Its a small world. But you wouldnt want to paint i

Trip Start Aug 01, 2005
Trip End Nov 22, 2005

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, November 2, 2005

It's a small world. But you wouldn't want to paint it.

Walt Disney opened Disneyland in California in 1955. It soon proved popular (it got regular publicity on the Walt Disney Show) and families flocked to it. The popularity of the park soon attracted other investors and businesses and soon houses, hotels and other properties not connected with Disney, surrounded the area. Walt wasn't too happy at being confined so planned on buying a huge block of real estate somewhere in America where he could build as much as he wanted. He searched for a couple of years before deciding on Kissimmee near Orlando. Over time he secretly bought a huge parcel of real estate (30,000 acres) so he could build his new project. Here he could build a large number of parks, hotels and other Disney attractions and not worry about other people building around him. The first to be built was Disneyworld. Unfortunately Walt died in 1966, five years before it was completed. His brother Roy took over the project and renamed it Walt Disney World in his honour.

And so today we were heading to the Magical Kingdom - supposedly the Happiest Place on Earth. Again I had a strategy in place so we could see all the attractions. I had been mulling over the plan in my sleep, but needn't have worried; there was never too long a wait. I guess with so many parks (and with the size of the parks) people are generally spread out. Disney does the attractions so well. They have the money and resources to ensure the best and it shows. The theming, the pre amble, the effects are all amazing. Many of the rides are very similar (often involving a boat ride) so it is the way they are themed and decorated that make it interesting. From the animatronics to the catchy songs played it is all done brilliantly. (It took two days to get It's a Small World out of my head. Anyone who has been on this ride will know what I am talking about.)

All the music and happiness really does suck you in. I have never been too interested in the Disney characters but I found a strange urge to buy all things Disney. Maybe they were sending subliminal messages in their songs. Actually there was nothing subliminal about it; it was very liminal- BUY BUY BUY. I wanted to wear mouse ears. I wanted a Goofy sweatshirt. I needed Winnie the Pooh pear of jeans. I would be lost without an Aladdin outfit. I tried to resist. Often I would get off a ride and without realising what I was doing go to purchase a souvenir. Fee would have to hold me back. I would break out into a sweat- "must buy Disney, must buy Disney."

At 3pm there is a big parade featuring all the Disney characters. We lined the streets in expectation and when they passed we would cheer and applaud. I was applauding teenagers in costumes. The Disney spirit was getting to me. Normally I wouldn't clap a kid in a Pinocchio costume but here I was cheering like Carlton had won a game. (Yes that happens in the Magic Kingdom) Eventually we couldn't hold back and were reeled in hook, line and sinker. We bought lots of stuff. Stuff that we didn't need, but we had to have. Disney turns everyone into big kids.

Speaking of big kids, mine was getting tired again and so we returned to our hotel for a rest. And to dump off our shopping. And also to take a break from the scooter brigade and a new breed that seemed to swarm the Magic Kingdom- the trailer trash. There seemed to be a lot of them about today. I don't know how they could afford to vacation here but they had. There were families of eight kids (all with the double barrelled names like Peggy Sue and Donnie Ray), all in matching outfits and all making a hell of a lot of noise. Dad would have his mullet and his Mickey singlet, allowing him to show off his many tattoos. Mum would look pretty similar. They get on your nerves after a while, particularly when you have to stand next to them in a queue for a while.

The Magic Kingdom at night was magic. All lit up it was prettier than in the daytime. The centrepiece was Cinderella's Castle (which some of you may remember was based on King Ludwig's Neuschwanstein). Every night there is a fireworks show over the castle and it was spectacular. The Disney folks don't do anything by half. As we had had our afternoon nap (alas no milk and cookies) we still had plenty of energy so headed back to Downtown Disney to go to the Disney Quest Interactive Theme Park. This had a lot of virtual reality rides and games and was good as it was different. Time flew here (actually time goes real quick at theme parks, before you know it eight hours have passed) and we only left when the park closed.

Day Two Disney Debrief:
Three parks visited. Our card has been swiped lots of times. Our bill is getting enormous. We are getting tired but still want to continue on. It's a small world after all.
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