And they took just enough time off the rides to update us on the thrilliest, spilliest place on Earth.
Stars in my eyes
Now in a Galaxy’s Edge far, far, away in Disney’s twin centre in Anaheim… well, two years ago I got a glimpse into the future in the first party to try out Star Wars world.
And the future is here now in the present and ready for y’all to see it both in California and here in Orlando.
Of course Mickey, Donald and their pals have been celebrating since last month their 50th birthday (well, not theirs, they’re much older but Disney World’s).
On a theme
And the four theme parks and beyond have been in fine song.
Among the most anticipated attractions, and the ones we’ve zeroed in on are:
Disney Enchantment, a new all-new nighttime extravaganza at Magic Kingdom Park, featuring captivating Disney music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks and immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.
And we’ve danced along to Mickey’s In Da House party on that very street and can advise that you lose all inhibitions (or was that just me, Mickey and Donald?)
Then there’s Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot, where guests shrink to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant on a wild adventure.
You like your French gastronomeee, oui?
Then La Crêperie de Paris is a new restaurant located in the France pavilion at Epcot which offers both table and quick-service options and features a menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse.
The Showbiz Lion and I
Now as a veteran of the Orlando theme parks I know how nothing sits still (well, it wouldn’t with you twirled this way and that).
Personally, I prefer a wet one, as my old sparring partner, Lady Lyons, Bev, of Showbiz Lion fame, would say.
And so we both loved Aquatica Orlando. AO can now boast Florida’s first-ever duelling waterslide, Riptide Race, which opened in the spring.
You’ll start atop a 68-foot tower and race side-by-side at top speeds, navigating tight loops and accelerations through indoor and outdoor sections.
While Florida also loves its natural as well as animated animals. And it has those in abundance, particularly flamingos.
For Prince fans, and the rest of us, the reopening of the sex thimble’s iconic recording studio and home at Paisley Park will have us letting out high-pitched screams.
So what can we expect? A lot of purple (obvs), his wardrobe and yes only a Rock God can pull some of those outfits off while it also helps to have a hairy chest.
You can wonder at his eclectic elecrtric guitars and pianos… and, er, his ping-pong table and pick up a paddle and play. The table tennis that is.
Three packages are advertised on their site: The Ultimate Experience ($160), The VIP Experience ($85) and The Paisley Experience ($45). And for the $160 I’d want to get behind a Little Red Corvette. Only saying!
Now while Prince was the idol of the Eighties, alongwith Michael Jackson (and let’s face it for all time) the Poet Laureate of the Sixties was another Minnesotan Bob Dylan.
Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth which is 154 miles north of Minneapolis on Lake Superior.
Again an unlikely port of call for a Rock God.
The young Robert spent the first six years of his life in the port by the Greatest Lake of them all before his family relocated to Hibbing 75 miles north-west.
So each have a claim to the Great Man.
Man of Minnesota
And how do they solve such things in Minnesota?
Well Minnesotans and sharing and caring and are celebrating their favourite son together.
Duluth Dylan Fest , the Hibbing Dylan Project, Visit Duluth, the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce, Iron Range Tourism and the Minnesota Discovery Center have all formed a band (Dylan reference there) under the title Year of Dylan.
The year will run between Dylan’s 80th and 81st birthdays which will be celebrated both in Duluth and Hibbing.
It will all get under way at the Dylan Monument at Hibbing High School on May 22, as well as music at Dylan’s boyhood home in Hibbing.
Who’s your favourite?
I’ll keep you updated as we go along but let’s just celebrate this Mid-West state and sing for Minnesota and Prince and Dylan.