Disney 2013. A Reflection.

Magic Kingdom

Traffic. People. People. People. Lines. Lines. Lines. Fast Pass. Strollers. Wheelchairs. Electric scooters. Cameras. iPhones. Texting.

Sun. Heat. Humidity. Sunscreen. Afternoon Rains. Ponchos. Sticky.

Hot dogs. Corn dogs. Burgers. Chili cheese fries. Soft serve ice cream. Asian Chicken wings. Spicy Chicken Sandwiches. Coke (diet). Frozen Minute Made lemonade. Turkey Legs (NOT!). Indigestion.

Test Track. Splash Mountain. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Tower of Terror. Expedition Everest. Dinosaur. Kali River Rapids. Dad sits them all out. Nauseous just watching.

Old favorites. Kilimanjaro Safari. Haunted Mansion. Pirates of Caribbean. Jungle Cruise. Epcot. Parades. Marching Bands. Fireworks.


40 minutes until bus ride back to hotel.

Flights of Wonder, the last stop. A bird exhibition. Trumpeter Hornbills. A Bald Headed Eagle. Blue and Gold Macaws. Rose-Breasted Cockatoo. East African Crowned Crane (hunted, shot, poisoned, endangered, sad). A barn owl.



The wind gusts. A Harris Hawk is released. It glides inches over a full house – a hushed crowd – children ducking their heads. Hearing nary a sound – not a wing flap. Talons clutch the handler’s glove on the other side of the stadium. It takes its offering. And then with four flaps of its wings, it returns back to the front stage landing on the outstretched hand. It fluffs its feathers and stares out at the rest of us. As if to say…”and that, friends, is how I roll.” Crowd roars.


Pulling down the curtain to our three day show at Magic Kingdom.

Walt Disney couldn’t have manufactured it better. Then again, perhaps he did exactly that.


Image Credit: A Harris Hawk by Larry Ditto


  1. I’m jealous – it’s time for a trip to Disney…


  2. Wow, David, I had a theme-park hangover just reading your description leading up to the falconry demonstration which, by the way, sounds magnificent. I’ve always been fascinated by that sport. Isn’t it interesting that, in the end, nature trumps any sort of “modern day phantasmagoria” that man can put together?

    And while we’re on the bird theme, I can’t resist sharing a fascinating report I heard on NPR about the symbiotic relationship between big-mouthed toucans and palm trees. If there’s any doubt that we’re all linked together in a magnificent web…..



    • Thanks Lori. I need to listen to Morning Edition. I listened to audio clip on Toucans. Sad. And incredible how interconnected human development is to its impact on natural habitat for birds and animals. Thanks for sharing.


      • I love Morning Edition–a great source of “brain food.” And yes, the toucan story was sad. Just one little stone in the pond creates a ripple effect that goes on in ways we’d never imagine…


  3. For sure I would be unhappy in a place like that but I liked the hawk part of the story.


  4. My favorite part of ALL of that was “Hearing nary a sound – not a wing flap.” That to me was the real magic. Hope you had fun! 🙂


  5. Natalie says:

    The Happiest Place on Earth….we haven’t made it to Disney World, yet..still enamored with Disneyland. It will be our 3rd trip in 3 years this fall….Can’t wait!!!???! We absolutely LOVE Disney…bucket list is to visit all Disney locations in the world. The trips are always Go, Go, Go, Eat, Ride, Run, Eat and yet we still return home “rested”. 🙂


  6. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    WHEN you go to Paris, don’t waste a day going to EuroDisney. Just sayin’ …


  7. You brought it all back … wonderful time, wonderful memories.


  8. Peggy Farrell Schroeder says:

    Always a favorite spot whether Florida or CA. My daughter and I even took a day when we were in Hong Kong to go to Disney. They have a special train to get you there and the windows are in the shape of a mouse’s head.


  9. Exhausting – but – oh so fun!
    Disney is pure magic!


  10. Paco Gonzalez says:

    Have fun!!! Love all of it!!!


  11. I was there earlier this year, and one day was more than enough. The bird exhibition wasn’t on that day. 😦 Great pic, David.


  12. Magnificent flight.


  13. All I can say is, wow!!! What a picture! Beautiful and majestic!!!


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