Monday, August 6, 2007

The Happiest Place on Earth

Dale & Dawn at The Magic Kingdom
It has been a bit of a break since my last post, but i have been in Orlando. We left on Friday and returned late last night.
We started our theme park extravaganza at Islands of Adventure, which has some of the best rides and rollercoasters i have ever experienced. The Hulk and Duelling Dragons are amazing! Dawn and i have been before, but this time it was even better as we could enjoy the water rides on which we got completely drenched (the last time we were there it was January and it was too cold).
Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure
me (Dale) with the Cat in the Hat
After that we went to Universal Studios, which i hadn't been to since i was little. The Jaws ride is still awesome and the new Mummy rollarcoaster is fantastic.
On Sunday we went to The Magic Kingdom (aka Disney World). It was amazing. I ran around like a kid, hopped up on sugar and glee. The Main Street USA section is incredible; it is an America that never was, where barbershop quartets sing and tapdance on the street corners, there are marching band parades and for no apparent reason men and women dressed in 1930's attire break into song and dance routines in the middle of the street. Included in their repertoire was a high-spirited rendition of the Trolley Song from "Meet me in St. Louis" (you know it: "clang clang clang went the trolley! ding ding ding went the bell..."). I was in heaven.
Main St. USA, Disneyworld
Adventureland was also a favorite. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is every bit as awe inspiring as i remember and i loved the Jungle Cruise and the silly Tiki Room. We went on Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain, during which i insisted on speaking in my best old west voice, saying things like "Dag nabbit, that there was the best 'coaster i've been on since them claim jumpers done stole my horse!" I'm sure people looked at Dawn with sympathy and thought "How nice of that girl to take her mentally retarded sister to Disney".
I was reluctant to go on It's a Small World, but Dawn insisted and it was great! It is so old, but in a completely charming way. We also watched this 3D movie which includes bits from Disney movies. It even did the Be Our Guest number from  Beauty and the Beast, but wait - it was more than 3D, my friends! When Lumiere presented delicious dishes, waves of aroma exploded in the audience. A 3D apply pie appeared, and you could smell it. During the Fantasia bit, when the buckets of water were overturned, we were splashed with water! It was magic, i'm telling you, pure magic.
Sadly, i didn't get any photos with any of the Disney characters. They were all there, but the lines to be photographed with them were super long and i was too overstimulated to stand and wait. I DID get to see Belle though. She did a story time thing for a small audience of children, their parents, and me. She retold the Beauty and the Beast story with volunteers from the audience playing the different parts. I waved my hand in their with great enthusiasm, but, sadly, she didn't pick me. Damn kids get to have all of the fun. Frankly i think the boy playing Gaston didn't really understand his character and wasn't really "in the moment", but perhaps i am being too critical.
Disney is also a great place to witness first hand the epidemic of obesity in America. Rotund children and their gargantuan parents waddled around the park, gasping for air and squeezing themselves into seats on rides built in an era when people came in smaller sizes. There were many people so huge that they opted to rent wheelchairs and motorized scooters to enable them to move about the park without suffering heart failure. It is so different to be back in South Beach where the only thing big about the people are their biceps and breast implants.
So now it is Monday and Dawn has dropped me in South Beach for a long day of sun, smoking, and wandering. It is hot. At 10 am it was already 89 degrees. I had some fruit and a cigar while reading the paper and i shall continue my wandering. I plan to go to the Wolfsonian, an excellent design and art museum, and i also will check out the World Erotic Art Museum, the largest of it's kind in the country.
So, in summary, here is my new life goal: i plan to move to Disney World and live on Main Street USA, land of genteel shop keepers and and balloon salesmen, where broadway shows erupt every 20 minutes. I shall practice law there, but it will be a quiet practice, as nothing bad ever happens. I will start a book club with Belle and take my vacations at the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. It will be grand.
Gio, Dawn & Dale

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