Monday, February 22, 2021

29 Thoughts Jenn Had While Watching Walt's Epcot/Florida Film

So you've seen those "XX Thoughts I Had While Watching Y" posts, right? Where various and sundry authors jot down their thoughts while viewing something relevant to pop culture? I see a lot of '90s nostalgia re-watches and new movie trailers circulating, plus Disney movies, of course. Buzzfeed does it. Vogue does it. High/low culture at its finest, really.

Stick with me; I promise I have a point. 

My point is, Pat and I were rewatching The Imagineering Story the other night, and during the episode about the origins of Epcot he lamented that Walt never got to build his real Utopian city center. "It could've changed the way humans live," he said. 

Alas, he's right. Once again, we're stuck in the wrong corner of the multiverse. Still, it got me thinking about that time I was writing a paper about Epcot and cultural policy (here, you can read it), during the research stages for which I watched the original EPCOT introductory film. It's the one where Uncle Walt himself gives an overview of everything he has planned for us in Progress City.

Aha, now you see where I'm going with this! Queue up the video to watch along if you like, as I grace you with 29 Thoughts I Had While Watching Walt's Epcot/Florida Film:

  1. This conductor isn't conducting in time to the soundtrack...?
  2. The opening "To all who come to this happy place" speech always chokes me up a little.
  3. That cart horse is wearing a jaunty hat and I love him!!
  4. Wait... is this Disneyland footage just looping...?
  5. Oh, no, the Astro Orbiter is new.
  6. Old school bubble monorails!
  7. Good old WED Enterprises. I'd give the limb of Walt's choice to go back and time and become an ink and paint girl.
  8. Wait, did the Carousel of Progress originally have a different dog?
  9. If you watch the Disneyland teacups from above for long enough, Disney hypnotizes you into a yearly tithe.
  10. A whole new Disney WOOOOOOOOORLD! A dazzling place I never knew!
  11. Oh, hey Uncle Walt. Yes, you're my favorite relative too.
  12. Oh, interesting - there's a Bay Lake on the map, but I don't see a Seven Seas Lagoon.
  13. Fun fact: Uncle Walt is six miles tall.
  14. Wait, isn't WDW 47 square miles? Walt said 43.
  15. An airport of the future in WDW? IF ONLY.
  16. Walt says "Experimental CITY of Tomorrow" the first time before switching to the official "Community" and for some reason this drives me slightly bonkers.
  17. It is taking all my energy not to make a joke about communism OR socialism right now.
  18. Oh, hey, I recognize this place from the TTA Peoplemover!
  19. Yes, thank you, I'd settle for living inside this matte painting.
  20. I totally forgot Walt wanted to build the biodome...
  21. Oh, the hotel must be the inspiration for the Contemporary! Albeit in a VERY roundabout way.
  22. The Peoplemover! I was just talking about you, old friend.
  23. What, you think you can bury "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" in the orchestral score and expect me NOT to sing along?
  24. I look forward to the DVC tower of the high-density EPCOT apartments. I will give them all the money I have to join.
  25. Did they say more cities could be built within monorail striking distance of each other? Sounds like somebody was playing the long game of Risk: Corporate America Edition.
  26. "The six million people who visit Disney World each year" - uh.
  27. Wasn't World Showcase originally a small part of the EPCOT plan? I don't think they mentioned it.
  28. I too am ready to go right now.
  29. Bye, Uncle Walt! Miss you already.

That was fun! I think I might dig up s'more old Disney parks specials to Thoughts-ify if there are no objections. Does anyone know which one has a young Kurt Russell in the dashing one-two sartorial punch of a turtleneck and gangster suit?

Kurt Russell Disneyland
That's the ticket!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

In Which Jenn Has To Run For Oga's Cantina

Okay, let's pretend for a moment you're me. (I'm sorry.) You are going to Walt Disney World, theoretically and vaccines willing, in April. Your travel buddy is on top of the vast majority of dining reservations, but just to be safe you have been given one, and only one job: secure the ADR for Oga's Cantina. Mission date: February 16. You put a reminder in your phone and carry on your merry way.

