The girls had been making their case to go to Disney World fooooreveeeeer as they like to put it. We finally gave in and got a Florida Resident 4-day pass, deciding to split it into 2 separate weekends of fun, fun, fun. Or as my husband refers to it: torture, torture, torture.
The first weekend was pleasant enough but it was the second and most recent visit that confirmed our inkling: we are never going back to that dreadful place.
While it's somewhat wonderful and exciting to see Disney characters and do the rides; what's most impressive about Disney World is not necessarily what is marketed but what is apparent upon arrival. It is a living, breathing example of an organizational chart carried out to the extreme. From the highly orchestrated parking lots, maximized to be as efficient as humanly possible, to the well maintained bathrooms, it is a highly functioning business model with extremely happy employees. But why we paid over $500 to see that is beyond me.
It was the first weekend of June and the sun was blistering hot when we arrived to Animal Kingdom around 10 am. Feeling relaxed and at ease, our mood suddenly changed to anxious and rushed as people from everywhere sped past trying to get in. Consciously taking 2 steps to slow it down, we strolled inside and pondered about. After awhile my husband and the girls remarked "Where are all the animals in this Animal Kingdom?"
"I'm sure they are on the trail" I responded, "but first let's check out the Bug Show, then we have a fast pass to the Nemo Musical and then let's stop at Dinoland to see if the girls are tall enough to ride."
I was met with apathetic enthusiasm.
"The girls don't look happy" said my husband.
"Look around" I replied "No kid looks happy to be here."
Our heads rotated around the crowds and oddly enough, every. single. kid. had a most miserable, sour look. Even the ones showered with the $30 water spray bottles, $25 plush toys, and $30 rental strollers looked pretty miserable. What’s more remarkable were the adults, who were giddy as can be. Their cup runneth over with excitement as they hopped, skipped and jumped to all the rides, trying to get their kids excited about being in this “magical” world.
10 hours later, feeling quite stinky, sticky and completely deluded we cried in agreement "This is no place for kids".
Aching and exhausted we woke up the next day and tiredly headed to Magic Kingdom. Over eager crowds of people pushed past us again as we kept attempting to scan our cards that wouldn't work. Turns out it was a Blackout Day. Because when you purchase the Florida Resident pass you are blocked from visiting for half the year. So the flimsy discount you get is not really worth it.
"I'm ever so sorry." The Disney rep said to me as rainbows and butterflies weaved around her head.
I couldn't bear to turn around, to tell the family, but I did so courageously and ready to take the blame.
"We can't get in today" I stammered, "Maybe we can hang out in the hotel pool and Downtown Disney instead."
To say I had never seen them rejoice so happily and jump so merrily was an understatement. Who would have thought a family could be so happy to not get into Disney World?
“Why did we bother with the tickets when we could’ve just booked a hotel room instead?” I asked my husband.
“I don’t know, but not getting in Magic Kingdom is the best thing that has happened today” he laughed in response.
We spent the rest of the day in our swimsuits, eating Skittles, and the evening found us perusing the overpriced Downtown Disney merchandise, watching Maleficent in 3D and discussing the evolution of female heroines in Disney movies.
It was unplanned, unexpected and one of our most memorable family vacations.
So when you ask my girls if they liked Disney, and they shrug their shoulders, you're getting a truthful response. But if you ask them if they like vacationing in a hotel room they will probably cheer with excitement. Disney is not as much fun as we thought, but the hotel room rocked. I just saved you over $500. You’re welcome.