The Winners in the World

Thanks to everyone who has already read my latest article for The Dis. My Country Needs Me is all about the UK pavilion in Epcot, so if you haven’t yet please do have a look. Having only recently done so myself, I would also recommend liking their Facebook page as all the latest news is there for you plus of course some very talented contributors!

I never truly understood the scale of the Dis to be honest, but if these figures are true, and I don’t see how they can be, surely I am pretty much famous now? I think they represent the whole section rather than just my little post!

dis shares

Having waved January off with two fingers, February is upon us, and we chalk off one more month on our countdowns. I use the plural as the three I have in mind are, (in chronological order) Louise starting work, Emily going to WDW for her year and then of course our trip starting in August. Wedged in the midst of all of those is Rebecca’s 18th birthday. Rebecca’s countdown to that started just after she turned five I think. She’s excited. Not that we have a great deal planned for it. Her trip to WDW is most of her present, as it was for Emily, although with May and August being so far apart it is not ideal and I’m sure we’ll do what we can to make the actual day as special as possible.

Anyway, following on from last week’s post, where I listed stuff I have never done in WDW, it would appear that these list things are quite popular blog wise as I had a good few comments, and most of you buggers read and run every single week!

So, on the theme of my Dis post above, where I whinge about the UK pavilion being a bit short on stuff to entice us in, it got me thinking about my favourite pavilions in the World Showcase, so here (imagine Fluff Freeman music at this point) are my top five….

5. Norway. This one gets points for effort as it has a ride, and probably the most intense one in the whole showcase, which I know isn’t saying much. It has a bakery which always scores well with me and the pavilion tends to be staffed by young female blondes who have no choice but to be nice to me. What’s not to like?

4. Mexico.  This pavilion scores very highly for theming. The night-time all the time interior is excellently done and no holiday is complete without shaking my maracas in public and the trying on of a big hat. The restaurant is also one our favourites in the World Showcase with the candlelit tables and moonlit backdrop doing a great job of replicating al fresco dining. Mexico would have been more of a contender for top spot had they not changed the fabulously kitsch 70’s film on the boat ride for the Donald Duck thing that is there now.

3. China. The food here of course has an influence as I love a Chinese, although the restaurant here isn’t the best example in the world. The counter service option is superb though and we’ve over ordered and over eaten there several times. I mark this one highly for the entertainment value. The frequent shows from the acrobats both amaze and shame me, as I wonder how two bodies, built basically the same way can be so different. These acrobats can perform feats that I would get inured just watching. As much as I do not like too much shopping, the shop here is always worth a good look around as it always has interesting items to browse and not buy.

2. America. Size isn’t everything but the scale of the place is impressive. However, my appreciation for this pavilion is based upon the unbelievably good Voices of Liberty. The soprano regularly communicates with dolphins with her high notes and when they start singing the patriotic American songs I want to invade a small country under the star spangled banner.

1. Canada. The song alone wins it for me. As you know I am likely to be in tears at the opening bars. If I were actually Canadian I don’t think I could cope with listening to it all the way through such is the effect it has on me. Add to that of course the excellently humorous film with Martin Short and one of the better eateries on property, and you have a clear winner.

My affection for the World Showcase is of course evident from all the birthdays I have spent there, and no doubt my top five will change based upon our next set of experiences in the summer, but those are my current favourites.

You may have noticed that I am trying to block out the reality of these cold winter times with thoughts and blogs about sunnier places and happy travels. Next week, as I did this, I have less happy travels down the wintry motorways to Head Office. As I scrape the ice from the windscreen at 5am on Tuesday, I shall be humming O Canada and closing my eyes hopeful that when I open them I will be stood in shorts and T Shirt in the ultimate happy place. I’m sure that will work!

Till the next time……

This Should Be The End

I found myself all alone last night. Rebecca only pops home from time to time for money, food or to be transported somewhere else populated with cooler folks than her parents, so she was out and Louise and Emily went out to watch some singing show of some kind. Of course I was paying attention when they told me where they were going.

I was frankly too tired to be going anywhere and voted to stay at home and do absolutely nothing. With the usual choice of the obligatory singing contest or Ant n Dec’s (absolutely not Noel’s House Party) Takeaway, I was looking for something to watch.

I happened upon a film called This Is The End, so I gave it a chance. That was probably one more chance than it deserved to be honest. It was hard work, self-indulgent, and anything but funny. It features a lot of actors like Seth Rogen and James Franco who normally appear in gross out comedies such as Superbad, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express and the like. The concept looked promising, but my God it was tedious.

After an hour I was bored, not entertained and found myself wondering what time Match of the Day was on. I did glean that the subject matter of the film was all about the end of the world, and that dear reader is where this long winding path was leading you.

We do not have a Florida holiday booked, and it is nearly April. If this does not signal the end of times then I don’t know what would. Some bloke down south has just won £108 million on the lottery, and he will probably still go to work and just put a conservatory on his semi, and we can’t afford a few grand on a couple of weeks of sun, fun and excessive eating. Third world famine and that fact prove that the world is a cruel and unfair place.

The pain is growing inside me at a similar pace to the resentment I feel towards that lottery winner. It hurts, and it hurts even more that I know we won’t be going. In past years, it has been touch and go, dependent upon us finding affordable flights, but in the end we always went. Not this year. I won’t bore you (again) with the circumstances that mean we cannot afford to go this year, but it is all Louise’s fault. As long as you understand that then that’s fine.

I was having a wee earlier (there was no pain involved in that thankfully) and I could hear, drifting down from Emily’s room (she is in the attic room), the emotional melody of O Canada. It triggered the memory banks and I was almost blubbing over the toilet bowl. With eyes closed I could just imagine the film in the Canada pavilion ending and Martin Short giving his closing lines. I’d also made a right mess of the bathroom floor, but that isn’t important.

So why life carries on as if nothing was awry I do not know. At any moment you should expect fire, plague and pestilence and my protruding bottom lip being a feature of the landscape for the forseeable future.

Damn you Disney for being so desirable. Your magic is like crack cocaine, and I am deep in cold turkey. Should you be in possession of a countdown to your US holiday, treasure it, stroke it, make it feel special. They are splendid creatures, and to be cherished. When you don’t have one, the world is a little less bright and the future a little less shiny.


In non resentful, Disney deprived sulky news, Louise and I are off to the cinema later. Having seen each other for several minutes last week due to work, shifts and the need for sleep, it will be nice to just be the two of us. Rebecca…well you know where she is, and Emily is out with one of her friends from some Frankie n Benny-ness and then onto the same cinema, but for a different film.

One of those isn’t a man!

Let us all hope that our choice of Monuments Men is a good deal better than the dross I endured last night. No matter though, whatever I am sat in front of there shall be sweets, and therefore I shall be happy. Happiness is all relative of course in a world of no countdown. Life is so cruel!

Till the next time.