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Who knew training could be so much fun?
Published on March 1, 2006 By Zoomba In Vacations
SANS – Day 2

Ok, so today was the official start of the conference, but outside of classes not a whole lot goes on aside from a few late evening speeches or vendor demos. They had the first vendor meet & greet, but I didn’t make it to that.

Today, was Epcot.

Well, first I had to take the shuttle system out to the hotel the conference is being held at (Walt Disney Swan & Dolphin Resorts) to register, get my conference badge and pick up my books for training. They handed me a tote bag crammed full of spiral bound books. Each day of the course has a book, and each book is essentially the slides with a LOT of explanatory text accompanying it. So, I got my books, bag, badge and complimentary shirt and head back to my resort to drop it all off before beginning my first day of park hopping.

So, around 11am I make it out to Epcot, and buy myself an incredibly high priced ticket. In Epcot I hit the following:
-Spaceship Earth (the ride inside the golf ball)
-Mission: Space… it rocked
-Test Track… a quasi-roller coaster that does a sort of series of automotive tests (like speed tests, swerving, hill climbs etc. It was OK
-Soarin’… One of those simulators they have all over the place. You sit in a seat and are suspended in front of a giant projection screen and it simulates hang-gliding over California… complete with appropriate scents etc. Pretty damn cool, but I’m not sure if it was worth a 2hr wait
-Innoventions… played some group video game… kicked everyone’s butt.
-World Showcase… Checked out all the respective country areas.. which are mostly just zoned gift shops with a single “museum” or art gallery… Overall pretty neat, but a tad overrated.
-Fireworks display… At 9pm they set off a really nice fireworks display set to music. Not a really big production, but respectable nonetheless.

Interesting tidbits from the day:
1. Did you know that the Italian, French and Moroccan sections of the World Showcase in Epcot aren’t actually owned by Disney? Well, I may have to fact-check this later, but according to one of the Moroccan employees, they actually were gifted to the countries and there’s some lease agreement with Disney, so while they’re in Disney, they’re not entirely operated by them, they have a bit more freedom.

2. It’s a very small world. In the morning, the shuttle I took from Downtown Disney to the Dolphin/Swan was driven by a guy who used to live down the street from my grandparents in OH… He didn’t know them, but knew exactly where they lived when I described it to them.

3. I will never ever ever ever take anyone under the age of 15 or 16 to Disney. I heard more kids crying because they were exhausted and/or over-stimulated in one afternoon than I have in my entire life. Despite the whole deal with Disney being targeted at kids, I don’t think most can appreciate it… and it’s all so overwhelming it’s difficult to deal with. Some kids may deal with it well, but I can see it as being too easy to get swept away by it all. Lots of cranky kids… lots of cranky parents

4. Perception of weather is a lot different down here. It was a nice 65 degrees out, overcast, no humidity and a breeze. People were complaining about it being cold! I was loving the heat! Guess that’s what you get for being from the Frozen Northern Wastelands.

5. Disney shuttles are NOT a reliable way to get around. They may be cheaper and more convenient than driving yourself, but if you have to get somewhere in a timely fashion, the busses aren’t the way to go. It took me about an hour and a half to get from my resort, to the Dolphin, register and get back to my resort. Of course, there’s no direct shuttle service from resort to resort, you have to go through some middle point, usually Downtown Disney.

6. I can actually be quite social when I’m in the proper mood. Normally, I don’t talk to strangers much, I’m not much of a socializer etc… But for some reason today, I was in such a good mood, that I was just laughing and chatting with all sorts of people. Of particular note was Nadia, an employee in the Moroccan section. We sat around and chatted for a while, hung out with some pretty drunk 20-somethings from West Palm Beach for about and hour and just had a good time. I never do that normally. It’s amazing what a good mood will do for you.

When all was said and done, I got to sleep around 3am. Not good considering I had to be up early in the morning for my first day of class… you know, the actual stated purpose of this trip Sure I can do an 8hr class on 4hrs of sleep after a very very full day of running around an amusement park… sure…

(I’m actually typing this day’s entry over the lunch break from the first day of class…. So damn tired… going to fall asleep any minute now and I still have 4hrs left!)

So the first day of fun can be considered a resounding success... tomorrow class starts.

Comments
on Mar 01, 2006

Having just got back from California, I knmow what you mean about 65 and cold!  My inlaws were freezing!  And my Wife and I were in shorts and short sleeves!

Now about this Nadia..........hmmmmm..........

on Mar 01, 2006
Heh, I just got your voicemail.....I was in a 4 hour requirements gathering session. WOOHOO!!

What day do you fly back Z?
on Mar 01, 2006
Oh yeah, and bring back some moraccan chicas!
on Mar 01, 2006
. I will never ever ever ever take anyone under the age of 15 or 16 to Disney. I heard more kids crying because they were exhausted and/or over-stimulated in one afternoon than I have in my entire life. Despite the whole deal with Disney being targeted at kids, I don’t think most can appreciate it… and it’s all so overwhelming it’s difficult to deal with. Some kids may deal with it well, but I can see it as being too easy to get swept away by it all. Lots of cranky kids… lots of cranky parents


Our last trip my oldest was 8, Bret had his birthday there and turned 6 and Brody was almost two. We still had a blast and I don't think they were too crabby. Honestly, I would say the only person who got crabby was my husband. We would go back to the hotel in the afternoon. The big boys went to the pool and Brody would take a nap in the room. We also didn't stay super late at night. And it's so much fun when they really think that's Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear, not just some guy in a suit. And the look on my son's face during the parade was absolutely priceless.
on Mar 01, 2006
My kids had a great time both times we went. The first time they were 1 and 5ish and the last time they were 4 and 8ish. I think a lot of it is the pace you set and what your expectations are. We mainly did things that were appropriate for all of us but also took turns with the kids so we could do "bigger" rides. We all had a great time both times. It was exciting for us to see how excited they got like Locamama said about her son's response to the parade. It really is magical to them and it makes it feel more magical for you in return.
on Mar 02, 2006
I guess it depends on the temperment of the kids. I know as little kids, my sister and I would have been horrendous to take. And a lot of kids did great... the bad ones though still make me warry of the idea. but then again, I'm a LONG ways away from having kids of my own, so it's kinda a moot point

Jill... I actually had you and Brad and your own Disney trip a year or so ago in mind when seeing all the little kids running around
on Mar 02, 2006
Zoomba, I hope we didn't get brought to mind by the screaming obnoxious ones! Even as a parent I got irritated by a lot of the kids and their parents. I really got sick of the people who would run you down with their strollers!!

I'm not trying to say our kids are superior, but they really were soooo good compared to many others. I think the problems lie in a mix of child's tempermant and the parenting. You really can't do Disney the same way with little ones as you would with older kids or adults but that is the beauty of it. Disney has something for everyone and it can be a different experience every time.

Hope you are continuing to enjoy yourself!
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