Butt Cheeks and Fried Pickles

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

I would love to know what goes into designing the entrances of a place like Disney. Main Street, USA showcases everything from feel good, simpler times to the insane business machine that Disney operates. The walkway has a nostalgic penny-arcade, fountain-drink era feel to it while only allowing one route in and out of the park, past every souvenir shop and restaurant. At the end of the street? The iconic Disney castle. So simple, yet so full of human psychology. I’m easily fascinated.

Quick side note – The Sleeping Beauty Castle (why did I always think of it as Cinderella’s Castle? Is that just an Orlando thing?) is CRAZY small! Like “size of a rich kid’s tree house” tiny. The castle in Orlando looks like a castle. This one looked like a movie prop you make bigger with camera angles. Disappointing!

There’s really only one correct place to start in Disneyland/Disney World – Tomorrowland! We were making a beeline to Space Mountain when the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride caught my eye. A combination of Toy Story, a ride, and shooting stuff? Yes please! Fortunately, we might have waited 5 minutes. If that. Unfortunately, Bethany absolutely destroyed me. Like 26,000-to-89,000 destroyed me. So in case the bad guys from Toy Story ever invade the country, just know I’m not your guy to save the world. Super fun though!

Only Star Wars stuff was in between the Buzz Lightyear ride and Space Mountain, so we skipped all of it in favor for the indoor, in-the-dark roller coaster! Marquee read a 5 minute wait, which meant we bypassed all of the imagineer line-hiding areas to go straight to the ride itself. But here’s where the day got interesting. In front of us was what appeared to be a high school couple. Nothing really out of the blue… until I noticed her shorts were so ridiculously short, she practically had half of her right butt cheek hanging out. Let’s just say the mom and dad with their young-ish kids standing behind us were not too happy. No one said anything to her but she must have overheard the whispers or felt the glares because she spent the rest of the line awkwardly trying to pull down her shorts. When that didn’t work, she gave up and shifted her shirt/shawl/whatever hipster California high school kids wear off of one shoulder so it covered everything. Well… most of everything. But once you saw it, you couldn’t look away. By far the best line of the day. So much awkwardness!

Oh yeah… the ride was amazing too.

Matterhorn Bobsleds sounds like it’d be a fun ride, right? Yeah, not so much. According to Wikipedia, it opened in 1959 and it felt exactly like you’d think a ride that’s 65 years old would feel like. The cars were single file, so my knees were crammed into the seat in front of me. And it was super bumpy. Not smooth at all. On the positive side of things, this was another maybe-5-minutes-total line to add to the list.

For some reason, we felt the need to ride the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage next. It’s the same tracks, pool, ride, etc as the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage they used to have at Disney World, only tweaked to include all of the Finding Nemo characters. Probably the worst decision of the day (not that it was a terrible one). It was slow and boring. After putting in a solid day up until this point already, we could have grabbed a nap during the ride and been better off. Again, there was no line at all. I’m going to say it was because the ride was bad. But I was starting to wonder where all of the people were.

The entrance to Autotopia was right at the ext to the Finding Nemo ride, so sure why not? The line ended up being a little longer (like a whole 15 minutes instead of walking straight to the front) and once we got stuck waiting, we started questioning the decision to do this ride. The main premise of the ride is that they’re go-carts on tracks and you drive around. You control the speed and to some extent the turning. But you’re still on a track and you’ve got people in front of and behind you, limiting how fast you can go. By the time we got to the front, we were in the mindset that we were just biding time until the next ride.

We were way wrong.

I’ll let the picture do all of the talking.

Autotopia

I swear I’m not that bad of a driver…

First off, we were lucky enough to not have anyone slow in front of us. Pedal to the floor! Second, it was hilarious looking at all of the other people driving near us because they all looked so bored. Finally, I couldn’t keep the car straight to save my life. It was a single car bumper car for like 5 straight minutes. If it had been a real car, we would have blown up and died a fiery death before the ride was over. I’d bang off of the track on one side, only to over-correct and slam the other side of our car into it again. We were driving for all of 15 or 20 seconds before we’re gasping for air and laughing so hard tears are rolling down our faces.

Best. Decision. All. Day.

