It seems as if anything I try and plan turns into a comedy of errors. The start of this trip to Disney for the fiftieth anniversary is no exception. I scheduled this week because it is typically when the parks are the least crowded. Sadly, it didn’t dawn on me that in February that the weather had a mind of its own.
Naively after the snowstorm hit I thought MODOT and the airport would have their act together. We awoke on Friday to an email that our flight had been delayed. As the morning went on it was delayed more and more to the point we’d never make our connecting flight. There option was to leave on Saturday and arrive at eight at night.
So I attempted to call the airline. I was on hold for two hours and accidentally hung up. My good friend Gary advised us to go to airport and talk to agent at the desk. So we drove up there with the roads still pretty crappy. It was quickly apparent we were not leaving today after all the previous flights that had cancelled and had been rebooked. So we were put on a flight for six am this morning.
I check my email as we arrived and I thought they had changed our flight going home which would still work but we did need to reprint tickets. So we do and I thought it was odd only Chicago printed but it’s five in the morning and I’m not awake. Well the flight was delayed because they did not have a flight attendant. The one they were expecting was on mandatory rest. While waiting for her it dawns on me that our connecting flight was not happening and they wanted us to reschedule for tomorrow and arrive at 8pm again. This would mean both days at universal missed with non refundable tickets. So I sprint to another gate to see a red phone that goes straight to customer service.
The gal looks around and tells me there is nothing. I said look we will fly to LAX at this point. So she says what about flying into Tampa. I’m like yes we will do that as it is only about an hour and fifteen minute drive. At this time the plane is boarding and she’s having computer issues. Finally she says go get on plane, I’ll get a hold of help and confirm this for you. I sprint to the gate and before take off I get flight confirmation. I inform the family we will be flying to Chicago, then Nashville, then Tampa. Driving to Orlando switching rental cars and hopefully arriving at hotel by eleven. They have now missed an entire day at universal. So I say look if you all want second day you can go over there while Emily Micheal and I go to Disney. Emily is currently working on a ride plan for them. They mostly want to do all of the Harry potter stuff.
Since I just did universal I’m skipping it to go see friends. I was suppose to meet up with Rose who I met on the cruise Kayla and I went on but that was today so I did not get to see her. She has the cutest grandson I have ever saw with the most incredible eyes and hair. Tomorrow I’m going to see Gary and Linda again. Gary was in the burn unit back in 1991. He took over burns recovered support group and he and Linda started Missouri Childrens Burn Camp. They are wonderful people and Linda has just published a Childress book. More about that in the next blog.
Mole Moral ~ If you travel with me be prepared for everything that could happen to happen. It will be the craziest trip of your life!!
This week is spirit week at work. This reminded me of when my girls were in grade school. Today was Disney day and the endo girls informed me I was to represent endo. Well Disney is one of my favorite places so I took the challenge and ran with it.
I wore my favorite Disney running shirt from the Disneyland half marathon. Of course it is orange and short sleeves and a favorite. I dug out my monsters inc scrub cap I made during the first few months of covid and my Mickey ears from when Emily and I went three years ago. I was proud of how I looked until Sarah told me I looked like a psycho. Well everyone knows I’m psycho but I try to not look the part so I skipped having my picture taken. I’ll leave it up to your imagination as to how insane I actually looked.
I ended up being assigned to washing all the scopes all day which meant no one would see my ears. They are pretty tight on my head so I avoided a headache. Amanda told me since it’s Disney day I should listen to Disney music so I dialed up Disney sing along songs and had a great time in the scope room. Not only was I singing but dancing as well so I’m sure I looked like a complete psycho but I had a wonderful day.
It dawned on me that when I was young my dad took my sister and I to quite a few Disney movies. Cinderella, The Apple Dumpling gang, Pete’s Dragon and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang all came to mind. This is most likely what led to my love of Disney movies.
I was 17 the first time I went to Disney World. My parents divorced when I was five but remained good friends. My mom called my dad to tell him of her plans and he said he always wanted to go to Disney so how about if he comes with us and pays for it. My favorite memory was conning my mother into riding space mountain. She nearly had a heart attack and never forgave us for talking her into it. The three of us loved it and rode it at least two more times. Epcot was the only other park back then and we were not that impressed. Not enough rides and walking around the world showcase was beyond boring. I know my mom liked that part but us three six flag lovers wanted the rides. I do remember after the trip was over I understood why my parents were friends but not married to each other.
Today was a good day, full of wonderful memories of my childhood and my kids childhoods as well. Before I started endo anytime I got up early to work at seven I would sing “Prince Ali, Ababwa strong as ten regular men check it and see.” I had no idea I even did this until Emily pointed it out. I can’t sing at all so it’s a good thing I stopped this since I’m up for work three to four times a week.
