In Which The Baby-Sitters Club Goes To WDW In 1988

Adulthood rite of passage: your parents move out of your childhood home, and they do a massive purge of their stuff. Some of that stuff is your stuff. They ask you if you want that stuff. You pick through the stuff, select a very small percentage of stuff you want to keep, and tell them to do whatever they want with the remainder of the stuff. Sell the stuff, recycle the stuff, toss the stuff. The key point is, you do not want the stuff. You have your own stuff. Too much stuff, really. You should probably purge some stuff yourself.

In my case, a lot of the stuff was books. I know – I didn’t want books? Look, I kept the good books I liked and potentially wanted to read again. A couple made the cut purely for nostalgia’s sake. But I do not need 8,000 volumes of The Baby-Sitters Club. Toss.

Too late I realized I should’ve made one exception: did you ever read Baby-Sitters on Board? It was the first Super Special of the series, and sees the BSC going on a cruise… followed by Walt Disney World! In 1988! 

Eager to reread the story with an eye to the differences described in 1988’s WDW vs. today, I obtained a new copy. You absolutely cannot find a text-only version for free on the internet, so definitely don’t google “Babysitters on Board pdf” because nothing will come up, okay? 

The prose is intended for preteens, so it’s a quick and easy read, and only includes two Wacky Outfit Descriptions (this must be before it became de rigueur to begin every story with detailed observations of what every club member was wearing). But in case you don’t feel like slogging your way through several thousand words about “cute boys” and at least two separate instances of the Comet/vomit song, here are my observations:

  • The cruise is not a Disney cruise, because in 1988 there was no Disney Cruise Line. But one character mentions that every single person on the cruise is also going to WDW after somehow. In the ’80s Disney was mandatory. 
  • Once they leave the ship, they are neither at a Disney hotel. Firstly, I’d imagine if they had stayed at a Disney resort, this would’ve been described in detail, but most telling is the mention that there’s a minibar and I’m 99% sure Disney has never furnished those in rooms.
  • They also describe taking a bus to the TTA to the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, but if I recall correctly there weren’t bus stops at MK until the last ten years or so, right?
  • Karen, the little sister of BSC president Kristy, gets her own chapters in this one, and she ends up freaked out in the Haunted Mansion because she legit thinks a hitchhiking ghost actually is following her home. She later gets lost in Fantasyland and decides the ghost is friendly and it helps her find her family again. She wants it to come back to her house so it can live with the ghost that’s already in her attic…? Fred’s and Dave’s headstones are accounted for.
  • Karen also talks about various costume characters like Minnie and Snow White just wandering around freely. No handlers, no lines. Heady times, the ’80s.
  • Another Karen chapter describes a character breakfast on the Empress Lilly, which I had heard of but was hazy on the details. Turns out it was part of the erstwhile Walt Disney World Village, now Disney Springs. The characters (the ones in the book, not the ones in the costumes) note sadly that it’s a fake boat-shaped building, not an actual paddleboat – oh shoot, I just realized this must be Paddlefish now. Boy am I slow on the uptake. Anyway, according to Karen the inside isn’t that exciting. So much for theme.
  • Everyone’s really enthralled with Main Street –  they keep calling it a “little town.” Now defunct shops mentioned include the House of Magic, Penny Arcade, The Shadow Box (what even was that?), and the cinema.
  • Defunct MK rides mentioned include Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (miss you, boo!), Snow White’s Adventures, and the Skyway. Unfortunately no ’80s descriptions are included, aside from a mention of the Witch trying to dump a rock on you in Snow White.
  • Big Thunder gets a bit of detail – one kid mentioned the scenery including bones, possums, a chicken, a goat, and a mine shaft. I think that’s all still there. Pirates of the Caribbean is also described, but even with all the refurbs over the year nothing new (that is to say, old) is mentioned. Typical piracy, I guess. Much excitement over audio-animatronic leg hair.
  • At some point people get ice cream at a place in Fantasyland called The Round Table? Never heard of it. Former name of the Friar’s Nook, maybe? Perhaps the Cheshire Cafe? A slightly more than cursory internet search won me nothing but Cinderella’s Royal Table and round table discussions.
  • Dawn is all snobby about WDW because she’s from CA and has been to Disneyland, oh, SO many times. Turns out she finds the WDW Space Mountain way more intense than the Disneyland one. I can’t confirm; mostly what I remember from Disneyland‘s Space Mountain is that the cars are more comfortable and WAY easier to get into and out of. There is no mention of this in the book, only motion sickness. The babysitters are weak.
  • More characters end up on Tom Sawyer Island in this book than possibly some days in the park. Are there still air guns in the fort?
  • Only one group ever makes it to what was then called Epcot Center. It is led by Stacey, who claims not to know what “prototype” means but whatever. Epcot having changed so drastically, her chapter is pretty interesting. They start at the Universe of Energy, which would’ve been pre-Ellen/Bill, but no one calls it boring; it’s all about the dinosaurs, which, fair. 
  • Next they hit up The World of Motion, which I never rode (that I remember). According to the book, there’s a bike accident AND a car accident, and it is HILARIOUS.
  • At the Imagination pavilion, they do Captain EO, which they find “funny, exciting, and deliciously scary.” I would’ve gone with “bonkers, absurdist, and deliciously bizarre,” but sure. But then they’re right there and DON’T DO THE FIGMENT RIDE??????? They don’t even mention its existence and I feel personally attacked by this omission. (They never make it to or mention Horizons, either. Whoever did the research for this book didn’t like good rides, apparently.) The Epcot portion concludes in World Showcase, where they have lunch at “a restaurant.” I love that place!
  • It is implied that the day parade and the night parade are the same parade except for the whole timing thing. They catch the nighttime version at the end. The only float specifically mentioned is an upside-down birthday cake. I’m assuming this is un-birthday related but it doesn’t ring a bell for me. I checked and apparently the Main Street Electrical Parade would’ve been running at MK during this period, but I don’t remember that float. Afterward there are fireworks, but nobody says anything about a soundtrack or shapes or any of that jazz. 

