I’m back from Disney World – where I spent Christmas with Zhannie, the kids and in-laws – and what a relief to be back home.
Why is it a relief?
Isn’t it supposed to be a blast?
Well, yeah – but sooner or … even sooner … you realize that there’s no place like home.
Even so, In between jaunts from one park to another, I observed the following about reality:
1. A large portion of the people visiting Disney are more than a few tadpoles overweight. Many are so fat they made my wife and I wonder why we even bother to concern ourselves with our own physical condition. So you’re a few pounds overweight and feel a bit OFF and you catch yourself saying things like, “Boy do I feel fat today” … STOP and ask the following: ‘Compared to what – or whom.” Go to Disney and see what I mean.
2. Disney is smart in making sure they have wheel chairs and scooters for the obese. It not only shows their mammoth concern – but it makes them m-oney, too. My daughter hurt her leg and had trouble walking one day. We put her in a scooter. It was $31 for the day. I told Zhannie they should charge according to weight. If they did, some of the behemoths would be paying about $500 for the privilege to use a wheel chair or scooter. Maybe that would get them walking.
3. You can find fresh fruit at a few of the concession stands – as well as some carrot and celery sticks. You can also buy Dasani water – perhaps the very worst choice of water anyone can drink – but what are your choices at the point of thirst. Dehydration or Dasani. What a whirld we live in.
4. Disney parks are meticulous about details. Everything is high tech. With one exception. The bathrooms. Isn’t it funny that you can go on sci-fi rides at EPCOT – then go to the bathroom, wash your hands and find a paper towel machine with a hand crank. With all the gabillions Disney brings into their Kingdom in a single day – you’d think they’d have a space age paper towel machine or
hand blower. They have them in most any local restaurant I dine at in town. All you do is get your finger print close to the light and presto – out comes the paper. No such luxury like that for the penny pinchers at Disney.
5. At the conclusion of every f.ree ride at almost every park, you enter a store where you see a photo of your self – which you must buy for $19.95 – not including the frame – which is on special TODAY for only $24.95. Then there are the shirts, pens, mugs, caps and so on. Tugging along, of course, is your son or daughter, who insists on getting EVERY photo. You’d have to be a Scroo-Grinch to say “NO” – right. We bought the whole collection.
6. Actually, you MUST say NO – and often. If Zhannie and I agreed to every, “Daddy, can I have that,” “Mommy, can Iget that,” – there’d be no room in our vehicle – much less our home, to store all the junk.
7. Whilst you’re enjoying getting beaten into submission from the crowds, the heat, the merchandizing and so on – along comes yet another reason to milk yourself further. Look,
it’s Goofy, Daffy, Mickey or some other imaginary critter. And oh my, they’re giving autographs – for no charge at all. Waaah, amazing.
8. Upon leaving one of the parks, one of my children asked, “Daddy, when do we get to open presents.” I smiled and said, “You already did, the moment we walked into Disney. This entire trip is your Christmas present.” A lady walking nearby with her kids overheard the conversation and gave me the thumbs up – with a wink, as if to say, “I had the same talk with my kids.”
9. Upon getting on yet another train to enter yet another park, I had trouble finding a seat. A man called out, “Hey, Matt Furey, there’s room for you here.” I nodded and got on next to him, his wife and two daughters. “Nice to know you can’t go anywhere without someone recognizing you, huh,” he said. “Yes, it sure is,” I replied, sarcastically. We did the shake hands thing, followed by the name thing, and the where you’re from and how long you’re here for thing. His name’s Brandon – he’s from Windsor, Ontario – came to Disney and avoided 10 inches of snow. He and his wife were in great physical condition. Message to Americans: If you want to lose weight, move to Canada.
10. The one great thing about the Marriott we stayed in was that it had sliding glass doors that you could open to get fresh air. Tis not the norm. And it became necessary when our toilet over-flowed one night. Our request for a new room was met with, “We’ll get back to you on that.”
They never did. We exited the hotel in the morning even though we were booked to stay another night.
11. Regardless of how much you pay to stay in a hotel, you must take the bed sheets off the mattress and pull the pillow cases off the pillows – and throw them on the floor in a heap if you want your linens changed each day. If you don’t do this, chances are excellent you will be sleeping in the same linens night after night – until you go home or get a new hotel.
12. In Magic Kingdom’s parade, the anchor was none other than Santa Claus. And guess what he said as
he rode through the park with his reindeer and sled. If you guessed “Merry Christmas,” you guessed wrong. Nope – Santa bellowed out something I never heard him say in all my life in a single movie or tee-vee show. With far less enthusiasm than M-C – he crowed “Happy Holidays.” Huh, I thought. Something ain’t right with this picture.
13. I went to the bathroom. Vomit all over the floor and urine all over the seats with no toilet paper. I refrained from using anything but the sink to wash my hands. Made a rush for the paper towels. Pushed the hand crank – nothing came out. Happy Holidays, chump. This is what you get for going to Magic Kingdom when it’s Christmas and another 99,999 people are here.
14. Day after Christmas I read a couple emails in which the words “Boxing Day” were used. What they hell is that, me thinks. Never heard the term in all my life – nor do I care much for it now that I’ve heard it. “Boxer Rebellion” – hey, that’s cool. But “Boxing Day.” Turns out that some people –
or a lot of them – box all their crap the day after Christmas. Maybe we do things differently where I grew up. Or maybe my parents didn’t give me enough physical gifts for our family to qualify for “Boxing Day.” Each kid, traditionally, got ONE present – and we had to draw names for which member of the family we had to get a GIFT for. Singular – not plural. One person. One gift. Meanwhile other kids I knew would get heaps of presents. I’m still pissed. And that’s why my kids got no presents from me for Christmas. Nothing to unwrap. No paper to throw away. I give my kids a “trip” instead. Last year it was Manhattan. This year Disney. We got them a few things while visiting the parks – but it’s
minimal compared to what they asked for.
15. Most importantly, Zhannie and I, and the in-laws, give our kids the gift of time – and the gift of love. It requires a different kind of unwrapping – and it doesn’t come in a box.
16. Meanwhile Disney offers a 40-year membership plan – for the family, to visit everything in the world that is Disney related. And I think it’s only sixteen grand. Gotta love ’em. I just hope the bathrooms in the other places have sensors for their paper towel machines.
17. Last night I met with a friend who went for Christmas dinner with his father-in-law, who kept moving the time for the meal earlier and earlier. Afterward he realized that he did so in order to only pay lunch time prices. Normally this would have upset him – but this time he laughed. He and I exchanged one story after another, from the bed sheets to the over-flowing toilet to the hand-crank paper towel machines – and we smiled and laughed through it all.
Now THAT is the spirit of Christmas. Ho-Ho-HO no matter what.
P.S. I didn’t have any specials this year because I’m planning something else in the New Year. Keep your eyes and ears open and peeled. In the meantime, make sure you become a member of the Furey Faithful and SAVE BIG.