A Disney Birthday
Hello "Viewers". I'm back from my much-needed Florida vacation. It was my first travel vacation in almost 2 years (read: "true" vacation). My wife (Mrs. Hawkeye) found a great deal at Disney last November when tourism was not a major priority for most people. For under $750 each ($1500 for the two of us), they covered our air fare, transfers between the airport and hotel, 7 nights at the Pop Century Disney resort, admission to all the parks, and bus transportation between the hotel and the parks. Food was on us, but Disney also gave us a free $200 gift card which covered a good chunk of our meals and snacks.
The Magic Kingdom was our first stop, and before entering the park I notified them that it was my birthday (another program my wife learned about). I was therefore eligible for a number of free gifts, so I chose the $75 gift certificate for merchandise (food and beverages were not included). I also got a big button saying "Happy Birthday Jim". Everywhere I went in the park, Disney employees were wishing me a "Happy Birthday". It got a little embarrassing when other guests at the park started doing it too.
For dinner, we went to the "Chef Mickey" restaurant in the Contemporary Resort. Naturally, all the Disney characters had to come over and share in my birthday celebrations...
Hawkeye and Mickey
Hawkeye and Donald
Mrs. Hawkeye and Pluto
The parks included: Magic Kingdom, Disney Studios (formerly MGM Studios), Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney (formerly Lake Buena Vista), two water parks, and of course there was Epcot...
Epcot - Space Ship Earth
The weather was great: mid- to upper-50s for the low, mid- to upper-70s for the high. Low humidity and sunshine most days. It rained one morning while we were eating breakfast, but stopped before we left for the park. It also rained for about 10 minutes while we were at Epcot one afternoon.
Do you remember "The Monkees" from the 60s? Well, we saw Davy Jones perform at Epcot. At the moment, he's doing three shows a day on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. He has a great act. In between songs from the Monkees and others, he does a comedy routine which highlights his (and our) age. Here's some paraphrased examples...
Hi everybody! I'm Davy Jones' father... Davy will be out in a minute!
Back in the 60s, I used to be a heart throb... today I'm a coronary!
Some of the other 60s entertainers are coming out with new songs, like:
Hermans Hermits -- "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Walker"
Righteous Bros. -- "You've Lost That Sense of Feeling"
Paul Simon -- "50 Ways to Leave Your Liver"
My favorite ride at Disney is 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. Especially the part where the pirate says: "ARRRR... It's Davy Jones!" So of course I say: "Hi!" Then he says: "Davy Jones... ARRRR!"
I found this on the net. What Davy Jones sounds like today...
Epcot - Lake scene (click to enlarge)
The Pop Century resort where we stayed was divided into different areas representing different decades (50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s). The theme of each area reflected that decade. And there were "larger than life" toys scattered throughout the grounds of the resort...
Hawkeye and Potato Heads (click to enlarge)
I just couldn't pass up the following picture...
Hawkeye Personified? (click to enlarge)
Although we had a good time, I became painfully aware of how liberal (and commercial) the Disney people are. Although the TV in our room provided something like 50 cable channels, about 10 of them were Disney channels (park-related, resort-related, vacation services, movie trailers, etc.) and on top of that, FoxNews was not one of them. I had to suffer through a week of CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC, CBS or ABC for my news. Keith Olbermann must still think Bush is President because he continues to blame all of our problems on Bush (in between his sophomoric rants against Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity). The only bright spot was when CNN's reporter hammered Obama about deficits at his press conference on Tuesday.
U.S. Pavillion, Fife & Drums (click to enlarge)
In the U.S. Pavillion at Epcot, they have a presentation about American history -- from a liberal perspective of course. FDR gets his own animatronics, as does JFK. Truman is not mentioned. Eisenhower and Reagan are barely mentioned in passing. Sandra Day O'Connor is featured. Bill Clinton is shown with Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Neither Bush is mentioned. There is a fleeting scene of Ground Zero in New York and what appears to be soldiers in either Afghanistan or Iraq as the word "Heroes" flashes by unconvincingly. All this before Dr. Martin Luther King is prominently honored for a minute or more. The presentation ends with an inspiring piece of music and the promise of future "progress" in America. Hmmmm. OK. And we couldn't even see the Hall of Presidents because it is currently being "Obamafied".
Mr. & Mrs. Hawkeye (click to enlarge)
Of course, what would liberal theology be without the "green" mantra. We must use less energy and stop global-warming. Even the restrooms are equipped with products from "EcoLab" (sounds eco-friendly if nothing else). Then there are the recurring themes of salvation: Save the Planet, Save the Land, Save the Seas, Save the Birds, Save the Animals, Save the Whales, etc. Oddly enough, I heard or saw no mention of human salvation. I heard nothing about saving souls, clothing the naked, healing the sick, or feeding the hungry (unless it is through research sponsored by a government grant to NASA). I heard nothing about saving humans who are forced to live under tyrannical dictators. I heard nothing about sharing the gift of freedom with others around the world. Oh well, I guess you can't have everything.
Hawkeye ready to flee Liberal-Land