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The Day the Mickey Died - In memoriam: Pal Mickey

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Peter Panic Attack, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. kafitty

    kafitty <font color=purple>yep, that almost sent snot flyi

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    my condolences for your loss. Poor Mickey. :sad2: :laughing:

    i'm in. :surfweb:
     
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  3. Peter Panic Attack

    Peter Panic Attack sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety couple

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    Chpt 3 - I can’t believe he’s on Chpt 3 and not at WDW yet.

    You know, it’s true what they say. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. When we made the decision during our 2005 trip to buy Pal Mickey, we had no idea how much he would touch our family. I can remember it like it was yesterday. We bought him at Main Street Cinema because, if we bought him there, we had a coupon for a free pin. I used to tease him that we really only wanted the pin….not too much though because I could tell he was a little sensitive.

    Sure, Pal Mickey was great at the parks. Let’s face it. That’s what he was born to do. Not only did he know over 700 fun facts and WDW tips, he would also entertain us with 30 trivia questions, seven sing-a-longs and six games…..he could even tell the time.
    But, it was away from the parks that Pal Mickey really shined. Whether it was tossing a ball around in the park or his simple honest advice in times of indecision, he was always there for us.

    If there is one thing Pal Mickey taught us, it was to love the wonderful time of anticipation that comes between booking a WDW vacation and the start of the trip itself. “Carpe Diem” he would squeak…..despite our household ban on Latin phrases. Under that removable tuxedo, he was a little bit of a closet rebel. Most people don’t know that. They never took the time to know that.

    From time to time, I read threads about people surprising their family with a trip to WDW. If I ever woke Tinkershell up with “pack your bags, monkey, we’re going to Disneyworld”, I would absolutely expect one of two things: knee to the groin or skillet to the head. There is really no middle ground on this one. Ok, possibly pepper spray to the eyes as well but that’s really all I can think of…..oh, maybe lead pipe to the knees but then she’s got to get up and find a pipe and it’s a whole big production….so I guess the point I’m trying to make it that she wouldn’t like it….or it wouldn’t please her, if you will.

    During this in-between time, we always get the latest Birnbaum’s Park Guide. Pal Mickey insists (probably getting a little something under the table if you catch my drift.) This is a tradition that dates back to our first WDW trip twenty years ago….back in the 80’s where women’s hair was big and their legs required warmers. An era where a young starlet named Madonna hit the scene, causing all the girls to wear giant bows in their hair and put their underwear on outside of their clothing. It was a golden age of music that produced classic songs like “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors and “Too Shy” by the irrepressible Kajagoogoo.

    We also spend a ton of time researching restaurants. As you may have gleaned from my previous ramblings, (unless you are skimming which I would entirely understand) on our previous WDW trip we had been introduced to the Disney Dining Plan. Ergo, we established a few restaurants favorites and visiting them again on this trip was non-negotiable. For Tinkershell, it was Le Cellier. For DD, it was CRT. My favorite was Biergarten. For DS, well…..he’s got nothing. Just sit him down and serve him up something warm and he’s good to go. Pal Mickey never eats. It’s kind of weird really….must be a dieting thing….I thought he looked fine…maybe a little junk in the trunk but…

    Side note: on the subject of Dining Plan change, just figured out the other day that WDW has pulled the appetizers off the 2009 plan. I already knew about the gratuities (incidentally, isn’t gratuity by definition something given voluntarily) but the loss of the appetizers was news to me. This is not a good thing (unless you are talking about the calamari appetizer at Tony’s Town Square which reminded me of the tentacles scene from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.) Anyway, when I die, I would like “change is bad” on my tombstone……either that or “shampoo, rinse, repeat….it never said to stop”….at this point it’s just too close to call.

    One thing that Pal Mickey really was really excited about on this particular trip was MVMCP. For you see, we had never been. We were a little nervous because we were bucking traditional wisdom and planning on attending on our travel day. I know….I know…you never schedule anything on your travel day…..you’ll be too tired…..you need to relax. Nevertheless. Pal Mickey had his new Santa suit and he wanted to strut his stuff.

