It must be something in the water here in Orlando--everyone is just so darn nice and helpful! It warms the cockles of my curmudgenly New Englander's heart. Anyway, here's hoping I can catch up before the next wave of fun.
Yesterday, once I got checked into the Disney Beach Club Resort, a group of us meetings/expo magazine journalists headed over to the new Veracruz Exhibit Hall at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. The 86,000 new square feet of exhibit space was about as nice as a big box can be--it actually managed to feel warm and inviting, not the harsh fluorescent feel you get in most exhibit spaces--but what was really cool was the show that was moving in: the Army Aviation Association of America. There were huge Huey (sp?) helicopters in the parking lot, but the coolest was an Apache and a Black Hawk helicopter already inside the exhibit hall, along with one of the drone helicopters they've been using in Iraq.
Our host told us that they had to send out a memo to all Disney cast members when they flew them in earlier yesterday morning--with 5,000 or so media reps in town for the big celebration, they didn't want anyone to think we were under attack or anything! And they had to finish up all tours of the hall by 5 yesterday, so they could start loading in some of the more top-secret technology.
It was absolutely awe-inspiring, and scary, to stand next to the missile launchers and machine gun thingys on the Apache--we heard that the resort actually built one of the loading areas especially for this show so that it would be high enough to accommodate a menacing-looking radar gizmo on top of the blades. One of my colleagues had a camera phone, so we tried to get a picture of all of us standing next to the Apache, along with a couple of bemused Army guys in uniform that we coopted into posing with us. I'll post it if she e-mails it to us. It was wild!