You’ve read the first installment of my Disney World log, right? If not, go here to check it out. If you have, you’ll know that while we were touring in Orlando, we came across a big freaking McDonald’s. In fact, the biggest in the world. After seeing it on the Food Network, my mom and brother were determined to find this place while we were there. Not only did we manage to find it, but on the first day to boot. And as they had been raving for about a week at that time, it was really freaking big. So big, that it was advertising it’s greatness on the M signpost outside, and several other signposts in the vicinity.
Just as a little preface, I’d like to point out that a lot of my pictures of this McDonald’s turned out a little blurry. And by “a little”, I mean “terribly”. I’m not sure why, as almost every other picture I took turned out fine, but that’s the way it is, so you’re going to have to deal with it or go and do something else. The blur isn’t so bad that you can’t tell what’s what though, so you should be able to cope rather easily. Now let’s get this party started.
So now we’ll take a wondrous journey into one of the most amazing places that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen Disney World. Our tour starts outside, where amazingly, there is quite a bit to see. Just standing outside of this place, you can tell that it’s going to be like no other fast-food restaurant you’ve ever seen. You have to witness it first-hand to get the full effect of how spectacular this place is, but I’m going to do my best to give you a good general impression.
Well that one turned out horribly, but I’m sure you get the picture. It’s the big M sign seen in front of every single McDonald’s restaurant, so chances are pretty good that you’ve seen one. Only instead of a sign saying that they’ve sold so many billions of burgers, it’s got a fancy-ass electronic signboard that boasts about it’s hugeness and greatness. It also gives details on current specials, what kinds of food they serve there, and just how popular the place is. I can imagine that it’s running the 3 other McD’s restaurants within 30 feet into the ground.
And the fact that there are other McDonald’s restaurants close by is the really sad part. I thought it was a pancake house that they had on every street corner, not a McDonald’s. But on that note, there were a lot of pancake houses around. Especially IHOP (International House of Pancakes, for those not in the know. I just learned that while I was there.). That seems to be the granddaddy of them all. And while pancakes are good and all (now that I think of it, I wonder what the breakfast menu is like here…), I’m at McDonald’s, and that’s what I’ve got to get back to reviewing. So in conclusion, while in Florida, I ate no pancakes.
You might not be able to tell so well from pictures, but this place, as I may have mentioned before, is frickin’ huge
. Just look at it and compare it to things around it. Oh yeah, there’s also the whole two-storey
thing going on. That’s a big one. Not only is it huge, it’s exuberantly decorated as well. The huge fry box motif, the art all over the walls, and the lights and decorative crap coming out of every which way, it’s amazing just to look at. If you do ever visit, you’ll probably be stuck standing in awe of this place for a good five minutes or so before you actually get inside. And it only gets more extravagant on the inside. If God eats fast food, this is where he goes.
When you walk in (and through automatic doors, no less) you’ll notice that every bit of wall and possibly even ceiling is covered in something. To your right is the dessert bar, which I’ll get to later, right in front of you are swarms of people trying to get food, and to your left is the happy little scene pictured above. As you can see, we’ve got ocean-painted walls, a huge map, a table for taking charity donations, and that token Ronald McDonald toy display. On the floor are some sort of funny footprints that point you to the exit (which you might miss with all this stuff going on around you), and the occasional shoe scuff, which might be unintentional.
Now this one is the real kicker. Look at all of that food advertisement and display. In the very back is the regular McDonald’s counter area, where you get your food. Right in front of them are more little cash register machines, where you order your stuff. This is all a lot more complex than any McDonald’s I’ve ever seen already. Then in front or that is their gourmet food displays. These contain pizza, real sandwiches, desserts, and seafood, among a bunch of other fancy stuff. You can see various signs posted around, like the black pizza sign above, the sandwich sign in the background, and that bistro gourmet sign to the left. Over on the right side, you can just barely get a glance at that dessert area and chef station. That’s right. This McDonald’s has real chefs
. That means food that won’t make you crap 5 minutes later (or block you for several days, as I would soon learn).
So while my parents stand in line to get us our grub, we decide to go explore this huge place. It might be the excess of people, or that fact that it’s crammed to the brim with games, tables, chairs and odds n’ ends, but it feels a lot smaller on the inside. Well, to be more precise, the first floor does anyway. The second floor is less jam packed, because the eating area is exclusive to downstairs, so there’s a lot more room to move around, but we’re still investigating the downstairs, so I’ll get back to that.
As you can see in the picture, there are not nearly as many people as I might have led you to believe, but there were still an ample amount. You can also see that the walls are still painted from top to bottom, and there’s decoration as far as the eye can see. Unless you’re looking out those crooked windows, because even downtown Florida, a place filled with more crap than you can imagine, looks bare compared to this single establishment. And you can also see a couple of the games along the back wall, and I’ll hint at it now, that’s one of, if not the best part of this McDonald’s.
