Thursday, 30 April 2009

It's a perfect (mouse-shaped) world - except for swine flu

‘Hey, shall we take the stairs? They’re just there, honey.’
‘I don’t think so. Let’s wait for the elevator.’
‘OK, honey.’
Now let’s get this straight. There are sixteen stairs and they go DOWN. And we wonder why Americans get fat? Not that I can talk but, hey you lot were right – I DO feel nearly svelte over here. Disney is apparently keen on ‘healthy choices’ but when one of the ‘must-tries’ is a bucket of ice cream, and when a strawberry daiquiri comes, not just with a strawberry on top but strawberry and CREAM, well – you get the picture.

I’m trying hard but it’s tough to resist fresh waffles and hot maple syrup, particularly when the waffles come in Mickey Mouse shapes with the obligatory ears. I know, I know – am I cracking? Am I turning into a Mouseperson? We were joined at breakfast by Goofy, Minnie and Donald (no, no, stop it Jane, I mean we were joined by people dressed up in big costumes) who posed for photographs and gave us their autographs.
Then we headed out to Typhoon Island, one of the two water parks on the complex. You have to hand it to Disney, it’s immaculate. They’ve thought of the lot. Children don’t ‘get lost’ (which could sound frightening) they’re told their silly parents are lost and get taken to a point where they can identify the errant idiots who lost their offspring. You forgot your towel? You can rent one. Want to keep your stuff safe? Rent a locker. Get thirsty? Buy a refillable mug for just over ten dollars.

I have this thing about the perfect beach day. In my head there is clean pure white sand, soft balmy water and we don’t have to trek for three miles to get from the car park to the beach. In my dreams, there are no sharp rocks, no jellyfish and no cod to nibble your toes as you swim (it happened to me once, I swear it did). OK, well this is it. This is beach perfect. A huge sweep of sand, warm blue water and hey, every 90 seconds a four foot high mega wave swoops out (but fades to ripples by the time it reaches the shallow water where the tinies play).
Early morning or late at night you can learn to surf here, without any of the vagaries of the real sea. You can even learn how to snorkel and scuba dive in a ten foot deep snorkelling tank, looking down at stingrays, leopard sharks and tropical fish.

It’s all so easy, it’s almost scary. The sun is shining and this is a perfect world. It’s safe and the only crimes committed are those against good taste. People swoosh slowly round in rubber rings down the Lazy River which takes them to the next attraction (saves walking). And if you’re feeling too lazy to walk up to the top of the water rollercoaster, hey, don’t worry about it, there’s an elevator to take you to the top. People shoot through tubes and are spat out at the bottom at something ridiculous like 30 mph. Only thing that worried me was if some of them might get stuck and stay jammed in the tube. Maybe they need a width restriction.

I was seduced by Typhoon Island, much to the amusement of the other bloggers. ‘She’s cracking…’ ‘She’s smiling…’ And yes I was. If you want to veg out in the sun with your children right royally entertained by endless slides and waves and amusements, this is the place to come. Is it real? By heck no. It’s a bubble, protected from everything dangerous and nasty and dirty. Except of course, swine flu. Lying in bed this morning, watching the news I heard that several students in Carolina have flu-like symptoms having been to, yup, Walt Disney World in Florida. Just great. Not sure even Disney can find a way around this one. Hmm, masks with ears maybe.



Aaagh, picture won't load. Ah well, you can just imagine the picture of me being cuddled by Minnie Mouse. And laugh. A lot.

24 comments:

Cathy said...

kind of hurt by the fat American remark but I'm still hoping that you can enjoy yourself while visiting. It is a bubble. It's an amusement park when you peel away all the sparkle. It's a place to just enjoy. I've had those waffles and they are good but I had a yoghurt and granola breakfast at Tony's that was wonderful and they had a fountain there of Lady and Tramp kissing. It was sweet.

Yummy Mammy said...

You all sound like you are having so much fun. Been reading the others blogs as well and getting increasingly jealous now xx

Jude said...

That's what families want for a holiday, isn't it? A bubble of security, safety, clean and entertainment, for kids anyway..........

Mud in the City said...

You haven't won me over yet! Things that are too 'perfect' freak me out and make me start twitching....

Fennie said...

being an old sourpuss, with an extreme dislike of 'rides' I still don't want to go attractive though you make it sound.

As far as I am concerned this whole pandemic business could have been avoided simply by dropping the word 'swine.' People get ordinary flu (and die from it) all the time. And different varieties of flu appear and disappear. Is this really any different?

The law of averages will keep you safe, unless you're in the habit of winning the National Lottery.

claire p said...

You see, I told you you'd like it.