A certain someone hates “it’s a small world” (How can you hate that ride?! And why is the official name lacking capitalization?), so we skipped that for a quick jaunt over to Adventureland. We went straight to the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. The people watching got good here, despite all butts being covered. There were three guys who looked straight out of a gang. Like “just snorted a line of coke and shot up a rival’s hideout” thug. One of them had a tattoo of Bart Simpson holding an automatic weapon. On his neck. Behind his ear. Which made it surreal to see them at Disneyland. If you’re hard enough to have a neck tattoo, how do you wind up at a cartoon theme park for the day? Then a couple we thought were with them starting hanging back. The guy had his phone out trying to snap a picture of the Bart Simpson neck tattoo. Hopefully the gang guy didn’t see him. Otherwise, he’s probably been murdered now.

It took us longer to actually walk through the path set aside to contain lines than it took to get through the line itself. I was commenting on how empty everything seemed to be when the lady stuffing her face in front of us with something that smelled incredibly delicious made mention that it was the day after a holiday. And that’s when it clicked why it was so empty. The weekend before MLK Jr Day was probably a nightmare. So take that piece of advice, blog readers. If you ever want to plan a trip, do it the days following the holiday, not preceding. Your vacation vastly improves. The ride itself was okay. It was super bumpy and jerky though. We got tossed around something fierce through all of the turns and hills. At least this wasn’t the the one ride with a two hour wait. That would have been incredibly disappointing.

Pirates of the Caribbean was next. We walked right up to the front and hopped in a boat. It’s ridiculous how many rides we were able to hit because none of them had any lines. Before it gets all piratey, the boats actually float past a part of one of the restaurants. It’s like an indoor patio for the restaurant. It’d be a little weird to eat food while everyone on the ride is staring at you. But how cool is that that you can eat food inside one of the rides? I’m still unsure how I feel about it being Johnny Depp-ed out though. Before the Pirates movies, it was over-the-top silly. Now it’s just weird with Jack Sparrow staring back at you in every scene. I feel like there should be more pirate jingles to sing along to. But what do I know? People aren’t paying me $125 a pop to fill their vacations with magic.

Last on the list was the Haunted Mansion. I have no idea why but this is probably my favorite ride at Disney. I love it! It’s corny with the cartoon-y scary pictures and holograms they project into your car. You can definitely see the strings on all of the things floating in the room with the fortune teller lady. But the whole ride has a fun, spooky vibe to it. There’s also a song blaring through the graveyard. And if there’s one thing Disney knows how to do, it’s song it up. The last time I was at Disney World with my friend, this was the last ride before I flew back to SC. And it happened to be the last ride before everything shut down this time too.

Before leaving, we set off in search of food since we hadn’t eaten anything since Chick Fil A. I told you the days were too busy to worry about lunches! We bounced around New Orleans Square looking for something that sounded good. Bethany was on a manhunt for beignets. No luck on the French doughy goodness though. So we American-ed it up and headed back to Main Street, USA to the Carnation Cafe. We both rocked a delicious bowl of potato soup and an order of fried pickle spears (not chips? What?). I washed it all down with an amazing chocolate malt and Bethany had coffee (surprise!) and chocolate cake that looked like it made you diabetic by being in the same room. I’m pretty sure I know what it’s like to have pregnant cravings after that meal.

We were planning on heading out afterwards but got stuck in the middle of the Soundsational Parade they have every night. I’ll admit I’m not a Disney fanboy. I didn’t know a good bit of the characters in the parade (I had to ask when Disney got a black princess… who knew?). And yet, there I was, completely fixated on everything. Disney does it right, that’s for sure. If it stopped me, a 30 year old guy, I can’t imagine how intense and crazy it’d be for a young kid who’s jacked up to see all of these characters they recognize. Lights, sound, and complete sensory overload. But in a really good way. A fantastic end to the day!

Luckily, the lack of night plans worked on this night. After the two hour drive back, neither one of us really wanted to do much of anything. With it being Tuesday, we caught up on the week’s New Girl episode (creepy caterpillar eyebrows, much?) and picked another movie (maybe this is beginning to be as much of a theme as the coffee stops are). Redbox was out of good choices. And Netflix wasn’t holding up its end of the deal either. We settled on Super 8. I had wanted to see it since I had seen the previews forever ago. And I figured you couldn’t go wrong with a movie by JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg. Ha! So wrong. It was pretty terrible.

But after a day like that at Disney, there’s not much to complain about. Three of my four days were now wrapped up and in the books. And this had been a good one.

As if you couldn’t tell from the picture…

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3 Responses to Butt Cheeks and Fried Pickles

  1. hopeclark says:

    Fun, fun, fun. Ah the magic of Disney. Lots of memories, and now you have a west coast and east coast comparison.

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