It has been
a crazy and complicated weekend.
But all the troubles aside, the real news for me is that I'm going
back to Toronto for Caribana
2002! Last year's Caribana was just awesome. I had such a blast.
This year I have no idea what to expect. Because this time it is
the 35th Anniversary of the whole event! That's right... since 1967,
West Indians have been marching and partying in the streets of Toronto
creating the largest street festival in North America. Sorry New
Orleans Mardi Gras, and New York City Labor Day Parade... Toronto
actually has you beat by almost 2 million people participating
booking every hotel and motel room solid for the 2 weeks that it
For those of
you who don't know what exactly Caribana is all about let me tell
you a little bit about it:
was created in 1967 as a community heritage project for Canada's
Centennial year. Based on Trinidad Carnival, the Festival now also
includes the music, dance, food and costumes of Jamaica, Guyana,
the Bahamas, Brazil and other cultures represented in Toronto -
the world's most culturally diverse city."
think that the whole event is just for West Indians and Caribbean
folk alike.. No No.. That's totally the opposite. It's for EVERYONE!
That's the beauty of it. People from all walks of life, cultures
and backgrounds are partying in unison to vibes from the islands
and the cultures within it.
I can't stress
enough how much fun you can have there. Even if you can't dance,
there is soooo much food and activities to see and do. This years
Caribana is from July 19 to August 5, 2002.
One thing that
I just glossed over last week was my trip to Walt Disney World's
Magic Kingdom. I don't know how I just mentioned it as if it was
a trip to the mall, but this week I am going to elaborate more on
For all of you
who haven't been to this tourist trap, you can expect exactly what
you think you would. Lots of fun and excitement for the kids with
lots of long line ups and expensive food aromas everywhere.
So the day started
off around 12pm... we got off the monorail and entered the Magic
Kingdom area when the partly sunny sky turned to gray and it rained
heavily for a good 30 - 45 minutes leaving us (my little cousins,
aunt and grandmas) hiding indoors. Lots of people flocked to the
Disney shops to buy raincoats, but no umbrellas. I was wondering
why none of the stores sold any. Maybe because they could attract
a lightning bolt and lead to a lawsuit or something.. I'm not sure.
rain dries up and we were eating a hot dog, fries and a coke at
this place called Casey's Corner. I must say that the fries
were amazing! I mean -- they only served 3 things and Fries was
one of them. Hot dogs and a coke were the others. I remember paying
$4.00 total for a drink and fries. That's pretty much a DisneyWorld
bargain if you can find one. [Casey's Corner is right at the end
of Main Street USA facing the Walt Disney statue]
Okay, so now
we had some food...time to see the rides that will bring it back
up! I think we ventured into the Tomorrowland
district of the park. I have been on all of these rides when I was
a little kid (or so I thought) and was ready for anything. It was
so cool remembering everything just like when my dad took me many
years ago when I was small. The first ride we walk into is this
ride I don't remember. I think its in the same place as Micheal
Jackson's 3D Movie Captain EO used to be but I'm not too sure.
This ride was called "The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter".
It had this little intro about some high tech company that now has
the technology to transport people anywhere in the galaxies. Seemed
cool enough. We
get into the ride and we sit down. Oh wait.. I don't want to spoil
anything for you if you are going soon... eeek.. okay.. well
let me just say that I underestimated this ride and I got freaked
out!!! I'll leave it at that!
ride after that was the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. It
was basically a ride that toured through the Tomorrowland area and
advertised the rides and attractions there. It's a nice ride to
just sit back and relax with the family while the breeze blows through
your hair. Nothing super or thrill-seeking about it.
I think it was
the Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin ride that we all got
into next. I wasn't really expecting much.. just a little kiddie
adventure I guess..but I was wrong. This was actually one of the
coolest rides in the park. Its actually an interactive ride where
you actually have a space gun and get to shoot aliens to earn points.
actually stopped halfway and we weren't going anywhere for a good
10 minutes. In that time I was allowed to accumulate
999,000 points! Then all of a sudden the ride restarted
and the whole counter was reset so I had to start back from zero.
In that little time I still managed to accumulate over 603,000
points! If you ever go on this ride, see if you can beat that!!!
My little munchkin
cousins then caught a glimpse of the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway.
The "ride" where little kids who don't have driver's license's
get their first chance to feel like what driving a car is about.
Sure you have very
little control of your destination because the car is connected
to a track, but the most fun is bumping the person in front of you
and disregarding the road caution signs warning you not to do that.
Nobody ever follows it.. I don't think I did when I was small and
my cousins sure didn't give me any mercy when I stopped at the end.
I sit there patiently when I pulled into the pitstop and all of
a sudden I feel a huge !!BUMP!! from the back of my car...
