This is a continuation of the previous blog post [here] about the most common complaints I hear about Disney World, and my attempts to refute them (or at least explain them). Each item is also a helpful thing to consider when going to the parks, based on my years of going [link] and planning vacations for not only my family, but for friends, co-workers, and neighbors.
- Everything themed around Disney’s intellectual property.
Yes, yes, it is. It is more and more so each year. This issue of one in constant debate in Disney circles. How would Walt feel about this? Is this in line with original vision of the parks? That, my friends, is a debate for another day. In defense of Disney’s approach to their theme park, I would simply say this, Disney is a business. A business that owns on some of the most cherished and recognizable characters in the world! The recent acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars, have only deepened the breadth and scope of Disney’s influence over our own childhoods, and those of our children. These characters and properties are the reason you go to Disney World, and not the local theme parks. The idea of riding the new Tron coaster or walking around Star Wars Land Galaxy’s Edge makes me giddy (yes, I said giddy) with excitement. Now imagine how an eight-year-old feels when they ride the Guardians of the Galaxy ride or the Frozen ride. Suddenly, they are in the world of those films they love.
- There are so many places to go and things in the world to see
Ok, you got me there. I would never argue that Disney World should be your only vacation. The World Showcase in EPCOT cannot measure up to Paris, London, Tokyo, Africa, Brazil, or any other place of interest in the world with its true culture, history, and traditions. But until your five-year-old can appreciate it, and make the journey, Disney is a good substitute.
- My kids (or someone else’s kid) always meltdowns
This is another one of those “it’s just going to happen” things. Kids throw fits, and even the calmest kids can have their worst moments at the happiest place on earth. Normally, it is due to a combination of factors:
- Pushing the kids past their limits.
- I have learned to listen to them. Many families have the mindset they have planned and anticipated for so long and spent so much that they are not going to call it quits early. I would rather leave an hour or two early than suffer an omega level meltdown at the back of the park.
- The heat
- Plan on the heat. Bring sunscreen and water. Enjoy a cold treat. Find a place to sit. Eat in an air-conditioned restaurant. We often take breaks. Head back to the hotel for few hours, or plan your rides with the ones with AC in them, and rotate between hot and cold rides.
- The overstimulation and excitement of the little ones
- Imagine the psychological roller-coaster in the developing mind of a six-year-old. The months of anticipation about going to Disney World, would be utterly emotionally exhausting. We parents can make it worse by building it up, counting it down, talking about endlessly because we want them to appreciate this expensive and important event. Now you are standing in the hot sun waiting to go on your most anticipated ride, or even worse your mind is blown because you just met Mickey Mouse! Mickey Mouse guys! He was blinking and talking and answering questions. Mickey Mouse! So, in other words expect some mental mood swings, and do your best to roll with them or lessen their frequency.
- The sugar crash (see #3)
- Sugar is a drug. Some parents won’t even it give to their kids. My daughter does not get it all the time, but she does get to enjoy candy. Be aware if you get your child that massive cookie covered in icing and candy they will eventually crash and it won’t be pretty.
- It not relaxing / I need a vacation after that vacation
This one just boils down to personal preference. Some people like to do things, have experiences, and be on the go. Others would rather sit on a beach for a week under an umbrella with a fancy drink in hand. But I have always felt I can sit around in my basement with a drink if I want to relax. My prerogative is if I am going to spend money I want to do stuff and see stuff. It is why we travel to big cities on vacations and don’t take cruises. It a personal preference.
- The weather in Florida is too unpredictable it either hot or humid or raining or all three.
Yes, Orlando is a bit of meteorological Bermuda triangle. It does get its fair share of daily rain in the summer. I think the rain is a blessing and curse. We just plan on it and bring our own nice ponchos and extra (or quick drying) shoes. We won’t get fleeced for those cheap Disney ones they magically pull out from under the counter to sell at the first drop of precipitation, and if it does not rain than that is a bonus. The rain also tends to thin out the crowds of the least persistent park goers. The afternoon showers also tend to drop the temperature a fair amount. On our last visit in July it was 77° F in the afternoon after the rain.
In conclusion, much of these come down to expectations. Knowing what to expect and tempering your own expectations to not overreact when things go bad. The higher the expectations the greater the fall, and people have lofty expectations when visiting Disney. So, when asked if we enjoy each of those things by the negative naysayers I would say no of course I don’t enjoy them… but then again, maybe I do. Well, not so much enjoy as I just don’t mind them when they happen at Disney World.
Until next time…