As you take a stroll through the parks, resorts, and restaurants at Disney, you can't help but notice all the buttons. They're everywhere. It seems every time you turn around, there's another guest with a big fat button on their chest proclaiming they are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, wedding, graduation, a first visit to Disney, the fact that it's Tuesday, or little Johnny's first lost tooth. But you know what celebration doesn't have a button...the bachelor party.
Perhaps Disney's wholesome nature has no room for guests hosting a celebration usually associated with various forms of debauchery, and therefore we get no button. I'm here to tell you, however, that no matter how out of place they may seem, bachelor parties do take place at Disney, and this is the story of mine...
Three years ago this month, a group of buddies and I piled in our cars and headed for Disney. As the groom, I was somewhat along for the ride, but there was what I'd call a loose outline of an itinerary. After checking into the Dolphin, we made our way down to the ESPN Club for the first event of the party, which was to see our beloved Florida Gators take on rival Tennessee. In addition to thoroughly manhandling Tennessee that day, my Gators gave perhaps the best wedding present of the lot, by delivering a National Championship two weeks after we said our vows. As usual, I digress....
After the game we headed back to the hotel with a few hours to kill. Rather than sit around, we decided to head over to Fantasia Gardens miniature golf for a little friendly competition on the Fairways course. That's right...we played putt-putt at my bachelor party. Big whoop, wanna fight about it?
What I didn't know was in store for me, however, was what my buddies had arranged to be my attire for the evening. Just before we set off for the course, I felt this tug on my leg, and before I even knew what was happening, a 16 pound ball and chain had been padlocked around my ankle. Now, aside from the general misery of having a ball and chain strapped to my leg, there were several problems presented by my predicament. First, I hadn't yet changed my clothes when my buddy chained it to my ankle, meaning I was stuck in the same pair of shorts for the whole night. Second, the chain was just short enough that I could not carry the ball and stand fully upright; I'd be slightly hunched over the entire evening. Finally, and perhaps most depressing, I was told by the key culprit that the code for the pad lock had been FedEx'd to my house, and would arrive on Monday morning. He didn't have the code-I was stuck like this for two days. With the ball and chain in place, as well as the customary ridiculous "bachelor" top hat, we set off for Fantasia Gardens.
How I managed to play putt-putt with a 16 pound bowling ball chained to my leg is beyond me, but let's just say it was difficult. One of my buddies and my brother had a friendly wager on who would win, and to my dismay, my brother actually lost. Oddly enough, the feather boa which he was to wear the rest of the evening as a result vanished from thin air.
Our final destination for the evening was one of my favorite places in all of Disney... Jellyrolls. Originally, this was the main thing I'd requested we do for the party, but now I was getting to be a bit nervous about going. Sure, at that point I'd grown accustomed to passers-by laughing or applauding my poor fortune, but I knew that a guy with a bowling ball chained to his ankle all but guaranteed the piano players would embarrass me to no end.
Sure enough, an hour or two into their set, the call came for me to come on stage. Thankfully, my friend Captain Morgan gave me a pep talk, and my nerves were pretty much gone as I drug my ball and chain on stage. After the expected ragging by the piano guys, I was made to perform "I'm a Little Tea Pot" and then to "dance." The use of quotations is to denote my inability to dance, however the English language doesn't have a word to aptly describe the "Elaine Benes."
As the lights to Jellyrolls were turned on to indicate closing time, we made our way back to the hotel and I crawled in bed with my friend the bowling ball. The next morning, my brother took pity on me and removed the pad lock from my ankle. Apparently they had the code the entire time, meaning I wouldn't have to go home to my soon-to-be wife with a ball and chain around my ankle. Perhaps more importantly, I no longer had to walk with a slight lean to the left.
Over the last few years, the "What are you celebrating?" theme has taken over the Disney Parks. It's my firm belief, that the bachelor party is an untapped market that Disney is missing out on, and by golly we deserve a button. Sure, one of us may have wound up swimming in the giant fountain between the Swan and Dolphin, but that and other similar minor offenses should not exclude us from joining the rest of the button wearing masses.
So to all the Disney bachelors everywhere, stand up and make your voices heard! We want a button!
Enjoy Your Stay