Our last day – well, technically our last day was the next morning scrambling to get to the airport, but I’m not blogging about that – on our trip was Hollywood Studios. This is the Disney park dedicated to movies; for example Star Wars was there. There’s still no Marvel for some legal agreement reason, so I still hate lawyers, I discovered. HOW CAN YOU OWN MARVEL AND NOT HAVE A CAPTAIN AMERICA FOR ME, I MEAN MY KIDS, TO MEET AND HUG AND TAKE HOME WITH ME, I MEAN THEM. I’M TRYING, I MEAN MY KIDS ARE TRYING TO HOLD IT TOGETHER RIGHT NOW, HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS PARK.
We made due. We got to check the list off and get Daisy Duck pictures and then ran off to a junior Dance Party! Of all the jobs on Earth, of all time, from executioner to dung farmer to door to door salesman, being on the dance party staff would be my least favorite job of all time.
I was in a room with 250 yelling kids, techno music and special guest dancers like Vampirina (huh?) and Doc McStuffins and very high energy DJ’s. I knew why there was a booze kiosk right around the corner. The kids liked it…you learn to use that phrase at Disney. Oh the kids liked it…drifts in and out of consciousness, drools a little.
We had lunch at a 50’s style diner (again, food was great). The gimmick there was John, our server, was really rude and I loved it. I finally found a kindred spirit. He shamed a guy for using his cell phone. He led the whole section in a taunt. He was even sarcastic to the kids. It was great. Except when he mocked me for chugging my drink. First off I was thirsty and second, I’ve been at Disney parks for four days. Bring me two more or buzz off, daddy-0 or whatever they said in the 50’s.
Toy Story Land was cool (except it led to yet another toy purchase, thanks Slinky Dog ride). We had a really tight window for the next FastPass so I picked up my daughter and ran the best I could. Fat dad post pot roast and cheesecake, carrying his toddler, sprinting through a hornet’s nest of people wasn’t pretty. I breathlessly got to the Little Mermaid…one minute too late. In a very non-Disney move, they wouldn’t let me in. It was the only time I was mad about the service, so it must have something important, like the entrance was blocked by props now. Luckily, there was a strategically placed beer stand, which may have saved a few lives that day.
We then saw Chewbacca and called it a day, as it takes 43 hours to pack back up and go home when you have an infant and a toddler. All in all, it was a really great trip. The food was much better than I anticipated, the service and staff at all levels was tremendous and my kid is still talking about it almost two weeks later. The magic truly ended, both literally and symbolically, when our bus pulled into the airport. At the exact second we entered the drop off, an eight year old girl in front of us projectile vomited onto the seat in front of her. Welcome back to the real world!
Day 3 of our trip, we finally left the Magic Kingdom (boo) to go to the Animal Kingdom (they have alcohol, yay!). However, we first stopped at Chef Mickey for brunch. This was a HOME RUN. Granted, I wouldn’t suggest rolling in as an adult without the warning that it’s a breakfast/brunch with dancing, music and 250 kids running around, but my kids loved it. Plus, insider Disney info – the cheesy potatoes at the buffet are so good, I stuffed the chef into my suitcase and brought him home. He keeps crying for help or whatever, but he ain’t going anywhere until I get enough cheesy potatoes stored up until 2022.
The Animal Kingdom is like a zoo, but with rides and 700 Disney gift shops. We went to Dinoland first, because my daughter isn’t even 3 and half and see already knows Ankylosaurus, Parasoralophus, and a dozen other dinosaurs I can’t pronounce. The biggest mistake I made was playing a carnival game with her. “I want the blue dinosaur with the hat.” I lost the first game shooting the target, but won the second and got a blue dino. It wasn’t the one she wanted, so I had to win four straight to trade in for bigger prizes, because of course, the one she wanted was a tier 3 prize. I stared straight ahead with a steel gaze and blocked out all the screams and cheers around me because I had exactly four game tickets left and did it. I was rewarded with my daughter’s undying gratitude and love for the blue dino with the hat…until she saw a Baby Simba an hour later and had to have that instead.