So that was WDW in 1988 according to some made up people! It occurs to me just now that if the babysitters were all around twelve/thirteen in this book, they were born in the ’70s. That would make them all in their forties now, and older than me. See, sometimes nostalgia makes you feel young!

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!

The Jenn Theory Of Pooh Personalities

This silly little idea is so simple and has such a long-standing history in my family that I can’t believe I haven’t shared it sooner. The concept is just this: Pooh Personalities.

Basically my family has a long held belief that everyone’s personality can be distilled into two characters from A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, and by extension the Disney films (I have a ton of love for both). Certainly there may be elements of more than two characters that could describe parts of you at times depending, but you only ever need two characters to make up your essence.

Milne did a wonderful job of creating characters that are both easily understood and well-rounded, although admittedly some more than others. Traditionally we have defined them as follows:

Pooh: Philosophical. Unhurried. Largely gentle. Somewhat oblivious. 

Piglet: Nervous. Anxious. Uncertain. Hopeful. Kind. 

Tigger: Enthusiastic. Simultaneously generous and selfish. High self-esteem. Tendency to steamroller others. 

Rabbit: Fondness for order. Unbridled crankiness in the face of disorder. 

Owl: Professorial. Likes to share knowledge. Not always aware of how interested others are in said knowledge. 

Eeyore: Gloomy (duh). Cynical. Secretly just wants love. 

Kanga: Warm. Maternal. 

Roo: Childlike, I guess. Kinda like a mini-Tigger, but I don’t think anyone has ever been described as Roo so whatevs.   

Christopher Robin: Bisy Backson. 

Gopher: He’s not in the book and he’s a ding-danged glad of it. 

Anyway. Here’s how it works:

I am a combination of Piglet and Tigger. I am anxious and risk-avoidant, but when I get excited about something I go all in.

My dad is a combination of Pooh and Owl. He is philosophical and has a tendency to pontificate.

My mom is a combination of Piglet and Rabbit. She is anxious and likes things to be How They Are Supposed To Be.

My brother is a combination of Rabbit and Owl. We don’t get along.

What’s your Pooh personality? Is this game completely idiotic or are we totally on to something? Should I have given Christopher Robin a real description? But, like, WHAT?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Is A Sailor ‘Cause A Sailor’s Been Tattooed

Mitzi Gaynor and Ethel Merman would never lie to me. Certainly not with Donald O’Connor watching.

Forgive me as I go on a brief tangent, but I simply must show off my first tattoo.

I know, I know; how could I go a non-Disney route? But The Phantom Tollbooth is one of my favorite books EVER, and once I settled on this illustration of Tock the watchdog I knew I was ready to take the plunge. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Also, I thought this was funny: “You have perfect skin for tattooing. It’s like it’s never seen the sun.” Yup, that about sums it up.

