Student Blogs

Disney- Part Deux

January 19th, 2014 apcook15

PREVIOUSLY, ON ANDREW’S DISNEY BLOG: We left our hero in the clutches of sunny Florida, surrounded on all sides by warm temperatures and cheerful Disney characters. What will happen next?? Here are the further adventures of the Cooks in Disney World!

I’m back, just as promised! LOTS of pictures on this one, and obviously lots more love for Uncle Walt and his real estate around Lake Buena Vista; for those who don’t go for that kind of thing, this is your warning. I mentioned before that the technical reason for the family trip to Florida was so that I could run the 1/2 marathon and my dad Pat could run the full one (more on that in a little while). But it raised a serious question: how were we to occupy our time when not running? After some careful thought, we came up with a solution, and I think you’ll find it was a pretty good one.

photo14Not the pearly gates, but not far from them.

photo1The fantastic lobby to our hotel, wallpapered with production sketches from Disney or Pixar blockbusters

photo17The couch in the room wasn’t bad either. I just can’t wait to be king.

photo18 Christmas card photo with Disney’s mistress of all evil (sadly, she wasn’t Angelina Jolie).

photoEPCOT’s my own personal favorite of the four theme parks. Best food.

photo10 Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast.

photo21Ay, pobre Yorick! Yo le conocí, Horacio.

photo22 All together now – MikeMikeMikeMikeMike, guess what day it is!!!

photo23Because we’re all aware fezzes, like bowties, are VERY cool. Those who know will understand.

photo8The Happiest Place on Earth. Indeed.

(And just so you can all excuse me, EVERYONE wore their race medals around the day after running. I’m nowhere near that conceited! I’ll leave that instead to…)

photo28Turns out no-one really is slick as Gaston.

photo7He may be taking the credit for my race medal, but even I have to admit Gaston’s muscles deserve some hardware. Those five dozen eggs a day really do pay off.

photo13The head honcho, the big cheese himself. “Let us not forget: it all started with a mouse.”

Over the course of the few days we spent there, the fam and I went to some truly amazing restaurants, and because Disney’s constantly expanding and creating, most of the ones we went to were first time fare, even for us hardened Disney veterans. One night was the Via Napoli pizzeria in EPCOT’s Italy pavilion, where – you heard it here folks, and I do not throw this out lightly – I was treated to the single greatest pizza I’ve ever eaten in my 20 years. Seriously, I’ve eaten many a time in Boston’s North End, tasted Brooklyn’s signature style crust IN Brooklyn, and even had lunch in the birthplace and capitol of the pizza world at Naples, Italy, but this one somehow managed to top them all. Simply phenomenal. The following night was at the still-has-the-pricetags-new Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, where they’ve reconstructed the Beast’s castle from Beauty and the Beast in exact detail, down to the last enchanted rose petal. The meal we ate beneath the iconic ballroom chandelier won’t soon be forgotten.

photo38 For dessert, they even had the grey stuff of, “Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious! Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes” fame. And know what? It really was delicious.

photo9And afterwards, a picture with our host for the evening in his study.

The following morning, I switched hats from being a participant in a race to being a spectator of one, and joined my mom Jackie and sister Heather in cheering on my dad Patrick to the finish of his tenth – TENTH! – marathon. The past nine have all been Bostons, so for a change he and his running buddies Barry and Tommy Scanlon decided to go with something a little less Heart-Breaking and have some fun with it instead (not that the Boston Marathon isn’t fun itself). They’ve been logging crazy miles in crazier conditions, but it paid off in spades last Sunday when all three of them powered effortlessly through the course. I’m not speaking a word of a lie when I say that they all went back to their hotel rooms after finishing the 26.2 mile distance, showered, changed, and then walked out the door for a full day of walking around Disney. Some sensitive toes aside, they all came through unscathed and with a smile on their faces, and I can’t stress enough how impressed I am. And to boot, I’ll see them all in around 90 days in Hopkinton for the start of this year’s Boston Marathon! Old dogs? Yeah right.

marathonmenBrothers Barry and Tommy Scanlon, and the Big Man himself.


From there, it was one last day in the parks, this time at Hollywood Studios. Seeing as how I had just run the previous day dressed as a certain cartoon cowboy, I made the obligatory pilgrimage to the Pixar mecca within the park, and was surprised to find that they seemed to have been expecting me. At least, that’s the only explanation I can think of as to why they’d scattered my name all over the area.

photo (26)

So that about covers it folks! It was a maddeningly short trip, made all the more so because of the fantastic time we’d all had. All good things must come to their close, however, which brings us also the end of this blog’s temporary transformation into a Disney travel page – and, incidentally, to the end of winter break. I’m back to campus the day after next, and classes start right up the day after that. You can all count on hearing from me in the near future about how it’s all going, you can be sure of that! To end, I’ll borrow from everyone’s favorite mouse: “See ya real soon!”


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