    Next up: Chpt 4 – I honestly believe he’s never going to get to WDW
     
  4. Girldreamer02

    Girldreamer02 DIS Veteran

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    Loved the update! :thumbsup2
     
  5. Peter Panic Attack

    Peter Panic Attack sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety couple

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    Chpt 4 – I honestly believe he’s never going to get to WDW


    Ok, so it’s the night before Disney. Tomorrow morning bright and early (with added emphasis on early) we will be piling our 50 lb maximum suitcases into the trusty minivan (yes, I said minivan…..and I can hear you snickering in the back by the way…) and heading to the airport. Ah, the airport…..the birthplace of stress. I’ve done the math and feel pretty confident that cumulative airport stress will knock approximately 7.6 years off the end of my life. Luckily, I plan to live well into my hundreds thanks to my unorthodox daily regiment of too little sleep coupled with over-snacking.

    Of course, we are all excited but Pal Mickey is a complete basket case. This will be his first trip back to WDW since his “adoption” two years before. Oh sure, he says he’s happy living with us but sometimes I’ll catch him watching our 2005 trip video and I could swear there’s a little glisten in his eyes. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. I believe it was Plato who said “you can take the mouse out of WDW, but you can’t take WDW out of the mouse.”…or was it Aristotle….I always get those two mixed up.

    Pal Mickey’s enthusiasm had been tempered a little bit by the news that he was going to have to travel in a carry-on bag. Since he had just celebrated his 2nd birthday a couple of months before, he couldn’t travel as a lap child (plus, he’s technically not a child.) Purchasing his own ticket was out of the question because he’d blown all of his allowance and lawn-mowing money on Disney Store stock and he didn’t want to borrow from us because he already owed us a pretty penny for paying off his credit cards (he got a little carried away on Ebay.)

    Since we needed to be to the airport at 5:30 in the blessed am the next morning, it was decreed that everyone who didn’t run on batteries needed to hit the hay early. If we could all get a good night’s sleep and possibly catch a couple of winks on the plane, there was still a very small possibility that I would not end up looking like a moron for planning on attending MVMCP that night. A lot of my energy goes into trying to not look like a moron….obviously I win some and I lose some.

    Eventually, the whole clan had drifted off to sleep. The children were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of sugar-free Disney gummy characters danced in their heads. Meanwhile, Tinkshell was sawing logs in some type of ‘kerchief…..which I didn’t even know she owned…. That’s about the time the phone rang.

    Somewhere along the line, I have been designated as the family member responsible for answering late night phone calls so I scrambled for the phone. There is really no other experience quite like being woken up from a sound sleep by the phone ringing. You’re all fuzzy and disoriented but your brain knows immediately that this is not a good time to be receiving a phone call. Late night phone calls are never good news. “Sorry to call in the dead of the night Peter....but I’ve just spontaneously decided to give you a big fat raise and I couldn’t wait until the morning to tell you.”

    On the other end was my child-hood best friend from my hometown. He was in the middle of a really tough stretch in his life in which he was battling alcohol addiction and his marriage was completely falling apart. About an hour and a half of listening and encouraging later, Tinkershell pops her head around the corner and announced that if I went to bed at that instant, I might be able to cram in about 90 minutes of sleep before we had to head to the airport. Well, isn’t this just perfect? What am I supposed to say “sorry you are so devastated about losing your family, but I need to get some sleep so I in a couple of hours I can take mine to Disneyworld.”

    Eventually, I got off the phone and I believe I was able to squeeze in a good 60 minutes or so of sleep before it was time to get up. It was a quality 60 minutes though.....and if you add in the 60 minutes or so of sleep I got before the phone rang....that’s two whole hours of totally interrupted sleep....which is good......because if I don’t get my two hours......

    On our last trip we had used curbside check-in and that was the plan again this time. I’d drop off the family and our bags at the airport and then go park the car and meet them at security. Funny thing, Northwest Airlines doesn’t do curbside check-in because apparently they aren’t a big-boy airline and don’t do things like the grown-up ones. So now we are off schedule. The whole family has to go park the car....catch the shuttle....return to the airport....and hope there isn’t a line at the Northwest check-in counter.

