Making Believe

You worked so hard to plan your trip and you had a fabulous time, but now you’re not in Disney anymore. People have stopped telling you to have a Magical Day. It’s official. You have the post Disney blues. So, how do we deal with the inevitable let down? The best way is to plan another trip! For our family, this is not going to be anytime soon due to the hefty college tuition bills a-rollin’ in. Instead, I’ve done what any level headed, perfectly normal person would do. Create a delusion.

We had planned a day trip to the Roger Williams Zoo as a last hurrah before school started. Meg wanted to add some animal photography to her portfolio. We got our tickets and passed through the gates when I felt something familiar. Not surprisingly it brought me back to Disney’s Animal Kingdom . From that moment on, I kept on seeing things that reminded me of Walt’s parks. Come with me as we explore the depths of my Disney personality disorder.


The real Animal Kingdom


I hadn’t been to the Roger Williams Zoo in years. I was impressed by the lush, jungley plantings. If it was raining like up-turned bathtubs full of water, it would have seemed even more like our last visit to Animal Kingdom!

Africa in Rhode Island

Gorgeous Bamboo Plants


I’ll deny it if you ask me in public but I have to say, the presentation of the wild life was actually better here at Roger Williams. You get so much more up close than with the simulated  Kilimanjaro Safari.



The lion exhibit was exactly the same as Disney, meaning you don’t see no dang lion!

You see him up at the top there? Me neither.

You see him up at the top there? Me neither.

If they hung the food lower, would his neck get shorter? Discuss.


Speaking of camels...

There were some areas that had an air of Epcot about them, if you held your hands on either side of your face like horse blinders, and squinted real hard, you might feel like you’re actually in World Showcase!

The real Morocco pavilion at Epcot.


Some Moroccanesque details at the zoo.



 The Italy section was…not bad!

Italy pavilion, Epcot


Very close, very close indeed.


Venice via Rhode Island



The zoo itself is a part of the larger Roger Williams Park. Like Epcot, the park surrounds a lake. This provides the opportunity for boats of all sorts, including adorable swan paddleboats, electric boats, canoes and kayaks.  You have to pay extra for these, unlike Epcot where the friendship boats are free. The tickets to the zoo, however, are about a jillion dollars less than Epcot, so I guess that evens things out.

World Showcase Lagoon, Epcot

Roger Williams Park Lake


This next section took me aaallll the way back the the west coast to Disney California Adventure. One of my favorite places was the Golden State area surrounding the Grizzly River Run. Misty waterfalls and aromatic conifers set the mood. Hats off to the Roger Williams Zoo and their new Northern American trail. The plantings were lovely and the water features…impressive!

The mist of the Grizzly River Run in DCA

Northern American trail. Care for a stroll?



America! Heck Ya!


Now we are entering the realms of Fantasyland, and I don’t just mean my delusions. It’s no secret that this is my least favorite  part of WDW. There are too many, well, children. It’s wall to wall strollers and whining. However, the Rogers Williams likeness at the zoo had me completely charmed.

Fantasyland in WDW

This area is the result of a five million dollar project sponsored by Hasbro. If I had small children and lived in he area, I would definitely get a season pass. The tree house was winsome enough from the outside, but my understanding is that there is a plentitude of activities for the kids to do up there. No adults allowed!

This would he most awesome tree house ever, if they let me up there!


Charming natural details


Sprinklers reminiscent of Epcot's "Jumping Fountains"

Not only were there a ton of activities for the kids to do, there also were guides everywhere helping the little ones play games and generally giving parents a break. Well done Hasbro/Z00!

Fishing Games

Doesn't get more Disney than this.


A couple more stray Disney nerd sightings…

Yo ho, yo ho...a Pirate's life for me!

The back side of water!


We finished up our time at the zoo and decided to take a jaunt on over to Newport because, you know, mansions and such. Instead we spent the majority of our time in the downtown area which happened to remind me of…

Main Street USA!

Un-flippin'-canny, huh?

This guy was dressed in his red white & blue as if he was gonna break into the “Good Morning” song just for me. He also has a bit of a “Where’s Waldo?” thing going on, but that’s off topic.

Just like the Magic Kingdom, one has the opportunity to treat yourself to some hand made candy at the confectionary…



Grab a coffee and a snack at the bakery…

REAL espresso. Sadly, not available on Disney's Main Street.


And purchase some hand blown glass art…

These vases are very oddly shaped.



Being right on the water and replete with Kennedy-style cash, Newport bay is chock-full of Yachts, bringing me back to our oh-so-short but memorable stay at…

Disney's Yacht and Beach Club




We finally did make our way towards the famous mansions, but nothing man-made can compare to the majesty of the ocean waves crashing into the ruddy cliffs of the coast.


Ooh, Ooh! The Haunted Mansion!

These shots of a primo classic thunderbird are a perfect segue to our next destination.

Ring-A-Ding, Ding!

We decided to get some dinner, but closer to home. I am quite fond of fancy pants gourmet cuisine. Nonetheless, my very favorite food ever is good, old fashioned Southern Fried Chicken. When we are in Walt Disney World we always make our way to 50’s Primetime Café for Mom’s home cookin’ and some ribbing from the “cousins”.  Lucky for us (but not for my middle), just twenty minutes from home, we have the sensational Dave’s Diner.

Disney's 50s Primetime Café

Dave's Diner


Classic diner fixtures


Love the checker board floors!


Here it is, the best fried chicken and biscuits I’ve ever had!  Yes, even better than WDW. If you’re keeping score, there were quite a few things about our outing that I preferred over it’s Disney equivalent. Hmmm… never you mind that.

Om, nom, nom.

So there you have it. We had a great little day trip right here in New England, and I got to pretend my way through a Disney vacation. That’s not weird, right?



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2 Responses to Making Believe

  1. Donna Easter says:

    Another great job !! The comparisons were
    Great …. And Daves Diner never looked so good !!
    And their fried chicken is the best !

  2. Pingback: Rhode Island, It’s For Me | Maybe Someday…

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