One of the Disney-related discussion boards that my wife and I both enjoy participating on is called Mousepad. Like many discussion boards, this one includes a "signature line" feature, where it will automatically append a personalized signature to every post you write. Unlike some boards, the software at this site is set up so that if you change your signature line in the settings, it will automatically change the signature on all of your posts, including old ones.
Quite a few of the regular participants (and staff members) on these boards are people that my wife and I have known for quite some time, both online and in real life. Because of this, we have found that it is fun to regularly change our signature lines to cryptic references to various events in our lives, frequently based on funny things our currently 4-year-old son has said or done. I admit to have basically stolen this idea from a good friend, but hopefully she doesn’t mind too much.
During our recent Disney Cruise and Walt Disney World vacation, we started coming up with signature line ideas so much that we finally just started taking down a list. After getting home, I created a web page with the list and my wife and I both just put links to that page in our signature line. Now that it has been up for a while, I figured I’d write up the explanations for each item, since they all represent (hopefully) amusing little anecdotes from the trip. Hopefully this will be a fun little epilogue to my previous trip reports.
- We want a better clock channel.
In each stateroom on the cruise ship, there is small television set that provides a limited number of satellite and closed-circuit TV stations. When you first turn on the TV, the default station simply shows the Disney Cruise Line logo and the current date and time. After I jokingly called it that, our son started constantly asking to watch "The Clock Channel" whenever we were in the room. One afternoon after we turned it on for him, he watched it for a couple minutes and then looked up and said "I want a better clock channel."
- Board the tram before it explodes.
At Castaway Cay, it is a fairly long distance from the dock to the main beaches and other recreation areas, so Disney provides transportation using trams very much like the ones used at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland parking lots. For some reason, while waiting for guests to board, the public address systems on the Castaway Cay trams would play a repeated beeping sound. This reminded both my wife and I of the sound effect that is regularly used in movies and TV shows to accompany the countdown of the digital timer readouts on time-bombs. That led us to start making the above joke while waiting for the tram to depart.
- We went out into the vacuum.
For some reason, part way through the cruise our son started always referring to going out on deck as "going into the vacuum." With a nearly 4-year-old, it is pretty much impossible to ever get an absolute explanation for something like this. Our best guess is that the whooshing sound of the wind while the ship was in motion reminded him of the sound that the vacuum cleaner makes at home.
- Mommy needs to stay in the room.
My wife is a stay-at-home Mom while I work full time, so our son has a tendency to become very "Daddy focused" when I’m not at work. The most common effect of this is that he often will insist on holding my hand instead of his Mom’s when we are all out somewhere. During the vacation, whenever we were getting ready to go out somewhere for the day, our son had a tendency to sometimes say "Mommy should stay in the room while Daddy and I go out" or something similar. Fortunately, my wife has a pretty thick skin about this type of thing and tended to just find it funny. I’m sure it helped that I always took her side and insisted that she was invited along…
- Sandy toes are coming to town.
Our visit to Castaway Cay was our son’s first chance to visit a real beach and actually swim in the ocean. While running around barefoot on the beach and swimming in the ocean, our son became very aware of the sand on his feet and started excitedly yelling "sandy toes!" (I think my sister might actually have started him on this…) Eventually, that transitioned into us singing the above modified version of the classic Christmas song.
- Mickey says "Its Hammer Time!"
This referred to the weirdest part of the "Pirates in the Caribbean" deck party that is a featured event one night during the cruise. The deck party includes a bit of a character show where several of the Disney pirates (Captain Hook and Smee, Jack Sparrow, and — stretching the theme a bit — Stitch dressed as a pirate) take over and start spreading mayhem on deck, mostly by playing their own various picks of popular dance tunes. The event culminates in Mickey sliding down on a wire from up above and setting off a fireworks display, which I believe is a unique feature of the Disney Cruise Line. At one point during the show, though, Mickey cuts into the audio track to interrupt the pirates and gives a short speech about how he is taking control back in order to provide better entertainment for the guests. He then cuts over the music to "Can’t Touch This" by MC Hammer, leaving us all scratching our heads as to why Mickey thought that was a good idea…
- 8, 8, 8, 8…
Our stateroom was on deck 8 of the ship. Whenever we would get into the elevator, our son would pretty much spend the entire ride saying "8" over and over again. It was kind of like a toddler version of The Beatles’ "Revolution #9".
- We don’t want the left bus.
The night before our cruise, we stayed at Saratoga Springs and then took the Cruise Line bus to Port Canaveral the next day. We were initially waiting for the bus in the lobby, but the Cruise Line representative sent us out front to wait once she got word that the bus was on its way. While we were waiting, several other buses pulled up and we had to keep reminding our son that we had to wait for the "right bus" to arrive. This eventually transitioned into him saying that "we don’t want the left bus". Throughout the rest of the trip, any bus that came along that wasn’t going to our intended destination was referred to as "the left bus".
- We had computer-generated cake.
At the Magic Kingdom, we had lunch one afternoon at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland. With our lunch, my wife and I each ordered a pre-packaged chocolate cake for dessert. While looking at the label on the wrapper, I noticed that the cakes were manufactured by "CGI Bakery". Of course, CGI is commonly used as the short-hand for "Computer Generated Imagery" in movie special effects and animation.
- Somebody stepped on Kermit.
This one is actually pretty straightforward. One afternoon while waiting for my family outside the Fantasyland restrooms in the Magic Kingdom, I noticed a very flat frog on the ground…
- We have to go get our lugs.
On the last day of our trip, we took the Disney’s Magical Express bus back to the Orlando airport. As we approached the drop-off area at the airport, the driver kept making announcements about how he would retrieve everyone’s "lugs" from the compartment under the bus after we arrived. He obviously was using this as a short-hand for "luggage". For some reason, we just found it really amusing that he was casually using this as if it was a completely commonplace abbreviation.