Believe it or not, we’re getting on a flight tomorrow that will not land at MCO. We’re going away and it’s not to Walt Disney World. It’s a very strange feeling.
I’m not joking – it feels very odd to be going somewhere other than WDW as we prepare to travel. Since Amy and I first visited WDW 14 years ago, we haven’t gone anywhere else on vacation.
We’ve traveled all around New England, sure, but that’s not getting on a plane and heading off somewhere far away. We went to Jacksonville for a wedding a couple years ago, and… Well, that’s it.
But tomorrow afternoon we board a United jet that will eventually connect us (hopefully) to our final destination – Jackson Hole Wyoming.
We’re going on Adventures by Disney: Quest for the West.
Of course I’m excited for the opportunity. Katie can’t wait to see Old Faithful, and Amy is ecstatic to be going somewhere other than the greater Orlando area. Not that she doesn’t love our trips to WDW – she does. She even said that the other day. It’s just that she wants to see other parts of the country/world.
I don’t get it. I think she’s crazy. But whatever – we’re going to Wyoming.
Things started to get fun when we got our first correspondence from ABD. It was a little peek at what Disney had in store, and it reminded me that we would be in the very capable hands of Disney. The folder we got had images from some of their trips around the world – from the American southwest and China to England and Italy.
Then came the real good stuff. A week or so ago we got a big box in the mail. It was designed to look like a steamer trunk on the outside. We had no idea what was in it, but we gathered around it and looked it over closely.
It was hard to be patient and wait for Amy to bring me a knife so we could dive into the taped-up box, but I guess our only other option was to tear into it with our teeth, which would be a bit uncouth.
So we waited approximately 8 seconds before we unveiled the contents:
Now that is a greeting. If I thought for a second that we wouldn’t be getting the Disney treatment, it went right out the window. What a way to let guests know they were in for a great adventure.
Inside the box was a collection of Pre-Departure Materials – ABD luggage tags that work like Magical Express, essentially…
The only time I got called “Mr. William Burke” I knew I was in trouble from either a teacher or my mother. (Hello, mom.)
A handbook that included everything from a summary of our adventure, what we’d need to bring, information about our destination and even a list of common words and phrases (Howdy=hello, chuck=food, above my huckleberry=too hard for me to do, Mousejunkie=massive celebrity. OK, not that last one. I made that up.)
It also included Adventures by Disney backpacks for use during our trek.
So that’s what we’re delving into – a Quest for the West.
I have a bit of a distant connection to the region. When my brother, sisters and I were young, we moved with our parents to Nebraska. We lived in the midwest for a couple years before returning home to New England for good. While we were there, we got to see a lot of the country. Nebraska was great as a central point for exploring the Rockies and beyond. (Not so much for a hockey fan, but that’s a much, much longer and detailed story.)
As we made our way home to the east coast, it was from Oregon. My father, brother and I drove through the Badlands, the Grand Tetons, parts of the Rockies and down through the midwest. So I’ve actually seen the Tetons. Only it’s been 30 years or so. Yeah, I’m old. Well, too old to get super excited about breakfast with Mickey Mouse. (For an explanation of this, see “Mousejunkies” and “Mousejunkies: Second Edition.)
So with those memories buried in my brain somewhere, I really look forward to seeing how the reality of the region matches up to how I remember it. Are there sand spurs? Prickers? Rattle snakes?
It would be amazing to see elk, buffalo, cowboys doing their thing… Despite the detailed and great information provided by Disney, I don’t really know what to expect. I’ve purposely stayed away from Youtube and images of Jackson and Yellowstone so we can be surprised when we discover these things.
I guess I can say I have zero expectations – which I think is a good thing. I don’t have low expectations, I just don’t know what to expect. The last time I had zero expectations was on my first trip to Walt Disney World – and we all know what happened on that trip.
With that in mind, see ya on the trail, pardner.