With heavy hearts, Josh’s parents would like to let his friends and readership know that he passed away quietly March 10th. We know that many of you came to love him and rely on his expertise and humor during his 10 years of blogging all things Walt Disney World on his easywdw.com website. He will be missed by his family and friends.
Josh’s Note Begin (Easily Skippable Nonsense): Things may appear to be even wonkier than usual here for a week…or two…or three…or until Marvel unravels the true meaning of the multiverse that I hope we are on the cusp of escaping. However those portals work. I’m ready to jump through whatever, especially if Alligator Loki is there to guide the way.
We’re desperately trying to claw our way back onto…the Disney blogging bandwagon of middling relevance. That sounds like a sad attempt at an enterprise for which to reembark; but the discerning Disney tourist only possesses so much ability to forge onward without being reminded that every Dole Whip basically tastes like every other Dole Whip. Even if a cast member clumsily molds said treat into something resembling…well I can’t tell either. But you can be sure the cost rises $7 because the melting amalgamation of sugar cubes and conspicuously pink vanilla
ice cream concoction sort of resembles a tropical bird. Is it supposed to be Zazu? Hei-Hei? Panchito Pistoles? An iPhone 13 with a pink screen? We’re dangerously close to forgetting that sweet tang of artificial pineapple. And even I wouldn’t let that happen.
Our dream of Dole Whip isn’t going anywhere. Disney has scheduled what is certain to be one abomination of a soft serve cone after the next under the guise of a 50th anniversary celebration that for some reason will last until the end of 2028. If we’re lucky. And pending the multiverse. We’ve all had that girlfriend (or boyfriend) who gleefully announces that it’s their “BIRTHDAY MONTH” at 12:01am on the first day of every March. As if I could forget after being reminded for 364 straight days. Heaven forbid it’s a leap year. And why we’re both single again on March 1st at 12:02am.
Of course, Disney offers each of these anniversary treats for exactly 6.2 hours, on precisely one day, and at the least convenient location possible. This is in part because there’s at least a 40% chance that the company forgot to let the company know what’s happening. There is a saying about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, but I’m not entirely convinced the Walt Disney Company has arms at this point. Otherwise, why I am I reading the “Disney Foodie Guide to Beef Stew for Valentine’s Day at Cape May Café.” (Bring antacid.) (Lots of antacid.) Not to mention their special holiday charm this year, at least according to our Foodie Guide is the elimination of seafood, salad, or anything else from the buffet that isn’t Beef Stew. If you’re wondering, I still made a reservation.
But chasing down Disney’s one-time offering that you won’t have the opportunity to try and I wish I didn’t is half the fun. “Hey, look at this Stitch Cone, so cleverly offered only at the Polynesian on 6/26. Since that’s the date Dr. Jumba Jookiba undertook his illegal genetic mutation creating both myself and our mischievous friend. Which is which? Of course, we always pretend like 6/26 at the Polynesian is one big surprise. Although at this rate there is probably a Disney Foodie Guide about it. Color me excited for my birthday treat coming at the end of June, preferably with paint that isn’t as neurotoxic as those overdyed blue cones.
We continue from Bavaria.
Welcome to Italy, where even the beer has managed to form some kind of crust that probably shouldn’t be there. Or at least when you typically order a Peroni, you don’t expect to be asked if you want it served flat or well-done. Not everything has to be microwaved. The booth may be informed of this fact at some point.
Editor’s Note: This post is complete nonsense until you get to “Mezzelune Croccanti: Crispy Half-Moon Breaded Mozzarella-Filled Ravioli with Pomodoro Sauce – $12.” And even then, I’m not sure we’re completely out of the rabbit hole.
