Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My oddball observations on Disneyworld

My oddball observations on Disneyworld

After reading this... see more drawings at the end.

We spent the last four days racing through Disneyworld. Well, one of those days was spent exploring Universal. We never made it to Seaworld.

I’m not telling you anything new when I say Disney is good at selling stuff. There are no shortages of stores to buy things. Every ride we got on deposits you right into another store.  Good for them. I like capitalism. Yippie! for keeping the economy rolling.

Here is my rundown of snarky comments on the Happiest Place on Earth and Universal too.

1. Tourist here are really happy and polite or completely RUDE. We found that most Northeastern families were actually the best to have conversations with.

2.  Parents with obnoxious kids are just as obnoxious themselves.

3. Sugar makes a kid spin.

4. You can’t lose weight walking around this place. You will not be able to help yourself. Those cookies with the chocolate dipped Mickey Mouse Ears are really delicious.

5. The food is terrible in the park itself. Skip it if you can, but you will get hungry.

6. We found it difficult to find bathrooms. I know they seem to be all over the place but we were always in search of one. The bathrooms at Universal seemed to be all over the place and easy to find.

7. The Peter Pan ride made me cry, I don’t know why, perhaps I was just tired. It’s very short but in all honesty it’s wonderful and we don’t even like Peter Pan.

8. The lines can be incredibly long for any ride except Captain EO, the lame Michael Jackson film at Epcot. This movie should be sent to the museum of 80’s garbage. We were surprised it was still playing.

9. We don’t do rollercoasters. Barnstorming Goofy made me nauseous and it was a freaking sixty-second kiddie ride. I’m still mad at the ride attendant who assured us it was easy and kid friendly.

10. When you get to Disney Hollywood Studios head directly to the Pixar Building to ride Toy Story Midway Mania. It’s the only ride you will love and when you exit run to Fast Pass and get a ticket for another ride. We did this ride three times. After this go back to Disneyland cause the Hollywood Studios needs a makeover and rethinking. It’s a jumble of areas. The Star Tours ride was awful. I liked Star Wars but Disney needs to step up and figure out a GREAT ride based on this world.

11. Epcot should be shut down and turned into a Star Wars Theme Park. Leave the world tour around the big lake. That was lots of fun. Japan seemed to be the most crowded but that’s because the Japanese really know how to run things. The French were rude.

12. The Monorail looks cooler when you look at it. If you are just riding it the whole things reminds me of a train to Speonk NY.

13. The buses between parks take longer than stated and can be crowded and it’s a BUS. If you know how to schedule yourself you won’t need a park hopper ticket unless you just want to run to the Hollywood Studio and play that freakingly great Toy Story Mania game. I’d fly back right now just to do that one.

14. The Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom are GREAT and I love fireworks. Worth seeing every night.

15. Disney is crowded. Even on off days. If you don’t like crowds, stay away.

16. Watch out for the ladies that drive scooters. One almost ran us over.

17. We met Pooh Bear our favorite and we felt like a little kids.

18: I met Mickey Mouse and I felt like a little kid.

19. The live stunt shows were lame. The Indiana Jones show needs to go. I don’t think half the kids in the crowd had seen the movie.

20. The Spiderman ride at Universal is GREAT. We didn’t get to do Harry Potter since the wait time was 90 minutes and we just wanted to see the rest of Universal. The town for Harry Potterville is nice but the crowds ruin it. Never let your kid wear a robe. They look like characters from Eyes Wide Shut.

21. Bring money. If you don’t think you have brought enough…bring more.

22. If you have kids take them to the Disney Animation Studio where the will learn to draw a Disney Character. They get to keep their drawing and they can sit at a real animation board. It’s very cool.

23. Ride Dumbo. You can’t say you were at Disneyland if you don’t get on this ride.

24. The Hall of Presidents is inspiring but in the first row some of the likenesses are a bit off, to say the least. Especially Richard Nixon. Perhaps his make-up melted under the lights.

25. Epcot looks like Logan’s Run. I felt like I was in the 70’s. They should hand out white jumpsuits, then everyone would fit in. However, it’s pretty at night.

26. Do not be one of those people that dress up in an outfit unless you are six-years old.

27. I know Disney has this placed managed down to a gnat’s eyeball but they could use a few more places to actually sit. They need more benches or chairs to grab a snack.

28. Don’t feed the ducks or the seagulls. One little old lady tried this and was very sorry she did. Serves her right. And NEVER feed a squirrel. Trust me.

