Living at Disney World

Is she still there?Today I moved into what’s going to be my new home for the next month. It’s one of Disney’s timeshares, with a nice tree-obstructed view of Spaceship Earth at Epcot and fireworks visible from my balcony. Even though I didn’t get to sleep last night until around 2, I suddenly woke up at 7am — even if it’s for work and not vacation, I’m hard-wired to wake up early the morning of a Disney trip.

When I got off at the airport, my bag came out almost immediately. At the rental car place, I managed to snag a Volkswagen Beetle convertible that someone had just returned; driving around Disney World in the sunshine in a convertible bug is like the world’s biggest autopia. Tonight I had a chili dog and a hot fudge sundae for dinner.

I’m not going to lie; it’s pretty sweet. If I were here with Kim Deal and had flown in on the Millenium Falcon, I could’ve taken care of about 98% of my lifelong fantasies all in one go.

But since it’s in my nature to find the dark side of everything, there are some downsides:

1. Damn is it ever hot. Who’d’ve thunkit, Florida in August and it’s hot and humid. I wasn’t even outside all that much today, all things considered, and still by the time I got back to the hotel I was ripe. Luckily, the hotel has a laundromat.

2. And while we’re on the subject of heat and my personal hygiene, I’ll tell you right now that the beard’s not going to survive to the end of the month. And I was hoping to hit one of the water parks on this long trip, but I’m concerned I’ll set off a panic and frighten the children, making them think the Yeti escaped from Expedition Everest.

3. It hasn’t been a full day yet and I’m already wanting to strangle Stacy (pictured). She’s the chirpy hellbeast who hosts the “Top 7 Things To See at Walt Disney World” that runs on an infinite loop on the hotel TVs. She was abrasive the first time I came on vacation and she was there yammering on about the Rock’n’Roller Coaster in their faux Travel Channel advertising, but that was like 4 visits ago. Now I want her dead. There’s not much else on the TV, unless you like 45 variants of ABC, the Disney Channel, ESPN, and advertising for Disney’s Vacation Club.

4. I’m starting to realize that a 35-year-old man, especially one with a history of digestive problems, shouldn’t be having chili dogs and ice cream sundaes for dinner at 10pm. I’m not that interested in becoming the next Morgan Spurlock, so I’m going to have to find some way to go the next 30 days with something other than theme park food.

5. I could take advantage of the current lull for me and just goof off, but there’s this dark cloud of insanely busy crunch mode just a day or two away hanging over everything, sapping the fun out of it. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to goof off at every available opportunity, I just have to schedule it so that I work some Protestant guilt in there.) Plus it’s tough to get into the spirit of Disney Magic when I know the rest of my family’s pretty miserable at the moment.

There, that’s a pretty good block of negativity. Things already feel like they’re getting back to normal. Fact is, though, that this is just a really really cool opportunity to be at a place I love for a good long while, to see stuff I’ve never seen even after 35 years of coming here, and to get a look at what goes on behind the scenes. And to add something to it that I think is going to be pretty cool.

Whether or not it’s crazy busy, or things go bad, or people hate it, it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. And I’m excited as hell about it.