The Lion King show was good and robotics folks at Disney are insanely talented. This Simba looked like the cartoon version and moved great. I think I may trade the kidnapped Chef back if someone there can make me a big robotic eagle for the house. We also did a safari and the first animal we saw was hosing down a tree, so that was great also. It was so long a piss, the guide had to acknowledge it and move on.
My wife forgot her sunglasses, so I ducked into this shop and looked up. My eyesight isn’t as good as it once was, so I thought these maltballs said meatballs. I was so excited to get meatballs in a bag, then boom – just crappy ol’ maltballs. I THOUGHT THIS PLACE WAS MAGIC, MICKEY! GUESS I’M EATING ICE CREAM AND CANDY LIKE SOME NORMAL PERSON ON VACATION. OK, I’ll forgive you, mouse, you did make me cheesy potatoes earlier. But seriously, work on the meatballs in a bag and I’m joining the Disney vacation club.
Day 2 of our trip we went to the Magical Kingdom again, but had more time and awareness. We strolled over, met Alice from Alice in Wonderland, so my kids can learn about LSD or whatever Alice is on to see talking cats and pipe smoking caterpillars. CRISIS ALERT – we forgot the damn autograph book. I had to walk all the way back to the hotel to grab it, so I missed the Beauty and the Beast show. TRIP RUINED. I actually worked up a deuce power walking back, but alas, the maid was cleaning when I entered. TRIP RUINED. Thankfully, there was a beach bar bathroom near by and everything at Disney is clean, so I was saved. Seriously, though – any place that can keep bathrooms clean with that many kids deserves national recognition.
I got back in time to meet Gaston, the arrogant villain from Beauty and the Beast. I asked my daughter who was stronger, Dada or Gaston? She unflinchingly said Gaston, so I beat him up in front of two dozen children to send a message. NO ONE FIGHTS LIKE DADA, NO ONE DRINKS LIKE DADA! Get me a beer, LeFou.
My daughter LOVED the Dumbo ride and I loved what happened right after. Maybe the funniest thing I’ve ever had just for the timing happened. We were in the gift shop right after when a girl walked past. I only noticed because of the rainbow hair, but looked closer and the young lady was wearing a bare midriff shirt, black mini skirt, stockings and stripper boots, all black. I leaned over to my wife and muttered, “Hey lady, nice choice of clothes for Disney World.” She replied, “I saw, she’s a guy, not a lady.” I immediately asked, “How do you know…” At that exact second, she hiked her right leg, grabbed a handful of groin and the did the classic self-adjustment move every guy from 13 years old up knows. “Oh never mind.” The timing was perfect. The subtlety, not so much.
Of course, the day before G saw a Kermit the Frog and had to have it. I spent nearly 30 minutes stomping around to find one and finally discovered he isn’t sold everyday, but the employee went and got one for me from storage. Disney staff is the best. Of course, G had already lost interest by the time we were done with lunch, but I appreciated the effort regardless. We then went on to meet Winnie the Pooh and the donkey – don’t ask me to spell his name. Eyor? Eeor? E-OR? The donkey.
YES WE WERE WEARING MATCHING/COORDINATED SHIRTS. WHOMEVER STARTED THIS TREND CAN GO TO HELL AND I WILL ADDRESS IT NO MORE.
After all this, we began to head back, but I ducked over to Liberty Square to see the Hall of Presidents. I missed the show, but got to see the lobby. Turns out Mr. Disney was a big Lincoln fan.
By the way, if your kids have trouble sleeping, take them to the Magic Kingdom. They were knocked out. I walked over 12 miles, according to my phone. If you yourself have trouble sleeping, walk 12 miles. Or have kids. Or drink.
We took our first family vacation last week. Actually, our first trip since the honeymoon – we had a honeymoon baby, so our family trips are usually to Target. My wife dropped that we should go to Walt Disney World and all the blood ran out of my body. It takes us five days to prepare to go to the zoo, let alone another state. That’s one thing single me had no idea about. Want to travel? Grab some underwear, cash and make sure you have a charger. Want to travel with two kids – one who got an ear infection the week before and one who got an upper respiratory infection? Cold weather clothes, warm weather clothes, swimsuits, swim diapers, regular diapers, nighttime diapers, ponchos, ear drops, gas drops, lotions, creams, hats, sunglasses, toys, books, sound machine, more toys, more medicine, coats, more clothes (all Disney, btw), activity books for the plane, candy for the plane, wipes, and more. Look at the weather every day, then look again. Look at flight times, look again. Find someone to watch the dog, feed the cat, make sure the fish doesn’t die. SNACKS. SNACKS ALL DAY. ALL THE SNACKS. I almost forgot to pack my own stuff.
