I guess I can say a lot for myself. I’ve been to Disney World twice before I reached the 18th year of my life. It’s a lot more than most people can say about the same topic, even if there are a few who’ve been there more. Other than that, though, I haven’t really accomplished much. But this isn’t about how I’ve done nothing noteworthy with my life up until now, it’s about my second trip to Disney World. So I guess I’d better start on THAT then.
It all started way back in January, when I caught wind that my aunt and uncle (who had taken me on my first visit to the Disney World) were going to take my brothers there in April, since they hadn’t been on the first trip. My parents were feeling bad for me, so they decided that they’d spring to send me if I saved a couple hundred bucks and pitched in. With an offer like that, there was no way to refuse. Only I had no steady income, so I was lucky to have a nice little nest egg saved away. But that wasn’t enough, and I still owe my parents a little coinage. Nothing big though, I’ll just work it off like one of those cartoon characters who forgets their wallet when they go to a restaurant and has to clean dishes to pay the bill.
So about a month later we went over to their house, where my bros were informed of the good news. Only there was a surprise twist for everyone. Instead of my aunt and uncle taking the four of us, they were just going to let my parents go instead! So now the whole family (except me… how did that happen?) gets a free trip to Orlando, Florida to bask in the sun and experience the wonder that is Disney World. I guess there’s something to be said for having siblings. For my mom having siblings, anyway. Rich siblings.
Fast forward two months. We spend the whole weekend doing a whole bunch of random crap, and completely neglect the fact that we need to prepare to go on vacation for a week. So Monday rolls around and we start toying with the idea of packing. Tuesday comes, and everyone is packing all evening and night. I carefully pack more than enough clothes to last me the week, not adding in the washing machine factor. My suitcase is almost stuffed, and this will become a key factor near the end, so remember that. Nobody really gets any sleep, and before anyone realizes it, it’s three o’ clock Wednesday morning, and we have to be at the airport by 4:30
There were two major problems with this flight. One, was that my brothers had never been on a plane before, so they got dibbs on the window seats. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but watching out the window of a plane is strangely entrancing. Secondly, due to the stupid part of the population who have allergies (or was it idiots who choked on them? I’m not sure), I received no airplane peanuts. Instead, I was offered a granola bar and orange juice, which I grudgingly accepted, cause I’d had no breakfast. The granola bar was so-so, but whatever kind of orange juice they’re serving, it must be squeezed from the oranges of Eden, cause it was the best freaking OJ I’d ever tasted. After 45 minutes or so of playing Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, the captain said to turn off electronics and we landed.
After I had become bored with Castlevania, I moved onto MegaMan Battle Network 2, and did a little bit of NetBattling with my brother. See, there are these secret battle chips hidden in the game, and the only way to get them is to play against a friend. And of course, to make it a bit harder, they show up randomly. That’s the bad part. We played over 100 battles and only managed to get four out of ten of these secret chips. BN3 had the same problem, but there was only one secret chip per version. And I’m delighted to hear that BN4 supposedly has none of these horrible things. On the upside, that did waste about an hour and a half, so it wasted a good amount of time.
After a short nap and some more window-watching, the plane finally arrived. We got out and were astounded by what we had to travel to get to our baggage. See, the Orlando Airport is divided into two buildings; one where you board and get off the planes, and one where you enter/leave the place, pick up your rental vehicle, and deposit/claim baggage. These buildings are amply far away from each other, and to travel between them, you get to ride a monorail. And it’s not just any monorail. It looks like it came straight out of some futuristic movie or something. That’s about it. If you failed to be impressed, you need to see it to get the full effect. Really cool monorail.
So we rode that, picked up our luggage, and went to pick up our vehicle. Only problem was, out of all the vehicle rental dealies, we got the one with the longest line. Talk about getting the shaft. So after about another half hour, we were finally on our way to our hotel.
