Saturday, March 19, 2011

Good and Not So Good

To sum up, what is good about Walt Disney World?

As i discussed with one lady who worked there, the two places where you can let your teens and tweens have a cell phone and a key card and turn them loose with relative safety are cruise ships and on Disney property. No, there is no place on earth that is totally safe. Yes, accidents can happen anywhere. Yes, warped people can be anywhere. Yet on a cruise ship or on Disney property, the kids can't go anywhere, and if anything happens there are workers every few steps. One yell for help and you have it. Any troubles, you just look for the nearest name badge, and they are everywhere. As long as they are checking in every few hours and answering their phones or calling back as soon as they get off the ride, they can enjoy themselves with relative freedom.

Conservation programs, and recycling, are stressed. To help offset their ecological footprint, more than two thirds of Disney property is set aside to never be developed or touched. Many more hundreds of acres are being used to grow food for their animals, or to explore new ways to grow food for people, and they do use that food in their restaurants. Bins for recycling are all over, just like the garbage cans, usually right next to them. Even your resort room has a green garbage can where they ask you to recycle plastic, metal, and newspapers.

Breeding programs, and working to send animals back into natural habitats or to game reserves. There are even animals on their savanna that are no longer found in the wild because they are so endangered. Disney as a company is committed to keeping Walt's dreams of helping people understand and conserve the natural world alive.

Animals are encouraged to hang around the resorts. Ducks, gulls, rabbits, squirrels, and other small critters find plenty of room in and among the plants and between the buildings. The wandering pathways that make it hard to get from point A to point B for us are a boon to the wildlife. In fact, a particular mallard pair greeted me every morning when i went from the laundry room over to the shop for coffee. People are discouraged from feeding them, and they aren't tame, but they are more friendly than not.

Getting a break from the bad news in the world was nice for a few days. It's not that i want to hide from the world as a steady thing, i just want a bit of time off once in a while. If you want to see the headlines, you can buy a newspaper or listen to the radio or get online. If you want to just ignore the big, bad world for a couple of days, you can do that, too.

A big variable is the weather. If you go in summer, you will be hot, no exceptions. If you go any time from mid-December to the end of February, you will probably need a coat and mittens, although people from truly cold climates would find the lack of snow with the cold refreshing. In the spring and autumn, you are taking your chances. We had a couple of days with temps in the upper 70s F, and one night where Orlando had a record low temperature. The morning can start cool, the day get truly hot, and then you need a coat after dark. If you go when it's not summer, keep a jacket nearby.

Meeting people from all over the world is always a plus. Yes, we went at a time when half of South Louisiana seemed to be at Disney. We saw lots of Mardi Gras escapees. There were tons of people from other parts of the country and world, too. It was especially fun to meet Canadians who thought the weather, with no snow as mentioned before, was just fine.

One thing that made the trip more difficult was having to wait for buses, and how sometimes they were so crowded it was a long wait for a second bus before we could get a ride. This made meeting with people at specific times harder, although not impossible. It did make it necessary to plan well ahead and leave lots of travel time.

A not so good thing, to me, are the parades/shows that block up the parks so badly. At one point there was crowd so thick that no one could move. There was no place to go. Lots of people love the shows and parades, so they will continue i know, but i am not particularly a fan. Maybe growing up being in Mardi Gras parades makes me not as keen on such things. Sort of a been there/done that attitude. The only times i enjoyed the parades was when i was able to catch them from enough of a distance that i could see one small part at a time, but no one else was in that area because it was so far away and secluded.

Another great thing about Disney was that, when i wanted to buy tickets for the boys to go to Universal, and called to ask about a shuttle and ticket purchase, there was no hesitation about connecting me directly to both the shuttle company and to Universal Studios itself for the purchases. They take it in stride that people staying at their place will want to visit the other parks in the area, and make it easy. They could stoop to petty jealousy on this issue, but don't.

So, in the end, would i go back? In a heartbeat.

Today is:

Chunga Choepa (Butter Lamp Festival) -- Tibet

Companies That Care Day

Corn Dog Day

Ember Day -- Western Catholic Christian (third Ember Day of Lent, a day for prayer and fasting)

Full Worm Moon, a/k/a Full Crow Moon, Full Crust Moon, Full Sap Moon, Light Snow Moon, or Lenten Moon

Kashubians' Unity Day -- Among Kashubians in northern Poland

Let's Laugh Day

Magha Puja Day -- Buddhist

National Chocolate Caramel Day

National Quilting Day

Poultry Day

Quinquatria -- Roman Empirical Calendar, celebration of Minerva, through the 23rd

Swallows Return to San Juan Capistrano Day

St. Joseph's Day (patron of Austria, Belgium, Canada, carpenters, fathers, house hunting, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, workers; for a happy death; against communism, doubt)
As patron of fathers, his day is also Father's Day in Belgium, Bolivia, Honduras, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

Birthdays Today:

Bruce Willis, 1955
Glenn Close, 1947
Clarence "Frogman" Henry, 1937
Ursula Andress, 1936
Phyllis Newman, 1935
Patrick McGoohan, 1928
William Jennings Bryan, 1860
Wyatt Earp, 1848
Sir Richard Burton, 1821
David Livingstone, 1813
William Bradford, 1590

Today in History:

A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China, 1279
Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, is murdered by his own men, 1687
The SS Georgiana, said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, is destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, medicines and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000, 1863
Pluto is photographed for the first time but is not recognized as a planet, 1915
Eight American planes take off in pursuit of Pancho Villa, the first United States air-combat mission in history, 1916
The U.S. Congress establishes time zones and approves daylight saving time, 1918
Willie Mosconi sets a world record by running 526 consecutive balls without a miss during a straight pool exhibition at East High Billiard Club in Springfield, Ohio. The record still stands today, 1954
Gumby makes his debut, 1957
The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000 and said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, is discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence exactly 102 years after its destruction, 1965
Texas Western becomes the first college basketball team to win the Final Four with an all-black starting lineup, 1966
India and Bangladesh sign a friendship treaty, 1972
The United States House of Representatives begins broadcasting its day-to-day business via the cable television network C-SPAN, 1979
Argentinian forces land on South Georgia Island, precipitating the Falklands War with the United Kingdom, 1982
Zimbabwe is suspended from the Commonwealth on charges of human rights abuses and of electoral fraud, following a turbulent presidential election, 2002


  1. So when you mentioned Disney breeding programs I have to confess the first image that came to mind was Mickey and Minny and a closed bedroom door, ewww. But I quickly recovered and am pleased to find out that Disney is all about conservation. I had no idea! Glad you had a great time!

  2. Thanks, Crabby. That first thought never crossed my mind, or i would have phrased it all differently.

  3. Hi, Mimi, just reading tonight and got caught up on your blog and all your Disney adventures. I really enjoyed everything...especially all info about animals/programs and the Soarin', that would be up my alley. I doubt if I'll ever get to go to DW, but I felt like I just did...thank you.

  4. PonyGirl, we have to drive near your area to get there, maybe next time i'll kidnap you and bring you along.

  5. Now that would be something! My sweetie would probably say, "...come get her!" to be rid of me for a week... ;-)