Mole Moral ~ If you don’t have fun at work, perhaps you are not in the right place.
I had always heard that at Disney you go to bed on October 31 and the parks are decorated for Halloween and when you wake up the next morning they are decorated for Christmas. Because I live in the show me state I wanted to see this for myself. It worked out well because Halloween was on a Wednesday when we visited. Our back stage tour was on Tuesday so one of the other couples asked our guide and she said yes it would happen. She said everything but the trees would be up on the first and the trees would be up on the second. I found this totally incredible considering the park was open until midnight on Halloween and probably closer to one before everyone got out of there and then opened again at nine am. We went to Magic Kingdom on the second and since pictures speak a thousand words I’m ending this with them.
Mole Moral ~ Seeing is believing!
Part of my love for Disney is the costumes that they have. I was very excited to go behind the scenes to see where everything is made. Now the workers uniforms that work say in Space Mountain are made off site by another company. The others like Woody, Jasmine, all of the outfits on the dolls in It’s A Small World are made on site at Creative Costuming.
The outfits hanging up as prototypes were fantastic. They even find stuff to look like leather to make costumes lighter weight. They couldn’t find the right fabric for the sash in this picture so they sewed the red and white material together to make the stripes. I can’t even imagine what a nightmare that was.
They do a lot of embroidery work. However they have big machines to do it that are run by computers. Someone has to program them to do what they need.So at creative costuming not only were real people using real sewing machines but other real people were working on computer programs as well.Emily said I needed to get a job there. I said heck no, my neck is on fire just thinking about being hunched over a sewing machine, sewing stuff together wrong and having to redo.
I was blown away by all of these thread colors. I cannot imagine having access to all of this at once. Go big or go home I suppose.
Mole Moral ~ My job at Disney would not be in this place, I better stick to being a nurse.
Every time I have visited Disney, I felt that Epcot was by far the lamest of all four parks. The rides are mostly educational and nothing at all in the thrill category. After the Backstage Magic Tour, I have a brand new appreciation for Epcot.
For starters Epcot and The World Showcase were suppose to be two separate parks. I believe it was a financial decision to make them one. The World Showcase was Walt Disney’s idea of how to show people not to be afraid of other cultures. In the original park design America was supposed to be between Canada and Mexico and a five-story building. However where the showcase joins Epcot is where America should have been so they had to move it across to the opposite side of the showcase. However a five-story colonial building would look like a huge eye sore between Japan and Italy. Here is a picture of it and it is indeed five stories.I will share the Disney Magic with you. First of all the first floor is underground. If you pay attention when you are walking towards the building, the ground goes uphill. More magic of how four floors look like three. It’s call forced perspective. From a distance and if you aren’t paying attention the doors on the outside look normal size. Now look at Emily standing next to the door. They are huge.On the inside it looks like there is a cathedral ceiling.However the ceiling is actually flat and it’s painted that way. Above this is the theater that presents a show about the history of America. There are no windows in the next level because it’s actually between the third and forth floor but the outside makes it look like the second floor.When we had our tour Epcot was not open but they were doing a test run on the show. The show has a movie in the background with animatronics that pop up. George Washington and Ben Franklin are the hosts. There was a cast member watching to make sure all the animatronics were working and all the clothes and things were in the right place. We then got to go back behind the screen and the stage and see how it all runs. It is still run by a computer from the 1980’s. Those huge ones that are as tall as people. It runs the scene changer which starts completely under the seats and moves back one scene at a time. The animatronics pop up in time with the movie. It is huge and yet you cannot feel or hear it moving when watching the show. Someone asked why they didn’t update the computer. If they updated computer they would have to update the scenes, the animatronics and on and on. It works just fine so there is no reason fixing something that is not broken.
If you ever wondered why Epcot had sponsors for the rides and things we learned the answer. When they first built Epcot the way to save their money was to offer up cooperate sponsorships and get part of it paid that way. Why pay for something, if you can find someone else to do it. We also learned that in the nighttime show Illuminations Reflection of Earth there are two people in the earth that floats across the water. The earth eventually opens up into a flower with a torch in the center. Emily and I had to watch the show after hearing the back story. Somewhere there is a lead-lined sitting area that two people are in during the entire show. This is how they drive it across the lake. They do not come out until everything is cooled down and they get the ok. That alone would send me into a claustrophobic panic attack.
LIGHT THE NIGHT Spectacular fireworks customized to a symphonic score burst above Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon during IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Lasers, a revolving Earth Globe and leaping flames co-star in this 13-minute spectacle. IllumiNations is the nightly finale at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Computer-generated image). (Copyright 2001. THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY.)
