Thursday, March 17, 2011

Disney on Proper Hygiene and Fear

And so for the fifth time in my life, I went to Disney World. This is the sort of thing that makes me want to get all Susan Cooper-y and say in a boomy voice, "And then there were five." (Sooooo many bonus points if you take my meaning).

Disney with the Gratton's is always a lesson in strategy and quick crowd navigation. By now, I expect the plan to be laid out in beautiful detail days before we set foot in the park. This time was no different, but this time there were apps and the potential to reach maximum fun capacity was high. Tessa has already posted the play by play, so I think I'm going to talk about how Disney can still make me feel like a little kid and also about bathrooms.

Yes, bathrooms.

But let's start with feeling like I'm ten or twelve years old when I look up at the amazing display of fireworks (choreographed with music) and see hearts and Mickey's and REAL MAGIC in the sky. Or when, during one of their many 3D adventures, the seats/floor/air does something I didn't expect and I'm *actually* surprised. Or when my entire family breaks down in laughter over a shared joke and everyone is so, so happy. Or when I'm in line for Space Mountain and my legs are weak even though I know what's coming.

Space Mountain is really what does it to me. Every single time I get in that line, I remember the first time I rode it and how I begged my parents to take me. I remember feeling like I was finally old enough, wise enough, mature enough to be able to handle it and how I boasted it would be no big deal.

I remember being wrong. So very wrong. I remember being Scared To Death, but riding it again right away because my dad saw that there was no line and wanted to go again. He was probably just excited to finally have a chance to ride the thing. I couldn't back out and my legs were nothing but jello as we climbed back through the tunnels to the cars.

And that's what happens to me TO THIS DAY. I get in line for Space Mountain and I'm a bundle of irrational nerves. I sort of love that. It makes the ride thrilling every time I do it.

Usually, I can't do much other than hold on to the safety bar (seriously, SM is the only coaster on which I WILL NOT raise my hands) and hold my breath until it's over. By the third time (maybe?) I was feeling slightly more confident and when we were moving through the first tunnel before they shoot you into space I snapped a picture.

It's blurry because my hands were shaking with FEAR. Also, Tessa was yelling at me to put my phone away. I'll admit it wasn't the smartest thing to do on a roller coaster, but I think that photo was worth the risk.

But now let's talk about bathrooms. Why? Because there we found two remarkable things about them.

First, let's go with Disney, who cares so much about proper amusement park hygiene that they post signs in every single bathroom reminding you the steps required for washing your hands as though the process is as elusive as that for the three seashells. . .

Just in case you can't see in the photo, I'll repeat:

STEP ONE - Wet hands and apply soap.

STEP TWO - Scrub hands and rinse.

STEP THREE - Dry hands thoroughly using paper towels.

STEP FOUR - Re-read steps 1 through 3 to make sure you haven't missed one. All steps are crucial!

STEP FIVE - Take a picture and spread the word. Clean hands are happy hands!


So when it comes to bathrooms, I have to say that Hogsmeade wins. Hands down. Because this was their ladies room sign:

I mean, how awesome is that?

I was probably too thrilled when I noticed this sign. I can pretty much guarantee I was the only person photographing the public conveniences in Hogsmeade. At least on that day. ;)

And finally, my favorite picture from this trip, taken on the last day in the Magic Kingdom at just the right moment to capture some Mickey Magic.

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