This in itself proved to be an even bigger problem. Something had gone askew and neither my mom nor dad could figure out where we were supposed to go, even though they had two maps, one specifically printed off the internet to tell us where to go. After we’d finally collected our bearings and figured out where we were (this took almost an hour), we scanned the map to find out where our hotel was. Now there were two possibilities; either our hotel was the only one not on the map, or we were headed somewhere that didn’t actually exist. To our relief, we found the place after driving all over town all day. And what a town it was. There was so much crap there that you could be there a month and not see everything. As I was already aware, the same would apply to Disney World itself.
For most of the week, my tube was set to the Cartoon Network or the WB, and changing only to watch a little hockey and Big Daddy, which, if you haven’t seen it, is a great movie. For the first couple days though, it was set to this one channel which was constantly looping this one promo for Disney World about the seven best attractions there. Now why would I watch this channel endlessly when I have trouble making it through a half-hour sitcom? Simple answer there: hot host. Seriously. It’s not exactly the most dignified reason, but it’s the only reason I watched the thing even once.
By the time we were ready to get a move on, it was already seven or later, so we didn’t have a whole lot of time to adventure, but there were two must-see stops on our short first-day tour of Orlando. The first we had previously seen on the food channel: the world’s biggest McDonald’s. I told you it was only going to get worse. And it gets even worse than that, too. This place was HUGE. I’m sure everyone’s been to a Chuck-E-Cheese sometime in their life. Well this place was at least twice as big. It had 2 floors, tons of games, play areas, and decorations, and the most shocking part was that along side the regular McD’s fare was real food. Gourmet crap, pizza, real sandwiches, seafood, salads, and even a dessert bar with waffle cones! This place had EVERYTHING.
In fact, it was so big that I’m going to write a full article about it. It was probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, and I was ready to go home afterwards. It was like a whole vacation spot in itself. Let me say this, if you ever go to the States for a trip and you don’t know where to go, head straight to Orlando and check this place out. It will absolutely blow your mind. But enough gabbing on about how great the place was, I was damn hungry by that time. I usually have an equal of four meals a day, and I had had less than one during this whole day, so I needed a big meal. Four double cheeseburgers with super-sized fries and drink hit the spot in a way I didn’t think McDonald’s could. The only repercussions were that the pipes were blocked up for three or four days afterwards.
On the way out, I picked up a cone of the ice cream variety and we started out to our second location: the legendary 24-hour Wal-Mart. And we were lucky that it was open 24 hours, cause it was at least nine by the time we left. Finding it wasn’t too much trouble, since we got some advice from some friendly locals and were on our way in no time.
But this Wal-Mart wasn’t only just open 24 hours a day, it was also a Super Wal-Mart. It was huge in comparaison to any other Wal-Mart I’d ever seen, even that one Bizzarro Wal-Mart (That was on a completely different adventure. I fell asleep while in the van on a trip to hockey one day, and woke up to enter a Wal-Mart that was the exact opposite of the local store.). So of course, it had a hell of a lot more crap in it, but it also had an entire grocery store in it. The only thing wrong with it was that the electronics section was shamefully small and poorly stocked. It was less than half the size or my local Wal-Mart’s electronics section, and just slightly bigger than most Electronics Boutiques (That I’ve seen, anyway).
After stocking up on root beer, juice, foreign cereals, and various other foodstuffs, we left the giant store and headed home for the night. All in all, it had been quite a day, and it was still only the first of eight. We all knew that it was going to be a very busy and fun week, and that we had plenty of walking and a lot more waiting ahead of us. At least the weather down in Florida is a lot better than it is up here in crusty old Winnipeg. And the scenery too, the grass was a brilliant shade of green, the palm trees were everywhere, and most notably, there were eye-catching monuments of buildings everywhere. Among the most notable of those buildings were an upside-down museum thing, a huge inverted metal pyramid (the Hard Rock Vault), and one big freaking shoe on top of a closed-down sporting goods store.
After we got home, I ate some more, watched a little TV, audited my pictures and went to sleep after a rousing round of Ms. Pac-Man. So ends my tale for now, but be sure to tune in for part two of this extraordinary adventure, where we make our first stop at the Magic Kingdom, visit Wal-Mart for the second time, and discover a giant outlet mall where dreams come true.