Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Our fabulous Cinderellabration!

Here’s way more than you ever wanted to know about our fabulous first vacation together in The Gayest Happiest Place on Earth™:

We traveled using the free flights I won in a drawing last February—and though I would SWEAR that when I won them I was promised two first-class tickets on any airline to anywhere in the US, when the vouchers finally came they were just for two plain-old steerage tickets only on Northwest Airlines. But even though Northwest doesn’t offer direct flights between Chicago and Orlando, which made our travel a couple hours longer than it could have been, Hey! Free flights! So we can’t complain.

We also got to have layovers in Nashville (where we saw a mountain of shiny closer-to-Jesus hair and a mullet and an infestation of traveling Baptists in matching yellow shirts all within the first minute of stepping off the plane) and in Detroit, which has possibly the sexiest new airport I’ve ever been in. It’s all glass and stainless steel and soaring architecture and flat-screen TVs and funky shiny tile and ultra-comfy chairs and—hold me back!—a fast-food establishment that sells nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

And I learned something at the PB&J stand: Peanut butter contains peanuts! There were no fewer than SIX signs hanging over the ordering counter to announce this surprising fact. And thank goodness! Because if I knew I had a deadly peanut allergy, the FIRST (and possibly last, but that would just be thinning the herd, don’t you think?) thing I would do is eat a food that starts with the word “peanut.”

In addition to our free flights, we also enjoyed free accommodations thanks to the magic of frequent-sleeper points. And while our hotel was clean, quiet, conveniently located, comfy, suitably tricked out in a Disney-esque safari theme, upgraded to a complimentary suite AND FREE FREE FREE, it was not on the Disney property. Which made transportation to and from the parks a little on the inconvenient side—unless we took a cab, which then made transportation dangerous, hostile (two of our four cab drivers this weekend picked fights with us, other drivers and/or the Disney gatekeepers) and pretty friggin’ expensive. I loved our free hotel, I loved our big comfy bed, I loved our immediate access to the pool—with a python-themed water slide!—but next time I’m definitely forking over the dough for a room in a Disney resort.

Friday: rain, more rain, soaking rain, more rain, clouds, rain
Saturday: clouds, intermittent rain, clouds, bursts of surprisingly hot sunniness, more clouds
Sunday: a few clouds, a few drops of rain, relative perfection
Monday: a few clouds, enough sun to give me a pretty impressive sunburn

Gay Days is an unofficial! because Disney can’t be caught endorsing those gays! weekend of homos in mouseland. Many years ago, Gay Days was little more than Hey! Tell all your gay friends to come to the Magic Kingdom on the first Saturday in June and wear red shirts because it will be fun! Now Gay Days is more than a week long and includes designated days at all four Disney parks, designated days at other Orlando tourist traps, pool parties, circuit events, diva concerts and even a trade show for people who want the inside edge on selling things to queers.

We had never been to Gay Days, and we weren’t sure what to expect. And for the most part, the whole experience was pretty cool—especially Saturday morning when we got off the bus and found ourselves surrounded by people in red shirts (including the many poor breeder families who had no idea how their morning wardrobe choices would end up haunting them all day).

There were times when it was downright touching seeing all the gay people hanging out in happy clumps, the gay couples holding hands walking through the park, and the sea of red shirts in every line, restaurant and crowd.

<soapbox>But there are always freaks among us who don’t realize there’s an appropriateness continuum—and that underwearless kilts and butterfly outfits and drag and vulgar T-shirts are fine—fabulous even!—in a pride parade but are just confusing and alarming and disturbing and stereotype reinforcing and progressively unproductive in a park filled with young children and their voting parents.</soapbox>

One of the benefits of choosing the filthy homosexual lifestyle is you get to scope guys. And one of the benefits of Gay Days, it would seem, is the opportunity to scope a freakin’ parkful of hot guys in revealing summer clothing—and maybe get trapped (the horror!) behind a gaggle of them in a slow-moving line for a ride that perhaps gets you wet. One way or another.

But not this year. We saw billions of homos at Gay Days most of whom did not need red shirts to identify themselves but we can count the hotties we saw on one (six-fingered) hand: Scooby and Guy, two muscleguys we met in a souvenir shop near our hotel and in our hotel lobby, respectively; the giant ’roid-freaky muscleguy with the calves as big as my waist in line ahead of us at the ice cream stand near the Tiki Room; the dreamy A&F couple on the bridge near Splash Mountain; and the humpy boy-next-door with the broad chest and the meaty legs who sat next to us in Epcot’s stately America pavilion while we all enjoyed the vocal jazz stylings of the Voices of Liberty.

Other than that, it was wall-to-wall, non-porno-fantasy, garden-variety homosexuals mixed in with their heterosexual counterparts in the Disney crowds. Until we got to the airport Monday afternoon, where we encountered all the muscles, tans, sneers, circuit hangovers and related attitudes we’d expected to see in all the parks. But by then we didn’t care, because Hey! Free flights!

I bought one of those disposable cameras that makes prints and digital images, and I carefully stored it in a zip-lock bag in a side pocket of my cargo shorts so if it got banged up or wet I wouldn’t be losing my expensive digital camera. But did I ever take it out to snap the occasional photo to remember our first vacation together (or, more importantly, to post on my blog)? Noooo! (Technically, that was a lie; I (and sometimes my Disney friend Keith) did take about six pictures. But Noooo! offered a far more dramatic verbal payoff to the preceding question than Kiiiind ooooffff! Please don’t sue me for misleading you. And just as soon as I find enough things worth photographing to fill the camera and get my prints and digital images processed, I’ll post something here. Promise. Unless the pictures make me look fat.)

Will you look at the time? I think I’ve rambled enough for one day. Stay tuned for next month’s tomorrow’s post where I’ll write an exhaustive Disney travel guide tell you all about my favorite rides and shows—and offer some insider tips on making YOUR next Disney vacation extra-fabulous.

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