Wednesday, June 12, 2013


So…we went to Disney several weeks ago (thanks again to everyone who weighed in with Disney advice, btw). 

At the time of that advice seeking, the whole Disney experience was overwhelming to the point where I just didn’t know where to start. I knew nothing about Disney except for a few fuzzy memories from my 14 year old self, namely the time we all rode Space Mountain and my dad turned white as a sheet and couldn’t move afterwards (I seriously thought he was going to die from that ride). But thanks to those stupid Internet cookies, Disney ads started following me around the web, reminding me of my ineptitude and procrastination in planning this trip. And thanks to my trip-planning husband – he planned the trip pretty much in its entirety -- researching hotels and resorts, what rides to conquer early, when and where we should seek out Fest Passes. 

I started learning the lay of the land, the location of the resorts relative to the parks and found myself pondering the meaning of terms like “extra magic hours” and “magical express” and debating on whether or not we needed all that “magical” stuff on our trip. And I only started this a couple days prior to our departure. Yikes!

There is a whole lot of Disney analysis out there on crowd levels and wait times and strategic planning on which parks to avoid on which days based on historical data. But thanks to the anal retentive nature of my husband (as much as he’d like to think that part of his personality doesn’t exist), he gets sucked into statistics and spent days plotting the 4 days that we’d be there, trying to get insights from the dozens of websites and blogs that exist solely to help strategize how to beat the crowds.

Oh, and then there is the food. It’s a whole other category of confusion and choices. Should we do the Dining Plan or not? Or should we try and strategize (there’s that word again) by filling one suitcase with cereal, granola bars, bread and fruit and attempt to get away with eating only 2 meals out a day? We opted for the meal plan, and are rather stoked we did. If we could change anything, we would simply purchase fewer of them – one meal is often enough food for two people. 

We were all “it’s part of the American experience!” spiel about everything really, and I think that’s why we didn’t fuss much about the expense of anything. I’m easily overwhelmed by crowded amusement park settings and I have visions of a long recovery after a vacation of standing in lines for too long, but April proved the ideal time of year to attend.

It’s unlike any vacation we’ve ever taken since all of our trips usually center around some place tropical. Disney was rather a surreal, alternative reality – the perfect kind of family vacation where bonding really happens. Probably the furthest thing from relaxing, however. And I’ll admit, I’m a little thankful my kids had no interest in seeing characters or princesses come to life. They were a bit appalled actually, by the idea of “character dining” where Disney characters and princesses walk around the restaurant and stop by your table while you eat. 

Enjoy this first peek of our adventures…

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