Monday, April 22, 2019

Florida Film Festival & DisneyWorld

I've been going to the Florida Film Festival for almost 20 years now, and this year, my son Lucas - who's six years old, just the right age for Disney World - decided to tag along.

When I told him about Disney World, he wasn't that interested at first - all he asked was, "Can I have some cotton candy there?"  For some reason, he's one of the few kids on the planet who's not obsessed with Disney characters - but off we went to Orlando.

The Florida Film Festival is as great as ever.  Matthew Curtis, head programmer of the festival, always has a lively and unorthodox group of films lined up.  One film, "Buzzer", was animated with dead flies.  Another hit was "Prison Zoo" by Alix Lambert, a stop-motion story about a fennec fox in prision.  Very funny!  I showed my new short "Sex & Violence III", which got very loud laughter.

What's great about the Florida Film Festival at the Enzian Theater is the warmth and personality of the festival, everyone is so friendly and knowledgeable.

On Friday, we took Lucas to DisneyWorld, and as soon as I walked into the Magic Kingdom, I felt like I was 10 years old again - I was actually skipping!  I wanted to go on all the rides.  The last time I went to DisneyLand in CA was 40 years ago, and I'd never been to DisneyWorld in Orlando.  So we tried to enjoy as many rides and attractions as possible.  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was exciting, the It's a Small World ride (designed by Mary Blair) was very inspiring, the "Monsters, Inc." ride was very funny, and the Peter Pan ride was uplifting.  Disney's "Carousel of Progress", however, was totally boring - but we needed to be inside because of a sudden rain storm.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
The best was Splash Mountain, for several reasons - first it's based on some of my favorite characters, Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear from "Song of the South".  Then it was a super-exciting roller-coaster ride through that animated world - then it turns into a splash ride in boats, what a gas.

The "Song of the South" characters outside Splash Mountain
The water-ride part of Splash Mountain
The amazing thing to me is how professional and smooth the whole Disney World operation is, I never once was bored.  And it really is a testament to the genius of Walt Disney and his Imagineers.  I believe Walt was the greatest entertainer of the 20th Century and his work will probably dominate the 21st, too.  Hell, maybe I should start to construct "Plympton World".

See you next week -

Bill P.

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