Walt Disney World!

There was much awesomeness to be had while my family and I were in Florida from January 13 to January 19 (the 12th and the 20th were spent traveling). Here are a few of the more memorable things we saw:

1. PhilharMagic: A 3D show at the Magic Kingdom featuring a good selection of famous Disney music, with the antics of a silly duck thrown in for giggles.

Plot summary: Mickey is now a fully-fledged sorcerer. He has mastered the powers of the pointy hat, and he’s ready to use those powers to conduct an orchestra (and by "conduct", I mean that he’ll make the instruments play themselves). Then Donald tries on the hat…

2. "Push": An amusing robot we met at the Tomorrowland area in Magic Kingdom, based on the Tomorrowland trash bins. When we told him we were from California, he told us that the reason why Sleeping Beauty Castle is smaller than Cinderella Castle is because California real estate is so expensive.

3. Tigers at Animal Kingdom: There was a zoo-ish thing at Animal Kingdom where we could see tigers. Not only are they beautiful, but they’re pretty cute when they’re resting. You know, if they had smaller bodies (and therefore smaller appetites and smaller pointy bits) and came in more coat patterns, they’d make the perfect pets… wait…

4. The Giant Golf Ball: Dad’s nickname for the structure that houses Spaceship Earth. Since it’s pretty close to Epcot’s entrance, and very big, it makes a great guide for when you’re tired and you want to get out of Epcot.

5. Toy Story Midway Mania: Lots of fun. Best game/attraction combo Disney’s ever made. I wrote down my score of 85,500 so that I can try to beat it next time I go to Walt Disney World. Unfortunately, this ride highlights the dark side of the Fastpass system and Disney’s "keep the Fastpass line as short as possible" mindset: If dozens of Fastpassers show up all at once, the stand-byers are basically scr00d. Kiss any hope of line movement goodbye for a while.

6. Hollywood Studios version of Fantasmic: It’s cooler than Disneyland’s version, but it doesn’t have THE PACHYDERMS. The Hollywood Studios version put a Pocahontas* thing in their place. Lame. Pachyderms pwn Pocahontas. But I especially liked the more elaborate Mickey VS Dragon scene. If you’ve got as great an imagination as Mickey is supposed to have, defeating a dragon ought to be fancier than just pointing your finger and going "zap", and it is in the Hollywood Studios version.

* Firefox comes with the word "Pocahontas" in its spell-check dictionary? Nifty. Now if only it came with the word "pwn".

On the day we left Walt Disney World, as we rode the Disney’s Magical Express bus to take us to the airport where we would board the plane for home, I reflected on how our trip had had everything that a trip to Disney parks ought to have except for Pachyderms and Baroque Hoedown. And then they played Baroque Hoedown on the bus. IN ELECTRO-SYNTHO-MAGNETIC MUSICAL SOUNDS. So, all in all, it was a fantastic trip.

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