Dougherty Family Blog

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If you're a kid Disney still has magic

Walt Disney World, also known as "The Magic Kingdom" or as my Mom so sweetly calls it, "The Happiest Place on Earth". For kids, maybe it's all those things but not so much if you're an adult who spent as much as a mortgage payment on tickets to the park, another $14 per day to park the rental van and another $30.00 per day to rent a double stroller only to make it into the park and end up buying nine dollar hot dogs (I am not exaggerating the cost of food. The hot dogs really were $8.67), fighting major crowds and waiting in a one or two hour line for most rides. As an adult, it's not so magical. In fact, it's the exact opposite of magical. It's frustrating and heartbreaking and sad. Yes, I know that it's my fault. I had high expectations and vivid dreams of how I thought Disney would be. I bought into the dream of "Disney Magic" that they have been selling for generations now. Before I even had children, I knew that I would try my hardest to make it to Disney World as a family. Maybe it's because my parents took me and my brother to Disney World when we were kids and it was magical for me then. Thank you Mom and Dad!

Thank goodness for Ryan's parents who paid for airline tickets, a nice van and an awesome timeshare for all of us to stay in. All we had to do was cover the cost of the tickets, our food and souvenirs. The hotel was amazing! The hotel pools were heated, clean and fun! Thank you John and Mariann! Without your kindness we would have never, ever been able to take our kids to Disney World and they both had so much fun.

There is just no cheap way to Disney. I tried, I planned, I hoped and I spent hours researching tips and tricks on-line. I had a plan people! You may be thinking, why pay to park? Shuttles to the parks aren't cheap or practical and there are major time restrictions. Why not pack your own food? Oh we did but you just can't carry enough food or water for a family of four and still survive the day. A heavy, overloaded bag would only add to your problems at Disney. You can't hold the bag all day but you can't leave it with an unattended stroller all day either. A day at Disney will make you feel more mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted than you could ever imagine. I felt nickel and dimed to death, I felt pushed around by food service people who refused to change wrong orders, I felt overwhelmed by the crowd and the procedures at Disney, things that should be simple like entering and exiting the park. The trams, the trains, the ferry, the parking, just everything. Speaking of nickel and dimed to death, they take pictures of you in the park, like the one posted above. They took 14 pictures and we have the option to purchase them for a mere 14.95 or more each. Needless to say, we just bought one. The icing on the cake is you have to order in a specific amount of time or they expire and you have to pay on a weekly basis to extend your viewing and ordering time. And just so ya' know John's shirt says LUCKY to be an American....

All that being said, I am so glad that we got to go. As a mother I am thankful. I will always remember the smiles that you only see on your kids faces at places like Disney. My kids are so precious to me and they had an awesome experience and LOVED every minute of it. My son getting to ride Space Mountain and other great rides with his Dad, the way he loves his Goofy hat, the way Anna lit up when she rode Dumbo and the way she laughed in the Buzz Lightyear ride. Those sweet memories are worth every small thing that I had to "endure". Small things that I made into a big things. And then those things like losing sunglasses and breaking cameras that don't belong to you. When I look back at this trip in 20 years and all the beautiful pictures that we have from the trip, I will not remember the price we paid for tickets and food or the rude Disney workers that wouldn't help me find my husband and son when I was lost. I will remember my husband, our kids and their happy, sweet faces and that time when the kids were little and we all got to go to Disney World.

1 comment:

  1. Well said! I have no doubt that as time goes by the good memories you and your family had will overpower the stress. I went to Disney when I was in both 3rd and 6th grade. I know we waited in long lines and it was super hot but now I don't remember any of that as well as all the fun things we did. I just remember things like hopping on a trolley with my sister and cousins and going to MGM studios at night and riding the Tower of Terror about 10 times in a row! Go Big John for riding Space Mountain! My Grandma and I hate roller coasters, but somehow we both ended up on that one. What a memory...riding a coaster with your grandma! Vacations to me are priceless. The time spent with loved ones away from the norms of life is worth the money spent.