Monday, October 09, 2006

Back from Vacation

Yes, the Saga has been silent for a week while my wife and I relaxed in sunny Orlando. We have returned, however, so I hope to resume my usual schedule of trying to post at least once a week.

We spent most of our week at Disney parks. We weren’t bothered much by the cost of admission; we knew about that expense up front and we knew what we’d be getting for it. The cost of finding something to eat in the parks, however, is a different matter. The cost of food in Disney parks seems to go up faster than inflation alone would explain, and it’s really starting to feel like gouging.

Case in point, the Biergarten in Epcot. It now costs well over $20 (US) per person to eat there, and that doesn’t include drinks (I think it’s just wrong to go to a German restaurant and not have a beer). What they serve hasn’t changed over the years, and for the first time, we didn’t feel like we got our money’s worth eating there. The same isn’t true for all Disney restaurants – we didn’t feel overcharged at Ohana, for instance, but that it’s no longer unusual. Our food highlight of the week wasn’t even at Disney; it was a Puerto Rican restaurant called La Garnita located at the corner of Sand Beach Road and Universal Drive in Orlando.

October is a good time to go to Disney for rides and such, though. The longest we waited to ride anything was 40 minutes for the Rock-n-Roller Coaster at MGM Studios, and that was at peak time. For most rides we waited less than 20 minutes. It’s also a good time to talk with people from around the world. I think all of Europe decided that early October was the time to go on vacation this year.

We also spent one day at Blizzard Beach, Disney’s newest water park. This was rated by the Travel Channel as the number 2 water park in the US, and it is a lot of fun. I only went down the Summit Plummet – the longest and steepest waterslide in the world (at present) – one time, though. It wasn’t bad dropping 90 feet at over 50 MPH (roughly 80 KPH), but the amount of water that went up my nose took some of the thrill out of it.

We are now officially Disneyed-out for a while, and have no long absences on our calendar until Gulf Wars XV.

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