My opening thoughts on an upcoming trip to Orlando.
With my recent university graduation came an onslaught of travel opportunities with my fellow grads: backpacking through Europe, camping across Canada, teaching English in Asia, safariing in Africa, saving the ecosystem in the North, driving to California ...
All of these were, naturally, excellent opportunities, but with two major flaws:
1) They interfered with my first engineering summer job, and
2) They didn't include theme park visits.
Devastating, I know.
Happily, an end-of-summer travel opportunity arose with some of my old high school buds. Some time back, they decided to accept my
pestering suggestions for an Orlando trip. Out of the nine of us, only four, including myself, have previously visited Orlando. To boot, of those four, only I have visited Disney World. The other three confined their previous Orlando vacations to Cocoa Beach and Universal Studios - a good start, but hardly an Orlando excursion.
When the opportunity arose to travel with these Disney virgins, I pounced on it. Why? Simply put, half the fun of a theme park vacation is experiencing it with those who have not been before.
See, as much as I love to watch TH and James
whine about argue the merits of the Jungle Cruise, the truth is that a theme park is much more enjoyable if you can drop your criticisms. We Insiders, like critics of any medium, are fortunate to have constant exposure to the field we criticize. This is both advantageous and not. We sometimes forget the simple pleasures, like the feeling of arriving at your first true theme park, the surreal friendliness of the park's employees, or the look on a fat man's face when he buys his first turkey leg. I think Ratatouille's Anton Ego sums up my sentiments nicely:
"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so."
And that's why I'm so excited for this upcoming trip. Experiencing something like this with inexperienced travelers brings me back to my first visits. We Insiders might dismiss certain attractions as outdated and in need of replacing or repair, but to my friends these attractions will be new, fresh, and, more oft than not, awe-inspiring.
With less than two weeks until departure, I cannot help but feel elated.
Besides, Disney is only ever "bad" when compared to itself. Compared to every other amusement park chain in the world, it is easily the best thing going.
BTW, you do get to do what all the other grads do:
backpacking through Europe- WORLD SHOWCASE (NO PASSPORT NEEDED)
camping across Canada- O CANADA 360
teaching English in Asia- TEACHING A YETI HOW TO DANCE IS MUCH SWEETER
safariing in Africa- KILIMANJARO SAFARIS ANYONE?
saving the ecosystem in the North- THE
driving to California- WHY DRIVE WHEN YOU CAN GO SOARIN OVER CALIFORNIA?
I'm travelling from the UK to Orlando in 2 weeks and I can't wait!
Does anbody know if Duelling Dragons at IOA is still gonna be open, I've heard it's supposed to be closing late August but have not seen any actual date yet?
I'm really looking forward to Manta but am a little dissapointed that (according to Screamscape) Rip,Ride,Rocket might not open til the end of October!
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney California Adventure
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Hollywood