    What do you know.....there is a line at the check-in counter. You should know that....even though Panic Attack is my given name.....it also, coincidentally, a pretty good description of how I behave under pressure. I like to be early. I don’t enjoy suspenseful adventures like....oh I don’t know....whether or not we are going to miss our flight. Anyway, after an agonizing wait in the check-in line, we get our boarding passes...stow our bags...and are ready for security.

    To my great surprise, the security lines weren’t too bad. That’s a good thing because so far this morning had been like a good ole fashioned bag over the head followed by a punch in the face and my sleep-deprived nerves were getting a little frazzled. Everybody went through the detectors ahead of me without incident. During my turn, they did have to pull me aside so some burly guy could pat me down. It must be my shifty eyes. I think they should have searched Tinkershell since she was still sporting her ‘kerchief and that’s just weird. Anyway, now all we had to do was pick up our bags off the conveyor belt dealy-o and we’d be home free.

    That’s about the time I noticed the large crowd of security people around the x-ray monitor. Boy....looks like somebody’s in trouble….I’d sure hate to be that poor bugger. Then they pick up our little black carry-on bag and announce......in a pretty serious voice.....they need to speak to the owner. Nuts! I’m the owner…. so I head on over to take my beating. A lady who, incidentally is now wearing her angry eyes, asks me to tell her what is inside. Problem is.....I’m not sure what’s inside so now I’ve got to try to get Tinkershell’s attention....who is off trying to re-dress the kids after their trip through the metal detectors......all the while surrounded by burly security people who are all wearing angry eyes at this point.

    Now I’m getting a little nervous. What if Tinkershell is some type of drug mule and I don’t know it? It happens in movies all the time. Maybe she has a whole secret life. There could be a concrete bunker under our house, filled with guns and computers, that you can only access by sliding down a pole behind a bookcase. It's not beyond the realm of possibility. What if her name isn't even Tinkershell?

    Turns out, Pal Mickey thought it would be funny to hold a fuse in his teeth as he went through the x-ray machine.

    Next up: Chapter 5 - Well... they're finally boarding the plane...so at least that's something
     
  6. shordiebecka

    shordiebecka DIS Veteran

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    lol..i love your sense of humor...what a great trip report!
     
  7. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    See, I'm really wondering if you actually make it to Disney at this point...:lmao:

    I am grateful for the update and am ready for more.:cool1:

    P.S. You are a good friend, too. Alcohol addiction is a nasty disease, I've known a few addicts in my life and they need all the support they can get.
     
  8. Peter Panic Attack

    Peter Panic Attack sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety couple

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    Thanks. I think my sense of humor is kind of like broccoli.....some people like it....some people hide it in their napkin....no wait...they think it stinks....they don't like the texture?....I got nothing.
     
  9. Peter Panic Attack

    Peter Panic Attack sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety couple

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    Honestly, you are right to wonder. At this point, I'm not really sure.....I know we made in real life...
     
  10. allison k

    allison k I'm a lurker, not a poster!

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    So glad to see you made it to the airport! Can't wait for more!
     
  11. Peter Panic Attack

    Peter Panic Attack sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety couple

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    Chapter 5 - Well... they're finally boarding the plane...so at least that's something

    So, after Pal Mickey had made his apologies to the Airport Security people, they took his tiny hand cuffs off and we were allowed to continue to our gate.

    Our DD, Snow Woob has a little bit of a problem with motion sickness. It’s not a big deal. It’s just… if you put her into anything that is moving….she gets sick. Our simple solution to this problem is a wonderful little pill called Dramamine. All we have to do is slip her a couple of these babies and she’s good to go. The reason our solution is crap is because we forget to give her this magical elixir until we see her turning green….which apparently is too late. Holding true to form, we were already in-flight and perusing the latest issue of Skymall magazine (which was featuring a portable hyperbolic chamber for only $72,000….which is really quite reasonable) before we noticed that Woob was looking a little queasy.

