March 9, 2011

Mardi Gras at the Animal Kingdom

On Monday, my husband and I took our kids to Disney's Animal Kingdom. Also in attendance was the entire state of Louisiana.

"How many people in the world like LSU?" I grumbled in response to the excessive school spirit displayed by many of the park's visitors.

My husband pointed out that three quarters of our children were wearing Duke t-shirts.

"Why are they all here?" I sneered. I felt like the LSU people were invading my privacy. If you live in Orlando, it is socially acceptable to consider all of the city's tourist attractions to be your personal property.

My husband didn't have a good answer to my question, so I decided to ask one of "them" myself.
The family in front of us in line for the fake safari looked like purple people eaters.

"When all the tourists come in to New Orleans, we head out," the woman told me.

As it turns out, I had forgotten about a little party called Mardi Gras.

I felt slightly guilty after I talked with the woman. I had spent the bulk of the morning whispering "Roll Tide" under my breath as I passed the Louisianians, but now I felt sorry for them. Their visit to Orlando was less of a vacation than a forced exodus.

Living here, I am starting to know how they feel. This week is also Bike Week at Daytona. Given the number of motorcyles parked outside of the local Denny's this morning, I might need to make an exodus of my own.

27 comments

Queen of the Universe said...

Heh, I'm originally from New Orleans, now living in Houma, LA thanks to that little event in 2005. School is out for the entire week and guess where we are spending our vacation? Universal Studios and Disney. We did bring a little bit of Mardi Gras with us on Tuesday and wished everyone wearing purple, green, and gold a happy holiday. And while it's rained daily back home, we only had a little wet weather this evening. Thanks for the hospitality :) we've had fun.

Beth said...

My husband and I want to move to Daytona someday, but we've always said that during Bike Weeks, we'll be leaving town. ha,ha

Amy said...

Man, I think I would go on vacation during this crazy time too.

Rachel said...

We lived in Hawaii for several years and would always get irritated with the tourists too. Luckily, most of them only hung around Waikiki (because apparently that's all Oahu has to offer- one block of tourist catered crap), and we didn't live near there, but they sure clogged up Hanauma Bay and a few of the other "must-see" places.

myevil3yearold said...

Roll Tide!

UtahMillers said...

I live in DC, so you can imagine the tourist levels out here. Ugh. I like visiting those monuments in the fall, when the colors are great and the tourists are gone!

Jenni said...

I'm proudly wearing my Duke shirt today at work (at Duke)! I love kids in Duke apparel, it's always good to start them early. My fiance had me at the first date when he casually said his dad has Duke season tickets. I'll be cheering for them in Greensboro this weekend. Go Duke!

christine said...

We live in Hershey, PA and I think, on a smaller scale, I know exactly how you feel. During the summer months I will not visit certain sections of town and spend a lot of my time muttering and complaining about tourists.

CountessLaurie said...

HEY! I was at Animal Kingdom on Monday too! You are far more observant than I. I just noticed all the people ... and I was a tourist. I am home now though, back where I belong :-)

Natalie said...

Memphis, Elvis Death Week...'nuff said. Though I never thought of taking a vacation during that time, may have to consider it.

Magda said...

I'm from Louisiana and have lived here my whole life. Mardi Gras is a little too much for my family and I. Usually if you take the moral high road, you get the heck out of dodge come Mardi Gras season. It doesn't hurt that we get time off of work and school.

Lindsey said...

It's not Roll Tide, it's GO GATORS!!!! lol, even though LSU beat us this year (in football) :( But Bike Week is crazy, especially because its a lot off college's Spring Break.

Alyssa said...

I'm down in Orlando this week visiting my grandparents and have been seeing Louisiana license plates everywhere! I forgot about it too. We were supposed to go to the park today but are waiting until tomorrow because of the rain. Maybe by tomorrow some of them will be headed back home.
Last year I was here this time I scored some beads on the rock n rollercoaster. It is crazy seeing all the purple and yellow shirts!

Mal said...

I grew up in one of the few East-Coast National Parks--Acadia. It's on a very small island full and the natives there are Mainers. The hundreds of thousands of tourists we get just on Main Street on the Fourth of July really cramps our style. (Which is namely to be separated from all things not Mainer.)

Anonymous said...

GEAUX TIGERS!!! The majority of people from Louisiana are LSU Tiger Fans and WE wear our Purple and Gold to support the home team no matter where we go. In addition, the colors of Mardi Gras are purple, gold and green, so by wearing the LSU attire, we are also celebrating Mardi Gras while away from the party and tourists back home. We do welcome you to the great state of Louisiana and hope that you come and see us soon!

JD from Louisiana

NanaGo said...

Bike Week. . .LOL. #3 Daughter lived in Titusville (35 miles from Daytona) and Bike week lands always on her Birthday weekend. Needless to say, going to dinner anywhere around there was rough. Gladly she moved back home (Oregon) 2 years ago.
The Ex lives in Cocoa. . .He can keep it.

ellen said...

Freaky as this may seem, I think I overheard your conversation at AK. If only I'd looked around and realized I was in the presence of THE meanest mom:)
Also, GO HEELS!

Christine said...

We usually get some kind of season pass to an amusement park down here in southern California. Great in the off-season but horrible during the height of vacations. Kids don't want to spend 2 hours waiting to stand in line for something it took them 5 minutes to get on last time!

Totally feel for the Marti Gras croud though...I would be out of there too!

Brie said...

We went on Tuesday and saw the same thing! According to an old man who was kind enough to strike up a conversation with me in the EPCOT parking lot(while I needed to load my kids and stroller ALONE and for him to move his car so I could do it), they rent out their homes and use the money to come here for vacation.

Lisa said...

No, that's War Eagle. You crack me up!! I enjoy your blog!!

Amy said...

That's funny! We are from Mobile, AL, which also celebrates Mardi Gras. One year we escaped the madness to go to Disney since the kids were out of school. When we got home, friends would ask if Disney was crowded and I always said, "It was just us and the entire state of Louisiana!"

Rocket Ma'am said...

Being from Indianapolis, I know how it feels, if only in the month of May.
Something similar also happens in Annapolis the week of graduation. Most of the locals rent out their houses to families of the mids and take a vacation with the money. Of course people from NO probably don't have the same option. I wouldn't want to rent out my house to people who travelled great distances to get smashed and flash total strangers.

Anonymous said...

This biker is somewhat offended. Too bad, I was a true fan of yours.

{leah} said...

We live in Port Orange.... {3 minutes from Daytona. We were stocked up for the week so we didn't have to leave the house.

Pyratess said...

I live in Daytona... I think the motorcycles outnumbered the cars this week 2-1. And we have Spring Break to look forward to this week. My husband is already planning a camping trip in Key west the week of Biketoberfest.

Frances said...

WAAAARRRRRRRRRRR EAGLE!

maria said...

Gah! We made the mistake of doing the Tragic Kingdom that Monday (although we now live in Iowa, we lived in FL for eight years so I consider all other tourists to be invading my privacy) and was boggled by all of the Saints gear I saw until learning that they (the Louisianians) get a week off for Mardi Gras.