Joie (hymnia) wrote,

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The Last Days of Summer, part 1: A Long Overdue Return to Disney World

There were a lot of memorable things that happened to me the last few weeks of summer, and I’m going to make a couple of posts about them. This is the first, and it begins over two weeks ago, when I was spending a lot of time with my anime buddies, preparing to go to Anime Festival Orlando.

Anna, one of my anime-loving friends, was having her birthday around that time, so we spent the afternoon of Thursday, July 27 at Disney World. In the morning Anna came over and helped me with some of the finishing touches on my cosplay for the convention. I’ll do a separate post later telling more about the costume, including pictures.

Disney was fun. I hadn’t been to any of the parks in maybe about three years, and I hadn’t been to Epcot, where we spent most of the time, in probably at least seven or eight. (Well, I did sing in the Candlelight Processional last Christmas, but that doesn’t count. I didn’t get to play.) It was just Anna and me at first, and we went straight for the Mission Space ride—you know, the one that people have died on. I chose to do the milder version of the ride that Disney added after the two deaths and numerous complaints occurred. I wasn’t really afraid of anything bad happening, I just had a bit of headache because of the heat. I wish I’d done the normal one, though, because I thought it was a little too tame. We wanted to go back and do the normal version later (especially since, because of the bad press, there’s almost no wait for it), but we didn’t get around to it. We also rode the Journey to Imagination ride, which now has the loveable purple dragon Figment back in his starring role, along with Eric Idle. I LOVED IT. That is one of my favorite rides ever, even though it’s kiddish and cheesy. Or maybe because it’s kiddish and cheesy. My brother and I used to love the old version, and we were mad, like many others, when it was updated, even though they added Eric Idle, because Figment was reduced to just a little cameo role and the funny Imagination song disappeared. But Disney redid the ride again and brought Figment and the song back, and the new version is even better than the original. So I was happy about that.

After that, our other friends showed up: Christie and her husband, Spencer, and Janet, aka kawaiinekochi. After tasting sodas from around the world at the Coke Pavilion, we headed over to the World Showcase. We mainly just took it easy, browsing through shops and such. We watched several minutes of the Japanese street musicians, playing their drums as if they were dancing. So cool. I understand that this group has played for anime conventions. At least, I saw pictures of the two women from a previous con—I think it was last year’s AFO. When we went shopping in China, we stopped and spent extra time admiring all the Zodiac-themed merchandise—mugs, posters, figurines, etc. I felt compelled to whine at each of these sets, “But where’s the Caaaa-at?!” until I drove my friends crazy. (They’re all Furuba fans, so they knew what I was talking about. But I probably overdid it a bit…) Anyway, when we went shopping in the Japan section, I was momentarily pleased to see that they had Furuba merchandise, until I noticed that they had Yuki, Tohru, Shigure, and Kagura…but NO KYO! It was just so ironic, because of course I had totally been joking when I complained about the cat’s absence in the China shops, but now I was mad for real that Kyo was left out. I’m sure some ignorant Disney purchasing agent looked at a selection of anime merchandise and picked two girls and two guys from a popular series without considering whether those choices were actually the most logical. Stupid Disney. Anyway, it’s their loss since Kyo is probably the most popular character and maybe, just maybe their ignorance hurts their sales. Ha! Take that!

After that we ate dinner in Japan. I had some really excellent curry and miso soup, which I couldn’t finish because of drinking all the soda at the Coke Pavilion. And then we had to hightail it to the French Pastry shop before it closed, and I was convinced to get double chocolate cake by the hot French guy who served us, and after that I was really starting to feel sick. But I walked it off as we made our way out of the park and over to the Magic Kingdom, which closes later than Epcot, for the last round of fun of the day.

Almost the only thing we had time for was to check out the updated Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It was great. I thought they did a very nice job of working in connections to the movie while still keeping the original spirit of the ride. We spotted one appearance each by Davy Jones and Captain Barbossa, and I think there were three of Jack Sparrow. I was annoyed when we got out into the shopping area, however, to find that yet another one of my favorite characters had been neglected. Virtually all the new character-based Pirates merchandise features Jack Sparrow. Of course, Jack is great. Lots of people love him. I think he’s great, too, even if he’s not my favorite. But why was there almost nothing with any of the other characters? And by other characters, I mean Will. It seems that when the first movie came out, the merchandise was more equitable. But Will rocked in the second movie even more than in the first, and yet Disney gives him no love! Grrr. Anyway, Anna did manage to find one Will Turner item, a 300-piece puzzle with a bonus poster. This one. As you can see, it is 300 pieces of hawtness, and since I love puzzles anyway, and since Will apparently needs more love, I bought it.

We ended the night by riding the Aladdin Flying Carpet ride twice (and getting water squirted at us by a “spitting” camel statue), and then half-watching the Spectrum parade as we made our way out of the park. I thought the parade would be cheesy, but it was actually quite cool (this is the one where all the characters are lighted up in bright, even neon colors). Somehow, I’d never had a chance to see it before. Next time I’m at the park, I think I will make an effort to watch it properly, instead of while walking along the edge of Main Street, stumbling over people and curbs.

Coming up next: Adventures at Anime Festival Orlando (the next post will probably be just a write up, and then I’ll do another post with pictures and info about my costume making).

Tags: furuba, potc, real life, summer

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