Tomorrow this time, I’ll be holed up at the Disney Contemporary Resort Hotel in Florida on the eve of the National Writing Project’s annual meeting that begins Thursday morning. I’ve attended this annual conference the week before Thanksgiving for over 10 years in a row, and the venue from year to year is always part of the mystique of conference-going.
Orlando really doesn’t excite me as a venue. I visited Disney World almost 4o years ago as a college student. A college mate and I drove all night to Orlando at the end of the summer to bring home another buddy who had spent the summer working at Disney World. I remember vaguely walking around the theme park, seeing Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters, visiting some shops that featured cuisine from other parts of the world, but not much more. But theme parks didn’t excite me then any more than they do now.
The place was fairly new in those days and not nearly as huge as the complex has grown since. Maybe I’ll be more impressed all these years and all of Disney’s development later, but then again, it’s not that the place wasn’t impressive in those days–Disney World, like
any other theme park, just wasn’t my thing. Disney World has changed, I suppose, but I don’t think I’ve changed.
Tomorrow evening, I’ll have a better impression. The conference schedule will be busy though, involving enough work that time for play will be marginal, but hopefully I’ll be able to change into my jogging clothes at the end of each day and jog about the surroundings to explore. If I experience anything memorable or notable, I’ll be sure to shoot it with the iPhone and blog it.