Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Annoying Tourist Photos!

With a special shout-out to those of you suffering through the -22 weather we hear is going on back on our home turf...

Here's LC learning how to relax at the Margaritaville restaurant inside the Universal theme park...

A thoughtful gorilla at Disney's Animal Adventure. We only had time to go through the African safari; it was very interesting, and despite what appears to be a valiant attempt to keep the exhibits as natural as possible, some of the animals genuinely seem to take on the cheerful, tourist-friendly characteristics of other Disney staff.

We were, I understand, incredibly fortunate to catch a glimpse of the resident cheetahs at Animal Adventure -- most tourists never see them. (Semi-Stepson advises going on the safari early in the morning, when the animals are more active.)

A scene from the Hoopty-Doo Revue dinner theatre presentation -- schmaltzy fun, with all you can eat literally brought out in buckets by affable waiters like the charming Robert who served us.

Epcot at night. This has really been my favorite theme-park destination so far. We spent the entire day there, right through the nightly fireworks finale, and had a swell time. Note: This is not the place for the calorie-conscious. Just fuggetaboutit and enjoy yourself. (We did a wine tasting and noshed on French pastries, then split a brat mit Kraut, among other 'round-the-park nibbles, then finished up at the Moroccan exhibit for dinner at the fast-food outlet of the Moroccan restaurant.)

An Uncle Walt original -- the Small World cruise, Fellow Traveler's favorite destination within the Magic Kingdom.

A glimpse of a fast-moving Polynesian fire dancer at our Spirit of Aloha luau tonight. The dancing, food and service were wonderful -- a tip o' the hat to our wonderful and highly entertaining waitress Kim -- the scripted part of the show not so much. I know that Disney is for children, blah-blah-blah, but I think that this is one attraction where anyone under the age of about ten belongs somewhere else, so that the show can dispense with shtick designed to appeal to the very young. In this case the presentation began with a rather confusing hip-hoppish slapstick number that had nothing to do with Hawaii or greater Polynesia. Hey, Disney folks: I'm from Michigan; if I want to hear hip-hop I'll vacation in Detroit. When I'm at a luau I want to see and hear -- duh -- Polynesian music and dance. Is that wrong?

One more piece of insider advice from our kids: Almost no guests ever report good service to management, so if an employee goes above and beyond for you when you visit a theme park, do that person a favor and let other staff know -- at the dinner theatres, for instance, there are booths available for guests to lodge compliments or complaints.

Well, that's where we're at, at this point in our vacation. Tomorrow we are headed to Daytona Beach to visit Fellow Traveler's sister.


Diane M. Roth said...

oh, we went to Margaritaville many moons ago!
thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

My little sister is a retail manager at one of the parks you went to (you would have only seen her if they had run out of strollers/wheelchairs, her job then is to patiently listen to angry people, and duck when they take a swing at her), and it's very true, she says for every 75 complaints she gets about a cast member, she gets one compliment.