Food & Winin’, Motorin’, Terror Runnin’, Horror Walkin’ and Vegas Nukin’…

Do I have to do this all over again?
Didn’t I do it right the first time?
Do I have to do this all over again?
Oh, how many times do I have to make this climb?
Didn’t I? Didn’t I?

OK well that sounds a whole lot more fatalistic than this generally happy and agreeable blog entry is going to (hopefully) turn out. But it’s few and far in between when I can quote Peter Tork lyrics, so I’m striking while the iron is positively scorching here. My blog, my rules. And did I mention we’re going to see Tork, Dolenz, and Nesmith perform in Long Island in December? Once in a lifetime opportunity for a genuine fan like me and a ginormous hyperventilating worshipful Monkees fan like Boots.

True fact! Disney animators in 1940 modeled the Chernabog after Bela Lugosi!

But anyway… let’s talk about this weekend’s activities for a moment. Yes, I am returning to a Disney park to run another race. Second verse, same as the first. This time around it’s the Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror race, which is “only” 10 miles, and it’s a night run to boot. I’m very excited for this race, not the least of such reasons being that it’s going to be a  total “fun run”. No pressure, no worries, no getting hung up on time (unless I do really well, in which case I’ll trumpet it from the rooftops), and I don’t have to wake up at 4 in the morning this time around. Plus it’s Disney, it’s “villain” themed, and there’s a great chance I might snatch a pic with Maleficent or someone of her ilk. Personally, I’ve always been an unwavering fan of the Chernabog from Fantasia. Hope he makes an appearance. Somehow. Either way, after the run there’s a private bash at Hollywood Studios, with open access to all the E-ticket rides. I’m sure we’ll only be hitting Tower of Terror and Rock-n-Rollercoaster only 3 dozen times apiece.

So that’s that. The day before we’re hitting Epcot to check out the Food & Wine festival there. Ostensibly I’m going to be “carbing up”, which will be my excuse to chow down on some of the ridiculously awesome chow they’re going to be serving up at the various kiosks.  Stuff like Kalua pork sliders with pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise, crispy shrimp taco with Chipotle lime mayo and cabbage, seared filet of beef with smashed sweet potatoes and Braai sauce… you get the idea. Plus the requisite international booze walk; this can be VERY dangerous. Last time we tried it, Shyla could have landed us in Mickey Jail as she ended up near-molesting a cast member dressed up as Chip (or Dale? Ahh I forget…) Those Sultan Coladas in Morocco — while DELICIOUS — can be more trouble than they’re worth. All I can say is thank Jebus I’m going to be running 10 miles the next day. I’m going to need it.


Don’t tell them you love them. They don’t wanna know.

Performing at Epcot that night will be 80s stalwarts Night Ranger, a “free” show as part of the festival’s entertainment. I will make no bones about this. I was a huge Night Ranger fan in the 80s. Even before Sister Christian was even recorded, I had their debut album Dawn Patrol based on my sick love of songs like “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and “Sing Me Away”, both of which I saw on Solid Gold and became hooked on immediately. Nowadays they’re more of a snarky punchline, but I always remained a fan. They created some pretty infectious pop/rock tunes. Plus we don’t have to pay anything to see them (above the cost of park admission, but since we’re already annual passholders that’s already covered) so as far as I’m concerned it’s a total bonus. The mini-moral here is: Don’t hate on Night Ranger. They’re a much better band than you might remember…

The real horror would be having to babysit Carl for an afternoon.

So we’re motorin’ on Friday and runnin’ on Saturday. Sunday will bring much needed rest and recovery, because Sunday night we’re scooting on over to Universal Studios Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights. It’s the 22nd year they’ve run this event, and for my money they are having the best of all possible lineups this year when it comes to haunted houses. The featured attraction is of course a house based on AMC’s The Walking Dead, which, for that alone, dayenu. There is also a house based on legendary rock figure Alice Cooper. The soundtrack alone will probably make it worth the trip; I hope they somehow incorporate Black Widow in there somewhere. But above all else, this year they are featuring a haunted house based on and designed by legendary magicians Penn & Teller. P&T can absolutely do no wrong in my book. I’ve been a worshipful fan ever since I saw them for the first time on cable TV when I was 12 or 13. Seeing them perform live and meeting them last year was a personal highlight. So them having a house at HHN this year makes attendance a no-brainer. Apparently the theme of the house is based around a scenario in which a Penn & Teller trick goes horribly wrong and they accidentally nuke Las Vegas. THIS CAN’T MISS. Plus there’s a Silent Hill house as well, and the usual Bill & Ted skewering pop culture show.

Coming back home Monday will be tough from a long weekend in which we’re going to be acting like total madcap kids on a multiple-pixie-stick sugar rush. Pics to follow for sure.

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