Gone But Never Forgotten – RIP PI
Sleep deprived and gross from the plane Trevor drove me to Downtown Disney. I talked a mile a minute the whole way about my past life at Disney and all the things I loved about Orlando. He dropped me off at Cirque de Soleil and I skipped around taking everything in.
My name is Siobhan, I am 28 years old and I love Disney.
A lot of Downtown Disney is the same but a lot has changed. It was a happy occasion. I was on vacation and I was in my favourite place but it was also a day tinged with sadness. Pleasure Island is no more. What remains is hidden behind construction boards. I was Pleasure Island’s biggest fan. One of the many privileges of being a cast member was free entry into all of the nightclubs. I had some of the best nights of my life at PI. I loved Motions where we would plan our arrival to coincide with the nightly playing of the Cha Cha Slide and Cupid Shuffle. I would spend the rest of the night having dance offs and singing along to the censored songs. My first night in Mannequins I strutted on to the dance floor like I was Diana Ross and landed splat on my arse having not realised the floor was revolving. I have to wipe a tear away when I remember the perfection of The Adventurers Club, a bar for 1930s British explorers. Pleasure Island closed down a mere two weeks after I moved from Orlando. Coincidence? Surely not. The money I spent on buckets of alcohol throughout the years probably kept the whole place in business.
Most of Downtown Disney is under construction. Sorry, did I say construction? I meant to say there was a lot of Dream Building happening. Only Disney can put up inspirational Walt quotes on pastel coloured boards and make the building of a new multi storey car park seem magical. They are building a giant food truck park. I am struggling to get my head around that idea. I don’t know if I love it or not? I do love food, in particular German sausages and cake. It could be amazing. However, one of the food trucks already parked sold Bacon Cupcakes. The thought of that revolts me so much it makes me want to never eat food again. I’m not sure. I will have to see what it is like when it arrives. Also new is the hot air balloon. I didn’t entirely understand the concept of it. You buy a ticket for the balloon, you get in the basket, it goes up high but it doesn’t actually take off, right? It was closed due to high winds while I was there despite it not being windy at all. I think hot air balloons are pretty, so yes, Disney I am happy with this. The balloon can stay.
Downtown Disney was celebrating St Paddy’s Day Month. There was lots of green and live Irish jig music and beer and free beads. It created a really nice atmosphere and I loved it! I noticed an Ireland Tourist Information Kiosk, very smart thinking Ireland. If I was Irish I would have been so proud to see such a big celebration. It is a big honour to the Irish how much people love their culture and want to feel part of it. They also tied it in with the new Muppets movie because, you know, Kermit is green too.
The Market Place is pretty much unchanged since I was last there. The only noticeable difference was the abscence of a McDonalds. I was a little disappointed. Taco Bell for lunch, McDonalds for dinner was my usual Orlando diet. I got my Disney fix at the Marketplace with the Little Mermaid songs they were playing and looking at all the new merchandise … sorry not merchandise … tangible memories. I wanted to buy everything. Especially the homeware for my non-existent home. I did allow myself to buy one thing, a new pair of Mickey Mouse stud earrings. It has become somewhat a tradition of mine to buy them when I visit a Disney park. They are my good luck charms. When I am in the Disney parks I am at my happiest. My little shiny Mickeys let me take the magic with me wherever I go. My self-restraint was further put to the test when I had to coax myself away from a full princess makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, all my childhood dreams come true through the use of glitter eye shadow and a shiny new dress.
Home is the comfiest place to be – Pooh