Wrapping it back around to running! The next day I walked down to CVS to get some fragrance-free soap to wash Tock, which took me past my gym. I was about as far removed from wearing suitable running clothes as one can get without donning stilettos and a mini skirt, but I still briefly considered ducking in and running a mile… while holding my boobs, I guess, because for that brief, hoodie-d jaunt I wasn’t wearing a bra. Yeah, smart to take a pass on that one, I think.

Do you have a tattoo? Do you want one? What did/will you get? Have you ever run braless? Did you die? No, it doesn’t count if you’re a boy.

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn & Moon Are ‘Ached Some Questions

Hey, here’s something crazy – we’ve been tagged! We’ve been tagged twice!

Thanks to Kellie and Kimberley for inexplicably expressing an interest in our inner workings. They’ve asked questions. We have answers!

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

Moon says:

  1. Bek
  2. Sneaky
  3. Rebs
  4. Rebek (my Dad is not a creative soul) [to clarify, Moon’s English name is Rebekah]

Jenn says:

  1. Jennifer (but why are you mad at me?)
  2. Hennifer Lopez
  3. Jenn-Jenn
  4. Seabiscuit

Four jobs I have had: 

Moon says:

  1. Photo editor
  2. College professor
  3. Cello teacher
  4. Easter Bunny (that’s right, you heard me)

Jenn says:

  1. Violin teacher
  2. Wench at Medieval Times
  3. Yogurt shop worker
  4. Email marketer for a performing arts center

Four movies I’ve watched more than once: 

Moon says:

  1. The Young Victoria
  2. The American President
  3. In the Mood for Love
  4. A Room With a View

Jenn says:

  1. Mulan
  2. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
  3. The Sound of Music
  4. Amelie

Four books I’d recommend: 

Moon says:

  1. The Little Prince
  2. Peanut Butter and Jeremy’s Best Book Ever
  3. Brave New World
  4. The Emperor of All Maladies 

Jenn says:

  1. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  2. The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein
  3. A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle
  4. The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles G. Finney

Four places I have lived: 

Moon says:

  1. Seoul
  2. Baltimore
  3. Chestertown
  4. Hanover

Jenn says:

  1. Silver Spring
  2. Baltimore
  3. Gaithersburg
  4. Bethesda

Four places I have been: 

Moon says:

  1. Jordan
  2. Brussels
  3. Spain
  4. Israel

Jenn says:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Spain
  3. Germany
  4. Austria

Four things I don’t eat: 

Moon says:

  1. Meat
  2. Chocolate
  3. Fast Food
  4. Red Onion

Jenn says:

  1. Grapes
  2. Peas
  3. Blueberries
  4. Cherry tomatoes (Q: What, is Jenn, like, afraid of small round objects or something? A: YES. VERY.)

Four of my favorite foods: 

Moon says:

  1. Gai Lan!!!!
  2. Pho (vegetarian!)
  3. Matar Paneer
  4. Tom Yum soup

Jenn says:

  1. Bread pudding
  2. Frosting (the thick, sugary kind, of course)
  3. Sushi-grade raw tuna
  4. Spanish tortilla

Four TV shows that I watch: 

Moon says:

  1. “The Fall”
  2. “The West Wing”
  3. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
  4. “Arrested Development”

Jenn says:

  1. “Psych”
  2. “Doctor Who”
  3. “Scrubs”
  4. “Star Trek: Voyager”

Four things I am looking forward to this year: 

Moon says:

  1. Traveling through Europe with Christian
  2. Internship at WAM
  3. Moving back to the city
  4. Seeing Christian every day

Jenn says:

  1. The Dopey Challenge
  2. Moving to downtown Bethesda
  3. Going on vacation with my boyfriend, wherever we decide to go
  4. Beach trips – lots! – and maybe even learning to surf without falling over all the time

Four things I’m always saying:

Moon says:

  1. “Ugh!”
  2. -expletive- (when I get nervous, my mouth has a mind of its own)
  3. “Kitty!!”
  4. “Yes, please!”

Jenn says:

  1. “Indeed”
  2. “I do what I can”
  3. “Awww, Minxie!” (Cat #1)
  4. “RUFFIAN!” (Cat #2)

This survey has been going around awhile and a lot of people have gotten tagged, so we don’t want any repeats. What we DO want is for ANYONE who hasn’t been tagged already to consider themselves tagged. Off you go – and send us a link if you do!

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Week In Review: 9/30

JENN: How’d the whole running thing go last week?

