I went to Animal Kingdom this morning to get out and try to get a few new photos (this is still nominally a photo blog). Then it was time to move onto something more serious – lunch.
I continue around Asia into Dinoland USA, where I saw a cool Lion King (2019) refillable travel mug which I should have gotten right there, but I didn’t because I didn’t feel like carrying it around with me all day. Oh, and they were out of fresh popcorn, and told me to come back later (even though they kept serving people behind me).
I decided to head back to Discovery Island. Disney likes having their merchandise in multiple locations, so I should be able to find this Lion King mug in one of them…right? Apparently, as the Cast Member I asked about it said (after leading me back to the coffee mug wall I was just looking at) “beverage mugs are only available in restaurants. Check there.”
Fine, I’ll go back to the hotel to eat. Then when I got back to the room, I fell asleep and woke up in time to find dinner, so since DAK closes early, I’d make a surgical strike: get photos, get the mug and most importantly get dinner. I approached Flame Tree Barbeque, outside the entrance to Dinoland, and stood in what I thought was a line while I decided what to get.
I eventually realized it wasn’t actually a line, but just guests just doing exactly what I was doing. Once I figured both things out, I made my way to the long legitimate line. My cashier, Kendra, was friendly and efficient. However, when I moved forward in line, I realized I was essentially blocking the exit row (or, at least, the people in front of me were using it as such). So, after the second or third family tried to get past me, I decided to look for another, slightly less in-the-way row to stand. The row to my right was empty and the one on my le…
“Okay, buddy, you give me receipt,” an old man with a thick accent snapped at me, literally snatching said receipt from my hand. He looks at it, scoffs and says: “Buddy is in wrong line.”
I need to have a word with this “buddy” character, he keeps getting ME into trouble.
“No, he was in MY line,” Kendra said.
Either he didn’t understand her or he chose to ignore her because he grabbed his buddy by the shoulders and pushed him into what he thought was the correct line (which, coincidentally, was the empty one on the right).
“Buddy is all right now,” he said proudly, slapping my bad shoulder on his way back to his station. Yes, you read that right, he was PROUD of his boorish behavior.
Well, Buddy was decidedly NOT happy with the way he was treated, but was doing his best to move on without being a jerk about it.
However, if I understand straight, Neurotypical behavior correctly, I should have been like “wow, he slapped my shoulder and called me ‘buddy!’ OMG, that means he is completely 100% legitimately my best friend in the entire world and therefore him grabbing me by the shoulder and pushing into the next line wasn’t ‘aggression,’ it was…” I don’t know, this peculiar brand of logic doesn’t make sense to me, and – bonus – it looks stupid typed out.
I finally got up to the counter, gave the friendly young woman my receipt, she tore it the top of it and handed it back to me. A moment later, she returned with a tray with my food on it. I have reason to believe she saw what her colleague did or not (though she couldn’t do anything about it anyway).
I tried to forget this whole incident and try and find that refillable mug, but first I went to get a drink at the coffee kiosk (creatively called “Isle of Java”), but the band playing on the stage a few feet away made ordering anything next to impossible, so I went back around towards the Starbucks (renamed “Creature Comforts” on the map) next to the bridge leading to Africa.
However, in front of the round building was an adorable Asian guy with one arm standing under a blue “Guest Experience” umbrella. After explaining my problem to him, he said “I’m sorry that happened to you… but there’s nothing I can do for you. That’s a Food & Beverages Services issue, so you’ll need to talk to a supervisor at the location you came from. Sorry. Next!”
Yep, that was exactly the answer I was afraid he’d give me, and he gave it to me. I’m lucky that way.
Not only do I have to backtrack, but I also get to be that jerk customer who holds the (now considerably shorter) line up while the counter agent goes searching for a supervisor. In fact, when the cute 20yo boy (whose badge said “Andrew”) came out from the back and asked my name (presumably for “follow-up reasons”), I was half-tempted to say “Karen.”
“I’m sorry that happened to you,” he said with a slight shrug. “That was definitely wrong on his part… but there’s really nothing I can do about that.”
Not sure if my hearing is going or if there’s an echo in this park.
“Let me see your receipt,” Andrew asked. “Okay, so you paid in cash? Good. That means I can just go over to the register and get your money back. I’ll be around in a moment…”
That went a lot easier than I was expecting. He didn’t even ask for the name of my assailant (I told him he could “check the CC” as I’m sure he would recognize him). However, what bothers me more is that as I was walking away, I remembered I completely forgot to mention Kendra in my story… and as I headed out of the park with my coffee, I remembered I also forgot to get that mug from Dinoland, USA.
Update: I took time out of my rainy and miserable Valentine’s Day to go back to Animal Kingdom to get said mug. Upon closer inspection and a needlessly convoluted (and increasingly frustrating) back and forth with the man running the stand, I decided it was ugly (in fact, it may actually have been a different design than the one I saw earlier) and not particularly worth the effort. However, I forfeited my day at DHS to come back here, plus his co-worker had already rung it up, so I was stuck with it.
For the record, I ate at Restaurantosaurus for my V-Day dinner.