The Walt "You Will Have Fun" Disney World Themed Shopping Complex and Resort Compound
from Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need"
I'm an expert on visiting Disney World, because we live only four hours
away, and according to my records we spend about three-fifths of our
after-tax income there. Not that I'm complaining. You can't have a bad
time at Disney World. It's not *allowed*. They have hidden electronic
surveillance cameras everywhere, and if they catch you failing to laugh
with childlike wonder, they lock you inside a costume representing a
beloved Disney character, such as Goofy and make you walk around in the
Florida heat getting grabbed and leaped on by violently excited children
until you have learned your lesson. Yes, Disney World is a "dream
vacation," and here are some tips to help make it "come true" for you!
WHEN TO GO: The best time to go, if you want to avoid huge crowds, is 1962.
HOW TO GET THERE: It's possible to fly, but if you want the total Disney
World experience, you should drive there with a minimum of four hostile
children via the longest possible route. If you live in Georgia, for
example, you should plan a route that includes Oklahoma.
Once you get to Florida, you can't miss Disney World, because the Disney
corporation owns the entire center of the state. Just get on any major
highway, and eventually it will dead-end in a Disney parking area large
enough to have its own climate, populated by large nomadic families who
have been trying to find their cars since the Carter administration. Be
sure to note carefully where you leave YOUR car, because later you may want
to sell it so you can pay for your admission tickets.
But never mind the price; the point is that now you're finally THERE, in
the ultimate vacation fantasy paradise, ready to have fun! Well, okay,
you're not exactly there YET. First you have to wait for the parking-lot
tram, driven by cheerful uniformed Disney employees, to come around and
pick you up and give you a helpful lecture about basic tram safety rules
such as never fall out of the tram without coming to a full and complete
But now the tram ride is over and it's time for fun! Right? Don't be an
idiot. IT's time to wait in line to buy admission tickets. Most experts
recommend taht you go with the 47-day pass, which will give you a chance,
if you never eat or sleep, to visit ALL of the Disney themed attractions,
including the City of the Future, the Land of Yesterday,
The Dull Suburban Residential Community of Sometime Next Month, Wet
Adventure, Farms on Mars, The World of Furniture, Sponge Encounter, the
Nuclear Flute Orchestra, Appliance Island, and the Great Underwater Robot
Hairdresser Adventure, to name just a few.
Okay, you 've taken out a second mortgage and purchaced your tickets! Now
it's finally time to ... wait in line again! This time, it's for the
monorail, a modern, futuristic transportation system that whisks you to
the Magic Kingdom at nearly half the speed of a lawn tractor. Along the
way, cheerful uniformed Disney World employees will offer you some helpful
monorail-safety tips such as never set fire to the monorail without first
removing your personal belongings.
And now, at last, you're at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom itself! No
more waiting in line for transportation! It's time to WAIT IN LINE TO GET
IN. Wow! Look at all the OTHER people waiting to get in! There are tour
groups here with names like "Entire Population of Indiana." There sure
must be some great attractions inside these gates!
And now you've inched your way to the front of the line, and the cheerful
uniformed Disney employee is stamping your hand with a special invisible
chemical that penetrates your nervous system and causes you to temporarily
acquire the personality of a cow. "Moo!" you shout as you surge forward
with the rest of the herd.
And now, unbelievably, you're actually inside the Magic Kingdom! At last!
Mecca! You crane your head to see over the crowd around you, and with
innocent childlike wonder you behold: A MUCH LARGER CROWD. Ha ha! You are
having some kind of fun now!
And now you are pushing your way forward, thrusting other vacationers
aside, knocking over their strollers if necessary, because Little Jason
wants to ride on Space Mountain. Little Jason has been talking about Space
Mountain ever since Oklahoma, and by G-d, you're going to take him on it,
no matter how long the .... My G-d! Can THIS be the line for Space
Mountain? This line is so long that there are Cro-Magnon families at the
front! Perhaps if you explain to Little Jason that he could be a deceased
old man by the time he gets on the actual ride, he'll agree to skip it and
... NO! Don't scream, Little Jason! We'll just purchase some official
Mickey Mouse sleeping bags, and we'll stay in line as long as it takes!
The hell with third grade! We'll just stand here and chew our cuds!
Speaking of education, you should be sure to visit Epcot Center, which
features exhibits sponsored by large corporations showing you how various
challenges facing the human race are being met and overcome thanks to the
selfless efforts of large corporations. Epcot also features pavilions
built by various foreign nations, where you can experience an extremely
realistic simulation of what life in these nations would be like if they
consisted almost entirely of restaurants and souvenir stores.
One memorable Epcot night, my family and I ate at the German restaurant,
where I had several large beers and a traditional German delicacy called
"Bloatwurst", which is a sausage that can either be eaten or used as a
tackling dummy. When we got out I felt like one of those snakes that eat a
cow whole and then just lie around and digest it for a couple of months.
