Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's a Fun Small World After All

I'm back. I survived Disney World. It was actually nice.

Okay, it was more than just nice. I had a great time with SKO at Disney World despite the withering heat and throngs of families. SKO & I always have a great time together, so I was not surprised that we had tons of fun. Well I should give Disney a bit more credit- the rides were really fun & kitchsy (we also lucked out by being randomly handed a super fast pass for most of the rides at Magic Kingdom- it was like winning the lottery, we cut tons of long lines and felt like rock stars with our special passes around our necks). Also, staying at a Disney resort & using Disney transport was a pretty efficient way to travel, especially since I do not drive. Bear with me as I post tons of photo mosaics of our trip...I just learned how to make the mosaics and overindulged just a bit (I will make it short & sweet because no one really wants to see vacation pics of SKO & I except, well SKO & I):

Here's our hotel- Disney's Coronado Springs- named after one of several gold driven, blood-thirsty, disease carrying explorers. SKO & I joked about how the decor of the resort should truthfully display in Disney fashion- cartooned carcasses of the Native Americans hanging on the walls of a hotel named after a Spanish conqueror. The hotel was pretty despite it's ill-fated name.
Tons of fun to be had at the Magic Kingdom- we went most of the rides and returned in the evening for more fun & fireworks.
My all time favorite: The Mad Tea Party from Alice In Wonderland complete with Dormouse peeking out of the teapot. SKO & I took turns spinning our teacup to sickening fast speeds. We both felt a bit queasy afterwards since we did go on after dinner, but it was all worth it.
Then there was the ridiculously hot day where we wandered through Epcot in a daze. We dragged our feet through The World Showcase (a glorified open mall of different areas simulating countries from Mexico to France) in the searing heat. We were delirious walking from China to Italy in search of lunch...My favorite country was Morocco- from the beautiful tilework to my first decent meal in a pretty restaurant complete with belly dancing performance and rosewater for our hands after the meal.

There was a particularly interesting ride at Epcot- The Land, where they took you through their hydroponics planting system- everything from millet to kale to Mickey Mouse shaped pumpkins grown without soil. They were also experimenting with aeroponically grown tomatoes- grown in air and systematically misted with nutrients. The one thing that did bother me on this ride: farmed fish & crocodiles. Sad.

There was the day spent at Disney's MGM Studios Theme Park. The park was very cute- kind of a replica of old Hollywood. There was a backlot for New York with fake subway stations, water towers on buildings. The disturbing thing was the paint graffiti on the lionheads & the dilapidated apt building with apts for rent- this is how they represent NYC? shameful and stuck in the 70's- they might as well have added dog poop all over the streets if they wanted to convey old scary NYC...Mine & SKO's favorite- a Star Tours ride based on Star Wars (we happened to watch the entire Star Wars dvds this summer). And yes, we did hum the theme to the Dark Side for some time on line for the ride & after- annoying perhaps to some. Judge me by my humming, do you? Ah Yoda, we heart thee.

Now, I'm sure you all want to know what a vegan can eat at Disney. Well, the good news is that there were a few vegan options for the most part- well really at least one definite at all the parks was the veggie burger, which I think might have been a Boca burger- very meaty kind of burger. As with all theme parks, there's tons of bad for you burgers & fries, but the nice thing at Disney- they list on their park maps which places carried vegetarian & healthy alternatives ( not a big selection, but always something to eat). So I went armed with Lara bars, nuts, cookies & Primal Strips as a supplement, but ended up being sufficiently fed. The two best meals that I had was a simple vegetable couscous dish in Morocco at Epcot and a surprisingly good tabouleh wrap with black bean salad at the ABC Commissary at MGM. The worst was lunch in Japan at The Yakitori House. The only veg options- iceberg lettuce salad with tomatoes and an order of mixed vegetables. Well I was so excited to hear mixed vegetables that I happily ordered that with a salad and a side of rice. The mixed vegetables turned out to be frozen peas, corn & carrot. That was the most disappointing meal. Overall though, it was nice to have at least one veg option at most places. Also, I learned to drink my coffee black because although they had non-dairy creamer, upon further reading of ingredients, I discovered that the non-dairy creamer contained caseinate derived from dairy. Some how defeats the purpose no?

My biggest pet peeve at Disney- in every theme park, there were people devouring giant pieces of flesh. Some turkey fleshmonger must have an in with Disney and was able to secure a contract to sell huge turkey drumsticks at all their parks. They must have some big connection to push these turkey drumsticks because it's not everyday you see people snacking on fleshy drumsticks. Check out the eerie correlation between guy's bare leg & turkey leg he's munching on. Why can't people make the connection? Turkey flesh, human flesh on a bone- no difference. Stop eating animals- flesh is flesh. Yuck.
After Disney, I was able to visit with my father's side of the family in Florida and have happily brought Tofurky Italian Sausages into their lives. My father's side of the family is Buddhist and the nice thing was how open they were to my veganism. My father & his sister- my aunt on separate occasions told me how proud they were of my veganism. My father loudly announced to all at the dinner table where we gathered that the sausages were free of all animal product. He said it twice. It was really nice that not only were they so accepting of my lifestyle, but that they were actually proud of me. What a complete contrast to the reaction from my mother's Chinese Catholic side of the family. I guess being Buddhists- veganism is not such a foreign concept. My father also loves the Purely Decadent mocha almond fudge that I put in his freezer. I may send them a care package soon so that they will incorporate more animal-free foods in their home. On that note, I wish you all a wonderful weekend. SKO is back home in Florida and the summer is coming to an end. One further note to SKO: See what happens when you give up your couch privileges and go home to Florida? Always someone ready to take your place...