    One full air-sickness bag later, we were informed that airline regulations prohibit the stewardesses from touching the fore-mentioned full air-sickness bag so Tinkershell would be required to hold it until they collected the trash. Why Tinkershell you ask? Simple. It was Tinkershell who had insisted on sitting between the kids on the plane and had banished me to the seat across the aisle next to the smelly guy. I believe it was the great philosopher Spider Man who said “with great power comes great responsibility…..and a smelly guy in the hand is worth two air-sickness bags in the bush”….or was that Aristotle…I always get those two mixed up.

    Eventually, we arrived in Orlando and, after exiting the aircraft, we let Pal Mickey out for a little fresh air. At first, he was a little put out with us for packing him in the same carry-on bag as the funyuns, but as soon as he saw the sunshine and palm trees, all was forgiven.

    We always use Disney’s Magical Express…..which I truly believe may be one of this world’s greatest inventions. Yes, greater than television. Yes, greater than the computer. Ok, not as good as duct tape but…yes, greater than the microscope. No driving. No maps. No fighting because I don’t know where I’m driving and Tinkershell can’t read the map. You’re just whisked off down the highway and deposited gently at your resort.

    [​IMG]
    Disney's Magical Express - the eight wonder of the world

    Speaking of resorts, this was our first time at POFQ (on our previous trip we had stayed at CBR) so we were excited to get our first glimpse. Well, most of us were excited. Pal Mickey was back in the bag with the funyuns and none too happy about it I can assure you.

    To be honest, from my first impression of POFQ, I was a little disappointed. Visually, it’s just not as flashy as CBR or something. I guess I just expected something else. However, as our trip unfolded, we absolutely loved the functionality of the place. The store was right there. The bus stop was right there. The pool was….you guessed it…really nice.

    Next up: Chapter 6 - MVMCP
     
  12. Peter Panic Attack

    Peter Panic Attack sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety couple

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    Chapter 6: MVMCP, we finally made it.

    We are Christmas folk. Not sure why. Not sure how. But there you have it. In our household, Tinkershell has been moving the start of the Christmas season up a little bit each year to the point where our kids are putting up their stockings while the other kids in the neighborhood are eating potato salad and fried chicken and shooting off bottle rockets. As a result, there was never any doubt as to whether or not we were going to attend MVMCP. And don’t even get me started about Pal Mickey. He’s a Christmas freak…..plus it’s his own party….his own very merry Christmas party.

    As our bus was approaching MK, we could see that Wishes was already in progress. Nuts, that’s a bit of a bummer. We love Wishes. Oh well, at least we had Christmas Wishes later in the evening…. plus we had tons of opportunities to catch the Non-Christmas version of Wishes later in the week. No need to panic…..I’m sure we’ll be fine. I mean, what are the chances that, in the up-coming days, we would botch every one of the multitude of opportunities afforded us to see Wishes and would, ultimately, end up heading home sans-Wishes…..or Wishless if you prefer. Well…. I don’t have those exact percentages in front of me….but I’m sure they’re pretty small.

    Anyway, it had been many moons since Tinkershell and I had been to MK at Christmas and it was truly an awesome sight as we emerged onto Main Street USA. There were garland and wreaths strung across the street; a ginormous decorated tree in the town square; and the castle had been covered in glowing icicles. Pal Mickey was so excited I was afraid he was going to wet his tiny santa suit…..which would have been a problem because we had left his sorcerers suit back at home and he would have had to spend the rest of the vacation in a white undershirt and his little boxers…and black socks.

    Our first order of business was to get the kids something to eat. Well, that’s not exactly true. Our first order of business was to take a couple hundred pictures of Pal Mickey and the kids with the castle in the background….but our second order of business was to get something to eat. If memory serves me, our last legitimate meal had been at an airport KFC in Denver way earlier in the day and, since that time, we had been surviving on nuts and berries and whatever we could beg off strangers.

    Unfortunately, we were not privy to the fact that a lot of MK restaurants close down early in preparation for the start of MVMCP…..and the ones that do stay open are not necessarily offering their full menu. Our kid’s favorite counter-service restaurant is Columbia Harbor House but, alas, as we approached it we noticed it was shrouded in darkness and nobody inside responded when we pounded on the windows and cried for help. Eventually, with heavy hearts, we settled for Pinocchio Village Haus, although DD was disappointed with the mini pizzas….which was all they were serving. In retrospect, we shouldn’t have been surprised…..I mean, honestly, how can you possibly enjoy food prepared by a talking puppet who misspells “house.”

