The Alexander Home Page presents
Alexander in Florida
Walt Disney World
Downtown Disney

Alex and his mother on Downtown Disney's carousel.
Alex's Disney World experience began at Downtown Disney, an area where the a dmission is free, but, naturally, there are plenty of places to spend money. It's a complex that contains stores, theme restaurants (like Planet Hollywood and Rainforest Café), and enough fun stuff to keep the kids entertained for at least a little while.

At Downtown Disney, Alex rode the merry-go-round, once with his mother, and once with his father. With each revolution, when he would spot whichever parent was on "guard the stroller duty," he would happily shout, "I'm a cowboy!" (As if a real cowboy would allow himself to be seen riding one of those frilly
Alex roared with laughter as his father darted through the water jets.
carousel horses!) At that point, with nothing more than two merry-go-round rides under his belt, Alex might have been content to go home, filled with happy memories of Disney World. But, of course, there's much much more to Walt Disney World than a mere carousel, as Alex would discover in the days to come.

Another highlight of Downtown Disney was a plaza that contained a collection of water jets that would shoot out of the ground in a seemingly random pattern. Alex howled with laughter as his father ran frantically back and forth amid the geysers, screaming with mock despair with every soaking.

After a lunch at famed chef Wolfgang Puck's takeout restaurant, Alex and his parents headed to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the extended
Is it a sea serpent? Or a dragon? Either way, it's made entirely of Lego.
family. Later that same evening, the entire group (sixteen people in all) would return to Downtown Disney for dinner at Cap'n Jack's, followed by an after dark visit to Lego Land.

Lego's are, of course, those little plastic blocks that kids stick together to make simple vertical towers, and that adults stick together to make scale models of the White House and the Statue of Liberty. At Lego Land, visitors can see a large, life-size sea serpent made entirely of Lego blocks. (When we say "life-size," we're confident that, if sea serpents did exist, they would be exactly the same size as Disney's Lego sculpture. Disney wouldn't mislead us, would they?) There are also Lego space aliens emerging from a Lego space ship, a Lego man snoozing on a Lego bench, a Lego stroller, and well, we're sure you get the idea.

But for kids, the best part of Lego Land is a little pavilion that features Lego-ready platforms, and thousands of little pieces of Lego. From a parent's perspective, it's the ultimate choking hazard, but children love it. Dozens of small children, with furrowed brows and busy fingers, frantically gather up Lego pieces as each child single-mindedly works on his or her particular little project. They work in a vacuum, seemingly unaware that there are other children nearby gathering Lego pieces at the same frenetic pace. Of course, there are inevitable conflicts.
Alex, far right, dips into the Lego bin while his cousins Joshua (left) and Joey (center) keep busy with their own little projects.
Two children will reach for the same Lego, or one child's project will spill over into another child's territory. At that point, we see what sociologists call "Lego Darwinism," in which the strongest or boldest children are able to complete their Lego project, while those who are small or meek retreat, in tears, to their parents' loving arms.

Alex, we are proud to say, mostly held his own in the jostling and jockeying that went on in the Lego pavilion. There was, however, one particularly nasty little girl who defended her Lego's with the ferocity of a mother wolverine defending her young. Alex was advised by his parents to avoid this savage little monster, and a potentially ugly incident was thereby averted.