For those who grew up watching cartoons in the pre Cartoon network era, where like the news channels at that time, the toons were also limited to Mickey,Minnie,Pluto,Goofy, Tom n Jerry and it was a time when even the marvel comics superheroes were more decent in their appearance, with well combed hair and bulging biceps automatically implied physical strength. It was a time when all the cartoons and comics had a simple ending - happily ever after. It was a time when stories where mere stories and implied nothing more than triumph of good over evil. No one debated on why good was GOOD and bad was BAD and why not the other way round. The "why not" ers came in much late and before their advent, life was simple in its own unassuming way in toonland. Much before the march of the Japs into toon world, Disney had created a make believe setup, with their sugary syrupy symphonies and cute little characters. No one was ugly and even the beast was beautiful. Frogs turned into princes and damsels in distress always had their prince charming rushing to their rescue. The best part about Disney is that, they still manage to cling on to that make believe notion and continue to sell dreams to the tiny tots world over.
Disneyland - a mythical place of Utopian happiness. Surprisingly, when we asked for suggestions on the umpteen parks in the campus as to which one to visit the responses were more negative. We had planned for a 2 day - one park per day pass and wanted to know which of them is best suited for all age categories (for kids like me and for adults (read ride crazy-freaks!!)). Most of the people suggested EPCOT, the park that majority of them had not visited. Magical kingdom, the original and oldest of the parks, polled very few votes as they felt it was too kiddish even for kids and recommended Hollywood studios. We checked and checked and researched and checked some more and by the time we were done with our analysis, we were more confused than before as to which one to go and which to leave. EPCOT secured one spot on public demand, maybe people wanted to experiment with us to know if it was worth visiting and magical kingdom won the deal with the minutest of margins, just for the sake of the Mickey parade.
From Cape Canaveral it was another 4 hour drive to Orlando and we finally reached around 8PM. It was Christmas eve and the lady at the counter was working in all seriousness. The elevator in that hotel reminded of the horror movies. Made more screeching noise than our politicians screaming for publicity over the Delhi incident. Wait..Thats not possible. But..you get the point i guess. Romba chamatha, we had taken cooker, rice and stuff to cook and eat and even ensured the room had kitchen, only not even bothering to open the cover during the entire course of the trip. Had dinner at a Indian restaurant right next to our hotel. The waiter, even before taking our orders told us that there was only one chef available at that time and orders are running late by atleast an hour. Since my room mate had made up his mind to eat chicken biryani, he made us wait. It took one hour for the waiter to even give us water and another hour before the order was taken and finally when it did come, it was after a whopping 2 hours and 45 minutes. The only bigger thing was the bill we paid for the food. Way too expensive. The next day we started for EPCOT as planned. There was a shuttle arranged by the hotel to pick and drop us from Disney. It was like namma ooru share auto and stopped in allllll the hotels and resorts on the way and even when the bus was jam packed with no standing space the driver stuffed in as many people as he could and finally we reached the park.
As i started walking towards EPCOT entrance, it was a mixed feeling of thrill plus excitement plus weird. We were greeted by that giant pineapple kind of building synonymous with EPCOT.