SKO said...

FIRST COMMENT (like you didn't see that coming!).

Aww, Disney was super fun, if throde at times! Coronado Springs was fairly cute, if a little suspicious on hygiene...Magic Kingdom was so cool- and yes, we were rock stars. :D

Epcot was NOT cute (that heat!) until nightfall...Soarin was real cool, and dinner was fabulous and food pictures?

MGM was pretty cute, and Star Wars was an ending appropriate for trilogy summer- Yoda the best is. <'^'> (Yoda face!)

And yes, the Floridian branch of our family is cuuuttteee too...even if VLO wants to make Booboo a street cat! Our theme songs are definitely Hotel California and Top of the World.

I'm so glad we went- it was an excellent, excellent birthday trip. :D I hope you had as much fun as I did. We (as in me) miss you vair much and can't wait for Christmas.

And tell Booboo to get off my couch or I'll bop her. :)

Make a post soon or I'll stalk you!

Emmie said...

wow, it seemed like you had a great time. I want to go to Disney Land!

That turkey leg picture was so disgusting. It really looks like it could be a human foot. Eeew. I could never stand the sight of that. I feel sick just seeing people munch down a burger or eating a chicken breast.

Vivacious Vegan said...

Sounds like a wonderful vacation. I've never been to Disney World but I hope to go there one of these days.

I'm really amazed by all of the hydroponic veggie growing. I think that's an interesting concept and I want to learn more about it. The apple grown in Mickey Mouse ears is very clever.

That turkey drumstick is disgusting. I thought you really captured a great picture though with the drumstick resting next to that guy's leg. Gross gross gross! Just thinking about it gave me a little shiver.

Happy to hear your father's side of the family was so accepting of veganism. The idea of a care package to introduce them to more vegan foods is really sweet. Please let us know how it goes if you decide to do that.

urban vegan said...

welcome back, VKO. so glad to hear you got your much-needed R & R and that you didn't starve in Disneyland. Thanks for blazing the trail.

And it was so nice to hear about how accepting your dad's side of the family is of veganism. would they mind adopting another daughter? [Never mind that she's 42.]

Looks like Boo has taken over the place...but I'm so sure she's glad you're back

Theresa said...

Welcome back! It looks like you had fun, and ate reasonably well--especially with your family! I think Disney tries to push turkey because it's lower in cholesterol, but I'm sure that there is a shady connection between businessmen or something like that. When I went over 10 years ago everyone was walking around eating drumsticks, and all the burgers were turkey meat, etc. Gross.

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

I was just gonna read and run, but that turkey-leg/human-leg pic deserves a comment even if nothing else caught my eye. (Actually I rather love Disney, so I read all of it with great interest...)

Vegan_Noodle said...

What a fun vacation!! I haven't been to Disneyworld in years (and years) but I remember loving the mad tea party ride. Thanks goodness you found a few veggie options. Those turkey legs are disgusting, how can they not see what they're eating. Ugh.
Out of curiosity...what program did you use to make your montages? I need to get something like that...

VeggieGirl said...

sounds like your trip to Disney was pretty fun overall!! nice to hear that there were at least SOME veg-dining options, but I'm glad to hear that you did come prepared with "goodies" (Larabars are a necessity for trips, as are other snacks like fruit and such).

welcome back!! :0)

bazu said...

Awww, I'm glad you're back, and that you did have a good time at Disney World! It's also really nice to hear about your dad and family's positive take on your veganism- that must have felt so good!

Those turkey legs brought back such memories- I'd managed to block out the picture from 6 years ago when I was in Disney World. I can't help but think of my adopted turkey when I see those turkey legs, and that makes me mad.

Oh, and so glad that Booboo survived! And I assume F-cat survived too...? =)

Peggy the Veggie said...

Sounds like that was really fun! I've never been to Disney World.

The hydroponics sounds real cool, and I love the Mickey Mouse pumpkin!

Veganista said...

Love seeing Boo in classic cat relaxation pose! Glad you had a good time, and it looks like you have such a close relationship with your sister. Gorgeous photos of the two of you. Makes me miss mine!

I second what everyone says about that turkey leg... I'm finding myself more bothered by the sight of meat than ever before these days.

laura jesser said...

I'm glad you had a good time! I LOVE Disney World (big part of my childhood) and really enjoyed looking at all your photos--so no, you and SKO are not the only ones who care to see them! :)

I've been since going vegan too, and was very happy to find vegan options at all the parks. I'm actually going again in November, and I'll have to remember to look for some of the options you found! (I'll skip the Japanese, though!)

I'm with you on the devouring of flesh--it's everywhere at those places, and yes, at times it's enough to make me want to scream!

veggie barbie girl said...

I loved reading about all the Disney stuff! Too cool! (Except the turkey legs - eeewww)

Just letting you know Barbie got her computer fixed and is back to bloggging about hers and Ken's adventures...

natalilly said...

Nice phone photography...composition and all! (leg on leg)
oh, but how utterly disgusting!

scottishvegan said...

We went to Disney World for our honeymoon...very romatic I know! I am just dying to go back and your post has got me so envious!
That photo of the turkey leg and the guy's leg is quite freaky...eeew!

Janey said...

GORGEOUS cat!!!!

Urgh, on those turkey drumsticks. Why don't people see what that food REALLY IS?! Urgh!

You take and display the most amazing photos. Really visually pleasing. Wow!!

selva said...

i like to stay once again in this Alpine Peaks restaurant , i have never feel such a restaurant in my life, i found the meaning of relax there. i like to take family too in my next journey, i think they too will like me

veganindisney said...

If you ever go back -- check out my blog first! Vegan in Disney! :)

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