The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

December 3, 2008

I Hear They’ve Got a Mouse There or Something: My Disney World Pre-Trip Report

Filed under: Wanderings — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 8:07 pm

(Image source: themeparks.com)

About a week and a half from now, I will be on my way down to Orlando to spend a few days at Walt Disney World, and hopefully get a chance to enjoy a little bit of decent weather in the process (since lately it seems like there are two choices of weather available up here:  Partly cloudy and 53 degrees, or rainy and 47 degrees.)  I booked my plane ticket and hotel to get there a couple of weeks ago, and I just went over to the Disney Store up at Alderwood Mall today to get my park ticket.  Aside from arranging an airport shuttle to get to the hotel when I get there, I should be just about set now.  Since I’ve got to figure out something to do in order to pass the time until I actually leave (and try to make sure that I’m actually getting the trip planned out,) I decided that I would go ahead and put together a pre-trip report here. 

To people who know me,  the idea of me going and taking a vacation to Disney World might sound a bit… uncharacteristic.  After all, I haven’t ever really been a big fan of Disney stuff in general, and most of my recent vacations have been spent doing things like going to national parks (I was able to get to both the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone last year) and taking nice long drives down seldom traveled backroads, hitting every tourist trap along the way.  I’m far more likely to spend my vacations taking photos of abandoned gas stations in the middle of nowhere than I am to be relaxing on some beach somewhere.  For some reason, I just can’t relax when I’m on vacation.  I also generally travel solo when I’m on vacation.  Aside from the obvious reason of being chronically single, I also suspect that my idea of an interesting vacation would probably bore most people who would actually travel with me to tears.  So taking all that into consideration, why would I fly across the country to go see a mouse?  To be honest, I’m not entirely sure.  I suppose that I’ll probably figure it out once I get there though.  Mostly at this point it would be nice to actually take a vacation for once after ending up staying here and dogsitting every time someone else goes on a vacation.  I’m half tempted to get a couple of dogs of my own and drop them off at my parents’ house to take care of while I’m gone.

Another personality trait that I have which seems to come into effect mostly when I’m on vacation is that I seem to have some sort of mental timer that’s constantly reminding me that I’ve got only 63 hours of vacation time left, so I better make sure I’m using it.  This means that I tend to overdo things on occasion, and eventually end up hitting the proverbial wall at some point.  When I went to Disneyland back in early 2006, this meant that by the third day I was there, I got to the point where I didn’t really feel like doing a whole lot, and ended up sitting out a number of the rides everyone else went on.  I suspect the fact that it was raining for much of the day before didn’t help, since it made it difficult to find a place to sit down anywhere in the park.  On the other hand, the rain also made the lines a lot shorter on a lot of rides, so even if it does rain it’s not a big deal.  I also have a tendency to not be able to suspend disbelief in many cases, so this means that if I see something really interesting in one of the rides or shows, I’m more likely to find myself trying to figure out how they made the effects than I am to just admire it because it looks cool.  This tends to make places like Disneyland as much a museum to me as a theme park.  In some ways, this can be a blessing and a curse, and because of it people might think I look bored when I’m there.  In reality, I just have a slightly different definition of what’s entertaining than some people, but tend to think it’s not entirely necessary to scream your way down a roller coaster to find it fun.

As it stands right now, my plan is to take a morning flight to Orlando on Sunday the 14th, with an hour layover in Chicago along the way.  With about 7 hours on the planes, an hour in Chicago and 3 hours lost to tine zone changes, it’ll take pretty much all day to get there, and I should be getting in around 7:30pm that evening.  I’ll be spending four days there, then flying back on another early flight on Friday the 19th, with another hour layover in Dallas.  This time around, I’ll get the three hours back that I lost on the way down so I should get back in a bit earlier.  I will be staying at the Hilton at Downtown Disney, which from the info I’ve read is a nice place, and a bit quieter than some of the Disney-owned properties.  I had thought about flying back on Saturday, but the flights seem to be significantly more expensive since that starts to get into Holiday travel.

Beyond that, I pretty much don’t have anything definite planned at this point.  Since I’m going to be traveling solo, I suspect I’ll probably be eating mostly counter service, since I am a bit hesitant to make dining reservations for one.  I also have not been to Disney World before, and don’t really know what to expect yet for a lot of things.  I also haven’t been keeping up on my Disney lately, so I think I’m stuck somewhere back around Beauty and the Beast or so as far as being familiar with the movies (although I did see about half of Wall-E not too long ago.)  I suppose I should probably make some sort of attempt to catch up on the stuff before I go, just in case there’s some quiz to get in or something like that.  My mostly childless current existence doesn’t provide a whole lot of incentive to watch those types of movies, and  since I don’t really watch movies in the first place, I haven’t paid much attention to such things lately.  I suppose that if I can get most of the plot of a 2-hour movie out of a 5-minute theme park ride, it frees up time to do other things.  Of course, there’s the slight risk of getting It’s a Small Worldstuck in your head for the rest of eternity by doing that, but I don’t think that it’s actually driven anyone to insanity just yet.

Anyway, one way or another, I’m determined to enjoy this trip, so I should probably figure out a way to do so at some point before I go.  Since the hotel I’ll be staying at charges $10.95 per day for Wi-fi access and I’ll probably be tethering off my phone for an Internet connection while I’m there, I don’t expect that I’ll be doing too much Blogging from there until I get back.  I should also try to make sure I’m not seeing the place from behind the lens of my camera (another mistake I’ve made on vacations before,) but I do suspect that I’ll put together some sort of trip report, probably after I get back.  In the meantime, I should probably try to get at least some idea of what I’m going to be doing while I’m there…  Now what was the name of that mouse they’ve got there again?

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