    After a quick bite, Pal Mickey was itching to get his party groove thang on so we popped our matching santa hats back on our heads and hit the streets. Did I mention we were all wearing matching santa hats? Was there ever any doubt? I’m surprised we didn’t wear them on the plane.

    [​IMG]
    See...matching santa hats.....except me....I'm wearing a powdered wig I swiped from the Hall of Presidents

    On our last WDW vacation, Mickey’s Philharmagic was our first stop and…..being a family that values tradition…that’s where we headed. We love that attraction…..although I must admit….we do occasionally put on our 3-D glasses before we are supposed to....like out in the waiting area before they open the doors to the theater. Well…..how else are you supposed to get the pictures with all the gangsta poses? Surprisingly, this attraction isn’t one of Pal Mickey’s favorites. It has to do with his tiny head……he can only look through one side of the glasses at a time……inevitably he gets frustrated and starts to pout. Look him with his little arms folded and his big lip.

    [​IMG]
    The kids are working the gangsta attitude....I'm more like a angry Thomas Jefferson

    After that, we meandered on over to BTMR which we rode with no line at all. We love that ride at night…..it’s a totally different experience than the day-time trip….because its darker and stuff….you know what I mean. Anyway, right after we were done…..Pal Mickey begged to go again. What the heck, it’s his party right… so off we went. He makes me nervous on that ride because.....when he puts his little hands in the air......I’m afraid he’s going to shoot right off into the night. I kind of wish we had brought his lanyard along just to make sure we didn’t lose him. I know, I know….sometimes I worry too much. I’m sure he’ll be fine.

    We didn’t stay to the very end of the party because…well…it was a travel day and I was running on two hours of sleep…but the crowds were really light the whole night and we got to ride a bunch of stuff. We also got a prime spot for the parade…right up front so Pal Mickey could see. We didn’t get the cookies though…..I guess we kind of forgot all about them….we aren’t cookie folk apparently.

    Next up: Chapter 7: Get on with it….what is this War and Peace.
     
  13. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    Ah, the MVMCP, a must do if you are ever at WDW at Christmas. My DH and I are Christmas people too, we've only been to WDW around that time of year.:rolleyes1
     
  14. TK Brown

    TK Brown Disney Jedi Master

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    This has to be one of the greatest trip reports in the history of trip reports!! My DS is looking at me like im possessed because I am LMAO!! :rotfl2:(I hope I can type that acronym!!)

    Take as much time as you need to write this!! Im subscribing!!!
     
  15. Peter Panic Attack

    Peter Panic Attack sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety couple

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    We are going back again this Christmas....we have no choice....we're hooked.

    I believe it was William Shakespeare who said "some men are born great....some achieve greatness...and some have greatness thrust upon them....and others simply have waaaaaaay too much time on their hands" or was that Aristotle....I always get those two mixed up.
     
  16. Peter Panic Attack

    Peter Panic Attack sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety couple

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    Chapter 7: Get on with it….what is this War and Peace.

    We are Mountain Standard Time folk. Not sure why. Not sure how. But there you have it. Ok….this time I do know why. It’s because everybody humored to all these “round earth” nutjobs who insisted on breaking the globe up into different time zones. Yeah right….like the sun comes up different in Florida than it does at home….whatever. If I had my way, I’d stick the whole bunch of them in a ship and sail them right over the edge.

    Anyway, it was an AK day, and come heck or high water, this was one family that was going to be there for rope drop….cuz that’s how the P.Attacks roll. The park officially opened at 9:00 am est (7:00 am mst) so our game plan was to be at the bus stop at 8:15 am (6:15 am). Therefore….working backward from our optimum bus stop arrival time…and taking into consideration Tinkershell’s 60 minute morning beauty ritual…plus throw in an extra 30 minutes for breakfast and coffee in the room….we had set that nasty alarm for 6:45 am (4:45 am..ouch).