There’s the kid’s/birthday area. It’s just as covered in fancy as the rest of the place, and it’s even got those cool character chairs. Just looking here, can you imagine how exhilarating it must be for a kid to have his birthday party here? Even to attend a party here? Or Hell, if you were going to go to a party here, chances are that you live close enough to go whenever you so desired. And that would be great. A place like this is just one of those places you have to go to more than once if you ever get the chance. Just like Disney World, and I have
been there twice. Not to boast or anything, though.
Ack! It’s the attack of the blurry camera invaders! I swear… It’s not that I screwed up. No. I’m good at taking pictures. What’s that? I already admitted to screwing up at the beginning? Damn. Hoisted by my own petard. Now while that phrase makes very little sense according to dicitionary.com, I’ll take the Family Guy quote for what it’s worth. Now back to the stuff and such, this is the opposite wall to the kid’s area, and you can see that it’s covered in games, and the floor is absolutely cluttered with eating place. It’s actually quite hard to move through the tables themselves, even when they’re unoccupied. Going around the perimeter may be a longer trek, but it certainly is easier.
Oh gah! It’s even blurrier than the last. Luckily, this one I can chalk up to wanting to take the picture fast so that girl wouldn’t think I was taking a picture of her. It’s just one of those things you have to watch for when you have a camera. You see the aquarium. It’s cool and blue, but the fishies inside leave something to be desired. They’re tropical aquarium fishies and all, but they’re no eels or mantis shrimp or anything really awesome like that. Just plain old angelfish and other brightly coloured aquatic critters. It is pretty big though, so it’s not a total loss. And even if they aren’t special, fish are always fun to watch, in a bored sort of way.
You know, I think it might actually get better after this one. I’m not sure, but we can hope, right? This little corner is jungle themed for some reason that I can’t explain. It comes complete with tons of leaves and flowers hanging from the ceiling, a little statue thing with some water in it, and a rather dark air altogether. It certainly is different from the rest of the restaurant, and it really shows that they were trying to please as many as possible. This way, plant lovers can bask in their flora, and goths can sit in a dark corner. Fun for everyone!
and now, we get to the best part of the whole entire place, and one of the biggest highlights of my trip. Yes, it’s something that only I would get super-hyped about, and yes, I realize that it qualifies me as a huge loser, but damned if my heart didn’t stop when I saw this beauty…
Mc-freaking-Donald’s has an F-Zero AX
machine!!!! Just like it says in the title bar! Ever since GX came out, I’ve been searching the city for one, but up here in Canada we’re lucky to get cool stuff late, and most of the time, we just plain miss out on it. I’ll tell you this, If one of these machines does take up residence in Winnipeg somewhere (please inform me if you know of one!), I haven’t been there, because I know I would have used or at least caressed it once by now.
To make my severe geekness a little more understandable, I love F-Zero. I’m not a huge racing fan, but the Nintendo racers have always had a special place in my heart. Mostly because those are the only ones that you can control without being a racing freak. Damn that Gran Turismo and it’s complexity. Heck, damn all sim racers for being too hard for me to understand. But F-Zero, it’s not like that. The car turns when and where you want it to turn. If you want to make a sharper turn, you hold the sharp turn button. None of this spin-out, drift and slow-down-when-turning funny business. Just me, the track, and 29 other racers. All set to awesome music and beautiful sci-fi scenery.
and the arcade game only capitalizes on everything there is in GX. For one, the seat moves around while playing. And since it’s an extreme racer, it moves a lot. So much it needs a seat belt. And then the speakers are right in behind your head, so those awesome tunes are blaring in your ears all the way to the finish line. It may sound distracting, but anyone who doesn’t like a hardcore mix of the Mute City music needs a serious re-evaluation of their musical tastes. Plus it sets the mood really well. I’ll even throw in this link, which you can follow to download every track from every F-Zero game. The steering was a bit touchy and oversensitive, but was easy to get used to.
Oh, just look at that. A perfect picture after all of that blur. Fitting, isn’t it? Well, there’s yet ANOTHER great thing about this machine that I didn’t yet mention. If you’ve got an F-Zero GX
game save, and you bring your memory card, you can slot it in here and unlock a bunch of new machines, tracks and parts to play on GX. Yes, you can
unlock them without AX, but it’s freaking hard. Just ask anyone who’s played the game. Finishing the races on the AX machine is a helluva lot easier. And even though it might cost you a couple bucks to do it, the experience is definitely worth it. This is one of the greatest arcade games I’ve ever played, topped only by Pac-Man
, Ms Pac-Man
(which was also at this particular McDonald’s), and Bust-A-Move
So now that I’m done with that little rant, it’s about time that we moved upstairs. Like I said earlier, up here there were no tables or chairs, so it was a lot less crowded, and access to games was much more convenient. If you turn around while heading upstairs, or happen to be on your way down, you’ll see the scene pictured above. While the downstairs was built around the premise of eating and playing F-Zero
, the upstairs is a much more patriot-friendly place. But of course, only for the American visitors. Foreigners like me feel completely out of place, eh.
