Following is my top ten (oops, eleven) list of hotels I want to stay in before I die:
1. Hotel de Crillon- Paris, France
2. Bovey Castle- England
3. The Broadmoor- Colorado
4. Cinderella Castle Suite- Disney World
5. Amberley Castle- England
6. Chateau de Mirambeau- France
7. Ash ford Castle- Ireland
8. Hotel Caesar Augustus- Capri, Italy
9. Burghotel Auf Schönburg- Germany
10. Hotel Zaza- Dallas, Texas
11. Hotel Leger- California
This hotel looks amazing! The Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi is actually a compound composed of several buildings dating back to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Now, if only I could decide between a stay in the Cielo Suite or the Orientale Suite. Definitely this hotel has been added to my travel wishlist. Time to sell more corsets!
boston, caribbean, castle, character, cinderella, club, colonial, comedy, dining, disney, fire, frontier, haunted, hurricane, johnny, kingdom, liberty, light, magic, mansion, monsters, mountain, parade, party, pirates, president, rain, ride, space, tavern, tea, tinkerbell, tree, walt, works
Disney Death March
My husband and I woke up early for our first full day of Disney World adventure. I know, this was our honeymoon. Time to relax, blah blah blah. We would be hitting the epicenter of it all: the Magic Kingdom. Cinderella’s Castle overlooks the great lands of Disney. We entered through Main Street USA. Nostalgia for the “good ole’ days” hit as we passed by the early twentieth century shop windows.
We journeyed on until we hit Adventureland. Of course, the first ride we went on was Pirates of the Caribbean. This will not be a surprise to anybody who knows us. We both typically play pirates at Scarborough and had several pirates at our wedding. We traveled through the Caribbean, getting to spot my beloved Johnny Depp THREE times as none other than Jack Sparrow. Heh hem, Captain Jack Sparrow. But alas, the ride came to an end. So onward we journeyed to Jungle Cruise. Now, my husband always recounts the story from his childhood about being worried about the “armed gorillas” that he heard so much about from Vietnam-era newscasts. Well, honey, they’re real. At least, they’re real in the animatronic sense of the word.
The Liberty Square Riverboat took us around Tom Sawyer’s Island and to our next ride, the Haunted Mansion. My husband was really looking forward to this one. We were escorted around the mansion in the Doom Buggy. The special effects, even in our jaded age of computer graphics, have never ceased to amaze visitors.
After a quick lunch in a Boston fishing tavern, we took in the Hall of Presidents, the Mad Tea Party, and my perennial favorite, It’s a Small World. We also hit Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Peter Pan’s Flight, and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Time to march on to get to more rides. But the torrential rain storm left over from a hurricane off the coast hit the Magic Kingdom. Oh well, there’s lots of shops to duck into while we wait. One of the shops we came across was the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. Love the name! Out of it came countless waves of little girls in their princess dresses, hair beglittered and wands in hand. It was a little disheartening to watch as they marched off into the downpour. Their parents probably wandered why they just spent all that money on hair glitter that was about to get destroyed by rain.
Frontierland awaited us. I looked forward to riding Splash Mountain. As we entered the Old West, Woody’s Wild West Round-up greeted us. At this point, my husband turned into a five-year-old boy when met with some of his favorite cartoon characters. Woody, Jesse, and BULLSEYE! Okay, I admit that I might have regressed into a little girl. After the show, we waited to get on Splash Mountain. And then it started raining…again. The ride closed for the rest of the day.
So, off to Tomorrowland. We enjoyed Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. Mike Wazowski hosts Disney’s idea of the comedy club. And it succeeds! With the help of monsters, Sam an’ Ella, the interactive jokes kept the audience laughing. After all that laughing, I guess my husband felt it was time for some screaming. Before we hit Disneyworld, the closest thing to a roller coaster that I had ever ridden was Six Flags’ Log Ride. Now, I was in line to ride Space Mountain. Despite the rain, the ride remained open since it was inside a giant building. While my husband giggled like a teenager who had just played a practical joke on one of his classmates, I cringed. Earlier in the day, we had ridden Goofy’s Barnstormer. I thought that one was bad! Twisting up the halls of the mountain, I wondered what the hell I was doing here. Videos from the 1970’s showed the ride in action.
“I want to sit in the front,” exclaimed my husband. Not a problem, thought I. I definitely didn’t want to see my impending death from the front seat of a classic Disney roller coaster.
As luck would have it, my husband got the front seat. I climbed into my seat right behind him. Will these thin metal rails support us? I didn’t see how. And then we rocketed off into a dark room, being jerked around uncomfortable turns. I swore we were going to fly off into the oblivion. They say that in space that when you scream, nobody can hear you. That didn’t stop me from screaming my lungs out. After the longest two minutes and forty-eight seconds of my life, the car pulled to a stop. Another friendly Disney attendant greeted us. Yet, I was still screaming.
“THIS IS HOW YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU! I AM NEVER RIDING THIS THING AGAIN.”
My husband, on the other hand, was expressing himself in a gleeful giggle. Then, I noticed the attendant was also laughing.
“Ma’am, you don’t know how many times I’ve heard that one.”
Realizing that it was nearing time for our dinner reservation, we headed back to Colonial times in Liberty Square. We would get to dine with our favorite Disney characters dressed in Colonial fashions. After a short wait in a Colonial parlor drooling over the antique spinning wheel and the adorable Asian baby, we were seated at our table. The dinner was family style and delicious. Macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, vegetables, oh, and some sort of meat for my husband. Not only did we enjoy this wonderful fare but we met Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Chip and Dale, and Goofy! It was amazing.
Just because dinner ended, didn’t mean our night was over. Night fell over the Magic Kingdom but the place was still alive with action. Cinderella’s Castle became the hub of a marvelous light show, complete with Tinkerbell ziplining down from the top of the castle. Fireworks filled the sky.Now, this completed our wonderful day at the Magic Kingdom. Back to our hotel to rest up for another day of Disney fun.
Erika L. Durham
26 August 2012