February 23, 2005

Disney-MGM Studios

Earl and I spent the day at Disney-MGM Studios. Following the cue of the other parks, we decided to approach the day with a relaxed, casual pace. More importantly, I got to play “ham” in not one, but two shows!

We started off the day at the Indiana Jones Adventure, where there’s a huge effects show with 10 or so extras chosen from the audience. I was one of the extras, dressed up in my Middle Eastern outfit and following the directions of the assistant director.

I also got to hit the stage for the back lot tour, where I was one of the four extras that gets to play on a ship that’s being bombed by airplanes. I was head to toe in waterproof gear for this one, playing the captain of the ship with three directions – look through the binoculars, spin the wheel and use the telephone. All while the ship is getting bombed and we’re getting soaked. It was loads of fun.

We took a little lunch break at the Hollywood Brown Derby and then went to a couple of other attractions, including “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire: Play It!”. Earl and I didn’t do well, we didn’t make the scoreboard. There were two contestants in the hot seat, a 13-year old girl who made it to 16,000 and a 16-year old boy who made it to 32,000. Both were brilliant!

For supper we headed to Spoodles on Disney’s Boardwalk. Spoodles features Mediterranean food and tasty sangrias. After supper, we walked all the way around the Boardwalk and the Beach and Yacht Club resorts.

Another wonderful day at Disney! Tomorrow it’s Animal Kingdom.

Smile! You’re On Candid Camera.

I’m guilty of something. Earl and I spotted this piece of eye candy at Epcot and couldn’t resist taking a picture. I know, it’s kind of stalker-like, a little creepy and probably rude.

All I can say is thank god for telephoto lenses.

What Is It With New Jersey?

I’ve noticed this ever since our first Disney visit back in 1997. People from New Jersey are in a class of their own. I hate to generalize about the population of an entire state, but it can’t be helped. From their very distinct accent to their wild fashion sense (nothing says “Pretty” like a leopard skin print on an 80 year old Grandma), these people are out to make their world their way or no way at all.

A woman was screaming, at the top of her lungs in that traditional New Jersey butchering of American English, at a Disney cast member at the Stitch ride at Tomorrowland because it was “exactly” like the Alien Exterrorestrial Adventure. In actuality, it’s a redressing of the older ride and has been tamed down considerably to make it more family friendly. Why this upset her enough to make a cast member cower in the corner, I don’t know. Perhaps it was the fumes from her Aqua Net.

Then we have Mrs. Fingernails, who loudly demanded (love the accent, hun) a table at one of the fully booked restaurants, because after all, she spent a lot of her hard earned money and she was promised decent service. Apparently she had never heard of a reservation before.

Then we have Mr. Hairpiece who couldn’t believe there was no limo available to drive him from the Grand Floridian and why did he have to ride a monorail with everyone else?

I don’t mean to degrade an entire state, but I guess it’s because these Jersey folks only have Atlantic City as their claim to fame. They’re not really New Yorkers (they like to fake it though), they don’t really have Philadelphia to their credit (and have you seen Camden before?), so I guess they’re apparently going to eek out their own niche in Americana by just being rude.

Next time I’m in Pennsylvania and see that “Next Exit In New Jersey” sign, I’m turning right.


Earl and I spent the day at Epcot. I must not be a Disney traditionalist or something, because I think I enjoy Epcot more than the Magic Kingdom. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the Magic Kingdom, quite the contrary, but there’s just something about Epcot that’s special in my heart.

We tried out one of the newest attractions at Epcot, Mission: Space. This little thrill ride provides a near-astronaut like experience as you pilot your spaceship, with three other crew members, to Mars. It naturally takes place in a simulator, though it’s quite easy to forget that you’re really back on Earth while this is all taking place. I was quite nervous about the experience, having had a Near. Fatal. Date. Experience. back when Earl and I were first dating. I took him to the local field days (read “gala days” or “town fair”) and we rode the Paratroopers together. I had ridden the Paratroopers about a million and a half times, so I wasn’t worried about my well-being, but I ended up hurling my supper afterwards. Green isn’t a good color on me when I’m trying to impress my new beau.

Anyways, back to the present. My stomach held up well for Mission:Space, having followed all the directions given by the crew – face forward, don’t close your eyes and don’t look left or right, concentrate on what’s in front of you. And that I did. If my eyes were lasers, I would have burned a hole through the simulator monitor. But I enjoyed the experience, though vowing that once was enough for me.

As the day wore on, I would think about the ride and start getting sick to my stomach. It was as if my mind and body had been fooled during the experience, and now thinking back on it made it realize that “Hey, we were fooled! We were really spinning around like on the inside of washing machine!” So I’m trying not to look back on the experience. Typing this blog entry is making me queasy. Mind over matter and all that.

So back to Epcot. After Ellen’s Energy Adventure (another favorite of mine), along with The Crystals (they can stretch in very unbelievable ways) and other assorted goodies, we headed to the World Showcase, hitting all of the countries represented in the showcase. My favorite has always been Canada, and still is on this trip. I love their Cinema-360 presentation. Beautiful landscapes. Friendly demeanor. A cheerful population. It reminds me of how lucky we are to have such friendly neighbors to our north. Makes me want to drop a couple hundred loonies in their economy this summer.

We enjoyed a wonderful Chinese supper in, well, China, at Nine Dragons. We had an interesting appetizer called “Drunken Chicken”, that was very tasty. It was a cold dish in a wine marinade. Very good.

After walking around and enjoying the sights, we found our face on the “Leave A Legacy” display. We had our pictures taken back in 2000, and sure enough, there we were.

All in all, another glorious day at the Wonderful World of Disney. Tomorrow, Disney-MGM Studios.

What’s Up?

As I mentioned earlier, Earl and I are enjoying the week at Walt Disney World. It’s going splendidly, and I’m writing blog entries on my PowerBook quite often. The problem is, there’s no internet access in our room! This is a good thing, as I can spend more time with the Mouse and put my internet dependence behind me.

So on Sunday you’ll see a ton of new entries, all dated appropriately.

It’ll be fun for all!