Notes on D-World 9-19-08 Friday

Epcot is the thing this day. We have yet to do the left side of the park (facing in), and we really want to ride Mission Space again, though this time, due to my wishy-washy (but decidedly not washboard) stomach, I will ride the wimpier version. The shuttle buses line up almost perfectly for us on the way, and we are there in less than half an hour. Unbeknownst to us, there are people riding in with us, whom we notice, that we will get to know briefly on the way back. When we enter the park, we stop for an official photo in front of Spaceship Earth -- that's the gigantic, omnipresent golfball -- but when we walk up to the entrance for the ride, we notices how long the lines are, and we decide to catch it later.

None of us have ever seen Ellen's Energy Adventure, and yes, Ellen is Ms. Degeneres (or Mr. Degeneres or Mrs. De Rossi or however they wish to have it), and yes, she is alternately charming and annoying on this ride. The filmed portions combine her with Bill Nye the Science Guy, Alex Trebek, Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Richards, and there are some mild laughs to be had, but the audience seems nervous about the entire affair. I think this is a ride you only ever do once, since it is very long (37 minutes, as it admits at the front entrance) and rather slow ungainly in construction. Giant moving theatre-cars slide slowly around a multi-screen theatre, and then you move equally slowly through massive prehistoric landscapes featuring dinosaurs and other reptiles (who don't necessarily exist even in the same time period as other creatures in the same section of landscape. (Dimetrodons and apatosauruses? I don't think so...)

We next hit the easy version (i.e., the home game version) of Mission Space, where Gary Sinise sends you off on a "deep space" mission to Mars, which really isn't all that deep as far as space goes, but... Still pretty cool, but wish I could get the girls to experience the effect of the full version. No use trying though, especially since my manner of describing the difference between the two is saying to multiple the intensity of the easy one about four times and then add nausea to the mix. Why am I wimping out and doing the easy one. The reason I give is that I don't want to ride the rough one alone, and want to hang out with the girls instead. The real reason is that my stomach is already kicking my ass, or doing something more internally-based to it, before going near this ride. Believe me, this one will make you hurl if you just look to the side during it; don't need to make things easier to hurl by going on with an existing condition.

Jen and Sande, unlike myself, are both hungry, so we boat across the pond over to Morocco and eat at the Marakkesh, one of our favorite dining places from last year. For the first time, we get seated next to the band for first time, which is tremendously loud. I already have a headache going, so the level of noise makes me unable to appreciate the rather attractive, as most of the women in this restaurant are, belly dancer undulating around the tables. So, in a rather uncharacteristic manner for someone who both loves live music and half-naked women of exotic origin, I am thankful when they take an immediate break.

I order the couscous with chicken, which I recall being a particular delight from last year, but I forget to order my customary mint tea. Large sections of veggies in the couscous prove delicious, but my stomach is unable to handle much of anything. I eat half of my meal and have to excuse myself. Yes, I am puking my guts out, and will continue to do so off and on for the next 24 hours. I go outside into the cool shade of the Moroccan deli to settle myself down, and people-watch for a while until the ladies meet up with me post-dessert.

We head out of the World Showcase and go to The Seas pavilion to ride the Finding Nemo clamshell ride. Still only an OK, but I do like the part with Crush very much, where the clamshells get surrounded by a giant tube of swirling video-projected water. We get off the ride and look at the real sharks, dolphins and a manatee for a while before heading to the front of the park for a second shot at riding Spaceship Earth.

I do the ride properly this time (I messed up the photo portion a couple of days earlier, you might recall) with my usual arched-eyebrow pose, and I choose "Home" as my future interest. In my specially constructed future, I end up traveling about on a cool super-bike and the walls of my home change mood and location on command. Jen and Sande end up on the big screen, but somehow mine doesn't. Sande emails us postcards from the mail center at the end of the ride, which show our cartoon versions mucking about in our possible futures. Cheesy, but fun.

We head back to our cabin to cool down from the massively humid afternoon. Completely drenched, we each take a show, and then watch an episode of Spaced ("Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits, rabbits, rabbits!") and snack for a bit. No matter what I eat, though, my stomach flips about on me. After a bit, we bus to Hollywood Studios to try and catch Fantasmic at 8:00. Still have some extra time to kill, but Toy Story Midway Mania is far too busy by the time we get there, so we play restaurant tag trying to catch one that is still open or even mildly vegetarian. After four attempts, we end up at the buffet at Hollywood and Vine. Good selection for Jen, and there is a good chance we will end up there tomorrow for lunch with Mary and Marg as well, since we are spending the day portion at the same park. I eat very little though, and pretty much waste what is an all-you-can-eat opportunity. All I can eat is about a half plate. Really, its the way I try to eat in my normal life anywhere but on vacation: half meals.

Fantasmic show here is vastly different from the Disneyland version. Pocahontas still sucks, no matter how they work the damn movie into shows. Snake is Jafar transformed instead of Kaa. No pirate ship. Dragon is more impressive looking on stage overall, but its death scene at the hands of a giant costumed mouse works better in CA. Death is too prolonged and less impactful here. The Mickey illusion at the end is pretty damn fun if not obvious to anyone over toddler age, and the crowd reacts, well, idiotically but appropriately. This is a Disney fantasy after all. When in elaborately reconstructed everywhere but Rome, do as the elaborately reconstruction everywhere but Romans do.

Leaving, the two families from the bus that rode in with us turn out to be from Fullerton area. We end up waiting for a second bus in lieu of standing all the way home, so we hang with them for a bit and they are fun, chatty folk. Once we make it back home, we lounge about for a while watching a couple more episodes of Spaced and then head to our respective beds.


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