Disney, Foreclosures and Home Sweet Home

Figuring out the cheapest way to see Disneyworld can be pretty complicated. As a Florida resident you get a discount on ticket prices. With AAA there is a bit more. Still it was a pretty expensive trip. Although Disney is hurting for customers they still insist on dividing the parks up so you have to pay to see each individual area per day or buy a “Hopper” pass so you can go wherever you want on the same day. I paid $102.00 for a 2 day pass which allowed me to see the Magic Kingdom (as in “The Castle”) and Epcot. My friend and I went to the following places:
Epcot
Spaceship Earth – the Globe at the entrance
Mission Space – (good but we opted for the Green ride-barf bags were prominent)
Test Track – a good thrill, a roller coaster in a car
The Seas – always interesting and a great learning tool
The Land – ho hum
China – a good 360 degree movie
O Canada – another good 360 degree movie

Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World Railroad – a good way to see the park as the train goes around the edge of the park and stops at various locations
Swiss Family Treehouse – ho hum
The Enchanted Tiki Room – it has been changed, too short, not as funny
Pirates of the Caribbean – did they shorten the ride? I almost fell getting into the boat. We were herded in like cattle.
Big Thunder Mtn Railroad – a roller coaster ride, pretty tame or I wouldn’t have gone.
The Haunted Mansion – after 3 to 4 visits I’ve finally had my fill. It’s still good.
Stitch’s Great Escape – OMG stupid
Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor – warning. They pick audience members and make jokes based on the audience. My friend was picked..not funny.
Country Bear Jamboree – I remember the days when it was a long wait to get in as it was so popular and the program was longer, funnier and more entertaining.

So all in all it was about $6.38/ride. Eek. The hotel, a Ramada Inn about 2 miles east of Disney, was $59/night and included a $5/night “resort” fee. AAA said it had only heard of that in New Orleans. The highway 192 strip is very commercial with restaurants, malls and big flashy signs. It behooves visitors to eat off the beaten path. Needless to say we didn’t eat at Disney either as it was too expensive. There was actually someone at Epcot on the way out who asked if we had eaten or purchased anything while there. “Nope”, we replied. We went to Epcot on a Thursday and pretty much had the place to ourselves. The Magic Kingdom caters more to children so was busier on Friday but still no waiting in lines. With the bad economy those days are over. Upon returning home I saw in the local paper that Disney is laying off employees. One sign of the downturn in the Disney economy was more litter and debris around the parks. In the old days that would never happen. Everything was spic and span back then.

To break things up we opted not to drive I-75 back from Orlando and took the highway 19 road to highway 98 to Pensacola. It was really disturbing to see so many houses and businesses along the coast that were for sale, lease, or rent. Also, since the last time I had driven there, the beach had eroded in several places. People who had beach front property were really close to the water now. In some places I foresee highway 98 being moved north because the beach has totally disappeared. Imagine buying a house on the beach a long time ago just to lose it to the weather? Sad.

We arrived to cold weather in Pensacola, 42 degrees. That was hard to get used to after 60-80 degrees in Orlando. Supposedly spring is just around the corner here but I think people are just playing with me. It continues to be below freezing at night. It doesn’t matter. The dogs and I are together again and all is well.

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