always liked him. I'm sick like that.) The old guys in the balcony are actually in the theater with you as animatronics (plus the Chef running the projector, and a bunny I didn't recognize), but everyone else is in the movie on the screen. The movie was fun, but the animatronics and setup of the theater are what put the experience over the top.
  • The Disney bus driver with the corny jokes. Why did Cinderella have to stop playing tennis? Because her coach turned into a pumpkin...
There was plenty of other fun stuff, but those are a few of my favorite things.

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