Hell of a Guy

“Have a Magical Day”...


If I heard that phrase once during the two full days I spent at Disney’s Contemporary Hotel last week, I know I heard it a hundred times.  Well, maybe not a hundred, but most definitely a lot.  I think every Disney employee must be thoroughly trained to say this instead of “get the hell out of my face.”

I was there to represent my former company at a conference for school business people.  The guy who was supposed to attend was visiting family in the South Pacific, so my former boss ask me to work the three days on a “consulting basis,” which is a nice way of asking one to be paid as part-time employee with no benefits.  Nonetheless, I got paid for it, or will once the check arrives.

There really wasn’t a magical moment for me while I was there, except for the multitude of happy children I was blessed to see – girls dressed as Snow White, Cinderella, and even Minnie Mouse, and boys with their pirate hats and eye patches and other crazy head gear.  This is truly a magical place made for children as was evidenced on their little faces.  I did, however, witness a fair number of crying children, though the happy ones out-numbered them three or four to one.  The thought crossed my mind the many lakes Disney World is dotted with were filled with the tears shed by children that were just plain overly tired or heard that terrible tear causing word, No!  I bet it’s a fifty-fifty on that one.

This was my third trip to Disney and I can easily say I was impressed only on my first one that took place in 1978, but then it’s been so long I don’t remember a lot about that one, either.  The past two have been to conferences, the first of them just about two years ago.  As I said this last one was just two full days, so I did not get to see a lot other than the inside of the hotel - my room and the bar.  I was mildly impressed with my room, though it had two queen-size beds and not the king I had hoped to get, but then it was just for two nights.

The food at Disney, in my humble, non-meat eating opinion, ranks somewhere between “sucks” and just plain “ain’t too good.” I had two breakfast buffets at $25.29 each that were okay, and just ranked as so-so for the money – but I did not indulge in the meat products on it and maybe that is what made it worth be overpriced.  I had a vegetarian Cuban sandwich in the bar that was okay, except for the $10.00 price tag that made it so-so, as well.  The thing that got me most was the poor excuse I had of a “gourmet flat bread,” in other words a fancy name for a pizza so the restaurant can charge more and give you less.  The one I had was billed as a Four Cheese Flat Bread with sundried tomatoes and basil pesto for a mere $12.00 that was maybe 5”wide by 8” long.  I am not a food critic, but I do have taste buds and that flat bread did not titillate any one of them; it was pretty tasteless bordering on bland.  I don’t recall much of my first trip’s dining experiences, but the meals of the last two have left a bad taste in my mouth in more ways than one.

And then there was the beer.  $6.75 for a bottle of Budweiser that I would not drink if it were free, and a whopping $7:75 for a pint of draft beer…which I did have.  One of the hotel’s bars did offer Orlando Brewing Company’s Organic Pale Ale on tap and, while plainly over-priced, was quite drinkable and flavorful, so I had a few, but then again too few to mention.

I have no desire to return to Disney World any time soon or forever.  The only highlights I will enjoy remembering from this, hopefully my last visit there, are the faces on the kids as they skipped their way to the Magic Kingdom and the three hour, thirteen-mile walk I took around the hotel and grounds before collapsing in a chair in my room just prior to the conference activities on Friday that required my presence. The absolute best part of my Disney trip was boarding Southwest flight 1934 and heading home to West Virginia and The Farm.

And that is all I have to say about that…

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