Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Holiday With Trooper: Day 9

Today was our penultimate day in Disney. As we had been on all the rides, our focus was to enjoy for a second (or third) time, those rides everyone had really enjoyed, see some of the shows we had missed and complete the list of gift purchases for the folks back home.

Again, we tried to be smart about using the FastPass system to reduce wait times and employing the train system to ease the wear and tear on legs, young and old (and getting older my the minute). A second trip through The Haunted Mansion was worth it as I picked up things I hadn’t seen before. I still don’t think it is as good as the traditional display, but I appreciate the work the designers did more this time.

Shockingly, we had overlooked the Winnie the Pooh ride, so we got that one checked off the list, plus another run down Splash Mountain, all within half an hour. Way to go family! Then an hour or so spent exploring Tom Sawyer’s Island and Pirates Cove. Much of my time was spent answering questions about whether or not Tom and Huck really built all this, where they found all the materials, why they had left all the pirate skeletons, how did they have the time etc. I gave vague answers like, ‘It sure looks like they could have built it, “ and “I guess they were pretty resourceful,” and “I wouldn’t want to touch the skeletons either,” and “they probably didn’t spend their free time playing video games.”

For lunch we had chilli bowls at the Gold Rush Café and enjoying the musical antics of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. It was a great a show, with high musical value and delicious country comedy. I apologize to the other patrons as I do have a very loud and frequent laugh (Mrs. Trooper has told me so as well).

The afternoon was spent in Tomorrowland with more rides on Space Mountain and Star Tours. After the death defying plunges I braved at Knotts Berry Farm, Space Mountain was as calming as the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups. I can confirm that repeated trips on Star Tours does in fact take you to different planets (Hoth is the most exciting) so don’t just think one time is enough. We were also lucky enough to have the kids chosen as padawans in the Jedi Training Academy! This is a great show but you can’t say no to buying the photos of your young Jedi fighting Darths Maul and Vadar. Cha-ching!

Speaking of spending cash, walking back down main Street USA gave us a chance to buy presents for everyone on our list. T-shirts, mugs, hats, books, novelty marital aids. No, wait! Scrap that last item. That was a different trip (by a different family). If you want the image of Mickey, Minnie, Donald or Goofy on anything (other than a sexual implement) and you are looking to spend 15% more than the item is actually worth, then Disneyland is the place.

videoWith our list complete, our feet sore and our bellies empty (and not a turkey leg in sight), we headed for the exit. There we met Cruella DeVil, by far the most charming and delightful of the Disney characters we had yet encountered. Of course being a dog lover, I hold her as one of the most heinous of the film villains, but I always thought she should have been able to sue Roger Dearly for getting rich off a song with lyrics that are so shamefully libellous:

“Cruella De Vil / Cruella De Vil /
If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will.
To see her is to take a sudden chill /
This vampire bat, this inhuman beast /
She ought to be locked up and never released.”

Sure it’s catchy, and the woman is a nasty piece of work, but try releasing a song about a private citizen where you compare her to “a spider waiting for the kill” or having seen her “kind of eyes watching you from underneath a rock”. It would be off the radio and you in court faster than you can say “I want those puppies!”

Four days down, one more to go. Tomorrow: Adventureland! I mean California Adventure. Dammit, I did it again!

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