This past summer I went to Florida with my husband and two kids. We experienced the magic of Disney. That said, my disclaimer, this is not a feel good, top tips of getting the most of your Disney trip. On the contrary, my purpose is quite the opposite, I am telling my story as a warning to those considering Disney as a future trip, don’t do it! My family and I went to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom and our accommodations were off site ten minute drive from the parks.
Third child to please
I prepared to be patient, stay positive and cheery for the upcoming long lines in 30’C humid weather, for a 5 minute meet and great, and picture moment with as many Disney Characters that my children wanted. My 8 year old son and 5 year daughter would have the experience of a lifetime. What I did not prepare for was dealing with a husband turn into a whining child constantly asking when we can go somewhere with air conditioning. At every ride and meet and greet he asked, “How long is the wait times for this one?’ Comments about how hot is was, or “that’s it! 60 minute wait for a 60 second hello, take your picture and sign my autograph book”. He was tiered. He was hot. “At what time are we leaving today?” The best part was there happen to be a FIFA World cup game on out first day at Magic Kingdom, at 9 a.m. Dear husband found a saloon in the Town Square that was broadcasting the game. Guess what he went to do between 9 and noon? See the yellow, corner building behind us…
Disney mobile App.
The mobile application https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_CA/plan/my-disney-experience/mobile-apps/ provides a map of the parks that includes a GPS to guide you to where you want to go, details where the characters are and the wait times. It includes events planned for the day as well. Great concept, if the application wasn‘t constantly refreshing and sending you back to the main menu. The app. doesn’t specify that Snow White won’t come out in the rain, even if just misty type rainfall. My daughter and I ran across the park to make sure we make it for the meet and greet to find out, princesses are high maintenance.
Meeting the characters
We waited 90 minutes to meet Ariel in her underwater cave. To find her sitting on a rock structured bench where my daughter quickly sat beside for the snap shot and rushed along her way for the next child in line. I never had the chance to get Ariel’s signature because my pen sank to the bottom and we were whisked away by cheery Disney helpers. That’s right. The helpers don’t have pens on them solve this circumstance that must occur to more than one parent. When asked if they have a pen I could borrow, the oh so very chipper helper referred me to the market area where I could purchase one. The same $12 USD one lost at the bottom of my backpack. In addition, the kids kept arguing about what characters to meet and what rides to go one. My husband and I had to split up for most of the day to get the kids each what they wanted to experience.
There are not enough rides at this park. I don’t consider the safari jeep tour a ride. My 8 year old was jonzing for a roller coaster, bumper cars, something that turns, swivels or goes upside down. The safari tour we waited over 90 minutes for – with a fast past by the way – let us experience how animals find refuge in the shade in Florida’s hot weather. My son did get enjoy the bumps and turns of the jeep making it way along the terrain. Go to the Toronto Zoo instead.
I won’t lie, the kids loved it. But I aged about 5 years in three days. The stress of running around and making it on time to Fast Past scheduled attraction https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_CA/plan/my-disney-experience/fastpass-plus/ ,
ensuring the kids are hydrated, meeting the demands of excited children who do not have the patience to deal with long wait times and heat, dealing with the CROWDS – that by the way are not so cheery – was not worth the toll it took on my budget, my marriage, or my mental well being. Following our days at Disney we had the good sense of booking five days away at the beach before heading back home. Beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches, frolicking dolphins and diving pelicans in the ocean, sand castles and strawberry ice cups. Time was no longer looked at. The whole family had fun and my kids tell more stories about their time at the beach because they probably forgot about meeting Mickey for 60 seconds. It’s a good thing I have the picture to prove it.
Look, there happy…