As part of the Pirate Night Bash, Captain Hook forces everyone to do the Safety Dance, until Mickey swings in across the crowd to the tune of "I Need a Hero", leading into the shipboard fireworks. All in all, the most entertainingly *wrong* thing I've seen in some time.
Wednesday: At Sea
Death By Breakfast. Champagne brunch at Palo is every bit as good as dinner was, maybe better. Probably the best brunch I've ever had, head and shoulders better than The Blue Room. Gravlax with caviar to go with the seafood salad; pork and beef prosciutto to go with the melon; I can't decide between the Eggs Benedict and the orichetto pasta, so the waitress insists on sending over both; teeny and elegant servings of tiramisu and sherry trifle; and a heavenly sticky bun, just because. (And that's only about half the things I nibbled at.) A possibly lethal amount of food, but it's a great way to go.
Walking down the stairs, I see that the hallway art is design art from the cartoon "Donald's Vacation". I do a double-take, suddenly realizing the Kenneth Branagh's infamous folding-chair scene from Much Ado About Nothing is stolen directly from it.
Touring the ship's galley (of course):
Reaction #1: "120 cooks? What the heck do you do with 120 cooks?"
Reaction #2: "They start cooking a 5:30 meal for 1200 people at 4pm? How the heck do they do that with only 120 cooks?"
Hot tubs are wonderful things -- but boy, they tell you where you missed with the sunscreen yesterday. Ow, ow, ow...
A monkey hanging in our room. One of the hallmarks here is The Lost Art of Towel Origami. Tonight's is a towel monkey, hanging from a hanger in the middle of the room -- serious cuteness, and well made.
Br'er Fox on the wall at Animator's Palate. I'm glad to see the nod to one of Disney's more obscure films, but Dana (who is just graduating from college) has never heard of him, so a few of us launch into an explanation of Song of the South, the cartoon she's never seen because it was suppressed before she was born. I can understand why, but I still get a bit annoyed by the subtle unwriting of history.
Whitecaps in the Mickey Pool: as we take our final wander around Deck 9, msmemory notes the eight-inch waves in the foot-deep pool. The steady 20-30 knot winds we've had all cruise have had their effect, and the seas are now up to eight feet. It's a good thing we've all gotten our sea legs (and that our dinner companion has gotten past her initial motion sickness).
Thursday: Over to the Park
The Sea of Baggage: debarkation is beyond mere human efficiency. Finding our luggage (fetched and carried out last night) is surprisingly easy: we are in zone Donald/Blue, with all the bags lined up in stateroom order.
Only in Florida: on the bus out, msmemory points out an entire freight train passing beneath us, stretching as far as the eye can see, carrying nothing but white sand.
The Bathroom -- of Mystery!: Both of us would swear that the bathroom at the resort is still on board the ship -- it feels like we're still rocking back and forth when in it. We're fine everywhere else, but the bathroom has this slight, gentle motion to it.
Old friends: in a fast swing through MGM, we hit MuppetVision 3D, the Tower of Terror, the Rock-n-Rollercoaster, and most importantly the oldest and still favoritest, Star Tours. msmemory compares it to meeting up with an old friend who you haven't seen in years. (And lunch at the Sci-Fi Drive-In permits an in-depth discussion of the relative virtues of the trailers for Robot Monster vs. Plan 9.)
"Where's Jack?": that's the more appropriate name for the newly-tweaked Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The ride hasn't changed that much, but it's gained a high concept of The Hunt for Jack Sparrow, who pops out of barrels, behind corners, and so on. Trite, but amusing. It disturbs me oddly that the animatronic Jack looks so much more like Johnny Depp (and indeed, more lifelike) than the "character appearance" on-ship did.
The extra-evening-hours priority at Epcot is trying out the two new rides, both of which are basically new takes on old ideas. Soarin' is basically O Canada! updated: surrounded by a giant screen, swinging gently around as you swoop and soar through the aerial shot. OTOH, Mission: Space is basically Star Tours on steroids -- slammed back in your seat by an apparent 3 Gs, it's pretty high-adrenaline. We were conspicuously the oldest people on the ride.