If I said “hope,” and you said, “The Italy Booth,” our chances of passing the first round of the Pyramid Game Show would be slim, but I’ll admit that there was a glimmer of something that felt vaguely wishful in my heart as I passed by the booth and it appeared shuttered. Could Italy actually opt out of the Festival, much like China? Several other booths were already open and happily serving, while Tuscany looked like someone had recently started foreclosure proceedings. Or the Health Department stopped by for the first time in ten years and the inspector started crying at what they saw while wailing, “Shut it down! Now! Yesterday! Terribile! Either way!”
We continue from Refreshment Outpost.
Editor’s Note: This is complete nonsense until you get to “Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce, Spätzle, and Braised Red Cabbage – $6.25”
Bavaria returns to the left of Germany with the same food menu as last year. “Prost!” I exclaimed at the news. I don’t know what the word means, but it has always sounded German and celebratory, which seemed like it fit squarely within the slim requirements of the situation. It’s also possible that I cursed out a room full of fifth graders. But it’s not my fault we were all at Firehouse Subs at the same time. I don’t get the submarine sandwich line’s printed schedule of events mailed to me weekly. Had I known about the crowding before going in, I would have spent that time hitting my head against concrete. Wait, I’m not supposed to do that anymore. I guess I would have gone somewhere else to get a sandwich. Like a crazy person.
No new food meant I probably wouldn’t have to come up with another adjective to describe how hideously lumpy the sauerbraten feels in your mouth after its bone-dry canopy of dry roast beef, juniper berries that don’t naturally grow to the greenish hue being served, and spätzle that would be less gummy if it was Double Bubble grated into spiral chunks. Then, the bone-dry meat utilizes its plentiful gristle to slowly inch its way down your throat, seemingly making a pit stop at every destination from the pharynx on down. But if risking choking to death on holiday meat meant delaying a visit to the Italy booth, it could take six weeks to force the sauerbraten down as far as I was concerned.
That’s why my Christmas wish every year is for the elimination of the Italy booth. Or actually, that everything offered at the kiosk is free one year to apologize for ten or more years of pain, suffering, and having to open up new lines of credit just to order asparagus water and polenta that was so hard it probably should have been confiscated by security as a potential weapon of deadly force. That wish comes in place of something silly, like world peace or an end to hunger. Those things aren’t happening, so it’s better to follow Walt’s advice, “If you can dream it, make it a small one, and maybe it will happen before you lose interest and move on to another half-finished project. You lazy bozo.” I’m paraphrasing a little bit there. And the names have been changed to protect the innocent. And all that.
How Germany basically became synonymous with Christmas, I am not real sure. Florida probably isn’t the territory I would have chosen to represent a cold weather holiday. We get IMPORTANT BREAKING NEWS warnings scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen in bright red like the Soviets just launched their entire nuclear arsenal and we have 14 minutes to live every time the temperature threatens falling below 70 degrees. Scrolling. Over. And over. And over. It doesn’t even hit actually hit 70 most of the time, but it might drop to 71 degrees for two seconds at 4:42am.
Do you know where your third turtleneck is? And your second blanket so you don’t freeze to death putting it on? And your space heater to keep you adequately warm during any lapses in removing blankets to add layers? Even though you are probably just setting the heat on the thermostat in your house to about the same number anyway. And won’t notice anything. Blogging isn’t exactly lucrative, but I think, with the help of a small loan, I can afford to heat my closet apartment for one night.
But it’s possible Floridians are some kind of ghoul and transform if the temperature drops to something unfathomably subarctic, like 68 degrees. I don’t want to seem unfair to Florida here, but I am failing to think of a person or creature who improves their appearance, chivalry, kindness, etc. during a full moon or as night descends. Like vampires come out at night. Werewolves do the murder during a full moon thing. Let’s just hope we can keep it at 70 degrees.
Anyway, Germany got Christmas. Did they win it playing dice? Fair and square? Promising revenue sharing among member countries? Threatening total war? We’ll never know. Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Andorra, San Marino, or a host of other European countries that I may or may not be making up could have easily carried the banner.
The Refreshment Outpost gets into the spirit of the holidays with some number of Festival Offerings this year.