One of the many, many commonalities shared between m’lady and I is our general nonobservance of common mating rituals such as celebrating Valentine’s Day or things like anniversaries. Heck, we don’t even know the date of our anniversary (though I suppose if we ever actually get married* that might change), and though we both know what day Valentine’s Day is, neither of us cares.
It’s like the whole Kid’s Day thing. Why isn’t there a Kids Day when there is both a Father’s Day and a Mother’s Day? Because every day is Kid’s Day. Similarly, m’lady and I don’t have to observe anything special when February 14th rolls around because for us every day is Valentine’s Day.
So, when we woke up on the day in question in 2014 in Celebration, Florida, we shared a wonderful breakfast together, swooned over our shared joy of being in each other’s company, and got a park-hopper’s pass to the local Disney Franchise Tourist Magnets.
With the good old Magical Kingdom already under our belts from the previous day we made for Hollywood Studios. It was my first time visiting this element of Disney and I was as excited as a guy could get; if I was any younger I probably would have peed my pants.
Why all this giddy glee? Because the hardworking crowd-pleasing geniuses at Disney Co. had purchased both Star Wars and The Muppets, two franchises that encompassed pretty much 100% of my childhood joy. Oh, the bliss in my soul when I rounded a corner only to be confronted by a life-sized AT-AT Walker! Imagine the near-weeping joy I felt when I actually sat myself down in an exact replica of the Muppet Theatre! The rides, the installations, not to mention the astounding gift shops! Oh, it was all so, so wonderful.
To this day the two most-complimented pieces of apparel I own is my Kermit the Frog baseball cap and my Property of Jedi Training 1977 t-shirt.
Sometimes Disney is very easy to love.
Of course milking the Star Wars and Muppets exhibits and rides for all I could took up the bulk of the day so when it was finally time to hop to another park we had only a pittance of minutes left before closing time. So when we arrived at Epcot Center (another first-time visit for me) we had only about an hour left to see the place.
Which was a challenge; Epcot Center contains the entire known world, after all.
So we shunned any and all rides (which as far as I could tell wasn’t many) and raced to a few of our favourite nations to see how Disney interpreted these far-flung cultures.
And y’know, it didn’t take me very long to notice that sometimes Disney is very easy to hate.
Pablum-ized clichéd flavours and outfits immediately reduced entire nations down to airport gift-shop status, professing the cultural import of such worn-out physical platitudes as wooden shoes, kimonos, and lederhosen. It was a seasoned travellers vomitorium (both in the actual meaning and the misconception of the word), and to be frank, having just an hour to explore the park was plenty of time.
Egad. It just hit me now how different the day might have been had we visited the two parks in reverse order. Just imagining it makes me shudder and convulse.
*We did and I know it’s sometime in October.