Monday, January 14, 2008

The Orlando Chronicles

The first time I went to the theme parks in Orlando was in the 80's and so not to date myself I will keep mum about how old I was at the time, but let's say "early" teens. I had all these great memories of Disney World, Sea World and several other parks I had been taken to in this excursion trip. My sister and I were abroad for the first time and without parental supervision, though the tour guide was supposed to keep an eye on us and on other 30 kids or so in the same group. We had a blast and as good Brazilian tourists we shopped like crazy, buying all these silly souvenirs, tee shirts and related dust magnets.
Now, many years later I return to this magical land of illusion to relive those wonderful memories of a time gone by. Disney's Magic Kingdom remains exactly the same as I remember, not a topiary out of place. With the exception of a few new rides and Mickey's Toon Town the layout remains the same as in Walt Disney's 1970 opening day. The place seemed smaller than in my teen year's memory as we were able to cruise most of the park's rides in a few short hours. Maybe it was because I skipped several of the ones that were a bit too infantile for me now (20 some odd years later) or because I was more focused on what I wanted to experience. They also have this great "Fast Pass" system that allows you to "book" a ride a couple of hours in advance, skipping 40 minute waiting time standing in line for Space Mountain, a in-the-dark roller coaster, and other popular rides. I remember the long lines that Disney was known for and that was not my idea of a fun time.
I won't bore you with all little details but will force-feed you some lovely pictures I took there this past weekend.

I love the little girl in the shot above. She is covering her ears during one of the many musical numbers that take place throughout the day in front of Cinderella's castle . The music is loud as it's all happening outdoors and she looks so cute dressed as a little pink princess sitting on her dad's shoulders. At Disney they have this kid's beauty salon called Bibbity Bobbity Boutique that transforms little girls in head-to-toe Disney princess make-overs. It's so cute to see all these made-up Jon Bennets, covered in face glitter and sporting adorable Snow White dresses or Jasmine's harem pants! And they are all over the park! I am sure that this make-over costs a pretty penny because the outfits, hair and make-up were quite elaborate. Love it!

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