Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Chip is Working at Full Strength

In the novel "The Stepford Wives," one of the main villians is nicknamed Diz because he used to work on audioanimatonics at Disney World. Later, the implication is that he has a major role in perfecting the robot wives.

I don't know about robotics, but I do know that Disney has perfected their cranial implant to a frightening degree. I imagine that mine was implanted on my first trip to WDW, in 1989 or '90, when I visited with my sister and stayed at the Contemporary. All of the on-site, Disney-owned resorts have an installation facility, and they do it so quickly and efficiently overnight that you're totally unaware anything has happened when you wake up in the morning. The only things you might notice are an increased craving for Mickey ice cream bars and souvenir t-shirts, a magnetic draw to the Disney theme parks, a zap akin to a shock color when you even consider trying out Universal or Sea World, and a homing pigeon urge to return to WDW at least once a year.

Those who don't believe need only to look at my husband. I was raised in a home laden with Disney propaganda. I had Disney Golden Books and storybooks, watching the Wonderful World of Disney on the Radiation King every weekend, and saw each new big screen cartoon extravaganza. Indoctronated early, I only needed the standard-strength chip to orient me to the Florida homing beam.

Conversely, my husband's household was Disney-free. He knew none of the characters, save for the really, really obvious ones, had never seen a Disney movie and had no desire whatsoever to visit either Disneyland or Disney World. When I married him, I didn't disclose that I was a Disneyphile, but he didn't warn me that he was a Trekkie so I figure we're even. But once the knot was tied, I quickly began working on him for a trip to Orlando.

He's a roller coaster fanatic, so Space Moutain and Big Thunder Mountain were enough to make him consider it. Unfortunately, once we had our first trip planned, our house was flooded so our life was put on hold for three months while it was gutted and rebuilt.

The next year we tried again; the Contemporary was full, so we stayed at the then-new Wilderness Lodge. Since the hotel was brand new, I imagine that the chip installation facility was too. All I know is that I left Chicago with a man who didn't give a rat's patooty (okay, a mouse's patooty) for Disney World, and by the time we had returned he was already chafing at the bit to book another trip.

Over the next decade, we planned other trips too, but we still managed to squeeze in at least one or two Disney World jaunts. In our most active year, we bought Annual Passes and watched ATA's fares; whevever they had a sale, it meant an impromptu weekend trip. That year, we visited so often that I actually started to get tired of Morocco, my favorite Epcot restaurant.

I suspect that Disney can now do remote upgrades, based on our experience with the cruise line. In 1997, we visited the preview center at the Magic Kingdom to see a little movie about Disney Cruise Line's launch the following year. Hubby had no inkling to ever go on a cruise, but his trust in Mickey made him take the leap (actually, I think that "trust" was based on upgrade microwaves beaming out of the preview screen). Now, 58 Disney cruises later, it's obvious that both of us carry the prototype cruise line chip.

I think that actually being in the parks boosts the chip's potency too. It needs a recharge every now and then. Hubby will go, even in the thick of the summer stampede, to see Fantasmic and Illuminations pretty regularly. I remain at Duloc Manor, content to hear the fireworks from a distance. But when he went on Thurs. and told me the Soarin' line was only 20 mins. long, I just had to go on Fri.

As chronicled in yesterday's entry, the lines were considerably longer on Fri. but I still managed to get two rides. Unfortuntately my chip was also boosted to the point where I actually returned this morning! Hubby had his sights set on Typhoon Lagoon, but Soarin' was singing a siren song to me so he set out for TL while I went to Epcot. I figured the lines might be bad since it's a weekend and there is an event going on, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

I got to the park around 10, and amazingly enough the Soarin' line was only 20 mins.! I grabbed a Fast Pass, then rushed through the standby line. Afterwards, it was already time to use my Fast Pass, so I grabbed another and then used up the first. I still had some time to wait for the second one, so I hustled to Test Track and caught a quick ride in the single riders' line, which is usually in the 10 minute rage unless the park is insanely busy.

After that, it was back to Soarin'. At this point, the standby line was fluctuating between 45 and 55 minutes, but that wasn't a worry with my trusty Fast Pass. Being greedy, I grabbed one more pass and then popped in the line to use my current one. After that, I had some time to kill until the third one's timeframe started, so I had some lunch in the food court and caught a quick spin on the Living With the Land boat ride.

Before boarding Soarin', I decided to get one more Fast Pass. Granted, the return time was too late for me to use it, but I figured I could give it to one of the CMs to hand out to a single rider going through standby at the appointed time. Fun stuff like that can make a person's day.

They say no good deed goes unpunished, and indeed that was the case here. The stinkin' Fast Pass machine ate my Annual Pass! Worse yet, it didn't even disgorge a Fast Pass. One of the Cast Members managed to sort it out, but he told me I needed to have Guest Services fix my AP later.

With the trauma over, I joined the Fast Pass ride and had my last flight over California for the day. I just love Soarin'...out of all the rides in any of the Disney parks, if I had to pick just one I'd choose Soarin' without hesitation. Once upon a time my choice would have been "Journey Into Imagination," but alas the wonderful, imaginative, innovation, cute version no longer exists, and I can rarely stomach riding the current travesty.

Two trips to Epcot in less than 24 hours and half a dozen rides on Soarin'....hmmmmmm. Obviously my chip is working at full strength and my Disney World addiction is in full swing.

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1 comment:

Joe said...

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