But my son was determined to go on a new educational Epcot ride called
"The Body," wherein you sit in a compartment that simulates what it would
be like if you got inside a spaceship-like vehicle and got shrunk down to
the size of a gnat and got injected inside a person's body.
I'll tell you what it's like: awful. You're looking at a screen showing
an extremely vivid animated simulation of the human interior, which is not
the most applealing way to look at a human unless you're attracted to white
blood cells the size of motor homes. Meanwhile the entire compartment is
bouncing you around violently, especially when you go through the aorta.
"Never go through the aorta after eating German food," that is my new
What gets me is, I waited in line for an HOUR to do this, I could have
experienced essentially the same level of enjoyment merely by sticking my
finger down my throat.
Which brings me to my idea for getting rich. No doubt you have noted that,
in most amusement parks, the popularity of a ride is directly proportional
to how horrible it is. There's hardly ever a line for nice, relaxing rides
like the merry-go-round. But there will always be a huge crowd, mainly
consisting of teenagers, waiting to go on a ride with a name like "The
Dicer," where they strap people into what is essentially a giant food
processor and turn it on and then phone the paramedics.
So my idea is to open up a theme park cakked "Dave World," which would
have a ride called "The Fall of Death." This will basically be a 250-foot
tower. The way it works is, you climp to the top, a trapdoor opens up, and
you splat onto the asphalt below like a bushel of late-summer tomatoes.
Obviously, for legal reasons, I couldn't let anybody actually GO on this
ride. There would be a big sign that said:
NOBODY CAN GO ON THIS RIDE.
THIS RIDE IS INVARIABLY FATAL,
But this would only make The Fall of Death more popular. Every teenager in
the immediate state would come to Dave World just to stand in line for it.
Dave World would also have an attraction called "ParentLand," which would
have sign outside that said: "Sorry, Kids! This attraction is for Mom 'n'
Dad only!" Inside would be a bar. For younger children, there would be
"Soil Fantasy," a themed play area consisting of dirt or as a special
"rainy-day" bonus, mud.
I frankly can't see how Dave World could fail to become a huge financial
success that would make me rich and enable me to spend the rest of my days
traveling the world with my family. So the hell with it.
SEEING OTHER ATTRACTIONS IN THE DISNEY WORLD AREA
You must be very careful here. You might sneak out of Disney World in the
dead of night, because the Disney people do NOT want you leaving the
compound and spending money elsewhere. If they discover that you've gone,
cheerful uniformed employees led by Mickey Mouse's lovable dog Pluto, who
will sniff the ground in a comical manner, will track you down. And when
they catch you, it's INTO THE GOOFY SUIT.
So we're talking about a major risk, but it's worth it for some of the
attractions around Disney World. The two best ones, as it happens, are
right next to each other in a town called Kissimmee. One of them is the
world headquarters of the Tupperware company, where you can take a guided
tour that includes a Historic Food Containers Museum. I am not making this
I am also not making up Gatorland, which is next door. After entering
Gatorland through a giant pair of pretend alligator jaws, you find yourself
on walkways over a series of murky pools in which are floating a large
number of alligators that appear to be recovering from severe hangovers, in
the sense that they hardly ever move. You can purchase fish to feed them,
but the typical Gatorland alligator will ignore a fish even if it lands
directly on its head. Sometimes you'll see an alligator, looking bored,
wearing three or four rotting, fly-encrusted fish, like some kind of High
Swamp Fashion headgear.
This is very entertaining, of course, but the REAL action at Gatorland, the
event that brings even the alligators to life, is the Assault on the Dead
Chickens, which is technically known as the Gator Jumparoo. I am also not
making this up. The way it works is a large group of tourists gathers
around a central pool, over which, suspended from wires, are a number of
plucked headless chicken carcasses. As the crowd, encouraged by the
Gatorland announcer, cheers wildly, the alligators lunge out of the water
and rip the chicken carcasses down with their jaws. Once you've witnessed
this impressive event, you will never again wonder how America got to be
the country that it is today.
And speaking of America, let's talk about taking children to one of this
nation's many fine:
EDUCATIONAL HISTORIC SITES
Forget it. Your modern child is not interested in educational historic
sites. Your modern child has grown up with MTV and Nintendo; he or she is
not going to be enthralled by watching people in authentic uncomfortable
colonial outfits demonstrate how families in 1750 used to make candles by
spinning flax with a churn, or whatever the hell they did. So you should
avoid this kind of activity. Also you should avoid stopping at those
Historical Markers on the side of the highway that you can never read when
you're driving past because hte letters are too small. Here's what they
This historic marker was erected on this site in 1923 during the
administration of Governor Rayford R "Scooter" Grommet, Jr. to
commemeorate with great sadness the numerous innocent
civilians who are almost definitely going to get hit by traffic when
they stop their cars and get out and try to read these really tiny