I look behind me and see my little cousins giggling away. I wished
there was a reverse on those go cart cars and I would have smashed
We took advantage
of Disney's FASTPASS option where you don't have to
line at all to get onto a ride. The idea works that you go to the
ride you want and insert your park admission ticket into this machine
that will allow you a line bypass in 2 hours from the time you "punched"
your ticket. You then come back later at the time you were given
in the tickets that were printed out for you. So we all got some
Fastpass tickets for SPACE MOUNTAIN. We have 2 hours to occupy
ourselves in the meantime so we go on over to "It's A Small
World". I don't know why my parents dragged me to this
when I was younger. They always seemed to enjoy this one. Maybe
they thought it was real cute or that they like seeing all of the
countries represented. Even when I was a kid, I thought that it
was really eerie or spooky. I maybe liked it the first time, but
the other 40 times got me annoyed. This time around
with my aunt, grandma and little cousins, they apparently enjoyed
it. I was thinking to myself how cool all the colours and shapes
represented here were in the 50's, but how did it manage to make
it into the next millenium? Today when you really look at this ride,
all of the cultures are not represented. Just the general makeup
of them. Back in the day they created this ride, there were no real
half-asian half-black people -- and so they were not represented.
Also, if I did see a "darker" coloured little person represented,
they were either wearing feathers as a Native American or they were
in the jungle playing a drum. The more and more this ride carried
on, I thought to myself, "Geez.. this is certainly NOT a
out of Tomorrowland into Fantasyland, we avoided basically every
ride there until we got into Adventureland.
That's where we went on a ride based on the Disney Movie, Aladdin.
Its pretty much a dressed up amusement park ride made to look like
flying carpets. It's called The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
I didn't expect much, but then again, I was wrong. It actually was
fun.. but prepare to be disappointed because just when you think
the ride started, it is actually finished. The kids love it, but
even for them, they found it quite short.
The next ride
we went on was a favourite for me when I was a kid. The ever popular,
Pirates of the Caribbean. Why would I even like
it? The name alone should shoot terror into me. Well, I remember
when I was young, I was scared. I was afraid, but I still wanted
to go on the ride. Scary, yes.. there are some surprises and thrills
in this that always got me. It was exactly the same for my little
cousins. They really enjoyed it. They were scared too with all the
skeletons and dead bones around, but they liked the thrill. I guess
when I was younger, I tried to associate myself with the ride because
the Pirates were from the "Caribbean". I thought to myself
that the pirates would teach me something of my caribbean heritage.
Umm.. after going through the ride, it wasn't exactly what I had
in mind. But it is a ride I can sit in through over and over.
It was just
about time to use our SPACE MOUNTAIN FastPASS Access tickets to
bypass the line. When I was a kid, this was my very first rollercoaster.
It was this ride that is responsible for creating my thrill of extreme
rollercoaster rides until this date. The amazing idea of having
a very fast coaster, but in-the-dark is still such a cool idea until
today. I went on this ride twice and the second time I got the front
seat. I had a blast on this ride and this is definitely one of my
recommendations for anyone who comes to DisneyWorld. This ride is
not intended for the weak at heart!
The day at the
park was coming to a close... the park closes at 10pm, and at that
there is a fireworks show at Cinderella's Castle. So we had to get
as much rides in before that happened. The last ride that we got
on was The Haunted Mansion. A scary ride even when I was
a kid. Designed to at least scare you once even if you are sort
of brave. My little cousins liked it and I did too.. On the first
run, the ride actually stopped for 15 minutes. I was like, "This
wasn't part of the ride before!" We were stopped in the
complete dark. Anything could have happened. Even though this ride
is pretty old, I am still amazed at the hologram technology that
was used back in the day. That really impressed me.
Okay, it was
about time for the fireworks, after a little delay wondering when
it was going to start, we heard some voices being amplified by the
castle. Something about Tinkerbell up on the top tower of the castle
was being whispered by the people around me. I couldn't see her,
but then when I looked real close, there she was with a little magic
wand. She "flew" out of the castle and went somewhere
and that commenced the fireworks show. The fireworks lasted about
15 minutes of the basic fireworks you'd see at a city celebration.
But I am not saying they were not good. They were very cool to look
at. You don't see fireworks everyday.. and this was special.
That about wrapped
up our day at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.
I had a great time but remember if you go there, to pack a raincoat,
lots of bottled water and especially lots of money. And oh ya..
don't forget to bring a camera and lots of film.
a sad note, little nWo Toronto member and mascot "number
4" passed away last week. Our pet scorpion died peacefully
at the world headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. We are deeply saddened
of our loss and would like to remember him like he was: tough, black