Sunday, July 05, 2009

Face time

The buffet at Goofy’s Kitchen is large and enticing.

There’s plenty of both breakfast and lunch items on the buffet – eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, waffles, pancakes, fruits, salads, meats, veggies, hot dogs, pizza – as well as a whole row of desserts. And it all looks wonderful.

I go with mostly breakfast stuff. Becky does likewise, though she immediately gravitates toward the custom omelet station. I’m guessing she’ll get her favorite ham and mushroom omelet. I’m right.

Our plates loaded, we return to our table and dive in. It’s very good, and hits the spot. I’m still stressed about my parents and my Passporter, but at least I’m not hungry any more.

Soon after we begin eating, we spot the first character coming our way. It’s Dale, of Chip ‘n’ Dale fame. While he visits with other tables on his way to ours, we remind ourselves of the ways to tell he and Chip apart: for one, Chip has a small black nose – think “chocolate ‘Chip’” – and Dale’s is larger and brown. Also Chip, the first of the two, has only one tooth, while Dale, who is second, has two. It makes sense.

(Update: I've been corrected by a CM acquaintance who works in the Entertainment department at Walt Disney World. Chip does have TWO teeth, not one -- they're just right next to each other. Sorry, Chip!)

Dale finds his way to us and playfully interacts with us. Bob, who gets as much of a kick talking with the characters as any of us younger ‘kids,’ asks him where Chip is. Dale motions with his hands in an obvious “somewhere else, who needs him?” gesture. Funny.

After Dale poses for a few pics – and kisses on the top of Becky’s head (hey, get away from my wife, chipmunk!) – he waves goodbye and ambles on to the next table.

We continue eating, and I call my parents for an update. They’re off the monorail and walking to the hotel. Yay! Shouldn’t be too long now. I tell them to check in and pay, and then they should be led to our table.

In the meantime, here comes another character. Hmmm. It’s Jasmine.

You know, in all of our character meals of the years, I don’t think we’ve ever, ever interacted with a “face character,” the ones who are in makeup and a costume rather than a full body-and-head suit (not that they aren’t actually the real characters, of course). See, the face characters are mostly the princesses, and well, we have boys.

And the main difference of the face characters? They can talk back. So... we actually have to carry on a conversation?

Jasmine approaches, and of course Bob leaps up to talk with her and get his picture taken with her. She’s very nice, and quite lovely, and she goes around to meet each of us and pose for some pictures.

And then she decides to pick on our boys, insisting that they stand up to pose for a picture with her. They’re naturally reluctant to do so, but we prod them into it.

Jasmine has them stand on either side of her with arms folded, looking serious and manly – Brandon does a bit better on the serious part. It’s a cute picture.

We wave goodbye to Jasmine and – hey, here come the “lost four,” my parents and aunt & uncle! We rearrange ourselves to squeeze them into our eight-person table (which they are understandably not thrilled about) and they are able to quickly order drinks and head to the buffet.

Phew. I’m glad they made it. That’s one less thing to worry about.

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