Of course, February 16 arrives. You remember nothing of your assignment. You get up at 5:30am, cheerily slap together your morning's outfit and provisions, and set out on an 11 mile run. Your bothersome heel is taped up, you're wearing your newest Brooks Ravennas, and you're feeling good. 

Until 7:30am,* when the reminder you set all those day ago pops up on your Garmin: Oga's Cantina ADR. Thirty minutes. You have a little over 2.5 miles to go.

You can do this.

You - not really you; take a deep breath and remember that for you this is strictly a mental exercise - don't want to blaze it because of that whole left heel thing and you don't want to risk an injury. But you trudge out your last mileage under mild stress and come screeching into the alley next to your apartment building with scarcely any time to spare.

No problem! You have the My Disney Experience app in your phone and you know how to use it. OR DO YOU? Because you open it up with your thumbprint and tap furiously through to the Oga's Cantina ADR screen only to discover that it's not giving you the day you need. Why isn't it giving you the day you need? Is the app angry?!

You race through the gate and into the elevator to hit up your computer, feverishly checking your email while you're at it to make sure you're trying for an ADR on the correct day. You confirm that you are as you slide in front of your laptop and whip through the MDE login screen. Ah, there's Oga's Cantina, and there's the day you wanted!

But wait... the calendar on the website won't load?!

You hit a hard refresh while you thumb through the MDE app on your phone and discover that while you were logged into the app, you were somehow not logged in ENOUGH, and the app didn't register the hotel reservation that should open up the extra ten days of ADR openings. You fix this problem and now you can access the correct date. You select 1pm per the agreed upon early afternoon time slot preference. Hooray!

Hold on. It's not loading? Switch back to the website. Ah, yes, there's the calendar. Refresh. Okay, 1pm is gone, but there's 1:20pm. GO THROUGH, DAMMIT!

Okay, back to the app. How about 1:40pm? No? 11:25am on the website? Fine. No, not that either? 2:30pm on the app? 3PM ON THE COMPUTER???

Ah, whew. That one finally went through. You did it! You did it! It's a bit later than originally intended, but you did it! DJ Rex, save me a seat!!!!!!!

Oga ADR

Sit back. It's over. You're not me anymore. Sweet.

Hmmm. It's hard to tell, given how far up Disney's butt I have crawled over the last 15 years or so, but this might be one of the most inside-baseball blog posts I've ever written. But then I suppose you'd have to be pretty inside the baseball yourself to get to the end of such a melodramatic tale. The point is, I got my coveted ADR. Now who's got a vaccine they're not using?

*Yes, you're right - the Disney reservation system opens at 7am. PR doesn't do daylight savings and is therefore currently 1 hour ahead of... everybody else, basically.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Friday, February 12, 2021

Happy Friday: "You Can't Cry Over Mufasa's Death & Then Bust A Cap"

Fun fact about me: I love standup comedy! If I'm surfing Netflix, the first place I'll look is the standup category. That or the horror section. I'm a complicated person.

Anyway - a couple weeks ago I happened upon this guy Jordan Conley, who himself happened to mention Disney in his set. This in of itself is not a huge surprise - these people are in entertainment so it comes up now and again - but his take on a Disney gang really did it for me. He and his space rangers are about to knock you to infinity and beyond!

Warning: mild language. But language is a societal construct anyway, so who cares? 

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

In Which Jenn Plays Fast & Loose With Shoe Sizes

Running shoes

I've been a loyal user of Brooks Ravenna running shoes for around eight years now, but I like to sprinkle in other models into my routine just to give it a try. For a brief period I was running in Nike Air Zoom Vomero 10s, which I liked a lot, but when Nike released the 11s I fell out of love.

Still, the Vomeros have hovered in the back of my mind - those 10s just fit so beautifully. Sometimes I wonder - what about the newer versions? Would they feel good again? They're on the 14s now, so I looked up some reviews. 

