Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Defending Disney

I found this lovely article today titled "13 Reasons Not to Go to Disney." Of course I clicked on it every reason and disagreed with every one. (Duh, what kind of Mousejunkie would I be if I agreed with it?) And now, here I am blogging about it. I have heard some of these a million times from people that don't like Disney. Now, don't get me wrong...lack of planning will make someone fall victim to every single one of these points. You can't just "go" to Disney. You have to plan for this type of trip. So, I am here to tell you why you shouldn't believe a word this article says and to pass along some planning tips along the way.

13. The tickets are insanely expensive
If you think going to an amusement park and paying $60 a person is steep, wait until you pay the price of admission for Disney. You’ll be looking at well above $100 per person, depending on the type of tickets you get and the time of the year.

Rebuttal - Yes, the tickets are expensive. And there are not many discounts (save for AAA and work related discounts) that you can get on a Disney ticket. However, the parks and resorts are immaculately clean and kept up. (Fun Fact - There is a trash can every 30 steps because when Walt was doing research for the parks he observed that people would walk approximately 30 steps before throwing trash on the ground) Not to mention that the high ticket prices keep the riff raff out. And Disney has some of the best customer service in the world. I am willing to pay a premium for that.

12. There is constant construction

You might see this as a positive, but Disney is always under construction. If you see a ride that looks way cool but it’s not complete, that means the kiddos will be bugging you to death to go back so you can endure even more Disney in the near future. Joy.

Rebuttal - I am one of those people that sees this as a positive. This is what makes Disney magical. They are constantly evolving with the times. Every time you visit there is something new to see and do. This was Walt's vision...something that will grow with families. 

11. The crowds are insane
So you’re going to go to Disney when it’s vacation time, but so is everyone else who happens to have time off work and school at the same time. Unless you can go during the off-season, you’re going to be enjoying the park with thousands and thousands of strangers.

Rebuttal - He who goes to Disney during the busy times is the insane one. Now, this may not be for everyone, but I have no problem taking kids out of school for a Disney trip. Like we established before, this is an expensive trip. It's well worth your hard earned dollars to go during a slow time. You WILL NOT I repeat WILL NOT have as good of a time if you go during a busy time. You will fall victim to a MM (Magical Meltdown). 

10. The princesses are snobby
If your kids (or you, for some sick reason) really want to meet the princesses, you have to stand in a long line for more time than even the hottest rides. Once you get up there, you get the crap shoot as far as which princesses are there. To top it off, most of them think they’re pretty hot stuff because nobody told them they aren't real princesses.

Disclaimer - I know Alice is not a *technically* a princess
Rebuttal - With the exception of Elsa and Anna from Frozen who are very popular right now, you can see most of the other princesses during character dining experiences. Again, this is where planning comes in. You have to make dining reservations 180 days in advance. Some reservations are so hard to get that if you call even a half hour after 7am exactly 180 days in advance, you may not get the reservation. The early bird gets the worm when it comes to ADRs (advanced dining reservations.) Anyone waiting in like to see a character (unless said character is not part of a dining experience) is an amateur. Not to mention that through the new FastPass+ system, you can get FastPasses for meeting characters...duh.

9. The lines are insane
With the big crowds come big lines. The better the ride, the longer the line. Want to go on Space Mountain? Be prepared to wait well over an hour. The most insulting part is the ride is over in 5 minutes, making you question how worth it the wait really was.

Rebuttal - Yes, when you go to Disney, you have to expect to wait in some with any theme park. Again, going during the busy season will not help. And FastPasses are your friend. 

8. Seeing your favorite character means more lines
You don’t have to wait in crazy lines just to see the princesses. Disney has decided to not let the characters really roam free in the park. Instead, there are designated areas where you can wait to meet various characters. The newer the character, the longer the line can be, with the hot new ones commanding a 4 hour-plus wait.

Rebuttal - See # 10

7. Rides are shut down all the time
Disney is careful about maintaining rides and keeping them safe, but the flip side is that your favorite ride might not even be open the whole time you’re at the park. Some rides seem to be especially prone to breaking, or always shut down when there’s even the slightest hint of rain. Of course this means you can go back again and hope the ride is open, or you could just go to the beach.

