RECAP: In the last installment of How We Broke Disneyworld, your intrepid vacationers (us) ventured to Disneyworld—Where Dreams Come True. Our dream was to see Peter Pan fly. We caught his little ass, took him to the top of Cinderella’s castle, and let him go. He didn’t fly. We watched him fall. Hard. He’ll be eating out of a straw from now on. So Disney sent the Mickeys after us—6 security guards chasing us with mouse-ears and cartoon voices. We tried to shake them: went on a couple rides, threw a trashcan at them, and tried to blend in with the crowd. We were almost home-free until we got stuck in the dumb-ass Transportation Center and had to hijack a packed parking tram to get away.
You are joining our escape, already in progress.
We’d been on the run in this stupid tram for a whopping 3 minutes and the vast majority of the riders couldn’t figure out we’d commandeered it at all. Kids were crying, throwing shoes and tantrums, losing balloons. Parents were oblivious. That glassy-eyed stare had bewitched them all and they just took it in stride like it was all part of the Disney experience: “Look Janey, they pushed that man off! Isn’t that cool? Tanner! Get down! I’m not telling you again.” The elderly just sat, didn’t move, didn’t blink. I think some of them were dead.
Until I skipped that first stop.
I did not slow for Hook or Jafar or Scar. I pressed the pedal to the metal and coaxed the full 8 miles per hour out of that puppy. But when I breezed past the first set of yellow safety pegs and my wife never said, “Please grab your personal articles and supervise your children (or repeat it in Spanish),” folks got upset. Kinda. What I got was a litany of half-hearted protests: “Mabel, isn’t that our stop?” “Why isn’t he stopping?” “John, should we say something? Didn’t we park at Jafar 41?” “Well, where is this?” “I don’t want to go!” “We have to, sweetie, the park’s closing.” “No!” It was the most apathetic response to a kidnapping ever.
And then the Mickeys came. Slicing through the parking lot in their white SUVs, going only 15 MPH (that’s one-five, not five-zero. Fif-TEEN people!) Hanging out of the sunroof is a guy waving red and blue flashlights actually going “Whee-oo! Whee-oo!” as they chase us. They get on the loudspeaker and, still in Mickey voices, shout, “Pull it over there, buddy!” Then to a patron, “Watch your step, ma’am.” Back to us, “I said stop right there!” They’re trying to move through the parking lot and cut us off but I have the straightaway to the exit. It is the slowest getaway in history but we eke past the SUVs and are out onto…what kind of shit?
Disneyworld labels its streets between the parks in a way that makes sense to them and only them: Epcot Resorts Drive. World Drive. Buena Vista Blvd. And then they dot the sides of the streets with advertisements FOR THEIR OWN PARKS! It’s their own shit! Like I would ever say, “Wow, that Magic Kingdom was so nice, I wish they had something with more animals. Wait, what’s that sign? They have an ANIMAL Kingdom? Let’s go!” If you’ve sold all the plasma you legally can and mortgaged your house to make the damn trip, who doesn’t know what’s here?
Dropped between those advertisements are street signs for other areas of the park. Not the Department of Transportation reflective green with white lettering, mind you; Disneyworld signs are purple and red and lit by the freaking candlestick from Beauty and the Beast. It’s nighttime. I’m not a fucking owl; I can’t read that shit in the dark! And by the time I get close enough to read them, I realize the 47 things listed on the sign are broken into 3 groups—Left Lanes for this random collection of stuff, Straight Ahead for another unrelated group of locations, and, for that stuff you actually want to do, Right HERE, Turn NOW, GO!
Good thing for us, the Mickeys chasing us are Magic Kingdom Mickeys—they’re lost too. Over the loudspeaker I hear: “…I don’t know. I haven’t been over there before.” And “ I reckon that’s the Hollywood-thing-a-bob.” Still can’t understand what the Donald Duck guys are saying. No one’s doing anything fast. I whip the tram to the right and it jack-knifes, Janey loses her Mickey ears, Tanner still will not GET THE FUCK DOWN, John hasn’t said shit to me yet, and I’m looking dead at my wife. She snatches the 2012 Epcot Flower & Garden Show commemorative pin and belt buckle playset from Mabel’s 10-foot long lanyard, makes a heroic, stuntman-like 4-foot jump from the rear of the tram to the driver’s area and we are rumbling toward Hollywood Studios.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios are a testament to the movies. Well, they’re actually a testament to a) things Disney already bought (Pixar and the Muppets); and b) stuff Disney can’t afford to buy. Yet. (Which is anything George Lucas and Steven Spielberg made). We’re miles ahead of the Mickeys, who probably took the wrong turn and are stuck in the Jungle Trek in Animal Kingdom, abandon the tram and are about to cross the gates when we meet the Hollywood Studios versions of Mickeys: Space Rangers. These cats drop from the sky clad in Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger gear from head to toe, pointing their fists at us and talking, like Tim Allen, into their wrists.
“Star Command! Freeze right there!”
Star Command? Serious—fuck it. I just put my hands up.
We all do. Except The Boy.
The Boy is 12. That means he has ninja-level “Blank Stare” abilities, superhuman laziness, and feet entirely too big for his body. Which makes him clumsy. He’s also resolute in his refusal to grow up. He sees the Space Rangers and shouts, “It’s Buzz Lightyear! Mom, take a picture!” AND THESE FUCKERS POSE! The Boy runs up, he’s hugging them and shit. He gets an autograph from one and they tousle his hair and send him on his way with a “To Infinity and Beyond!” Flashbulbs go off and I hear, “Look, Janey, it’s Buzz!” I also hear, “Godammit, Tanner!” and “Mabel, I need to take my back pill.” and “John, the car’s not here!” And while an impromptu character sighting line queues up, we run willy nilly into the park.
Heh heh heh. This is almost too easy.