Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just Hanging Out

Compromise is sometimes defined as an agreement whereby both parties get what neither of them wanted.  So often on trips to Walt Disney World, we spend so much time worrying about whether or not everyone is having fun, that we forget to enjoy ourselves.  I don’t think I fully realized this until my first solo trip to the World.  For the first time, I could be completely selfish.  So when left to my own devices, where I did I spend the bulk of my evenings?  You guessed it; the ESPN Club.

Okay, okay; bear with me here.  I realize that with no one else along, I could have a quiet, leisurely meal at a fine restaurant.  I could hit the parks and experience minimal waits by utilizing the single rider line.  I could even get in some quality shopping time (and believe me, I did).  But when I just want to hang out and relax, nothing beats the ESPN Club.

I’m not going to claim to be a sports expert.  Heck, the only sports I really care about are football and baseball.  But if you like sports even a little bit, this place can’t be topped.  

First, there are the bartenders.  They are awesome.  They work hard, serve efficiently, and keep the crowd entertained and energized. 

There is a good selection of beers on tap (Bud Light, Blue Moon, Yuengling Lager, Samuel Adams Seasonal), as well as bottled beer.  Of course, you can always go for a sissy old fruity drink, but you’re in a sports bar, dude!

The food is typical bar fare, but that’s exactly what I want with my beer and football.  There is a time and place for everything, and this is the time and place for nachos and wings!

Best of all though, is the atmosphere.  During baseball season, you will generally find two camps: Yankees fans, and everyone else. I may not be able to agree with a Red Sox or White Sox fan on much, but at least we can unite in our hatred for the Evil Empire.  (I’m just kidding, of course.  I don’t hate Yankees fans; I just enjoy sparring with them.  A lot.)  Now, football season is another story.  I DO hate the Baltimore Ravens, passionately.  And after a few beers, I’m pretty vocal about that.  It’s amazing that I always manage to leave the club unscathed, now that I think about it…

Do you have a favorite hang-out spot in the World?  Fill me in over at www.facebook.com/disneygene

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Common Mythconceptions

There are a lot of interesting stories that float around about Walt Disney World.  I’m sure that you, being the dedicated fan that you are, already know that these are just urban legends.  However I know that I, in my quest for Disney trivia, have been suckered into believing a few of these at one time or another, so I thought I post a little refresher, just in case.

10. A guest was decapitated on Space Mountain – Okay, eeww, and no.  Can you imagine being on the train below his if this were true?  I’ve also heard rumors that it was actually a test dummy that Imagineering had stand up on the ride that was decapitated.  This I can neither confirm nor deny.

9. No guests are ever declared dead on Disney property – Legend has it that Disney hurries up and gets them off property before they are officially declared dead.  Anyone who has followed Disney in the news the past couple of years can tell you that this isn’t true.  Car accidents, bus accidents, monorail accidents – hey people; let’s be careful out there, okay?

8. While we’re discussing death, there’s always the lovely story about the cast member dressed as Mickey who fell/was thrown into Seven Seas Lagoon and was electrocuted because of the air-conditioning unit in his suit.  While I can’t guarantee that Mickey has never fallen into the lake, any CM can tell you that those lovely little costumes that they sport are definitely not air-conditioned.  Heat exhaustion might be a concern, but not electrocution.

7, 6, and 5.  Had enough talk of death?  Great; let’s move on to ghosts.  Specifically, those 999 Happy Haunts residing in the Haunted Mansion.  First, let’s get one thing straight; Walt Disney is not one of the singing busts. The face people usually mistake for Uncle Walt is actually that of Thurl Ravenscroft.  That’s okay though, because people often give Mr. Ravenscroft credit for being the voice of the Ghost Host.  That’s actually Paul Frees, folks.  And one more HM myth: the alleged “wedding ring” of the Mansion’s serial bride that people claim to find outside the Mansion.  Have you seen that thing?  It’s huge! Her bracelet?  Maybe.  Her ring?  No effing way.  I believe that’s just a remnant of an old post in the ground, nothing more.

4. The spires on Cinderella Castle were not designed to be detached during severe weather.  That castle was built to withstand hurricanes, not get disassembled like a big Lego set in fear of one.

3. Speaking of the castle; Walt never had an office there.  He passed away before construction on the castle even began. Simple math.

2.  If you think you can burn enough calories walking around Walt Disney World to compensate for eating whatever you want, you either walk way more than me or want to eat way less than I want to eat.  I walk everywhere I can at WDW (I never boat between Epcot and DHS, or between those parks and the Epcot Resorts, I take stairs instead of elevators if it’s three floor or less, etc.), but even I seldom walk over 20,000 steps in a day.  That is a lot, I’ll grant you.  Depending on the size of your steps, that’s anywhere from 8 to 10 miles.  Depending upon your weight, the average person burns about 100 calories per mile.  Now as an example, one of those big old greasy Turkey Legs you see people munching on in the parks is conservatively estimated to be 1,100 calories.  That means if you walked all day, you wouldn’t even burn off one of those.  Heaven only knows how far you’d have to go to burn off a scrumptious Butterfinger Cupcake or Carrot Cake Cookie from DHS.  The good news, however, is it takes 3,500 extra calories to gain a pound.  So unless you go completely crazy, your jeans should still fit when you get home.  (Assuming that they fit when you left, that is.)

1.  One of the horses on the carrousel is officially “Cinderella’s Horse”.  I’ll admit, I held on to this misconception for a looong time.  I’d always keep a special eye out for that pretty steed in the second row with a gold ribbon on its tail.  But according to Disney Historian Jim Korkis, this was never actually meant to be Cinderella’s horse.  I believe it was a story invented to make a “Make a Wish” guest feel better about being stuck on one of the interior horses that doesn’t go up and down, but I can’t positively confirm that for you.  I guess it really doesn’t matter because the whole carrousel belongs to Prince Charming now, anyway.

I’m sorry if I sounded like Debbie Downer in this post, but I know that you want to make sure that the trivia that you bore – er, I mean regale your friends and family with is as accurate as possible!