We made the 2 hour drive from Gainesville on a semi-regular basis to visit the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s MGM Studios, as well as the many restaurants and snack bars that could be found there.
A few decades later Shannon and I are still renewing passes, but now it is for five family members, each of whom is old enough to be considered an adult according to Disney’s ticket, dining an hotel pricing guides (anyone over the age of 9). Over those many years, Disney seems to have had a fight with MGM and now calls their movie park Disney’s Hollywood Studios. On top of that, they also added a fourth park to their menagerie: Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
I know to some of you this is on par with watching Jersey Shore and dressing our kids in “I Want to Grow up to Be a Kardashian” t-shits. I understand. I am acutely aware of the corporate monster behind the mouse and as well as the bread and circuses aspects of visiting a fantasy-land like WDW. I’m right there with you.
However, when I’m at Disney, I can’t hear your disapproval because magic pixie dust makes all of the world’s problems disappear and all the people come together and hold hands, singing songs of peace and cooperation. Cartoon characters come to life and people in the parks smile and talk to one another. It is probably not uncommon to strike up a friendly conversation there, with the same human being that you wished a fiery death on while driving on the toll roads to the park that very morning.
Admittedly, one of the big draws for me was the quintessential Standard American Diet (SAD) food that was available in almost every conceivable form. In many ways, Disney set the SAD standard with its offerings, a Supreme Offering Standard American Diet (SoSAD) if you will.
We planned entire days around one of Disney’s epic meals, with cart snacks and mini-meals placed strategically throughout the day to optimize the gluttony of the big feast. There was an art to creating such an event. Obviously, a wise planner would not go to Disney’s Rockin’ Roller Coaster, right after eating the full spread at Disney’s Ohana Luau Feast. A ride like that would be better paired with something light, like Disney’s churro and a Sprite, delicate to the palate, sugared for speed, and boasting a fruity bouquet.
Those SoSAD days are firmly behind me now. There are some foods I just wont be eating again, and most of them can be found at WDW. It is not impossible to be a healthy herbivore while on the mouse’s property, but they do not make it is easy as they could or offer as much as they should.
Recently in Disney’s Magic Kingdom, I asked for a salad with no dairy and was literally grilled by the cashier about my reasoning. I had to specify if it was for allergies or personal preference. I’m sure some allergic reaction lawsuit cost them millions of dollars and now they have to be extra careful, but when I ordered my bowl of lettuce from them, I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition. I would like to think they put as much effort into making my food dairy free as everyone else, but I guess there are levels of dairy free, and I only fall under the personal choice category.
I still enjoy spending the day with the family at WDW, even without the horrible, horrible food that smells so ridiculously good. Disney has people manipulation down to a science. They know what smells are going to activate the caveman portions of our brains, and they pump those aromas out everywhere.
Thanks to you, my virtual support group, I am able to shake off my caveman urges and eat from my own healthy feedbag. I can’t say that I don’t harbor a little resentment toward the guests wolfing down all the same foods I ate for almost five presidential terms. It is irrational to think that because I changed my lifestyle, everyone else should have changed as well. It’s a good thing I know myself well enough to know that I am often irrational.
Being a vegan gives me a spectacular way to exact my irrational revenge on the people eating Disney’s turkey legs in line for a show or ride. It is a known fact that vegans have a special skill that omni- and carni- people have not mastered as well. We fart.
I have little knowledge about how the flatulence forms, but I am familiar with an ancient poem that may help us isolate an answer: “Beans, beans, the musical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot.” -Shakespeare (1591) I happen to be especially gifted in this arena and capable of such control that I may tryout for the London Symphony Orchestra, if they have an opening in their Buttwind Section.
Butt, enough of my dreams, we were speaking of revenge. The lines for rides and shows wrap around endlessly and you find yourself standing among an ever changing group of slowly moving people. My evil plan was fiendishly simple and effective. I tooted anytime my part of the line moved so the stationary sections of the line were left wrinkling their noses and looking accusingly at each other.
I’m sure the Geneva Convention has bylaws that outlaw this type of behavior, but when Disney is pumping a room full of air that smells like Bar-B-Que ribs, the only solution is to fight gas with gas. However, it was once said that if you plot for revenge, dig two graves. There were times that our line would wrap around to the very spot we’d just left. It was not pleasant when my plans… backfired.