Rebuttal - Disney is constantly evolving and making their current rides better and safer. With that, there are refurbishments. It's just the nature of the beast. You can find a list of refurbs here

6. The food is insanely expensive
You know it’s bad when movie theater concessions look like a bargain in comparison. Have you ever paid $8 for a hot dog? At Disneyland you can have that privilege.

Food and Wine Festival - Greece! Grilled and marinated calamari, htipiti, eggplant dip, olives and pita bread and griddled Greek cheese with pistachios & honey. And to drink - Ouzo
Rebuttal - Yes, food at Disney is expensive, I will not argue that. But, this is the precise reason why the best time to go to Disney is during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This is also the exact reason why I am not a fan of the dining plan (that's a whole 'nother blog) AND why you need to rent a car even though Disney has transportation. If you eat all your meals on property, you will go broke. I go to WDW for the food. So to me, the price is worth the divine food. The best way to eat at Disney - Go during the Food and Wine Festival, make 2-3 dining reservations (180 days in advance) and rent a car so you can go off site for some meals.

5. The mouse ears and other hats are embarrassing.
Even though it’s a tradition, the little mouse ears sold at the park are embarrassing, not only to wear but to also see others wearing. Of course, if you don’t want to wear those you can put on a Goofy or Peter Pan hat like you’re a hyperactive 5 year-old.

Rebuttal - Well, those of you that have hung around my blog and Facebook know that I do not find wearing Disney apparel at Disney or not at Disney embarrassing. Evidence - 

And there is certainly more where that came from...

4. The nightly parades shut everything down
Just try to get to the other side of the park for that one last ride during the nightly parades, the ones that are the same thing over and over. You can’t, so hope you like being stuck in Fantasy Land, because you’re not going anywhere else until the procession ends.

Rebuttal - This one is kind of true. Magic Kingdom is the only park with an electrical parade though (not sure about Disneyland). And, WDW has two other parks to enjoy during this time. (AK closes at 5 or 6 every day) Or, you can plan around this and end up in a "land" that has the rides you want to ride while everyone else is watching the parade. (Have I mentioned how important planning is to a Disney Vacation?)

3. The souvenir shops are designed to make you take out a second mortgage
See that cute little Mickey knickknack, the one that would look just perfect on your mantle next to your Tinker Bell spoon collection? That’ll be $80. Any decent shirts are about the same price. If you don’t watch it, you’ll blow through your savings in no time.

Rebuttal -  Every souvenir shop every where is expensive. There are tons of fun ideas on Pinterest that require hitting up the dollar store before you leave to stock up on Disney themed stuff so your kids won't keep asking for things. Children should just be appreciative that they are there. If they keep asking for things after being told no maybe your parenting is to blame and not Disney. #sorrynotsorry

2. The Jungle Cruise skippers' jokes are abysmal
Ah the Jungle Cruise ride, where you go around in a boat and see robot animals. It’s a boring, horribly outdated ride. Instead of updating it, Disney has decided to hire all of the failed stand up comedians in the area to be the boats’ skippers, and you are their captive audience.

Rebuttal - This one may actually be true. I have actually never been on the Jungle Cruise! And what can I say, sometimes Disney can be cheesy..And I love every second of it.

1. You hate Disney
Nothing is worse than being completely surrounded by the thing you despise. If you hate Disney, even a little, then going there is hell. They serve Mickey-shaped pancakes, everything is cute and covered in Disney branding, even the wine bottles, making it so you can’t just enjoy a good drink without the Mouse getting his hands into it.

Rebuttal - Seeing as how my cat's name is Minnie Mouse and I look at houses for sale in the Orlando area every day (Celebration, FL to be exact. But again, that is a whole 'nother blog post) there is no hating Disney that goes on in the C house. But, if in fact you are not a fan of The Mouse you may not like a Disney vacation. I assure you though, if you vacation with me and/or have me plan your Disney vacation for will be a Mousejunkie in no time!
*Not a face of someone that hates Disney.