The Vomero 14 seems to garner mixed opinions, so for now I think I'll hang tight and see how the 15s fare. But I did notice something interesting in the Runner's World review: "The tongue stops at the top of the collar, so too-tight laces can cause irritation at the front of the ankle. If you tend to wear your running shoes tight, try a slightly looser fit with the Air Zoom Vomero 14 and let the new fit system do its job."

This concept intrigued me - the idea of purposefully going up a size in running shoes. I mean, most of us wear a larger size in our sneakers anyway, since the foot needs more room to expand during our physical exertions. Indeed, a shoe fitter once told me that soccer players and dancers tend to wear their street shoes tight anyway, and as a member of the latter category I found that interesting. I was already going up a size from street shoe to running shoe, but what if I added an extra half size on top of that, for insurance?

So I did just that. My next pair of Ravennas I ordered in an 8.5 instead of my accustomed 8. I have a pair of size 8s that's still in my training rotation, and they fit fine, but I wanted to see if that extra bit of room felt good or just floppy. Sometimes my toes get sore after a long run, and while I've never felt like my toes were bonking against the shoe, I thought some extra space might help.

Running shoes

And the verdict is: it feels good! I find I enjoy having extra room to spread my toes. I don't feel insecure in the fit at all - no slipping or sliding. After all, a half size isn't that much bigger, and there are other elements of shoe design that help keep the fit secure. I ran a 16 miler last week, and I haven't noticed any toe soreness, either.

In short, I'm calling this experiment a success, and intend to continue buying a half size up in the Ravenna for the foreseeable future. I'm no fit professional, but if you're having a bit of trouble with your shoes and you're not sure what the problem is, maybe try a half size up and see how you fare. It might just be extra space you're looking for!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

In Which Jenn Will Be Part Of Your World

My inner Disney Dandy has been thinking about this tank top for a long time.

I have this habit of hemming and hawing over purchases. I go to an online store, I fill my cart, I weed out the stuff I'm not as into until I have a good balance of interest to value, and then... I often do nothing. I am a chronic abandoner of carts.

This is, probably, mostly, a good thing. Helps me save money. Keeps me from acquiring stuff I don't need - or, more accurately, acquiring more stuff I don't need. But occasionally I really regret a purchase not made. I can't stop thinking about it. I go on the website, and it's sold out. Alas.

This very much happened to me with this Little Mermaid tank from Hot Topic. I lived in my cart once upon a time, but never made it home to me. Still, it would pop up in my head now and again - there's something very affirmative about that "I don't know when, I don't know how, but I know something's starting right now" portion of the lyrics of "Part of Your World," and the crochet Ariel elevates the entire piece.

I spent a couple years looking at resale sights like eBay and ThredUp, hoping to score - and I finally found it on Poshmark! I had to take a chance on an extra small, but the gamble paid off because it fits great. 

Ariel tank

Ariel tank

Ariel tank

The only question was: what to wear with it? When I step out of the kingdom of dresses and wade into the swamp of separates, I tend to gravitate toward high-waisted items - I find them more flattering. But you can't do that with this shirt, as it would obscure too much of those all-important lyrics.

My ultimate solution surprises even me.

Ariel tank

Who would've thought I'd ever wear bike shorts outside the athletic arena? Not me! And yet here we are. It's been a fashion trend for awhile now, and even, like, weirdly flattering...? But aside from the aesthetics, what I really like is the prospect of using those side pockets and ditching a bag. Imagine, breezing past bag check! Form and function. Good times.

Ariel tank

Ariel tank

Ariel tank

Ariel tank

Oh, I have a proper tripod now. No more mirror shots! Next time I'll even take a step to the left and get the fan out of the frame. Also these screenshots are lookin' a little blurry. I gotta set up the remote clicker. Narcissism has a learning curve, is what I'm saying.

So that's my latest Disney clothing update. Until next time! Which given my track record could be, like, tomorrow...

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!