Disney World -- Discovering the "Small" World in One Long Day

I want to run the Disney Marathon -- the fun-filled race that takes a goofy runner through all four of Disney theme parks seeking jolly moments and earning the celebrated prize of a Mickey Medal personally around your neck.

Well, today, I felt we came pretty close -- visiting three theme parks: Wild Animal in the morning and through the midday, Hollywood Studios in the afternoon and Epcot in the late afternoon and evening.

Playing a shaker with a nice lady from Botswana

We were pleasantly surprised with the Kilimanjaro Safari which involved a real Jeep-like vehicle driven by a narrator who is seeking out real animals -- close up and personal.  The journey took us over muddy trails and flowing creeks, and with large crocs and Simba croaching, we were definitely at the edge of our seats.

But there was one show that beat them all, even seeing the real-life Safari creatures, and that was the Cirque du Soleil-inspired stunts, dance and music showcased at the Festival of the Lion King -- a must see.

It was a delightful experience, featuring happy, powerful songs from the greatest animated movie of all time, and so was Hollywood Studios.

And when we arrived at Hollywood Studios and rode the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Colin and I plunged down the dark freight elevator at thrilling speeds only to stop abruptly and zoom back up again -- each time a total surprise, since we had no way of knowing which direction we will be going.

And when we were happy to disembark, we were off and running to over 12 wonderful countries throughout Epocot, three major theme parks (including Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom) -- and we had to do this all in a day's work -- no small feat -- surely we would cover a lot of miles today, so we had a big meal -- enough to satisfy even Simba.

Not to mention, that just last week, three new found friends and I covered 27 embassies in a span of six plus hours.  But today, I had Colin, and if it wasn't for the fact that we were in Disney, he would be in Pixar fits and starts.

Oh Canada -- what a wonderful 360 show that provided a close-up view of a beautiful, rugged country -- our first stop on our run across the world.

Japan Pavillion -- Experiencing the country of my Mother -- the bright red toril gate, unmistakably ushers us into the land of samurai warriors and beautiful gardening

Picking Pearls in Japan and entertaining some guests.

Oktoberfest in Germany -- time for a break.

Colin and I loved the authentic buffet at the Biergarten with the nice setting of a medieval Bavarian village.  Inside we saw balconies with flower boxes and stars in the night sky -- our hostess was this pretty half German/half Japanese from Stuttgart.

In front of King Neptune in Venice. Complementing the statue are a bell tower, Venetian bridges, gondolas and beautiful Italian promenades

Amazing Chinese Acrobats

Admiring water lillies in China -- just enjoyed a show that took us the farthest and rarest corners of the Far East -- would love to run the Great Wall, someday.

Taking a music break: "The British Invasion" -- Beatles tribute band was simply awesome "She Loves Me", UK Pavillion

Springtime in Paris and people from all over enjoying the glittering streets

Great Pyramid in Mexico modeled after an Aztec temple.  Across the street is an outdoor cantina serving aromatic cuisine and margaritas.

Yes, after a long day, I was about ready to kick off my shoes, rest and enjoy some healthy margaritas.  And Colin -- he was ready for a smorgasbord in a steak house.

What would be the run for tomorrow?  Home: Was I ready for DC heat and humidity?

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