Thursday, January 26, 2012

Disney World Is Never Too Far From My Thoughts-Always Entertaining And Fun

It is amazing how certain smells and sounds can evoke memories. It is a sense similar to deja vu, but not as haunting. Deja vu is a sensation that a present experience you are undergoing has genuinely happened in the past, but the exact circumstances of the prior encounter are uncertain and were perhaps an illusion. It's the "I've been here before" syndrome. I have personally experienced such feelings, but I assure you it had nothing to do with having seen the future. Some things appear familiar because they remind us of a similar event or happening that resides deep in our memories and overtime became vague, but not forgotten.

There was a film, perhaps you have seen it, bearing the title "Deja Vu" that featured Denzel Washington in the lead role. In the movie he worked as an ATF agent, Doug Carlin, who was investingating a horrific bombing of a ferry in New Orleans. While investigating, a woman's body was found near the site of the bombing and he makes a connection between that and the ferry incident, even though the timming of the two incidents didn't corralate. Soon after, he is approached by a man, played by Val Kilmer, who was involved in a secret government project and asked if he would be interested in assisting the group in their investigation. The project experimented with folding time over itself through the use of worm holes, so they could view the past, and by such a method, solve the crime.

At first, Carlin thought he was just watching videos from cameras and satelites. He suggested they follow the woman's everyday past activities. He had a hunch it would lead them to the bomber. Then, he realized it wasn't just video tapes he was watching, but was the actual past. To make the long story short, he gets sent back in time, prevents the bombing, saves the girl, but he himself gets blown up in the process, that is, his future self. Then, his past self is called to the bombing scene and meets for the first time the woman his future self just saved, in the past. He experiences a moment of deja vu and ends the movie with the word, "Naw."

Well, that's deja vu. The feeling I am refering to is more likely a deja entendu. A response to a scent or sound that triggers a memory of a real past experience or place. You may wonder where am I going with this, and rightly so.

I get this overwhelming urge to travel, and more recently, I have been contemplating on taking a trip that is long over due. So, I have been preoccupied with thoughts of places I have been and those I would like to return to. Today, I had one of those captivating moments. I was at Starbucks and just put in an order for my usual green tea frappuccino. While I waited at the end of the counter for it to be blended, the store atmosphere and chatter of the patrons evoked a memory. For a brief interim of time I was transported to the dining facilities in the French Quarter of Port Orleans, Disney World Orlando. I think it was the sweet smell of the pastries more than anything else that summoned the recollection.

Then there was the other day, I was watching "Braveheart." The clansmen were playing the outlawed bagpipes in a tribute to William Wallace's father who was murdered by the henchmen of Longshanks. Suddenly, I found my myself, not literally but figuratively mind you, whisked away to Disney Worlds Epcot World Showcase area. I was sitting in the cantina by the water in Mexico, sipping on a margarita, listening to the legato sounds of Scottish bagpipes drifting over the water from across the way in Canada. The Celtic band, Off Kilter, were performing one of their nightly sets.

Disney World is never too far from my thoughts. I have traveled there often through the years and have built up quite a repertoire of fond memories with the family. The most memorable being the year I was in the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney Hollywood Studios and also chosen to participate in the Studio Backlot Tour. Time marches on and all things change, even Disney.

All my kids are on their own now. That is good thing. As a parent, it is what you sacrifice for, to finally see them make their way in the world and succeed at it. I am now an empty nester and a senior citizen. It is strange to say that because I am truly a kid at heart and always will be. I am anxiously waiting for my grandchildren to become of age, so I can take them to "The Happiest Place on Earth."

Disney has long positioned itself as "The Happiest Place on Earth", and it goes to great lengths to maintain that illusion. I have watched and experienced its growth through the years with great enthusiasm. As the technologies advance, Disney embraces them with a ummatched passion dedicated to the idea, "If you can imagine it, you can do it." And 2012 is no exception.

Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland is undergoing a transformation and guests may get their first glimpse of the changes by summer. Star Tours re-opened May 20 to rave reviews. Its experience has been enhanced and now provides over 50 ride combinations, so riders will likely see something new every time they ride. Rapunzel, along with Flynn Rider from the Walt Disney Pictures animated feature "Tangled," are now greeting guests of all ages in a new interactive "play and greet." Two new eateries opened this past fall in Epcot's World Showcase Italy and Mexico pavilions. For the runners, there is Disney's Princess Half-Marathon Weekend-February 24-26, 2012.

Enough talk, enough dreaming, I'm ready to go. I just need someone to go with. Say the magic word and we are off. And when you do finally see me there, be sure to say hello.
Disney's Port Orleans Resort French Quarter
All Disney World accommodations

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