magic and mayhem: dingles take disney day four


But look at his little eye…. he looks so friendly! :))

Oh ya. That’s a croc.

I can’t help but think with an Australian accent every time I see one (I’m still a big Steve Irwin fan).

But this croc was in Africa.

Disney version.

Which was a pretty dang good Africa, complete with jungle, plains and termite mounds.

Also, animals.

I was taking photos and not, I confess, completely focused on my safari guide (who told me – once we had pulled away from the people-loading dock – that what I thought would be a 15 minute ride with approximately 20 of my new theme-park friends, would actually be a two-week safari).

So, in my defense, I could not focus on the proper names of the animals and was instead focused on the fact that my wardrobe for two weeks would consist of one t-shirt, one pair of cropped linen pants, on set of underwear, one camera body, two lenses, and an extra camera battery.

Oh, and when I rummaged through my camera bag, I found one long receipt from dinner the night before.

I mean, I’m no McGyver, but I knew to keep it because it might prove useful in a pinch.

So, I’ll do my best with the names of the following animals:


Wiggly Horned African-ic Deer


Matriculated Giraffe

You can tell that the giraffe above is the Matriculated kind because it looks like someone threw a net-like stencil around it and then spray painted it. Also, they often wear caps and gowns.

Come to think of it, the guide might have said ‘RETIC-ulated’ and not “MATRIC-ulated”.

I dunno.


Marshal Dillon Dingle

No, just kidding. That’s not really Marshal Dillon Dingle.

But he is closely related though.

That is a German Shepherd Rhino.

In ‘show-me-your-belly’ pose.


The Predator monster from that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.

No idea he’d be here.

And really think the safari guide should have warned us about that because Gabe practically leapt into Sam’s arms.

Oh, also?

Africa was crowded.

It reminded me a lot of that great wildebeest migration that we all have seen (where the crocodiles (like the one at the top with the misleading, friendly eyes) lay in wait to eat the wildebeest when they cross the rivers)…


The Great Sort-Of-Wildebeest Migration in Africa. Featuring humans.

A few people have messaged me about the crowds and presence of screaming children in Disney World. And I may attempt to capture such happenings while I’m here, you know, for history’s sake (should my blog be unearthed a thousand years from now).

But I have to say that there is a funny thing that happens to me when I am in Disney World, and I’ll tell you what it is.

First, I have to back up.

I hate crowded places.

My family knows that I only have a certain number of minutes, for instance, in a mall.

Then I come down with mall sickness (which is too real) and we need to go.

It’s sort of like MRSA, but mental.

It really has to do with a lot of people milling about, often violently breaking into my personal space bubble, and not even noticing or caring.

But at Disney World?

No problem.

Four bazillion people wanting to get in front of me for the same ride I’ve been dying to go on all day?

No biggie.

Someone cutting the line at the store to purchase the very last Tinkerbell backpack for their darling cherub (who is screaming bloody murder behind him, and flinging boogers at passers-by)?

Bring it on.

A two-year old running into my belly, using his newly acquired chocolate ice cream cone as a jousting lance?

I’ll go get him a new ice cream cone.


What is up with that?

It must be some sort of wHierd protection thingie that my brain does.

You know, like when you are in a really bad accident and your body goes into shock to protect itself?

Ya. Like that.

But without the blunt trauma.

As a matter of fact, you see that crowd photo I posted up there?

Go on, scroll back to it for a sec…


It’s in full sun, right?

What if I told you it was 96 degrees and muggy and close to noon and we had been at the Animal Kingdom since before 8:00 a.m.?

What if I said we’d already gone on the two-week safari (with one set of underwear), been on a roller coaster 5 times, and almost been mauled to death by a Yeti?

I know, right?

But you know what I see in that picture?

Well, if you look to the left of the photo, there is a kid heading into the restaurant. He is wearing the exact same facial expression I imagine myself wearing when I am stuck in a mall and cannot get out.

Also he looks a little like me.

Which makes sense.

Because it’s Gabe.


A lone wildebeest attempts to break from the herd…


I don’t see the overheated expressions of the crowd.

I don’t mentally re-hear the complaints, screeches, or screams of a few little kids who are overheated and over-tired.

Instead, my brain scans for, and finds, something that makes me smile and laugh.

The growl-y expression of my fifteen-year old (who, by the way, was nice and cool in the air conditioning within a few minutes, and cozying up to Daisy Duck for a photo).

Why does that happen?

I have no.



And, you know what?

I don’t really care. :))

Thanks for readin’.


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