    Needless to say, the family was a little groggy the next morning so it took a couple of extra buckets full of icy water to get them out of bed…..except Pal Mickey….because of his unreasonable fear of water….which, coincidentally, is why we never get to visit the water parks. Pal Mickey sleeps in a dresser drawer so we just bang it open and shut a couple of time and then run for cover…..talk about grouchy in the morning.

    Tinkershell was already busy preening behind the bathroom curtain so I decided to slip on over to the POFQ food court for a couple of steaming mugs of Juan Valdez’s best….you know….mother’s little helper…liquid lightning….morning thunder?…..the black ichor of life?….fine… coffee. Anyway, when I left, the kids and Pal Mickey were all sitting on the bed…watching a cartoon…and mindlessly spooning cereal into their little yappers….except Pal Mickey who, once again, wasn’t hungry…..hmmmm….I wonder if he’s a sleep snacker?

    It was a short walk over to the food court (which was a pleasant change from CBR on our last trip where I needed a machete and g.p.s) and it was a beautiful morning to boot. I half expected little cartoon birds to appear with a cloak made of flowers and gently lay it across my shoulders all the while singing a beautiful medley of Disney favorites. In hindsight, it’s probably best that they didn’t because….even in WDW….seeing cartoon birds is not good thing….and nowhere in Tinkershell’s non-negotiable itinerary did it list “cat scan”.

    By the time I returned, Tinkershell had completed her beauty transformation and was cramming the last minute essentials into our trusty fanny pack (thaaaaats right, I said fanny pack…..and I can hear you snickering in the back by the way…). There were band aids and baby powder; sunscreen and socks; aloe and antacids; and finally….(shudder)….moleskin. Every time I hear the word moleskin, I get this mental picture of a scared little mole down in a pit and Tinkershell lowering it lotion in a basket. “Think Clarice….what does Tinkershell covet?”

    On our last trip to AK two years ago, I wore a leafy green Hawaiian-type shirt to AK and was ripped a new one by some crabby lady who thought I was a CM. So sue me…I just thought it would help me sneak up on Devine. I’m pretty sure it was John Powell who said “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing” or was it Aristotle…I always get those two mixed up. Anyway, I was still trying to figure out if it was Powell or Aristotle who said that as I slipped into my leafy green Hawaiian shirt…. and slapped on a little camouflage face paint to boot ….because today Devine wasn’t even going to see me coming.

    As soon as Tinkershell had me loaded up like the pack mule from “Maverick, Legend of the Lazy Ace”, we were headed for the bus stop. I was a little anxious because this is our first morning bus experience and…as everyone knows…. the foundation of any successful WDW experience is the bus stop. If you approach your bus stop and it has the appearance of a free David Hasselhoff concert in Munich Central Park…..you’ve got problems. To my great relief, ours looked more like a free Adam Lambert concert at the Grand Ole Opry.

    Next up: Chpt 8: Please…I’m begging you… just get on the bus already
     
  17. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    That Pal Mickey, he's probably hoarding snacks in his sleeping drawer!:lmao:

    Coffee, yeah, that's not what most people call the so called brew at WDW. . . :rolleyes1 Hopefully it helped to revive you to become the fabulous pack mule that you were made to be.
     
  18. Peter Panic Attack

    Peter Panic Attack sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety couple

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    For some reason, Pal Mickey's appetite for food did not match his appetite for life.

    Even when he sat down to eat a meal with us...which was seldom....he was so busy with his personal appearances and charity work.....I'd often find food hidden in his napkin.
     
  19. shordiebecka

    shordiebecka DIS Veteran

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    Your trip report really makes me laugh uncontrollably... I read today in the Unofficial Guide about a family who ripped off Pal Mickey's head, legs and arms and just used his main body..apparently he can still function without all the other body parts ?:confused3:sad2:
     
  20. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    That's possitively the worst thing I've ever seen on these boards. I mean, really, who does something like that? It's down right sacreligious!:mad:
     
  21. MeLaNie9

    MeLaNie9 DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl2:
    :rotfl2:
    Love it...
     

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