The flight went surprisingly well and I didn’t even have to sneak booze into the kids! It’s illegal to ship children, also. I checked. We used a friend of mine for the planning and I would highly recommend that if you are traveling with children. Disney has it all, if you are shooting for convenience. They take your checked bags right to your room, there’s a Magical Express (everything is Magical also – they use that word like the Smurfs use the word Smurf) that takes you to the hotel and back and they play cartoons and videos the whole time. This was all great, because after illness and air pressure on your ears, no one could even hear one another. We were all screaming like a gaggle to senior citizens getting off a tour bus at a Casino. “I think it’s on the left!” “WHAT?” “THE LEFT!” “WE LEFT WHAT?”
The hotel was really nice and there was a bar just a couple hundred yards away, so my mood improved about 900%. BRING ON THE MAGIC SHIT, MOUSE. Side note – everyone there is super friendly. The staff – all of them – say hello and have a nice day and good morning. I was greeted as I walked in to check in before I even got to the desk and was offered water. Everyone has stickers for the kids (or adults, whatever). Our room was ready hours before check in. I didn’t trust anyone. No one is this nice. Then I remembered what everything cost. Oh, that’s why.
Day one we went to the Magic Kingdom. It’s the main Disney park. When you think Disney, this is the epicenter. I will say this about Disney also – not one piece of trash to be seen (well not on the ground, at least – as for the guests…). We got to meet Tinkerbell early for a picture and that was another thing that was impressive. These actors break character less than the guards at Buckingham Palace. All my sarcasm and snide comments were met with comments about pixie dust and pirates.
You know what didn’t impress me, though? ADULTS WHO GET THEIR PICTURES TAKEN WITH DISNEY CHARACTERS. If you must, make it quick. We got stuck behind a few that acted like they were doing Cosmo cover shoots. I HAVE KIDS YOU SELFISH ASSHOLE, GROW UP AND MOVE YOUR ASS. My wife said, “Oh like you wouldn’t be doing this if Captain America or Lincoln was here.” Well, did Tinkerbell defeat the Nazis? What’s that? There weren’t any Nazis when Lincoln was president – EXACTLY. THANKS HONEST ABE FOR DOING YOUR JOB.
The high point of day one was meeting Snow White and Dopey. My daughter pulls her sleeves over her hands and says she’s Dopey. We’ve seen Snow White probably 30 times, not counting the times she just makes me play the songs on repeat. They opened a special dinner event with Snow White at one of the resorts. I had to check over a dozen times and finally a spot opened up. I was so excited and then I thought, at what point in your life did you think you would be thrilled to meet an adult in a dwarf costume?
I got to meet my favorite Disney character Grumpy and the food was amazing. I also saw the bill and highly recommend getting the meal plan, which I did. If not, stuff all the grub you can into your pockets. They even had a cocktail for me that had smoke coming out of the glass and poison apple dessert – it’s not really poison, in case you were wondering. I’m still here.
Everyone slept like a dead body and my feet were swollen to where I considered getting a scooter, but we survived and got ready for day two. More to come later. Stay magical or whatever.
I was discussing bad jobs with some people last week and one job is the worst. I was a grocery bagger and had to spend every Sunday picking up cigarette butts in the parking lot (I refused to pick up a dead opossum out back). I had to manually log over 10,000 blueprints from 1920-1933 into a database at a steel mill. I had to breathe in gas from sulfuric acid waste while running a shutoff for waste acid in college. The worst job though? The JUICE.
