Wage and War

Like a femme fatale, the curves here proved deadly.

The 3rd Annual Ice Cream Invitational.  Every summer in Disney, Rodney and Ryan compete with Shannon and ‘yours truly’ in a sacred triathlon that tests the very limits of our body, our heart, and — dare I say — our sanity, a contest fit for gladiators (American or otherwise).  The contest consisted of three rounds.  The first grueling challenge sets brother against brother on the miniature golf course, and then the fiery hell of the tennis court . . .

Wait, why are you rolling your eyes?  Seriously, whatever you THINK you know about miniature golf, forget it.  Disney’s Fantasia Fairways is a theme park asylum covered in undulating green felt, reminding you why men have loved and cursed the bloody game for centuries.  No cartoon castles litter the course.  The pathway to the hole rises and falls like waves on a storm-tossed sea so there’s no ‘trick’ or ‘perfect putt’ to secure your hole in one . . . just luck and the pity of God.  This was to be our battlefield — our Ragnarok, some may say days from now — and waiting for us at the end, a rich waffle cone, filled with soft-serve and seasoned with the blood and tears of our enemies.

So after spending the morning at Animal Kingdom, Ryan challenged me to a one-on-one game of mini-golf: Round 1. Neither Rodney nor Kevin felt like doing anything but sleep before dinner so they made their way back to the hotel rooms, leaving Ryan and me to duke it out Highland style.

This course with its roving fairways is listed as one of the most challenging courses in the world, thus I had to keep my wits about me. I had little hope that Kevin (with his bum leg) and I (with my absence of athleticism) could defeat Ryan or Rodney in tennis, so winning this match was essential. By the end I managed to pull out a victory by twelve strokes. Wahoo!

The next morning we made our way to the tennis court. The morning sun had risen high by the time we crawled onto the court. I felt my skin baking even before I served, and the rules dictated best two out of three: ergo, the will to win depended highly on the results of the first match.

I won’t sugar-coat it. We lost. Bad. Ryan and Rodney (Team R&R as they call themselves) won back-to-back matches. We’re all pretty poor losers so all I’ll show of their victory is the bench where they laid their rackets before bumping chests and running a victory lap around the court. Asses . . .

The final match of the week took place at the Winter-Summerland miniature golf course, a more ‘traditional’ mini golf but obviously with Disney twist. The course as you can see here is very innovative and fun. I love the gimmicky holes personally, the more unusual and interesting, the better.

No mini-golf course is complete without a castle. The drawbridge here rises and falls, testing your patience and accuracy for that hole-in-one. Other holes would squirt water on you as you putted the ball in the hole or crossed a bridge. Still others produced steam and launched your ball when putt in the perfect spot. Really awesome gimmicks.

My reward and poorly photographed too. Luckily, photo-artistry did not enter into our little wager; although, we are looking for additional games to add to our competition next year. Perhaps badminton or best mug-shot on Splash Mountain. Your suggestions are more than appreciated.

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