Hello all! Thank you so much for joining us on our little Disney adventure. In this final post of our mini-series, we're chatting about experiences, and one of my favorite had to be one I experienced for the first time at Epcot Center. I hadn't been to Epcot in years, and even from my visits when I was a kid, there was one ride/show that was never available during my visits, and at one point removed. Well, now it's back. Captain EO. Yep, I'd never had the chance to see Captain EO, not back when it first opened its doors and not years later.
The fab Lex Chase was the one who brought it to my attention. She knew it was right up my alley and just the sort of thing I'd like. Well, I didn't like it. I LOVED it. Don't care how cheesy it might seem, to me it was absolutely perfect. Anyone who's read the THIRDS series is well aware of Dex's 80s obsession, and I'm often asked about the research behind it or where I got the inspiration. Dex's love for 80s music and movies, his fond memories of the toys and candy involved very little research. I share his feelings on the subject. I may not have a basement full of 80s memorabilia including Rubiks Cubes and 3D glasses, but I have fond memories of my big hair band music, the original days (and still the best) of MTV, my Debbie Gibson cassette tapes, and Saturday Morning cartoons.
Upon entering the ride, you get to see behind the scenes videos of the shoot with all it's glorious big haired dancers sporting sweatbands and legwarmers. I had an idea of what to expect, or so I thought. The reality totally blew my expectations. Yes, I am that much of a nerd. Seriously, my eyes got all watery. It was like opening a time capsule or hopping in the Delorean and ending up back in time. The music was awesome, the dancing so much fun, and the fact that it was the original 1986 version made it that much more amazing. My only disappointment was that they didn't bring back the gift shop. My kingdom for a Captain EO T-shirt! If you're feeling nostalgic, check out the Captain EO movie here.
Kim Fielding and the Disney Experience.
Y’know, one of the things I like about Disney is that it appeals to such a wide range of humanity. Yeah, little kids of course. But teens too and grown-ups of all ages. You can visit a Disney park and hear a whole host of languages. You’ll see everyone from well-scrubbed kids in church choir t-shirts to tattooed tough guys, noisy frat boys, hand-holding gay couples, and too-cool hipsters. At one point, I stood in line for Tower of Terror (more on that in a minute) near a large family speaking loudly in Spanish, a goth couple in their early twenties, several young Japanese women, and some southern-accented grandparents with their gawky grandkids. You have to be able to pony up about a hundred bucks per person per day—not counting food and mouse ear hats—but that seems to be just about the only barrier to having fun at Disney.
Part of the appeal is that nearly everyone can find something to enjoy. I’m not much of a princessy person, but how cool that Lex got princesses to sign her book! Charlie could name every movie on the Great Movie Ride. And I got to see some of my favorite shows (Muppets! Indiana Jones!), watch manatees eat a whole lot of lettuce, and go on rides.
Sadly, I didn’t get to go on one of my favorite rides, Tower of Terror. The line was supposed to be 60 minutes long. Charlie and Lex were not into riding haunted elevators, but were kindly willing to wait for me. But after about 10 minutes, an announcer informed us that half the ride was shut down. The wait was now 140 minutes. Sigh. Never mind.
Don’t worry---we found other ways to amuse ourselves. And I’m taking my younger daughter to California Disney for spring break, so we can ride Tower of Terror then. But while I’m sure the kid and I will have a good time, I’ll miss Lex and Charlie’s lovely company!
Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.
Lex Chase and Happily Ever After...
Now that we've reached the grand finale of our Disney Dreamer serial where Kim, Charlie and I have shared our experiences of the food over on my blog, and we talked about 'Murica the Stunt Squirrel and the budding transspecies m/m love of Princess Kitty Taylor and Spike over on Kim Fielding's blog. Now, here on Charlie Cochet's blog, we're here to talk about our special experiences that will always stick with us. I had quite a few!
First, as before mentioned, I was bit by Disney Princess Fever which everyone was very patient to put up with me. It was exciting to just be a kid again and experience the magic and wonder that Walt Disney all those decades ago had set out to do.
I should mention one of my first experiences happened early on. Because I had blown out my left knee a week before the trip, I had been confined to a scooter for the week. Talk about dropping a large sum of cash before my flight even left Pensacola! Charlie had been such a trooper with taking apart and reassembling the thing every single day. It got to a point she could do it under 30 seconds and off we went. We also got to go to the front of every line. Sometimes we were led right in, sometimes we had to wander through the standby line forever. Hello Haunted Mansion!
Among the awesomeness of Epcot and meeting the Disney Princesses (which I recapped on my blog), I indulged in further nerdiness by carrying around a copy of Americana Fairy Tale and taking photos of the book in various locations.
Of course there was the locations I had deemed "important" such as Germany for Snow White.
And another location was France for Princess Aurora. For Reasons that have been probably long spoiled by now. Thanks Internet!
As Charlie and I were on our way out of Epcot, we finally managed to meet Anna and Elsa of Frozen. In a sense anyway. Also Charlie fails at taking a bad photo ever.
I hadn't been to Magic Kingdom in years, and local gal as well as good Twitter buddy Jules Loves Books volunteered as tour guide. And trust me, Charlie and I seriously needed one for Magic Kingdom. It's huuuuge!
I made the brilliant decision in suggesting we all go on Splash Mountain. I was determined for Splash Mountain awesomeness. Thanks to my knee, my doctor gave a big nope to doing any rollercoasters. I thought I could totally do Splash Mountain. As we wound through the line that stretched on into eternity, the more anxious I got. Charlie assured me, "Oh come on. Look. Kids are going to do it. You'll be fine." I said, "Okay. I can do this. I'll be fine. If kids are going on it this is no big deal. I got it."
It was quite possibly the worst decision I could have ever made.
I was fine, I didn't injure my knee or anything. But HOLY JESUS I was terrified! What can I say, I'm a big wuss. LOL Charlie wanted to do it again and I was like "You go do that. I'll be over here on solid ground. Solid ground is awesome."
As Charlie and Jules decided to do Thunder Mountain Railroad, I took a chill and got my got my Mickey Ears Ice Cream to console my terror. I wasn't comfort eating or nothing. No way! Can't prove it!
Pictures happened while I waited. Like this one at the end of The Water Ride of Damnation—I mean, Splash Mountain. (I like my name waaaay better.)
But after a long day of Magic Kingdom-ing, it was time to head out. On our way out, Cinderella's Castle looked as true to form pretty damned magical.
One day, we'll all go back. Disney is always best with family, friends, and a gaggle of authors who know what it is to dream.
What is your fondest memory of Disney? Was it a movie? Was it actually being there? Was it that time you realized you really wanted to be a storyteller weaving the magic and wonder of Disney himself? Let us know!
Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting too. Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure and epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love. Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending. Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine now residing in the burbs of Northwest Florida, where it could be 80F and she’d still be a popsicle.