Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Just The Facts, Sir - And There Sure Were A Lot Of Them

I began today doing the Fantasy Christmas Tour (or some name to that effect) with Anne. We reported to our meeting spot at Epcot, signed in, got our nametags, learned how to use our earphones and listening radios, and boarded our Disney Cruise Line bus (which unfortunately did not take us on to board a Disney cruise). Basically, along with 35 or so other people, we began the tour by walking around World Showcase and learning about the history and traditions of different countries during this time of year. It was a bit cold, so a lot of time we just sought a spot in the sun so our ears wouldn't freeze and miss any of that valuable information.

Once our brains were full, we boarded a bus and headed off to the Grand Floridian Resort. There we observed the huge tree and gingerbread house in the lobby. Our tour guide, Ralph (or something like it) told us more facts. Not only did we learn about the history and traditions of people's celebrations, but we learned a lot about Ralph. Like he has at least 40 Christmas trees. And he shops for Christmas all year long. And he hopes to set up his new train set in his garage so it will have a permanent home. We think Ralph is single.

Anyhoo, once we had milled about the lobby long enough, we again boarded the bus, this time for the Magic Kingdom. We pulled behind the scenes at Main Street, and saw a situation they called "blow off" (or something like that). This happens when there's a boo-coodle of people on Main Street during a parade, and it's just too crowded for people to get through to Fantasyland. Cast members direct the non-parade-watching people to a big gate and they walk behind the scenes to Space Mountain, or somewhere thereabouts. While we were also on Main Street, we learned a lot about the Christmas trees, the lights, the Disney Christmas parade and taping, and the history of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Disney Christmas knowledge was beginning to trickle out our ears, because we were absorbing so much.

But we were not finished. We boarded the bus once again and this time headed to the Disney Christmas warehouse. Here we saw rows of bulbs and lights and ribbons and garland and trees and balls and baubles and nick-nacks and, well, just about any kind of Christmas doo-dad that you can imagine. We learned about how they store them and what they do when they de-decorate and how stuff is stored and how stuff is put back together. By the end of the warehouse tour, Disney Christmas knowledge was slobbering out our mouths and oozing out our pores. To put it bluntly, we were full of it.

We boarded our not-going-on-a-cruise cruise-line bus and headed back to our original spot at Epcot. There we returned our listening equipment and said good-bye to 40-tree Ralph, who gave us our specialty tour pin. It had been 3 1/2 hours of facts, facts, and more facts about Christmas at Disney.

It was fun and a very good tour. I'll share what I learned in these few words:

1. Disney had a kazillion Christmas lights that are put on everything and it takes months to do it.
2. People work on Disney Christmas stuff all year round - some of the trees for 2011 are ready to be put out - next December.
3. Ralph likes Christmas - a lot.
4. Gingerbread houses, big ones, are big at Disney. But they're up for weeks, so eating one would not be a good idea.
5. There are a lot of December celebrations in the world. Many of them involved presents. So you're legit if you celebrate almost every day in December.
6. Ralph knows a lot about Christmas - so much it's sort of scary. His Christmas trees are themed. I believe Ralph lives alone. With his 40 trees.

There is a lot of other Christmas information, but my brain is tired, so you'll just have to go on the tour yourself. I hope Ralph is your guide. He'll be there, unless he's setting up his new train set in his garage.
Today's blessings: Christmas tour with Anne; Electric Umbrella lunch with Anne, David, John, and Michael; Mimi's with Steve, John, Anne, and David


Marilyn said...

Was that same lady in the lobby at the Grand Floridian?

Marilyn said...

Also, I wonder if "Ralph" is related to our tour guide in Puerto Vallarta :) Looking forward to June!