Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Disney - Day 3

Still exhausted from the prior day's activities, we dragged ourselves out of bed and made it to the park a tad before 10, which was not part of my plan. What was part of my plan was to go to Buzz Lightyear, which is in Tomorrowland, but we missed doing on Day 2. The line was about 20 minutes and it was worth waiting for. The kids really liked it and I liked that it wasn't the same kind of sit in a boat or shell or honeypot and watch a reenactment of a Disney movie. This time you sit in a rocket, but you shoot at alien targets and score points. So, it's slightly more interactive. The girls and I got in one rocket and the K and the Boy got in the other.

To infinity and beyond!

Then it was on to Frontierland and, most importantly, Fast Passes for Big Thunder Mountain. With the passes in hand, we made our way over to lunch at Pecos Bill's which was fine, but for the cowbell playing waitstaff. The K is not a fan of random noisiness in general, and cowbells in particular because he went to Ole Miss. For those of you who are not up on your Mississippi in-state rivalries, Mississippi State fans ring cowbells during football games much to the chagrin of Ole Miss fans.

After lunch, we made a quick trip to Adventureland to do the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Unlike Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh, Pirates of the Caribbean actually inspired the movie. But then, I think they redid the Pirates ride so it would be more like the movie, so Disney just wins either way. After Pirates, we went back to Frontierland so that the K could take the Boy and the Girl on Big Thunder Mountain. The Baby and I desperately tried to find some shade in the Thunder Mountain viewing area, but then I remembered it was the desert. 

The K, the Boy, and the Girl in the first section, last car.
The Girl loved Thunder Mountain and the Boy just wanted to be friends with it, but they were both happy to have tried it. 

At this point, the Baby was so tired and cranky that I was afraid we weren't going to make it much longer. Very luckily, we made plans to meet up with my friend Robin's family and she has two girls who are friends with my two girls. Robin's younger daughter is actually about 1 1/2 years older than the Baby, which is perfect because she's a cool older girl and the Baby is all about hanging out with the big kids. We met by the Jungle Cruise and pulled Fast Passes for that ride, caught up on what we'd been doing the last couple of days, and then went to the Enchanted Tiki Room to see the show.

There is something about the Enchanted Tiki Room, the Country Bear Jamboree, and the entire Polynesian Resort that makes me think Brady Bunch, 1970s, and Hee-Haw. I just don't know what was going on in the 70s that made country music and faux-Hawaii so popular. Drugs? I suspect that's part of the story. If you've never experienced the Enchanted Tiki Room, I should tell you that exotic animatronic birds descend from the ceiling and perform a show. I am sure that it was quite cutting edge technology fifty years ago, but now it's sort of kitsch. The K fell asleep during the show and I tried to snap a picture, but I got a major smack down from one of the Disney cast members for using flash photography. I get that it might disturb live performers, but I thought the birds would be okay with it...seeing as they are not real. By the way, if you want to experience the music of the Tiki birds at home, you can get the album:

After Tiki Room, we went on the Jungle Cruise, which I thought was fun in a very mild way. You are on a boat that winds its way through some of the world's most famous rivers. In typical Disney fashion, you go through India, Africa, and Thailand in a matter of seven minutes and the animatronics are on display again:

Eeek! A hippo!
 I don't think that the kids loved this attraction so much, probably because they were waiting for Buzz Lightyear or Sleeping Beauty to be involved in some way. I appreciated the break from the branding and our boat driver was just the right amount of knowing corniness to be funny and appealing. The Boy, however, wasn't so sure:

What the??

We decided to stick together for a little while longer because the kids were having so much fun, and Mark, Robin's husband suggested that we check out Tom Sawyer's Island, which he heard had been overhauled. Once I got over my surprise that Disney owned Tom Sawyer, I thought a little running around and imaginative play would be a good idea. So, we got on a "raft" just like Huck Finn's, only with a motor, and traveled over to the island. My memory of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" was that it was less intellectual than "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," so I liked it better. I have forgotten all of the specifics. 

The kids were running all around since for the first time in three days we weren't standing in line to sit in a boat for a five-minute recap of a movie they'd never seen. I followed them up a hill to some sort of wooden ship climbing thing (was this in "Tom Sawyer?") and had the surprise of the trip. There, in all their glory was....

Honey Boo Boo (in pink), Sugar Bear (rescue shirt), and Mama June (identification unnecessary)

The Honey Boo Boo Family! Guys! As Matthew McConaughey said when University of Texas football team won the National Championship, "Y'all, this is big time." I tried to unobtrusively take as many pictures as possible. Here's a picture of Honey Boo Boo...and oh yeah, and the Girl and her friend:

Poor Girl, doesn't know I'm forcing her to photobomb
June says that she's lost 100 pounds in the last year. She really did look slimmer than she did when the show first started. If you all have been to Disney then you know that motorized scooters are everywhere. To her credit, Mama June appeared to be traveling without a scooter. Which, even if they weren't allowed on the island, she was up scampering/lumbering around after Alana (H.B.B.'s real name).

Mama June
Honestly, she seemed like a good mom. She was taking pictures of Alana and was being nice to the couple of people who recognized her. Sugar Bear was shorter than I expected and was hovering around, trying to make sure no one bothered June too much. I think they had a bodyguard-type with them. And they're probably geniuses to go to Disney because there are so many people, and many people who don't look unlike themselves, so they could blend in nicely and not be so recognizable. A bad choice would be, say, New York City where everyone is skinny and wears black.

The day was pretty much done at that point, but we did go to the Country Bear Jamboree which is more animatronic Disney nostalgia. I'm sure that back in 1965, bears singing country music in a Grand Ole Opry-type setting was very high-concept, but now it's a bit of a head-scratcher. The K commented that Trixie, the tutu-wearing, wine-drinking lady bear in the show bore a resemblance to Mama June (pre-weight loss). What do you think?

At the Baby's request, we made one more trip to the Carousel before we called it a very full day and headed back to the hotel. Next up, Epcot!

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