* While we waited along the shoulder of the road on Saturday morning for the Disney Half-Marathon to start, we heard a deafening CRACKLE CRACKLE CRACKLE behind us. Some gentleman had tried to step into the dead palm fronds surrounding the highway to pee in private. A thousand heads turned to watch him as he shouldered the bushes out of his way.
* There was a glee choir of sorts waiting around the last bend before the finish line in the Epcot Center Parking Lot. I heard them first on the way out, singing the cheeriest rendition of “We Will Rock You” ever conceived. ” ‘We Will Rock You’ is not meant to be sung with pep,” I told Vickie. On the way back, they were singing “Another One Bites the Dust.” With more pep.
* My normal rule, when Gary Sinise gives me a choice between a less intense and a more intense space mission, is to always go for the latter. But that nearly ruined me in EPCOT’s Mission: Space. The G-force may not be as intense as in a roller coaster, but it lasts longer and you’re immersed in a different sensory environment. Also, it’s okay to scream on a roller coaster, which forces air out of your gut and keeps you from barfing. But screaming while you’re in the Navigator chair and the first mission to Mars depends on you will get you washed out of the Academy, buster. Fortunately, I made Gary proud.
* The Test Track, or the world’s most thrilling GM commercial, offers an option that I wish more roller coasters used: single riders can cut straight to the front of the line. I was solo, so I bypassed a 45-minute wait and got to hop right in a car. You whip through a few mild obstacles (“let’s test those GM anti-lock brakes!”), then get to speed along a high-speed curve outside. Then, at the end, you exit through a GM showroom.
* Spaceship: Earth now has narration by Judi Dench and an interactive menu in your car that lets you configure the tour’s language. The menu uses the StarCraft font.
* After watching “Captain EO” again, I became convinced it was the last good thing Michael Jackson had ever done. But I got the dates for Bad wrong in my head. But definitely the last good thing Anjelica Huston did.
* The Imagination! Pavilion no longer has ImageWorks, a massive building full of interactive 90s-tech exhibits for kids to play with. But they brought back Figment in a slow-moving family ride, hosted by Eric Idle. Which is almost as good as letting kids conduct a synthetic orchestra, act out in a bluescreen movie, or manipulate giant kaleidoscopes, I GUESS.