Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stray Cats

I love all of Florida, not just Walt Disney World. No, really. My husband laughs when I say this, because as soon as we hit the Florida state line, I make a beeline for Disney property. Do you remember the scene in Hercules when Herc carried his dad’s cart into town on his back? Those are the lengths I’d go to in order to cross the Disney property line. Then when it’s time to leave, my husband has to pry my hands free from our hotel room balcony and drag me kicking and screaming into the car. No two-year-old on the planet can hold a candle to me when it comes to tantrum throwing.

And yet, I really regret missing out on some of the other experiences Florida has to offer. Just, you know, not enough to actually leave Disney to participate in them. So my thought is: Wouldn’t it be great if I could have some of these quintessential Florida experiences on Disney property?

When I think of the non-Disney portions of Florida, my mind conjures up a deck bar overlooking the water. A band is playing appropriate music – be it steel drum or Jimmy Buffet. Some people are relaxing on the deck drinking tasty concoctions with little umbrellas in them, while a few romantic couples dance in the sand. As the sun dips below the horizon and the moon comes up over the water, the laughter and chatter of the guests mingles with the music as everyone lets their cares and worries melt away. That is Florida to me.

Unfortunately, places like this are hard to come by in Walt Disney World. And now that Pleasure Island has closed, adult entertainment (I mean that in a good way) has become hit-or-miss, aside from Jellyrolls. And while I love Jellyrolls and the other entertainment at the Boardwalk, I really wish there was something that was, well, just more Floridian.

Luckily, Disney has the perfect spot for what I described. When you think Florida and party hot-spot, what do you think? Key West, of course!

Disney’s Old Key West Resort is a DVC property, located along the Sassagoula River, near Downtown Disney. In this immersive tropical ambiance Disney has created a retreat highlighting the romance and adventure of Key West. My concept would fit in beautifully here.

Of course, it would need a back-story. After all, this is Disney. Everything has a back-story, even the now-defunct clubs on Pleasure Island. It would have to tie into Key West history, but translate into a fun Disneyfied theme. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

In the late 1940’s, free thinker and old maid Mallory Duval was something of an embarrassment to her wealthy family. They decided to send her to live on the family’s property on Key West, far from the critical eye of society. Alone and bereft of acquaintances, Mallory started making friends with many of the local stray cat population. Each evening as she relaxed to her favorite songs coming from the radio, she’d set out milk and food for some of the neighborhood cats. In seemingly no time, as soon as Mallory turned on the music, cats would start showing up at her back door. Soon local pet owners learned of the special treats and games Mallory provided for the stray cats, and started stopping by with their own pets to enjoy Mallory’s hospitality. In this welcome environment, friends and felines would gather for good company and great music under a warm Florida moon. This tradition continues today at “Stray Cats”, the new entertainment venue at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Lounge on the deck or dance on the sand while listening to an eclectic mix of Calypso songs, classic hits, and beloved Disney favorites. Try some of our house specialties, like the Thomas O’Malley Orange Martini, Cheshire Cat Colada, or Oliver’s Citrus Twist.

What do you think? Is this somewhere you’d like to visit? Could Disney ever be convinced that something along these lines would be a good idea? Let me know at!

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