About the only positive thing that this Michigan resident can find about the winter of 2014, the year of the "Polar Vortex," is that the misery this year has been shared by those in states with traditionally more temperate winter climates. Schadenfreude? Okay, maybe just a little. There is something comforting in shared pain, I confess. At any rate, I was blessed to gain a respite from the cold this year, if only for four days. Since my husband and I had spent a fair amount of our honeymoon at Disney World, we felt it only fitting that we make a return visit to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We were blessed with sun and warm weather the entire time. What a treat it was to get a hint of sunburn on our faces and even at one point to hear my husband complain that he was hot. Leaving coats, boots, and single digit temperatures for shorts and flip flops, I did indeed feel like I was visiting the Happiest Place On Earth.
As is my usual custom on any trip, I of course look for bookstores. Surely Disney World would have a marvelous purveyor of the printed word in one of its theme parks. However, I am disappointed to report that the Happiest Place On Earth is bereft of bookstores. Believe me, I tried. Okay, I suppose most people have a few other attractions on their minds when visiting a theme park, but come on, Disney, you have the creativity and resources to come up with the most wonderful bookstore ever! Mickey's Magical House of Books? Bookstore of Tomorrow? Haunted Bookstore? If I with my much more limited imagination can come up with a few ideas, why can't you?
I did manage to find a Main Street Emporium with the promise of "Books" boldly displayed on the side of the building. It did indeed have books--three small shelves worth. The Hollywood Studios park came closest to what might be considered a bookstore with its Writer's Stop. This place actually had a pastry and coffee shop area very similar to what one might expect to find in a bookstore, and although overshadowed by souvenirs, clothing, and trinkets, several shelves of actual books claimed space in this store as well.
I cannot go without mentioning the Public Library. That's right. I did find a grand stone building reminiscent of the New York Public Library. Of course, I couldn't go in; it was only a facade meant to look like part of a movie set.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed our trip to Disney World immensely, even without bookstores. That brief time spent in the Happiest Place On Earth helped me tolerate the rest of our Michigan winter as I look forward to more favorable weather for seeking out the next great bookstore. Meanwhile, I am content with the fact that this nasty weather gives me a great reason to just sit inside and read.