29. If you don’t smile when walking down Main Street they actually throw you out of the park.

30. Some of the people who work there don’t know anything. Find someone who actually can answer questions. Asking the guy who is sweeping up “where to go” is not a good idea.

31. We were thinking they should have “Bring Your Dog to Disney Day.” We canned this thought as soon as we said it out loud…

32. Don’t read too much about planning a trip if you are just going as a couple. We liked the aspect of surprise about the place. If you have kids, however, you should plan a bit in advance. You’ll thank yourself for doing it.

33. Don’t buy that crunky hip-hop flat brimmed Justin Bieberish Mickey Mouse hat to wear at home. You will thank me in the morning.

34. Talk to people. We did and it was always interesting to ask people where they are from. We ran into some friendly people and some downright nutty ones.

35. Best ride/attraction goes to Soarin’ … hands down the best fun. And of course Toy Story Mania… but I would do Soarin’ again and again. We did it twice and would have gone back but the Fast Passes were all gone and it was our last day.

36. Yes, Virginia there is magic at Disney.

37. Why is it when Disney does a tween show they insist on having the Characters SCREAM and SHOUT and STOMP their feet when performing? We bumped into this show twice at Hollywood Studios and each time we ran away.

38. If you walk around Disney for crying out loud, SMILE. We spotted thousands of people with that dreaded look of blankness. I don’t know how to explain it. You have to see it for yourself. Are people so unimpressed with anything anymore?

39. When your kid is with you get off your iPhone and stop reading Facebook updates. We spotted several parents who were totally missing the joy on their kids’ faces. Leave the iPhone in your pocket.

40. Don’t ever pass up a chance to have your picture taken with any Disney Character. You will come home regretting you didn’t get a picture with Donald.

Well, that’s about it for now. I’m tired. A whirlwind of four days, getting up at 6 am and crashing at midnight. I wouldn’t recommend doing that. We simply wanted to get our money’s worth. Stay a week and pace yourself.

Here is a list of the attractions we completed in four days (Note we do not do Rollercoaster due to a serious fear of death)

Universal Orlando

Spiderman (GREAT)
Poseidon’s Fury (stay away, awful)                                                               
High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride (Great)
The Cat in the Hat
Simpson (Great)
Despicable Me (very funny)
ET Adventure (Great)

Disney Hollywood Studio

The Great Movie Ride (Silly and not that great but it ended well)
Indiana Jones (needs to be retired)
Star Tours (Terrible, Star Wars deserves better)
50’s Prime Time CafĂ© (not a ride but it’s worth the visit for lunch)
Muppet 3D (not bad but could have been better)
Studio Back Lot Tour (lacks depth)
Toy Story Mania (Great, run to get on this ride)
Magic of Disney Animation (Great, see my drawing of Mickey)


Spaceship Earth (Still fun but a Star Wars Park would be better. They could make a Death Star from the big Epcot Globe that is already there.)
The Seas with Nemo (Great)
Soarin’ (Super GREAT)
Figment (only for kids… seriously lame)
Captain EO (Please Disney, retire this disaster of an attraction)
Mission Space (I got dizzy and had a serious case of the queasys)
Illuminations (The big fireworks at Epcot)
Around the World, we hit every place to look around which is great but we didn’t have time to do any of the attractions themselves)

Magic Kingdom

Swiss Family Treehouse
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Jungle Cruise
Pirates of the Caribbean
Country Bear Jamboree (I laughed my ass off at this for some reason, it’s very funny)
The Hall of Presidents
Haunted Mansion
Mickey’s PhilharMagic (gave us a headache, we think there is something wrong with the projector)
Peter Pan’s Flight (don’t miss this)
It’s a Small World (it holds up… I’m a cornball)
The Barnstormer (made me nauseous)
Winnie the Pooh (loved this and we tried to do it again but it was down for repairs)
Tomorrowland Speedway
People Mover
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Fireworks at the Magic Castle are Terrific.
The Electric Light Parade was…. Odd.

We certainly earned our Mouse Ears on this 4 day trip.

Learn how to Fast Pass if you are going with kids. It will help.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Taffy Saltwater

Here it is: The brand new book from Random House by Me, Michael Paraskevas.

It will be release on April 9th and there will be a show of the original art sometime in May. I owe this book to my mom... for loving the beach and believing in my work. I could never have done this book with her creative energy.