I had took a job shortly after graduating college. The online description said, “Gen-X Sports Marketing!” I like sports. Marketing is OK, I guess. I had an interview/ride along and realized, despite the title and pictures of sports teams, the job was basically riding around trying to get people to switch their credit card readers from 3rd party to direct. I was told we got reimbursed for mileage and got commission on every sale! I was in need, so I took the job.
First day, I drove an hour to get to the office for our meeting. Suddenly, a middle aged black man burst in the door and had everyone get in a line. He started talking about having the “JUICE” which stood for Join Us In Creating Excitement. I realized everything was related to juice. Instead of saying, “I hear you” or “I agree” it was “JUICE by that!” Something wasn’t cool, it was “JUICY!” He played the Bulls intro music and began slapping hands and yelling, “WHO’S GOT THE JUICE!” The team, minus me, yelled, “WE’VE GOT THE JUICE!” Dread overcame me like a Scottish fog. Anyone that knows me knows I’m as upbeat as Wednesday Adams on downers.
The job was nigh on impossible. The owner, not anyone else, had to sign to switch the reader and we actually didn’t get gas money – you could claim the mileage on your tax return. Just 14 months to get your gas back! The breaking point was working 40 hours in three days, filling my gas tank three times and not getting paid cash as I was promised for getting the first sale. I was supposed to get $100 for selling the first sale of the day, which I did to a bridal shop (my only sale in the three days). It was a downpour and the cult leader/team manager made me sing “I Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day” to get the money, which he conveniently didn’t have when I got back at day’s end. My direct manager rode around with a screaming baby in the car while she chain smoked and cussed the child for yelling while we drove from Columbus to Cincy – I was next to the baby the whole time.
I went to a bar on day three and drank until 2 am, then got up at seven o’clock, called Mommy Dearest and quit over the phone. Six months later, I got a check for I think $150, handwritten, for the job. So now, when I have a bad day, I remember that some poor bastard is being exposed to the JUICE and suddenly I don’t care as much. JUICE by that!
I constantly see popular shareable articles on what it is like living in Ohio and I was moved to do one of these by one thing.
This is a screenshot from my phone. Yesterday was a high of 60, low of 26. For those not good with math or really dumb, that’s 34 degrees in about 9 hours. That’s short sleeves to freezing to death in a parking lot if you lock your keys in your car. This is Ohio.
What else? Couple things I don’t see anywhere else. Ohio has three accents. 1) Ohio proper – very basic, Midwest, say pop instead of soda, blah blah blah we get it. 2) East coast influenced northeast Ohio. A lot of my Cleveland pals slip an “aaah” in for their “a” sounds. “That’s baaahd. I don’t like thaaaht.” Not very pronounced, but noticeable. Also some in that corner call sleds toboggans and snuff is called chew, which is really dumb since you don’t chew snuff. I know this because I have accent 3 – hillbilly. This is southern Ohio. I grew up with people saying “wursh” not wash, “crik” instead of creek and even a buddy that says “oinge” instead of orange. I myself say “before too long” instead of soon, but that’s probably just my dad.
Distances are measured in hours, not miles. Ohio people will literally drive to the sun and back instead of flying also. This may be true of multiple states, but every stupid town in Ohio with 14 or more people has a sign saying something when you drive into it. Example – “First marble courthouse in Northwest Territory” or “Home of the World’s fifth largest apple orchard in 1833.” I grew up in Zanesville, home of the Y Bridge, the only one in the world until Japan built one. You drove across a bridge, stopped at a light in the middle and went left or right. You could technically cross the bridge and wind up on the same side of the river. That just screams Ohio to me.
People from Ohio are typically very friendly, which is weird because it’s a swing state and politics are pretty nasty. Even most political arguments will fairly civil, but less so now with the internet giving people balls beyond their sense, but that’s everywhere. I guess the last part of being from Ohio is everyone says, “If you don’t like the weather, then wait five minutes!” which makes me want to move to San Diego just so I don’t have to hear that phrase ever again. Then again, San Diego probably wasn’t founded by Joseph Deerfield, the founder of the first brick kiln built west of the Ohio river or whatever, so maybe I’ll stay here after all. Actually, one more – being from Ohio means loving sports and all the pro teams not only suck, but have sucked for years. Ohio sports fans have Stockholm Syndrome.