MOON: A confession! I did not run last week… I used only the elliptical. Every day. Because I wanted to finish a book that was really long.

JENN: Haha, what book?

MOON: Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears. I just wanted to know WHY he fell… Rather disappointed about some of the reveals, but mostly because I saw them coming. I like being surprised.

JENN: You should run to audiobooks.

MOON: I feel like inserting a Dexter reference to Deb, but I believe I’ve already used that card.
Clift should be giving me lots of audio to listen to soon. He said he would let me listen to the Outlander series. So, it will be a blushing and giggly few runs in the future.

JENN:  Oh my. That should be interesting.

MOON: Anyway, how was your week?

JENN: Pretty good! I had a really nice run on the Ocean City boardwalk. And then my other runs were fine… but… I seem to be falling back on the treadmill. In my defense, I most recently replaced an outdoor run with a treadmill run because it was POURING outside, but man… I liked it. So COMFORTABLE. I know I need to practice more outside, though. I will. I just <3 my treadmill, is all.

Random question for the readers – do you like your luggage? I bought my suitcase on the cheap and it died with predictable rapidity so I’m in the market for something, y’know, GOOD.

Ample cat storage space is of course key.

And with that out of the way: roundup!

The Runner’s Guide to WDW will help you get your Goofy/Dopey training on.
Fairytales ‘n Fitness has the scoop on Disney Magic Runs in foreign lands.
Pink Elephant on Parade perseveres through the long run.
Theme Park Insider points out that Disney is contradicting itself with its new videography and photography policies.
Food Fitness Fantasy moonlights on This Happy Place for ice creamy purposes.
WDW Magic has a recording of Off Kilter’s last show. And we all know how I feel about that.

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn & Moon Do the Liebster Award Thing

Fun fact: the fabulous Danielle of Live, Run, Grow nominated us for a Liebster Award! This question-trading blog series helps us all get to know our fellow bloggers. Read on for the answers to the questions Danielle set to us!

1. If you could run any race in the world, what would it be?

JENN: I’m pretty excited for the WDW Marathon, but since I AM running it and the question seems to suggest a think-big mentality, I’m gonna say… the hypothetical Disneyland Paris half that doesn’t technically exist yet. Or, if you insist on something real, maybe a race in Hawaii?

MOON: I would run the Honolulu Marathon.

JENN: Right, what she said.

MOON: Haruki Murakami didn’t start running until he was 33, I think. He’s definitely a bit of an inspiration. He wrote a memoir about running and I remember a section on Hawaii. I figured if I ever sucked it up and started running again I would do that.

JENN: So your dream race is “one run next to Murakami.” Universe, can we set that up?

MOON: Haha, yeah! Then I just need the energy to keep up…

2. What is the best race you’ve run so far?

JENN: Although my time was SOOOO much better at the Tinker Bell Half, I’m gonna go with the Princess Half because the entertainment level was so much higher throughout. The Annapolis Light House Half was boring and the Marine Corps 17.75K had too many HILLLLLLS. And untimed 5Ks don’t count.

But I have a lot of runDisney races coming up, so for the future: who knows!

MOON: Hmm, well, since I don’t have many to choose from… The Tinkerbell Half. The first time my body did something I didn’t think it would be able to do. But, I agree with Jenn. The Princess Half was a lot of fun!

3. What is your favorite book?

JENN: OH MAN. All of them?


JENN: Um….

MOON: I think the survey just ended. We’ll be on this for days.

JENN: No kidding.

MOON: I know one we can both agree on! Good Omens?

JENN: Haha, yes! Terry Pratchett is AWESOME.

I like Kurt Vonnegut a lot. And James Herriot. And C.S. Lewis. And Robert A. Heinlein. But these are authors. Books. Books books books. Boooooooks.

MOON: Hmm, I also really like Vonnegut. I would say my favorite is Breakfast of Champions.

JENN: I like Cat’s Cradle and God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian and of course Slaughterhouse-Five.

Um… shall we just go on to the next question?

MOON: Okay! But first I need to get a few out there: Peanut Butter and Jeremy’s Best Book Ever!, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and The Robots of Dawn. There had to be soooomething.

 JENN: True. Then off the top of my head: Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back, Shoeless Joe, The Phantom Tollbooth, The Last Unicorn, The Door Into Summer.

4. What’s your favorite TV show?

MOON: Haha, uh oh. This… I have noooo idea. I suppose I’ll have to fall back on Arrested Development?