Our tour girl was totally into pyrotechnics so we learned a lot. No, Disney does not make their own fireworks but it is heavily regulated and they must have all sorts of permits. If it is raining they can get the entire firework show set up in two hours, otherwise they normally take their time. It was interesting during the day to watch the lake and see as the fireworks had been added. We even got to see where the flower is kept during the day.
Mole Moral ~ It only took five trips to Disney for me to appreciate Epcot which stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow.
Eight years ago when I went to Disney with the family, I took a four hour walking tour called Keys to the Kingdom. I was able to see a lot of behind the scenes at Disney and it was just fantastic. I then read about Backstage Magic which was seven hours long and I knew one day I had to do it. This was the year and I made Emily go with me. It was super expensive but worth every penny to me. We visited five different areas so this blog is about the laundry at Disney.
Disney currently has thirty-six resorts and I have no idea how many restaurants that use linen, tablecloths etc. They have four different laundry facilities on site all of which operate sixteen hours a day every day. The other eight hours are maintenance for the machines. Each facility services specific resorts because you cannot mix the high thread count linens with the low count. We visited the one that is in charge of the value resorts as we stayed in Toy Story at All Star Movies.
The laundry is trucked into one side of the building where it is then hand sorted by employees so that each type is washed by itself. Meaning towels with towels, pillowcases with pillowcases etc. They drop into these huge laundry bags that then run along a track hanging from the ceiling.
Does this remind you of anything? The doors in Monsters Inc. came from this set up. Although the Disney artists never visited textile services it was based on industrial laundry facilities. They then flow over to the washing machines. The linen has a chip in them which tells the washing machine what item it is and then sets the cycle for that type. It then goes to the dryer and they have automatic folders for sheets, towels etc.
The employees then put them back in the same bins they arrived in. But the bins go through their own wash and dry machine as well. The bins are loaded back onto the trucks that dropped the dirty stuff off and back to the resorts it goes.
If you are looking at the laundry facility, the dirty arrives on the right and the clean leaves on the left. There is no cross contamination. No photos were allowed but our tour girl could take some which I downloaded off of a special website.
Here’s the kicker. At just one facility if you did the amount of laundry they do in sixteen hours one load at a time, twenty-four hours a day, how long do you think it would take you? SEVENTY-TWO years. Now that’s a lot of laundry!
Mole Moral ~ There should be no more complaining on Sunday’s about six loads of laundry that the Mole house does.
As most people know my two favorite Disney movies are Monsters Inc and Toy Story. It’s been a couple of weeks since I returned from the most fantastic graduation trip with Emily. It’s been about eighteen months since she became a Physical Therapist and she could have time off for vacation. We both love Disney and Halloween so what better time to go then over Halloween. We also heard the park goes to sleep on Halloween night decorated for Halloween and awakens the next morning decorated for Christmas. That indeed is true which will be a different blog post.
Toy Story land opened in Hollywood Studios over the summer and I was so excited. The three-dimensional shooting game that was already there was incredible and major fun. I was looking forward to riding the slinky dog roller coaster. Walking into that section was like the movie had come alive. There was a giant woody greeting folks as they came in.
Up by the rollercoaster was a giant Jenga game with Rex on top who also spoke.
Standing in line for the ride was like being in the box the roller coaster would have come in. The attention to detail was mind-blowing including the wall of “stickers” with some missing. They had artwork of Andy’s and how the coaster would go together. I must say it was the smoothest roller coaster I have ridden to date.
It was just the two of us so of course I needed photos of us with Buzz and then Woody and Jesse.
When the first movie came out, Emily was three years old. She refused to go to the movies to see it. I finally saw it when I bought it on VHS. It would be a few years later before she admitted she was scared of the cowboy (Woody). So to get her to be in the picture I told her she could be by Jessie and I would be by Woody. I walked up to Woody and hugged him. I was so excited, like a kid at Christmas and then I stepped on his boot. This caused me to lose my balance and I almost fell. He grabbed my arm and saved me. Although he never spoke a word, I could tell he was very concerned by his body actions which was really cool to me.
Before we started the photo’s, Jessie noted that I had a bucket o soldiers in my hand. A green army man just happened to be walking by so she waved him over to show him the bucket of soldiers. While we were busy taking pictures he autographed my bucket o soldiers. While walking around the park a guy my age asked where I found them and then proceeded to tell me he would light his on fire when he was a kid. I informed him he was just like Sid in the movie. After I got home, I opened the box and sure enough, the injured soldier that Andy’s mom stepped on was in the bucket.
Mole Moral ~ Never let a trip and near fall stop you from having your photo taken with the scary cowboy.