Published on April 30th, 2015 | by Richard Black


Going Disney: Day Four, The Calm Before the Epcot


Me with a spring on my step and a song on my lips as I await the ferry to the Magic Kingdom.

I awoke on Friday with a spring in my step and a song on my lips because, you know, that’s how I roll. In all honesty I was in a much better mood than I had been some 24 hours earlier. My sunny disposition could have been due many factors. I may have adjusted to my new surroundings, Walt may have been slipping tranquilizers into my drinking water, anything I suppose is possible. More than likely however my new attitude was due to the rest I took during the prior day and the fact that I had the forethought to place a pillow between my legs at night to cushion the blows of my daughter’s unintended yet incessant assaults on my kidneys and genitalia while I slept.

To begin the day I slathered a few gallons of SPF 280 on Darcy, my wife and then myself for good measure. I don’t generally worry about sunburns at least I didn’t until I became a stay at home dad. My position is a difficult one and relies upon the good graces of my wife who keeps me in the manner to which I’m accustomed in part because of my remarkable good looks and the fact that my face does not look like Yogi Berra’s catcher’s mitt at the end of the season.

We proceeded, once again, into the Magic Kingdom. Instead of a bus the Wilderness Lodge provides a boat to ferry its guests to and from the Magic Kingdom which shows the sort of forethought that goes into the Disney experience as a bus probably wouldn’t make it to far across the lagoon.

Darcy was hell bent on seeing Rapunzel whom was receiving visitors in a structure that looked like a town hall out of “Meet Me in Saint Louis” which could probably be said of most of the buildings around the entrance to the park. Rapunzel was a delight and I’m not just saying that because I have a thing for Mandy Moore. The actress playing Rapunzel did an amazing job. She greeted every child with enthusiasm, called them each “friend” and appeared to be legitimately interested in what the kids had to say.

Then again it was still pretty early and Rapunzel had only been seeing kids for fifteen minutes or so. I imagine that the scene some four hour later is something different and she’s either stoned out of her mind and keeping up the same level of enthusiasm or sitting on a stool like Andrew Dice Clay with a cigarette and telling the kids dirty nursery rhymes for her own comic relief. Of course it never comes to that. I’m sure Rapunzel and all the other princesses are given a break every once in a while. I’m also sure they really like what they do which, given the rigorous screening process I’m certain Disney has in place, makes more sense than any other scenario involving pharmaceuticals or a predisposition towards mental instability that I can concoct.

We spent the rest of the morning hitting rides while Laura checked waiting times and juggled our fast passes. My wife is really the unsung hero of this trip which was successful almost entirely because of her efforts. If I were in charge we would have spent the bulk of our time standing in lines as I cursed about the heat and the fact I couldn’t get the Disney fast pass app to load. Laura spent hours planning this vacation and began to do so almost a year ago. I grapple with creating a weekly meal plan and a list of groceries. The thought of mapping out the logistics of lodging, park passes, fast passes, bathroom passes, hall passes, meal plans and all of the other accoutrements involved with an operation of this scale is enough to make me crawl under my bed and sob. Then again I cry quite a bit. I’m a sensitive man with a giant penis. It might not make much sense right now but I promise the two are correlated.

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Seriously drugs don’t do kids.

Moving on to matters at hand Splash Mountain was a hit as was the Seven Dwarves Mine Car which my daughter wanted to ride again. Darcy loved them both and it gave me an opportunity to remember that I had not been on a log flume ride or even a moderately tame roller coaster in more than twenty years. I wasn’t always a fan of roller coasters but there was a period of time for about four years when I would give anything a try, that’s roller coasters mind you not anything else (don’t do drugs kids or even a girl who promises that she’s on birth control. She’s not. The mind is a terrible thing to waste and a rash might not just be a rash. )

I don’t know if my complete and utter terror on Splash Mountain was due to my advanced age or the fact that most adults aren’t typically dropped sixty vertical feet in the span of half a second during an average day at work. No matter the reason it turns out that I’ve become a giant pussy (bygones) when it comes to large drops. My wife didn’t seem to enjoy it either. Somewhere in digital land there is a picture where my wife and I are screaming in unabashed gut dropping terror while my daughter is clearly laughing off her tiny little ass. It was a humbling and proud moment.

The next few hours were spent on rides we could hop on with a limited wait until we had lunch at someplace that served an entire Thanksgiving dinner, an option I’m always up for but one that loses its allure in 95 degree heat.

Fully carbohydrated and after Darcy ordered, refused and the procaine to love her macaroni and cheese we hit the Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin for my daughter’s second time, and under her request,  to share the experience together. The ride was decent but didn’t compare to the unhindered joy I felt at watching my daughter’s excitement as we blasted away at Zorg and his minions. I also feel compelled to note that I scored 119,300 points on my first go around. I’m not bragging. It’s a fact and one I was disappointed to find that wasn’t recognized.

It was somewhere around the Tomorrowland Speedway that I really, really, began to enjoy myself. It may have been the gas fumes or something other than the sulfur in the water that is omnipresent in that part of Florida. I couldn’t say I’m not an attorney. Maybe my wife had been crushing up Xanax and putting it in my breakfast eggs. Maybe, however, just maybe, I had finally relaxed enough to have a good time. However my change of mood came about I realized that the vast majority of everyone in the park had spent a good deal of money to be at the Magic Kingdom, indulge in some family fun and most importantly have a good time.


After not eating beef for five years I consumed about half this cow. This exact cow. To date I have not had a bowel movement.

That night we dined at Ohanna in the Polynesian, a hotel with a South Pacific/Hawaiian theme for those of you who haven’t been to Disney or are unfamiliar with the nuances of geography. I ate enough chicken and shrimp to give me the meat sweats and as of writing these words I have yet to have a bowel movement. Darcy, per usual, sobbed throughout the entire meal until she was plied with enough Shirley Temples to put her in a diabetic coma thus rendering her incapable of complaining about the meal he refused to eat.

It was a good way end the day and our last visit to the Magic Kingdom. Laura, Darcy and I all fell asleep by 9:30 in a giant king sized bed. We slept for nine glorious hours which was, quite possibly, the most enjoyable part of my experience at Disney World to date.



Music is everywhere in Disney. I’m not particularly fond of a good 90% of the songs that pop up in Disney movies and, as I’m writing, I still have the refrain from “Kiss the Girl” in The Little Mermaid bouncing around my head to this day. I’m embarrassed to mention it but I associate the number with the good times I had at the park which makes it slightly less irritating. I’m sure that’s what Walt would have wanted.

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