Where we at

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

A trip to FLA

Lighting the Birthday Cake.
Happy Birthday, Dad!
We got a slip here in Norfolk for a month largely to get ready for our trip back south to Florida. We spent a couple of days with my folks. My dad's birthday happened early in May.

From there we had plans to meet friends in Disney World. We hadn't been in years, so we planned a huge stay -- 4 days. We went to the Animal Kingdom park, the Magic Kingdom (2 days there), Epcot, and Disney's Hollywood Studios (1/2 day each of those). We walked anywhere from 20k to 30k in steps a day.

The view from our room.
We watched the fireworks from here.
Disney has greatly improved the average visit. Cell phones can be used to unlock your hotel door, as well as get you into that parks and order food in advance. Food there has also greatly improved. Most eateries (both sit down and quick eats) offer some vegan dish, including Impossible everything (burgers, empanadas, meatloaf, just to name a couple). We found a selection of beer and interesting cocktail drinks in every park.

The Wilderness Lodge.
Reminds us of the Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite.
Gone are the days of the Fast Pass. Now it's Genie Plus or Lightning. You can buy a Genie Plus for $20 or so, then have it schedule you a ride. Once you've checked into that ride, you can schedule another. When the lines get crazy long it was a time savor. But some lines are worth standing in (they've done a LOT to entertain you at every moment). We only used Genie+ one of the 4 days.

Everyone knows this one.
Lightning Passes offered another quick way to ride a ride, but it was pay for each ride. If there's only 1 ride you really, really want to do, Lightning is a decent option. If there are 4 or 5 you want to tackle in a day, get the Genie.

Russ and I spent most of our time with Hannah from High Wind. Her husband, David, and their local friends, Bethy and Alex, joined us on the last day. We had such a great time!

Obligatory bunch of Disney photos, followed by political rant. Just a warning.

Magic Kingdom, 7 Dwarves Mining ride.
(Russ in front, Hannah and me in back)

Epcot, all 6 in the front 2 rows.

Back: David, Alex, Me, Russ
Front: Bethy, Hannah

Disney makes photos very easy.
Find a park photographer, and the pics magically
show up on your phone.

We're in the front row.
Apparently, Hannah and I were a bit judgy on 
whatever special effect we're seeing.

Russ and I on TRON. You ride the coaster like a 
motorcycle, which is incredibly smooth.
And fast. It tops out around 60 mph.

 Lunch in Pandora. Excellent lunch bowls with tofu
and blue noodles.

Aw. It's a Minnie Van...
Get it? Minnie Van

Grabbing a quick lunch in between rides.

In Hollywood there is a Star Wars section. The architecture
is astounding.

For fellow geeks, yes, this is the Millenium Falcon.

Chewbacca and Rey. People follow Chewy around, 
like a little parade.

Rise Of The Resistance is an amazing ride. But you get caught
by the empire. I snapped a quick shot of the storm troopers
before getting marched off into questioning.😟

At the Animal Park, the baby gorillas were having a ball.


Disney World occupies 27,000 acres. On that land they've build a number of theme parks, water parks, resorts, hotels, condominiums, and shopping centers. They will get on average of nearly 21 million visitors every year.

Disney can do whatever they want with that land. What they've chosen to do they do well. It's not all used to make money. Portions of that acreage are for nature preservation.

They provide mass transit. One day Russ and I traveled around to various parks by boat, monorail, sky way (gondola), and bus.

They make power. They have 4 solar farms.

They purify their own water. They do that so well they give their excess water to neighboring counties.

They pave their own roads -- not a pot hole anywhere to be found.

They employ over 75,000 people. They can get them in, around, and out of the parks all while "back stage" and out of the public eye. Until showtime.

They are profitable, and in turn, continue to make product (movies, tv shows, etc) and manage their land with care.

They are the epidemy of Market success. They are the shining example of why markets work. They are the jewel in the crown of "big business".

So I ask you... why in hell does DeSantis want to screw with this? 



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