As many of you know, last week I went to Disney World. Well, okay, only three of you actually knew. That's because I try not to announce to all of humankind when I'm going to be gone, and thus prevent burglars from taking up temporary residence in my home. I'm sure none of you are burglars ... well, pretty sure ... but since a few of you might have distant, burglar cousins (and you just don't know that's their livelihood) I prefer to discuss my travels after the fact.
And having clarified that, it's on to tell about Disney World. I doubt there's anyone who's been to the park that didn't find something they loved. However, in the interest of improvement and since I'm now an experienced Disney World Traveler, I feel qualified to state that if Mr. Disney were alive today, there are a few suggestions I'd make to him about his theme park.
1. WATER: Yes, Mr. Disney, there is plenty of water available in your park, but please do not roll over in your grave when I say that almost all of it is in bottles. Bottles that individually cost the yearly salary of an orthopedic surgeon.
Okay, wait. There was a water fountain—maybe even two of them—in the approximately 39 square mile (25,000 acre) park, but water that is at air temperature doesn't count as real water. Real water is cold and does not taste like a Florida swamp.
2. LOCATION: In the winter, Florida is a lovely place. In May, Florida is more like hell. No, seriously, I'm not swearing here; I mean the real hot place, where souls burn and cry out for water. Oh yeah, that's right ... water. See number one, above.
And speaking of Florida, I found out on my return trip home (also known as the Flight from H-ll, thanks to Delta Airlines) that you should never walk your dog near water in Florida. Why? Because the gators will come out and snatch him right off the leash. Hmmm, perhaps chomp him off the leash is more accurate.
Those who've been to Florida understand the logistics with that. It means you can't ever walk the dog anyplace because the entire state is one big, gator infested swamp. The condo where we stayed had lovely ponds which held the bounties of nature. One small pool had minnows swimming in schools, frogs singing at night, birds calling from the shore in the morning ... and an alligator lurking in the dark water.
The condo management did not put one in there by choice. Well, I'm pretty sure it wasn't by choice unless they wanted to get rid of a few tourists. The gator just wandered in and decided to make the pond his home. And considering that I saw another gator walking on the grass a short distance (or "a short piece" as they say in Florida) down the road, I'm thinking gators are as common as high humidity in that sunny state.
Oh yes ... humidity. See number three, below.
3. HUMIDITY: Mr. Disney, you really should do something about that humidity at Disney World. Couldn't you have put the place in a big air-conditioned, climate controlled super dome or something? Temperatures of 130 degrees and 200% humidity is enough to make even Goofy cranky. Not to mention all the little rug rats and crumb crushers that are there hoping to have fun, and instead are throwing up from drinking the Florida swamp water that's in the two water fountains. Mmm-hhh, water fountains. Or the lack thereof. See number one, above.
4. MICKEY, MINNIE, PLUTO AND THE GANG: No suggestions here, Mr. Disney. Who could possibly improve on the Disney characters? Pluto hugged my grandkids as if they were his own, and even helped them turn in the right position for great pictures. My only regret is that he had to leave for his scheduled break before someone could snap my picture with him. The Disney princes and princesses always had a smile, and although I know they were getting paid for it, they always seemed sincere. And despite the fact that I was sticky-hot and thirsty while I was there, Epcot Center and Blizzard Beach more than made up for it.
So ... thank you, Mr. Disney, for a great time. I'm sure I spent the family fortune plus all the money I hoarded from picking up small change in parking lots, but I'd gladly do it again!
Ever wanted to kill your spouse because he/she keeps interrupting something you're trying to do? If so, you'll get a charge out of Cindy's latest published story, "Texting on Ice" in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hooked on Hockey.