Two Views of Disney – Fun or Stress


Wow – I could go every year!

Walt Disney World (NYSE: DIS), the world’s largest, most-visited, loved and bitched about vacation destination covering  over 30,000 acres southwest of Orlando Florida is the setting of my 2011 family vacation.  With best intentions and low expectations, I agreed to book flights for 4 and two rooms inside the Disney Park for a week over dinner and drinks with friends.  The idea of time away from the interruptions of school, homework, sports and work; escaping the rain, snow and cold weather; the Disney slogan of “Where memories are made”; visions of 6 kids, swimming, hanging, exiting the roller costars with big smiles viewed from the shade with a cold drink, quiet dinners and more was presented and sold — Like a fish who swallowed the bait hook line and sinker I was pulled on board the Disney express (Sorry only a few pictures, I need to sleep on the flight home)

Moments, Memories, Thoughts, Tips, Events and Warnings…

    • Truth – Kids love the park rides – not a day went by without seeing the smiles  as they exited a ride and asking to go again or what was the next one…
    • False – Fathers can make it the week without having a “Hissy fit” or “Break Down” – Truth – This typically happens on day 4 in the morning as you enter the park.

Bonding moment try and pull one of the Disney characters tails and get your kids to take a picture without getting caught – No Lines or FastPass involved!

  • Question: Who would pay $85 to spend a day with the Hall family – Only one person I know – Brooks (he is nuts)
  • Comment – While at Disney’s rendition of Hogwarts “I could live here”
  • Comment – When going on any new thrilling ride “Daddy will you sit next to me”
  • Comment – Throughout the week “I am NEVER coming back.”; “This is the best.”; “I am checking out tomorrow and going to the beach.”; “Let’s get up early.”

Tip – Stay off the Tea Cup Ride if you are over 40

    • Truth – Walt has this place rigged so you have to wait in line for everything even your eggs at breakfast at a cost of $90 for 4
    • Warning – Never let Smillie drive a bike built for 6 around Disney’s Boardwalk
    • Truth – Walt Disney has a no crying or unhappy customer policy – This turned out to be the best discovery of the week…
      • If you simply tell any Disney employee working a FastPass line: “I messed up can you help me, my wife is pissed and kids are crying, I got the wrong tickets” they will simply ask you how many fast pass tickets do you need” and you can do this all day!
    • Truth – You will make memories on a Disney Vacation – they just don’t tell you what memories!
    • Tip – Plan out your day before entering any park – Indecisiveness,  Indecision, Wavering,  Uncertainty and Standing in the sun saying “I don’t know, What do you want to do” will KILL YOUR DAY!!!
    • Tip – Know how to read a map and bring it with you
    • Have a few lunch and dinner reservations for each day in your back pocket before the trip begins – or plan to enjoy Mexican cat and dog food ….
    • Comment “Two more please”
    • Comment “Can we do that again?”
    • Signs “Wait time 120 minutes”; “Wait time 5 minutes”
    • Deal of the week –  Pay $200 for two passes to wait in line for 30 minutes for one 2 minute lame ride – Guess who did this…
    • Issue – Chlorinated pools…
    • Weather – 85 and sunny every day with a light breeze – 100% beach weather (forgot we were not at the beach)
    • Note: Kids love First Class and “FastPass” (no lines) at the airport
    • Jake is now “Sparky” after diner at the 50 café
    • 5 days and 5 parks – not a good idea

Butterbeer does not have any alcohol in it, I was dooped…

  • Tip – Do not put your salad in your backpack at an angle with lots of Italian dressing on it.
  • If 13 and asked if you are 16 when trying to be an extra in a movie you look at your father and smile and simply say “why yes of course’
  • Quote: “who moved their pants?”
  • Notice – If you hire “Mr. Jim and pay $360 it does not include lunch reservation – you are on your own
  • Tip – They will not let you drive the taxi boats
  • Need extra FastPasses – Simply run in to your sister at Animal Kingdom Bird show
  • Best Show in Disney – The Barnaby Show staring an Owl …
  • Disney birthday party: trivia with waffle fries
  • Best Event: watching the fathers melt down
  • Did you know that you get a full can of ginger ale when your parents leave you for first class.
  • Tip-if you don’t know much about Harry Potter just fall asleep leaning on a cement sidewalk and have your wife be embarrassed for bringing you along.
  • WARNING: don’t give your daughter $20 and say no Crap because you will regret it.
  • The crowds at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are scarier than Voldemort, just ask Uncle Jordan.
  • Best part of the trip – Going Home


Next Vacation – Something absolutely stress-free without any anxiety, lines, unhappy adults or manufactured fun!

About JSH

There are more than 195 countries in the world by my count and I want to see them all before they all start to look the same – The United Nations has 192 members, but they do not recognized two independent countries, the Vatican City and Kosovo. U.S. Department of State recognizes 194 independent countries around the world, but their list has a political agenda and is missing Taiwan. All of this is without getting into the dozens of territories and colonies that are sometimes called “countries” such as Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Greenland, Palestine, Western Sahara, and even the components of the United Kingdom (such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England) and without counting states and provinces like Texas and Montréal that think they are independent countries. No madder how you count or tag them they are changing, starting to look the same and losing a little bit of themself every day. I do not want to see the world through the eyes of Las Vegas or Disney, like reading the Cliff Notes of a Hemingway novel; you get the idea but miss the point! Life is short, but how long live is up to you…
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5 Responses to Two Views of Disney – Fun or Stress

  1. Chris says:

    Glad we missed it! Try a cruise with the teens next.

    • JSH says:

      Are you kidding – Disney is a cruise on land, not going back until I am too old to remember this trip. I can’t take waiting in line for anything when I am on vacation! Next Vacation Hopkins Point – No lines other then the boarder.

  2. David says:

    Dumb ass, We did one and that was 1 too many. Brian will never know the difference.

  3. Uncle Brooks says:

    Fortunately I am old enough that the memories will quickly fade! However, I was proud of Smillie for scoring all sorts of passes after bitching at the personnel at the Tusker Tavern for 30 minutes. I am now trying to decide which I enjoyed most – the day at Animal Kingdom that cost $90+ for 6 hours in 90 degree heat with the Hall family or the two nights in Punta Gorda visiting another sister and sharing a room with two kids under the age of 3!

  4. Mom says:

    You sound like you had a really MEMORY MAKING “vacation!” There are probably lots of stories that you didn’t post. I can’t believe that you were cranky. Didn’t you get enough to eat?

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