JENN: You should’ve said that you don’t understand the question and you refuse to answer it.

MOON: Haha, true.

JENN: I’m gonna go old school and way dorky and say “Star Trek: Voyager,” because Tom Paris and I are that tight. But also “Psych.” Let us never forget “Psych.” You know that’s right.

MOON: “The X Files” for me. If ever there is a biography written about me, I’m pretty sure “The X Files” will take up at least a chapter of my high school days.

JENN: That and our mutual devotion to The Doctor.

5. Is there a skill or talent you wish you had?

MOON: Hmm, maybe polyglotism?

That or confidence.

JENN: Haha, you and me both.

Let’s see. It would be nice to be ambidextrous. And I still can’t freakin’ whistle.

MOON: How about ambidextrous AND a polyglot? You would be the communication queen.

JENN: No kidding. Which president was it who would write with both hands on two separate pages in two separate languages? Was that Jefferson? They just don’t educate us for the real world like they used to.

6. Favorite Disney character?

JENN: We’ve actually answered this before, so let’s see if it’s changed!

MOON: Ha, I feel like mine will probably change.

JENN: Mine was Eeyore last time. I still love Eeyore, but I think I might go with Mary Poppins this time around. Because Julie Andrews is the best. At everything. Ever.

MOON: I would say Mary Poppins, but she’s not technically a Disney character? Well, not Disney’s creation I should say.

JENN: Neither are a lot of them – Eeyore either!

MOON: I would also want to say Emelius Brown… I’m going with Mr. Ray and Emelius Brown if I can.

JENN: Mr. Ray is what you said last time – consistent! 😀

MOON: Yay!!

JENN: Okay, then I’m going pick that little blue fish who says I’M OBNOXIOUS!

MOON: Hahaha!

7. What’s the best job you ever had?

JENN: I like my current job, actually. I work for a performing arts center and we’ve got a concert hall and an education center and a gallery and there’s dance and music and it’s pretty awesome.

MOON: I haven’t had my favorite job yet. But, my music students are awesome.

8. Is there a food you just can’t stand?


Okay, I have a REALLY REALLY WEIRD phobia. I am afraid of small round objects. Grapes and peas TERRIFY me. I don’t like blueberries or cherry tomatoes either, but they don’t get me like grapes and peas. You put a plate full of grapes on the table and I will edge around the room like there’s a mosquito I need to watch out for.

MOON: I once sat down next to Jenn for lunch, but I had a bowl of grapes. She got up and moved without saying a word.

JENN: It’s an affliction.

MOON: For me: pizza. I don’t care for pizza. And meat, but I figured that didn’t count as an answer.

JENN: That’s not true! We half the cheese and double the tomato sauce, and you’re all about pizza. And I agree, because pizza sauce is AMAZING.

MOON: Tomatoes are AMAZING.

9. What’s your favorite, can’t live without piece of running gear?

MOON: Asics? Is that too obvious?

JENN: I would say my Yurbuds running headphones, which lock in my ears. Because a long run without music is a sad run. And music coming out of headphones that I keep sweating out of my ears are scarcely any help at all. So: hooray for Yurbuds!

Okay, last one!

10. What’s the one tip you would give a new runner?

JENN: I would say: get fitted for sneakers at a dedicated running store. It makes a world of difference and keeps your joints from revolt.

MOON: I would say the same thing. I also feel that I don’t have any authority to instruct anyone in the ways of running.

JENN: Well, there is that. So maybe just say: try it! See if it works for you! Maybe not! But maybe so!

Okay, now for some nominees:

  1. Pink Elephant on Parade
  2. Food Fitness Fantasy
  3. My No-Guilt Life
  4. We Run Disney
  5. Prairie Princess Runners
  6. Fairytales and Fitness
  7. I Run for Wine
  8. Running at Disney
  9. Just Me and My Running Shoes
  10. Will Run for Ears

And here are your ten questions!

  1. When your energy is flagging and you need a boost, what song do you play?
  2. What’s the worst piece of running equipment you’ve ever made the mistake of using?
  3. What’s your favorite way to fuel before, during, and/or after a run?
  4. Assuming practicality is no object, what’s your dream race costume?
  5. What race should runDisney add to their schedule?
  6. Which Disney park is your favorite?
  7. How do you like to reward yourself post-race?
  8. If you became a Disney princess, what would you be like?
  9. What is THE BEST food?
  10. Once and for all: who makes the best running shorts?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us atfairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!