School’s out and many people are packing up the minivans for their summer vacations. They head to famous places like London, Roma, or New York. They lay on the beach at Cancun, Jamaica, or Barcelona. They might pack it all into one trip and visit the world pavilions at Epcot. Or, they’re like me and plot out famous Korean drama locations in Seoul and hunt each one down to reenact scenes with a loved one. I doubt most people are that obsessed, though. At least not with dramas.
Plenty of people are obsessed enough with Disney to plan their vacations at (expensive!) Disney Adventure Resorts, however. We don’t have the mouse-dough to plunk down on one of these family sagas, but we also get the itch to get off the couch and see the splendid cities brought to life in the movies. For example, you could stay here, where giraffes would rudely awaken you every morning.
Or you could make your own trip into the Savannah, and have a safari-where-we-don’t-kill-anything for probably less, though I’ve never actually priced one of those. Instead of staying in a comfy bed with room service, you should be out in a tent under the stars if you really want to belong to the Circle of Life. Then you could go wake up the giraffes.
New Orleans, on the other hand, should be lived large and loud. Preferably during the Mardi Gras festival. We’d stuff ourselves with beignets and jazz music first, then pole our pirogue down the bayou waters for some good ole zydeco and gumbo. Louis is doing his best to improve the image of crocodiles all over the state, but we’ll still keep clear of any smacking jaws, especially ones that answer to Brutus and Nero.
I just don’t know which to believe.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Here’s eight more Disney-inspired vacation spots.
China (all of it): It takes a loooooong time to hike the whole Great Wall, so our first plan is out of the question. But we’d make a day out of the Forbidden City, and take another to get out into the beautiful countryside. We might take a boat down the Yangtze river, or join a rice co-op. Unfortunately, many of the country’s treasures were destroyed during the revolution, but there’s enough to last many re-visits. Our last evening would have to have a big fireworks display, preferably with cute Asian guys by our side.
Athens: the statuary, the architecture, the theatre, the wine, and the superhero hotties! This city, dripping with history, is on every must-see list, but Hercules presents a different perspective on the famous locations. What if this wasn’t history, but the world around us, and we were the makers of history? We’d slap on some sandals and white linen, hit up every major spot on the Acropolis, and and tell everyone we recently discovered that we are adopted demi-gods.
It looks better that way.
Hawaii: Like we need a reason. It’s just nice to visit a place surrounded by water with no large cities. We’d check out the surfing, the hula, the volcanos and other parks. But we’d try to avoid the tourist spots and get off the main islands with their “fake luaus.” We’d head to the smaller villages and find the spots that the locals eat and hang out in. After feeding Pudge on Thursday, Cabbage would stock up on kona coffee (enough to last the year!) and fly home with an excellent braggable tan.
Paris: It’s hard to decide when the glory days of Paris were, the 15th century when the magnificent spires of Notre Dame awed over 200,000 Parisians (that was a big deal back then), or the delightful Belle Epoque at the turn of the 20th century when Monet, Eiffel, and Zola made artistic history. The city has not lost its appeal through the eras, and we’d visit all the old and new monuments. We’d be sure to soak in some of Remi’s favorite Parisian cuisine, and find some cool cats in the jazz clubs that are still popular in the Quartier Latin. If we got tired of the city (unlikely), we’d head into the countryside to find some bookstores in old French villages.
We can’t even pick. Just yes.
Sydney: Bri and Rose have already been to Australia’s Harbour City, but it’s worth going back. This time, we’d dedicate ourselves to the Great Barrier Reef and exploring the continent’s wildlife. (Not too much exploring, though, because Rescuers Down Under was kind of scary and looks awful hot.) Obviously, we’d learn how to scuba and stuff beforehand. We’d also take a picture of ourselves and edit it into this fictitious-but-still-awesome-so-don’t-ruin-the-magic photo of 42 Wallaby Way.
Cusco: Of course, we’d prefer to have a guide if we’re going to hike up and down those Peruvian mountains, but we have it on good authority that when the sun hits them just right, the hills sing. Plus, Cabbage wants to climb to Machu Pichu and pretend to be the emperor. I’d sit on the throne, give orders, and make my own theme song. But, mostly, we want to know if Kronk is still in business.
If time allowed, we’d take a long detour over to Angel Falls, Venezuela, one of the grand tepuis that UP’s Paradise Falls was modelled after.
Cabbage, that doesn’t even make sense!
Scotland (anywhere): All of us have been and all of us would go back. But this time, we’d get horses! Bri and Cabbage want to spend all their money on renting a castle for a week and throwing our own Scottish Games festival. We may settle for doing this in our own backyard… actually, this is a good idea, and I will get back to you on this….
Our men would wear real kilts.
Alaskan wilderness: If Cabbage had to pick anywhere to get lost for a week (other than these other places and only if I had full bear-suits to keep me warm), it would be rugged Alaska. I’d fend for myself with my superb outdoorsy skills, fishing, grilling, fishing some more…building lean-tos… Okay, truthfully, I’d probably stumble dehydrated and sun-parched with a broken arm into a town, calling desperately for John Corbett. (Yes, I know that Rob Morrow was the doctor in Northern Exposure, but we all liked Corbett better.)
It strikes us that most of these are from recent movies. This is because the Walt-era films are mostly imaginary, frightening, or very hard to get to. (Even so, I wanted to add Neverland to the list, but Bri voted Scotland up there instead.) Contrasted with movie-makers who couldn’t be bothered to give their princes names, today’s design teams travel to location and fill notebooks of inspiration, only a fraction of which makes it into the film. Today’s heroes are the background artists and travel agents who make the magic come alive.