Thursday, August 23, 2012

Turns Out, It's a Big World After All.....

As promised, this will be the Disney World blog entry.  As I had mentioned, two weeks ago, our family (together with my brother in law's family) went to Orlando, Florida to have a last hurrah before the kids return to school.  It was my and Noah's first time at Disney.  (Before some of you get too shocked about that, let me remind you that I spent the first 30 1/2 years of my life in the Philippines).  Suffice it to say that it seemed like never-ending walking and sweating.  Frankly, I'm surprised I didn't lose any weight after that entire week.  Oh right!'s 'cos at the end of each day, I felt I deserved all the calories I can consume in one meal.  *sigh*

Before we dive into the photos, let me just share with you some of the thoughts I had while walking, lining up and basically getting burnt in the Florida heat...

***Disney is a well-oiled machine.  There are a ton of rules and 'choice' is simply factored out of the equation (e.g. you are told where to park, no questions asked) and yet no one dares to complain.  That's what happens when rules have been proven to work for generations and you appreciate that they are there for efficiency.  That's also what happens when individuals shed their egos and the belief that they know better, can make things better.  And the shedding of egos becomes easy when you are thinking of someone more important than you...your child/ren, and that your mission is to to bring fun to your loved ones and make lasting memories.

***Wouldn't it be so unspeakably awful if a loved one broke up with you while you're in Disney?  Well, not just a break-up, but actually any kind of bad memory.  While everyone thinks of Disney as "where dreams come true", you wouldn't want to be the one thinking, "where rejection and the nightmare took place".  (On second thought, it might just be the perfect place for heartbreak considering you are surrounded by positive energy and celebration.  It might give you hope and the realization that there are far more beautiful things around you to focus on than the a**hole who chose to break your heart).  

***Fast Pass offers a valuable life lesson.  For those who are not familiar with this, Fast Pass is a process Disney implemented on certain popular rides/attractions they have.  Instead of lining up for your favorite attraction (which could sometimes take more than an hour before you get in), you can go to a kiosk with your Disney ticket and after you put it in, it will give you another ticket indicating the window within which you can just come back and go right in to enjoy the ride.  No more waiting in line as long as you come back during that designated time indicated on the Fast Pass ticket.  Now this does not mean doing the Fast Pass exempts you from waiting.  You still need to wait because you can't get in instantly.  The only difference is that you don't need to stand in line.  You can do other things, walk around the park or go to other less popular rides while you wait for your 'magic window of opportunity'.  

Isn't it pretty much the same in life?  Waiting and waiting unproductively makes the wait more painful and less manageable.  But if you busy yourself with other things and focus on things you can also enjoy, then waiting for that which you want badly makes the wait more bearable.  The long wait becomes less of a 'wait' and more about living.

Enough said.  Now on to the photos.........

Below are a few of my favorite pictures (and I mean 'few', because I have more than 500 pictures from the trip and don't see the point in torturing you all with that) .  I've selected them because I think they either tell a good story / are interesting to look at, or I think they are moving in some way.  I hope you enjoy looking at them, as well as reading the silly captions!

First day and I had to wear my knee brace.  Fortunately, I was able to walk without it the rest of the week.
That sucker made my leg feel so hot (and look not so hot).

This photo was taken by Noah.  I didn't edit this in any way.

Noah wanted Wazowski but only Sulley came out at the time.  Look at how my son was grabbing on to the monster's hair.  He was so excited!

Another exciting time for Noah...posing with one of his favorites, Buzz Lightyear!  Look at that arm, as if checking to see if he was real!

Probably THE highlight of our trip, as far as Noah is concerned...We signed him up for the Padawan training and he had the chance to fight Darth Vader on stage.

The Tree of Life (Animal Kingdom)

The Tree of Death (??) sure looks like it...and yes, this one is real.

I don't know why, but I ALWAYS need to take photos of apes when I see them.  The fascination must stem from the fact that I have a natural affinity to them.

The kids insisted on getting their faces painted.  I wanted a more 'kiddie' design for Noah, but he REALLY wanted a mean looking one.  I guess I should be prepared for my son's 'dark side'....yikes!

with the cousins

hot, red and sticky but it doesn't matter.....You gotta kiss when you gotta kiss

spoiled...Daddy would do anything for this boy

I guess I should leave them alone.  Looks like a really serious, man to man talk.....

This is what it's all about....We were a group of 9, 5 of which are the  kids.  But no one got lost at any point.  It's so touching to see siblings / cousins taking care of each other at all times.

Oddly, this was the only time I saw Mickey Mouse.....How strange is that??

Taken after the Fantasmic light show at the Magic Kingdom...can't believe the sea of people exiting all at the same time

Can you blame him for getting so knocked out?