Where do you go on vacation when you are a grown man with maturity of a seven year old? That's right, you go to the happiest goddamn place on Earth. Disney World.
Disney World is a pretty polarizing place in my experience. Either you completely buy into the whole schtick they are selling, or you don't. If, like me, the Disney thing works for you, as soon as you set foot in the resort you instantly become a little kid again and your childhood comes to life before your eyes. If it doesn't, Disney is like the DMV banged commercialism and their offspring is 27,000 acres of standing in line for hours on end in 114 degree weather while having your wallet gouged by a cartoon mouse.
Like I said; whatever corporate sorcery Disney has woven into the fabric of every aspect of that place, it locks on like a homing missile to the one bright spot in the deep dark parts of my otherwise cold, dead adult heart and pumps me full of molten nostalgia. We walked into that park on the first day at exactly the right moment for a full on parade to come cavalcading down the street as if it had been put on just for us. Standing in the midst of that parade and looking at that statue of Walt Disney and Mickey holding hands I got legitimately emotional. A thousand goddamn strangers in the street around me and I'm trying to pull it together so some poor six year old girl doesn't forever associate Mickey Mouse with a grown man crying at a fucking statue.
You know what though? Coming from a person who thinks parades are the worst form of entertainment invented by mankind, that parade was fucking magical and I'm glad we saw it.
The next four days were spent park hopping, going on rides, eating ice cream shaped like Mickey and generally doing all the things you do at Disney. Here's the highlight reel in picture form:
It's a small world. Famous for being complete shit and sort of culturally insensitive. A ride that literally everyone rides ironically when they come to Disney. A ride that is in fact kept running by Disney ironically at this point. A ride that my father-in-law fell asleep on when in 1995 when a four your old Emily made him ride it over and over again. In keeping with tradition I grabbed a quick nap while sailing through the darkness as a hoard of terrifying child robots screamed a song at us.
Another Classic, Pirates of the Caribbean. I am, apparently in the midst of some sort of deep, intellectual contemplation at the moment this picture was taken. But more importantly, look at that photogenic son of a bitch in the row be hind us. Kid just got on the ride all by himself, and took his fucking class picture for next school year in the middle of a boat ride through a dark tunnel full of animatronic pirates.
They have a system where you scan a RFID bracelet and automatically get sent your pictures. The lighting on this ride must have been weird, because if you look closely, the picture I was sent of Emily and I riding the Buzz Lightyear ride looks a lot like an asian man and his two small daughters. Weird.
We ate at a restaurant called Be Our Guest on the first night. It's a restaurant in the Magic Kingdom themed around Beauty and the Beast. This is my wife's favorite Disney movie of all time, thus dining here was a requirement of our visit. We had to make the reservation for this place four months in advance because it's so popular.
Turns out there is a reason it's so popular. It's spectacular. You walk in to the dining room of this place and it's like you're in the movie. My wife cried a little bit. They nailed it so hard with this place I was surprised a candlestick with a corny french accent didn't take our order. Everything about the dining experience at this place was spot on, right down to the complimentary "grey stuff" they gave us for dessert because we were celebrating our Anniversary, which was in fact, delicious.
No big deal, nothing to see here, just a a bunch of fucking Stormtroopers marching through the streets.
Tower of terror is one of my favorites, though I don't believe Emily cared for it. The empty seat next to that guy in red was a lady who noped right the fuck out of there about two seconds before the ride because she got too scared.
On our second night we ate at T-Rex, which Emily picked out out of a sense of fairness. I believe her thinking was if I she got to eat in the princess ballroom of her childhood favorite movie and experience the magic of seeing Beauty and the Beast come to life in front of her eyes we should probably go to a restaurant for children full of robot dinosaurs and sound effects for my benefit. Altruistic dino-themed reservation making aside, apparently her ability to tolerate me does have limits. Limits such as when I get a 14 dollar beverage served in a fun glass that you get to keep afterwards.
That picture just about sums up what it's like to be married to me, I think. You can really see the years being drained off her life in this photo.
Epcot is where we got the second best ride photo of the trip while riding Test Track. A ride where you rumble around in a little car and then they fire you at 60mph around a loop.
The greatness of this picture has nothing to do with either of us, but rather because of that lady in the row behind us seriously not giving a shit about anything.
This may be the record for the least amount of fucks given while on a roller coaster moving at sixty miles an hour. Is she not enjoying her time at Disney World? Does she professionally drive those land vehicles that break the sound barrier and thus is not impressed by this ride? Is she just having absolutely none of whatever that white girl is doing in the seat next to her? Who knows? All I know is that when there are fucks to be given, this woman is fresh out.
An unfortunate naming cooncidence I guess.
$32,000 crustal model of Cinderella's castle anyone? And speaking of Cinderella. We ate at the restaurant in that castle. . .
. . . where they force you to take a picture with Cinderella herself before you can go in. Which is fine if you're a family with children but super weird and uncomfortable if you are two adults there by yourselves.
The interlocked arms was Cinderella's idea by the way.
The inside of the restaurant was cool and the food was good, except the schtick at this place is that throughout the meal all sorts of Disney princesses come out to a bunch of fanfare and spend the meal going from table to table interacting with the guests. Personally I found it extremely difficult to focus on eating or having a conversation with my wife while constantly worried that I was going to get ambushed by fucking Snow White the moment I put a hunk of steak in my mouth.
I mentioned the picture of She Who Gives No Fucks on test track was the second best photo of the trip. I've saved the best for last; An example of the diametric opposite of not giving a shit while on a roller coaster. This is in fact the perfect embodiment of giving all of the shits. This is a ride called Everest in the Animal Kingdom which we rode in a torrential downpour so bad you couldn't even lift your head during the outdoor portions of the roller coaster because the rain hitting you in the eyeballs at 150mph was so brutal.
A combination of terror at the roller coaster and the hilarity of how goddamn hard it was raining broke my wife and gave me the greatest gift I could have received at Disney.