Tuesday, 1 January 2013

It is the Summer of the Soul in December

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2013 to everyone!
In case you remember or were wondering, Christmas dinner at Rhys' house pre-games was just wonderful.
Christmas day, I continued my unprecedented 50-hour work week with a whopping 12 hour, open-to-close shift. The park was actually quite busy, and guests were (again, unprecedented) extremely polite and kind, as I was thanked several times by guests for working so they could visit Epcot on Christmas Day. You're welcome, and I'm in it for the holiday pay. And the glitter. That night, after a late close, a few of us were invited to Sam's parents' apartment for a late Christmas day dinner and general taste of real life. Again, just fantastic food. Three turkey dinners for me this year, how lucky am I?
Another whopping shift the next day, in which our Canada Santa (Nowell the lumberjack) wished me a very happy Boxing Day and I was very moved that he knew that. No Boxing Day sales in little Canada, I'm afraid. Not a lot of guests at all, but it was very cold which probably kept them all indoors.
The next day, after a very brief stop at the Mall at Millenia, Rhys and I paid a visit to a very appropriate and yet definitely unfrequented (by us) theme park. The Holy Land Experience. Sponsored by The Bible Network. And Chick-Fil-A, I think.
Caffeine, Holy Land-style.
We blasphemously experienced a glittery wax museum, a 55-minute walk-through exhibit of the history of the bible (complete with audio animatronics), many many stores, a few delicious-smelling restaurants, the tiny town of Bethlehem and the world's largest indoor model of Jerusalem (with its very own wailing wall, apparently).
Doctor Who references everywhere!
The park was crowded. It was a bit disarming. Especially when we had to line up for the day's main attraction in the more-than-slightly ostentatious Church of All Nations. Let's just say I was hoping for Jesus Christ Superstar and got Sunday morning TV evangelist times a thousand. The only cure was Olive Garden.
Oooh shiny. And seasonal!
The next day, Rhys and I set out on the late side for Animal Kingdom, and I most definitely managed to get lost on the way there. The goal for Animal Kingdom was Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade, one of the few remaining Christmas attractions still kicking around. It was magical. We attempted to go Downtown Disney to see Les Miserables, but it was completely sold out (guests, you ruin all my plans), so we went to Bob Evans instead. We were going to try to watch the Holiday IllumiNations later on, but it was just pouring rain so we watched Muppet Christmas Carol instead.
Earmuffs and mittens on the tiger! So cute, Animal Kingdom!
New Year's Eve, I had switched shifts to work over midnight, with some notion that it would be very exciting to work in the park during the countdown. I started at 7:00 and ended at 1:30. I guess I wasn't the only one who thought it would be fun to be in Epcot for New Year's Eve, as we almost reached capacity at an enormous and unbelievable 84 352 people present in the park (that includes cast members, and I legit got that stat from a manager). It felt like that many. And it felt like that many were in the park exclusively to purchase glow merchandise from the Canada cart. It was utter insanity and I've never seen anything like it. The same can be said for our fireworks. Although they did start a few minutes late, almost every pavilion got their own little fireworks display, in the order that they celebrated the New Year. Canada, Mexico and the US got the share the big epic fireworks following IllumiNations. The guests mostly just filed out in an orderly, herd-like fashion afterwards, and I pretty much stood there and waved for half an hour before remembering to close to cart.
Matt Perry and I at 2am with our festive 2013 hats. 
Part attendance is still predicted to be high for the week, but I think I've seen the peak attendance of my program.
Happy New Year. May you all resolve to visit the Canada pavilion this year.

Note: If you ever think spending Christmas or New Year's Eve at WDW is a good idea, find me. We'll chat about how wrong you are.

Thanks to: Everyone who sent me Christmas love in the form of cards, presents or facebook messages. Thanks for thinking of me, and if I couldn't spend Christmas at home, I'm grateful to have spent it at the happiest place on Earth.