Saturday, November 03, 2007

Return From Mouse Town

Well, that was fun, exhausting and enlightening in equal measures. With a dash of frustrating (but nothing so negative as to mention more than in passing). We didn't know it was a French national holiday and I don't really do queuing, children, crowds, or The French, plus sleep deprivation hit us like Sumo on day 2. This was down to a 9am flight from Birmingham and a 1am finish on Halloween (cos there was no way of gods green earth we were going to miss those fireworks). Eventually, no amount of coffee could cut the mustard and it was zombie-ville.

Still, top fun was had. We stayed at the big pink 'Disneyland Hotel' (hurrah for 'magic hours') and the convenience of the place (right next to the doors to the main park) was the main plus (unless you personally have a thing for dancing hippos, pink, and having ya photo taken with 'Euro characters' each morning - so, basicly, unless your the wife). It was VERY handy to just fall into the hotel on Halloween, knackered beyond reason, and marvel at the sound-proofing keeping the noise of the music and rides at bay.

The innate 'Steampunkness' off the park is stunning (though the darkness of rides precluded me raping the mouse too mercilessly for textures) and I've come back brimming with ideas for the new studio and awash with Méliès inspired architectural fancies. Orbitron, the dirigible from 'The Island at The Top of The World' (saw that on the flick back in 1974) and (obviously) Les Mystères du Nautilus were pretty damn obvious, but the arcades of Victoriana and 'inventions' provided a lot of snaps that are going to take me weeks to trawl through, as well as the back stage tours through the set and props of Dinotopia, yada, yada.

I had a strange SL moment, on Halloween, when we we were walking through the Discoveryland, surrounded by the whole 'Caledoness' of it all, while dressed in my Captains uniform and with the good lady wife in 'Victorian Red Riding Hood' get-up. Suddenly, we were surrounded by furrys. Other visitors, about 12 of them, dressed in full furry outfits (and reeking of yiff) like foxes, wolves, rabbits etc., the full Monty. Jem just turned to me and said "Bloody hell, this is a bit yiffy, it's just like Second Life". Gotta say, it's the only moment I've even had where, looking around, there was nothing to ground me in reality and break the illusion. VERY odd. VERY mainland. I doubt this is what VMK is like...

...anyway, we walked around a lot and explored the hell out of the place. We had the magic hours (2 hours you get in park pre-proles if ya stay in a Disney hotel) and no over-tired kids to drag around and worry about. The weather was great for us, and on the first morning the light was amazing and the parks were full of mist and I got some great shots. Check out Flickr and Jem's Facebook for a small selection.

We ate well, went on EVERYTHING (most things twice) from being Orlando Fast Pass veterans and a bit cunning at knowing when stuff would be free cos folks would be at parades and taking hungry kids home, and marvelled at the Euroness of it all.

Some stuff is better, some the same, some looses something by not having that 'World Fair' edge to it. The park benefits from experience, this being it's 15th year, learnt from the 2 previous. Cool stuff like walking round a corner and seeing a full size X-Wing poised over Star Tours, the beautiful stained glass in the towers or the dragon under the castle, running over rope bridges and exploring pirate caves, the constant barrage of 'stuff' all gets eventually kinda lost in a blur of leg-weary queuing and roller coaster induced inner ear imbalance and spinal compression and you start to look forward to home.

Regardless, fun was had (thanks Uncle Walt) and it's back to the virtual grindstone tomorrow. As promised, more to report on the new sim and upcoming SL parties as soon as I find some time :-)

Post a Comment