Swine flu arrived in Devon yesterday by the way, just to cheer you up!!

LittleBrownDog said...

We want that picture of you being cuddled by Minnie, Jane, and I won't stop hounding you until we get it. Sounds as though you're having a good time despite yourself - just you wait; by the end of the trip, you'll be waiting for the elevators to take you and your bucket of ice-cream back up onto your seat on the plane. Enjoy.

elizabethm said...

I am not sure that the synthetic perfect world does not freak me out far more than imperfection ever could.
No thanks, it is making me feel quite funny. You see, just an awkward sod I fear.

Maddie Grigg said...

You got your Mickey Mouse ears yet?
If you want a laugh about the serious subject of swine flu, take a look at the BBC News clip on my Torbay journalist friend's blog:
http://chipsahoyblog.blogspot.com
Keep having fun x

Erica Douglas said...

Cynical Jane is one the turn, you heard it here first.

Bet she didn't tell you she insists on wearing her mouse ears to breakfast every morning, you know, just to make us laugh.

ps there's something very wrong about a word verication 'cocitche', I though this was a family friendly blog, oh no, must have been elsewhere :)

Single Parent Dad said...

Typhoon Island sounds fantastic, but I bet they don't help you out if you forget your wallet.

Celtic Heart said...

Is it me or is she starting to sound a bit Stepford? Only more scary: Stepford with Ears! Don't worry, just bring me back some of those maple syrup waffles and I'll forgive you for not taking me as a bag carrier!

Crucifix said...

Oh YES!!!! We want those pictures of you and Minnie.

HER ON THE HILL said...

God Jane, sounds ghastly. Not my kinda hang-out honey. And just as I was getting round to the idea of taking the kids (and hence ticking it off the guilt list) in the October half term...

Like Elizabeth, I'm an awkward sod and can't bear being packaged or placed in synthetic environments or places that have grown unnaturally quickly (Las Vegas freaked me out and even New York didn't quite sit happily with me).

Still, they say you should confront your fears - so may yet be out there in the Florida sunshine come the Autumn guzzling gallon tubs of icecream and sporting Micky ears and taking pleasure from my children's pleasure. Alternatively, I could just take them to Alton Towers. It's just down the road and we haven't been there yet and if it's good enough for Princess Di, then it's good enough for me! Sorted.

Frances said...

Please take care Jane. Do not fall for this fakery. Eat the waffles, but watch out for your mind!

What does it cost for a family of ... say two parents and two children to have full day at D World? Have you been able to interview any of the employees (in or out of costume) to find out more about how they came to be working there? (Florida is not known for great schools.) Is business up or down since this time last year.

Just a bit worried about you. Please don't take the elevator! xo

Erica Douglas said...

Shocking footage of Jane, has to be seen to be believed!!!!!!!!!!!!! Click here - http://www.littlemummy.com/2009/04/30/video-cynical-jane-in-dance-shocker/

Erica Douglas said...

Looks like you need to copy and paste that link, be warned though, it's not the Jane we know and love!!!!

Preseli Mags said...

I was going to comment about Stepford mice, but Celtic Heart beat me to it! I know my children would love it - which is a scary thought. Give in the the waffles and maple syrup - pleeeese!

Billie Jane said...

Oh dear... my prayers didnt work... I do believe you are enjoying yourself. It wont last you know... :-) sounds like bah humbug doesnt it? Jealousy that's all.......

Milla said...

Howdy mousegirl. surprise surprise, the picture of you and Minnie Mouse won't load... hmmmm. have you even tried?? but, yes, having followed littlemummy's link I've seen all I need to see - you ARE enjoying yourself. Go on, give into it, buy those ears.

Irish Eyes said...

Methinks that young one is taking the Mickey!

Elevators, perfect sand huh! Don't worry, it'll be back to two mile hikes to nearest beach past umpteen cars parked along country lanes, carrying all that paraphanelia like sand buckets, picnic baskets, rugs etc, during the forthcoming sizzling summer we are alleged to get.

Why does the word sizzling summer in one column and swine flu in another in our local rag make the hairs on the back of my neck stand?

Waffles tho' - deeeeeelicious!

Exmoorjane said...

That isn't me in the clip....I was cloned....littlemummy lies (another blogging shocker!)....(and she's fuelled by Baileys BIG time).....

Calico Kate said...

'Fraid I checked out the clip - "go girl"!
I too thought it a little Stepford-ish and am rather relieved not to have smalls that want go there! The dogs have their own ears and the cats catch the mice, B's health has me on a permanent rollercoaster why would I need to go to the USA for more???? Well the sun would be nice.

Great to see you're having a good time inspite of yourself!
CKx

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