Eighty years ago today on November 18th 1928, a film by the name of Gang War played in the 79th Street theater in New York City. This particular film was accompanied by an animated short known as Steamboat Willie, which featured a full-length synchronized soundtrack, an innovation that had not been seen previously in an animated cartoon. The feature film which played that night is now all but forgotten, but the animated short seems to have proven quite popular, and the star of that short has managed tostick around for a while. To celebrate what is recognized as the official 80th birthday of Mickey Mouse (although Steamboat Willie was actually the third Mickey cartoon produced, it was the first to be widely distributed,) I booked a trip to Disney World in December today.
If you’ve been reading this Blog for any length of time, you might have noticed that it seems like every time someone goes on vacation around here, I seem to end up staying here and dogsitting for my parents. This has been mostly the result of a work schedule which seems to alternate between having nowhere near enough time to go take a vacation or way too much time on my hands (it all comes with the territory as part of working as a contractor.) Since I will shortly be approaching the latter portion of the cycle in which I need to take three months (and change) off before being eligible to return to contracting at Microsoft, I decided that now would be a good time to sneak off and take a few days of vacation in December during the week before Christmas.
Although this will be my first trip to Disney World, I’ve been to Disneyland a couple of times already (once in 1987, and most recently at the beginning of 2006.) From the first trip I only have vague memories, which is mostly because I was nine years old at the time, and also because I ended up spending a significant portion of the trip sick with one form of galloping crud or another. The second trip in 2006 is a little bit better documented, and I still have quite a few photos and even a detailed trip report that I posted on one of the Disneyland fan boards. Although there were a number of weather related issues during that particular trip (yes, even at Disneyland it rains every once in a while) it was still enjoyable. At some point I’ll have to post the trip report here, but it’s just a tad jargon-filled in its current form (When in Rome…) so I’ll need to clean it up a bit in order to put it into a form suitable for posting here. In the meantime, I’ve got about a month to figure out my plans for the upcoming trip. I’ve got flights and a hotel booked, but so far I haven’t figured out anything else yet.
One thing about me and vacations is that in spite of best efforts, I just plain can’t relax on vacation for some reason. I have this annoying tendency to think I need to be doing something practically every waking moment (or at least until I find myself completely zonked out after spending all day running around the place, at least.) I also have a tendency to be unable to suspend disbelief, so often if I’m on a ride like they ones they have at Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom, I’ll find myself forgetting to follow the story and trying to figure out how they managed to create the special effects. To me, places like these are as much a museum as they are an amusement park, and although to some observers it may make it look like I’m bored when I’m there, it just happens that I have a slightly different definition of “interesting” than they do.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go watch a few more YouTube videos of It’s a Small World, just to make sure I’ve completely lost my mind by the time I actually get there…