Holy crap. Now that one is bad. More patriotism with the flag-bearing Lady Liberty, and behind her is a huge and brightly lit wall. Inside that wall is the prize room. Not only is this place awesome, it also takes the premise of Chuck E. Cheese’s before it and implements a ticket/reward system. All the prize-type games might have been upstairs, but I’m not sure, since I didn’t even give most of them a second glance. I was far too caught up in F-Zero
very sad that I’m obsessing so much about a single arcade machine, but I’ve been looking for one for months, so I technically could have had a orgasm when I saw it and still been in the right. But I didn’t, so I’m not totally screwed for finding a girl yet. (Note: Even I have a limit when it comes to video game hype.)
And the monstrous ball pit/climbing structure is something you just can’t ignore. This thing, like the restaurant, it huge. I couldn’t go in it, of course, but you know I wanted to. All the twists and turns and windows and things inside. It’s a spelunker’s paradise. In the first picture, you can see a Rollercoaster Tycoon sign of some sort; it’s a pinball game. I thought it was pretty cool, but not cool enough to earn a picture. And in the second, you can’t really see anything. I’m almost ashamed at how bad these pictures turned out, but it’s not like it’s something I can just go back and re-shoot any time I want, so they’ll have to do.
I played a mere two games while I was here. That may sound quite odd, but you already know about the F-zero AX
situation. “What was the other game?” you ask? Well, in my entire life up to this point, I’ve only spent money on one woman; Ms. Pac-Man
(I make things for my mom, or get my dad to buy stuff. I’m not totally heartless). Now seeing as that statement pretty much ensures me to be single for the rest of my life, I might as well keep going, as I’ve nothing left to lose. …Strange. I think I’ve typed out a phrase similar to that in an older article. Maybe it’s just one of those inaccurate feelings of déjà vu. I don’t know, and I don’t care enough to check. Now bring out the next picture!
You’ve all played one type of Cyclone game or another. Unless you’ve never been to Rucker’s or Chuck E. Cheese’s, but that’s impossible, so I’ll assume you all know how it goes down. In any case, they had both this Cyclone machine, and an identical machine called “Titanic” almost side-by-side. Maybe it’s in case of a busy day, maybe they’re just being redundant. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor, but I do know what didn’t kill her. Smoking. Ah, now that’s two Family Guy quotes that don’t quite fit. Oh well, they bring back good and funny memories, so I’ll leave ‘em there. Family Guy rules.
And now that we’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see in this Super McDonald’s, it’s time that I leave. It had to happen, but not after one final race across Mute City. Well, after that, I was done, we had to leave for real, and on good timing, too, because there wasn’t anything else I really wanted to take pictures of. But on the way out, there’s one thing that stares you in the eyes through the whole long walk to the exit.
The ice cream bar. The most magical gift the human race has ever been given, and my last stop in the world’s biggest McDonald’s. There wasn’t a huge selection of flavours to choose from, but all the best ones were there; bubble gum, cookies n’ cream, mint chocolate chip, rainbow, chocolate, chocolate swirl, yellow, and a couple less noticeable ones. I, the ever-hungry pile of human I am, decided that I would delight myself with some of this ice cream even though I’d just eaten 4 double cheeseburgers, a super-sized drink and 3 portions worth of fries. I got the yummy bubbly gum flavour that I haven’t had in the years since the awesome ice cream place we used to go to closed down. That was a sad summer for everyone.
See? Blue. It also matched the sign outside if held up properly. You might also notice that it says “internet” in the window. Yes, they had internet. Yes, I could have made a little post while inside. But it cost money and it was a touch screen, and I had racing and dot-eating to do. So I opted not to and simply went on my way.
And that’s the end of that adventure into the wilds of fast-food land. Actually, if you compared it to the rest of fast-food land, it would be like the throne room where the king sits and get really fat. And now that I’ve typed over 3100 words about a McDonald’s restaurant, I have to go and wonder why I’m not doing this for money. Seriously. I would love to get paid for the site, but it’s not going to happen. So while I flush that pipe dream, I’ll leave you with a couple closing statements.
1. If you’re ever in Orlando or anywhere remotely close to it, make sure you visit this place. Even if you don’t like McD’s food, they’ve got something for every taste. They’ve probably even got caviar if you’re into that kinda stuff.
2. Buy me an F-Zero AX machine for my birthday. It’s still 4 months away, but you’ll need to start saving now. If nothing else, get me GX and a racing wheel so I can pretend.
3. Yes, they have a Bill Cosby standy. If that’s not reason enough to travel down to America’s wang, I don’t know what is.