Halfway between heaven and earth

Well, here we go again on the second leg of our Year Of Disney. After the aperitif of EuroDisney in March, we are now heading for the main course of Disney World Florida, courtesy of Thomson flight TOM 644.

It’s difficult to put into words how much I have been looking forward to this trip. Ever since we got home from Florida last time in 2011, I’ve been saving up for the time we could do it all again. Now that the moment has finally arrived, I’m in serious danger of spoiling the experience by overloading it with significance. So I have been telling myself very firmly to “live in the now” as per Wayne’s World and I’ll worry later about how bad I am going to feel when it’s all over.

So at the moment I am perched over the wing of the plane with a stunning vista of sky, cloud and blue water below us.

I’m always slightly wary of sitting over the wing, as if watching it will cause bits to drop off. Certainly, it wobbled a lot on taxi before take-off but I imagine that’s the idea. I have also managed to get the window seat for the outward trip after a brief discussion with Liz, but really there isn’t a lot to look at once the exciting bits are over.

This trip is both the same, and not the same. We are still looking to do all the Disney parks, but this time we’re adding in Sea World with the Manta and Kraken rides, plus the mighty Busch Gardens near Tampa. This boasts the frankly very scary-looking Shiekra (or Shriekra, as it should be) which, judging by YouTube POV videos, involves dragging you up to the top of a 200 foot tower, suspending you over the edge of an almost 180 degree drop for an endless 3 seconds, then powering you down the said drop before sending you into an Immelmann loop. Then doing the wole thing again. It is a proper roller-coaster rather than just a drop machine, and it looks utterly terrifying and unbelievably sexy at the same time. Rather like……well, people may remember the series “Live and loves of  a She-Devil” with Julie T. Wallace in the title role. Something like that.

The other change is that this is no longer a venture into virgin territory with all of the pitfalls, surprises, shocks and new delights that brings. Now a lot of it is very much known territory,  so it will be interesting to find out whether both the park experiences and the whole USA thang remain special and exciting. We are in a new villa – well, it’s next door to the old one – so very much the old and the new combined. And as I’ve said, the itinerary has been extended to include other parks. And the boys – Tom and James – are older and bigger. Which means they can both do rides not possible last time round. This will, I think, be a mixed blessing. It means we get to see the rides afresh, through the eyes of someone doing them for the first time. And it also means we get to see them a lot, because of course once is never enough. Which will be fun but exhausting.

I very much enjoyed the process of doing the blog last time. It was my first trip to Disney, to the USA and, for quite some time, abroad and I was keen to capture my first impressions of the country and its people as a sort of informal travel diary. This time, I haven’t decided yet what my motivations are, other than enjoyment at the sound of my own voice. We will be doing pretty much the same sort of things, and eating pretty much the same sort of food and some of the roller-coasters will be bigger and better. So if it all gets too tedious for words, then switch off or tell me to shut up. Interestingly, I’m reading Neil Gaiman’s  ‘American Gods’ at the moment, which is a sort of celebration of the melting pot of US influences and cultures, reflected by the multiple gods and goddesses brought to it by its various waves of immigrants, settlers, invaders, conquerors, slaves and so on. I’ve not come across the new gods of Disney in there yet, fighting for their share of people’s faith and belief, but I’m sure I will.

Anyway, once this is posted we will be a couple of days into the trip. No wi-fi on the plane, and a management cock up with the first night’s booking which means we have to camp in another villa before moving into our proper one, is likely to delay this posting for a day or so. Also massive excitement and early nights brought on by the reaction to the same, means I’m not likely to have anything worthwhile to say at first. So I’ll leave you with the scene on the plane some 4 hours into the flight, with one episode of Game of Thrones watched and quite of lot of Kobo read.

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