Day Six: Adult Entertainment
Okay, that’s a shamelessly attention-baiting title. But if I hear once more that “Las Vegas is like Disneyland for adults!” I think I’ll explode. This is almost invariably stated by people who have never been to a Disney park. Hell, they usually think Disneyland is in Florida. *sigh*. The fact is, adults pay for their kids to visit Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris and the Far Eastern parks. It’s not necessarily the cheapest holiday in the world (although there are always good deals if you scout around and plan in advance), so just nagging by the kids is not going to be enough to cause parents to repeatedly shell out cash and spend hours walking around hot theme parks. No, what does that is that they’re great places to visit for an adult too. Much as with the films, the initial blast is very childlike – the dressed up cast members, etc – but the imaginative attention to detail, funny asides, great performances, scary thrills and well-designed facilities are definitely grown-up friendly. You can even grab an alcoholic drink in EPCOT. That’s not even mentioning the Downtown Disney developments with restaurants and entertainment galore.
No, Las Vegas ain’t Disneyland for adults. Except if they’re completely obsessed with drinking, I guess.
Day Seven: Phil Harris & Sterling Holloway
The voice of Thomas O’Malley, Baloo the Bear and Little John was famous for a whole cornucopia of radio work in his native US, but as a kid it was only through those three films that I had any idea who Phil Harris was. To me, this is the essence of Disney. While the modern performances of the High School Musical ilk certainly have their place – and a legion of fans – the likes of The Jungle Book will captivate generation after generation because of performances like Harris’s. There has tended to be a move to screen actors using their vocal skills for films recently, and some are very good, but traditional voice acting is a skill in and of itself. I don’t think anyone’s really topped Sterling Holloway as either The Cheshire Cat or Kaa the snake (even if Roquefort the mouse is my favourite).
Sadly, neither of these tremendous vocalists is still with us, but what better way to live forever? My nephew, at 3 years old, is as in love with The Jungle Book as his mum and auntie are, and we’ll make sure he plays it to his kids too.
Day Eight: The Fireworks
You know Sunday night feeling, when you know you have to go back to school / work the next morning? The fireworks at the end of a day in a park make me feel like that – brilliant and sad all at once.