i only wear white when it rains

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nothing tests your patience or olfactory willpower like disney

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Just returned from Disney, and I’m once again faced with the age-old question that plagues theme park visitors far and wide (especially wide): wash my clothes in the 2-hour sanitary rinse cycle or just throw them away?

Visiting six theme parks in four days is a lot like Nutella. In theory, chocolate and hazelnut should be a scrumptious coupling, but kids don’t exactly fight over it in the school cafeteria. I mean, sure, my weekend featured plenty of Disney magic, wonder and excitement. Like when I spotted the caffeinated oasis that is Starbucks across the lake at Universal Studios. Or when the couple sporting bride and groom Mickey ears accepted my Soarin’ fastpasses in exchange for promising to never kiss in public again.

But it always seemed like my joy was tempered by the fact that I’d get stuck in line next to a British woman with Nanny McPhee-like warts dangling out of her earlobes. Or behind a guy in the Toy Story line who for 84 minutes burped up his breakfast sausage in my direction. I can shut down my olfactories long enough to use a public restroom. But an 84-minute ride queue? About 30 minutes into that line I was secretly hoping the Toy Story ride included me plummeting to my death.

Irritating people: Disney’s biggest attraction

And then of course each day promised enough Space Violators, Slow Walkers and Loud Talkers to make anyone want to lay across the tracks at Test Track. With so many different categories of idiocy, it was really hard to determine who was the most annoying:

The Crossers: typically they travel in groups of four or more and lack the brainpower to understand the typical flow of pedestrian traffic. Crossers like to make sudden diagonal or horizontal jumps across crowds, forcing people all around them to stop short, tumble or face-plant into me.

The Stoppers: completely oblivious to the world around them, Stoppers aim to find the most congested area within any crowd to come to a screeching halt to read a map, calculate their body mass index, or ask their partner where “that hotdog place is at.”

The Roadblockers: a close relative to the Slow Walker, Roadblockers contain three or more usually overweight people who clasp hands tightly forming a human chain of adipose tissue across any walkway or path. Even with a stroller and child outfitted with steel-reinforced boots and the instruction to point her toes like pistols, it is nearly impossible to break through this blockade (the only exception being when the Starbucks at Universal is closing in 15 minutes and you’ve been told you may not swim across the lake to get there).

The Waiters: regardless of line length, Waiters will wait until the second they are at the ticket turnstile to even attempt to locate their passes. Waiters also decide what they’re having for lunch the minute they reach the cashier and not while they just waited in a 30-minute line complete with Jumbotron menus featured in three different languages as well as laminated menus handed to them two days ago by Disney employees. Because Waiters like to see me decompensate into a fit of tears on the ground because I’m so hungry, they also frequently ask questions such as, “How many pieces of lettuce are in the garden salad?” before finally ordering.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t add the following people to my “Why Didn’t YOU Get Lost in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground Instead of my Child?” list:

– Anyone who gnaws on a turkey leg. Since when is tearing into an animal carcass the size of Cinderella’s castle while you sit on a steaming hot sidewalk acceptable behavior?

– Disney newlyweds. Um, sorry, but I fail to see the romance in fanny packs, foot odor and Mickey ears.

– New Yorkers

– Adults who get their “passports” stamped at Epcot countries.

You can’t live on 42-ounce fountain cokes and funnel cake: I’ve tried

If you do decide to visit Orlando for a theme parkathon and are concerned about where to take a little respite from the incorrigible crowds, I can recommend two excellent napping areas:

– Ellen’s Energy Adventure ride at Epcot (it’s dark, cold and 37 minutes long).

– The light on International Drive and Orangewood Blvd. It is a little longer than Ellen’s, but no dinosaurs.

As far as dining goes, if you’ve ever contemplated a liquid fast, now’s the time. Admittedly the veggie burgers at Cosmic Rays in Magic Kingdom are edible because you can hide their taste with sautéed mushrooms, onions and other toppings from the topping bar. Just try to ignore the people who so clearly are just eating plates of toppings. Witnessing this will not allow you to eat anything. Ever. Again.

You may want to visit the potty first

If you are incontinent or just drank an iced trenta passion tea, I do not recommend riding the Jimmy Neutron Blast at Universal Studios. It’s amazing to me that they have warnings for pregnant women, people with heart conditions or back problems, but nowhere does it say, “Those with bladders the size of thimbles may not ride.” That really may explain the smell.

Sure they boast a lazy river and 4-star accommodations, but who cares?

Because Disney hotels contain enough allergens to make my eyes puffy for a week following my stay, I’ve become a regular guest at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes. Primarily because they have a Starbucks in the lobby. But they do serve a fantastic breakfast buffet at Citron that often is complimentary with your stay if you book using the AAA rate. Blah, blah, blah. They have a Starbucks.

Living Poor Life Coach gives me an A- for the weekend

My “Living Poor Life Coach” approves of the JW Marriott (if not the $28 nightly valet), and that I refrained from stopping at the Burberry outlet on my way home tonight. And, yes, maybe my daughter would have preferred the $6 pizza outside of Mission Space. But the $19.50 pizza in Italy that she didn’t eat included a street show if you craned your neck. And stood up on your chair.

I think it’s even possible I’ll get extra credit for refusing to pay $35 for express valet at Universal and instead pay only $25 for the regular valet (which means you could walk to your hotel and back three times before they bother to bring you your car).

I’m just afraid any earned extra credit will be offset by my $149pp SeaWorld passport ticket expenditure so that we could attend the last hour of its “Spooktacular.” But we did eat at Perkins that night. So I’m getting there.

A Stopper in action at Epcot

Looks reasonable enough

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

October 17, 2010 at 11:05 pm

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