Thursday, March 28, 2019

7 Reasons Why I Hate Walt Disney World


This past December 2018, I went to Walt Disney World for the 8th time. Or maybe it was the 9th. Heck, I’ve started to lose count. Regardless, as I sit here and reminisce about all of my trips, I’ve realized there are several things that just drive me crazy about Walt Disney World. And I wanted to share those feelings with you all. So here goes...

I eat way too much
When we stay, we often go during the Free Dining promo period. We’ve done the math. It’s literally free for us. It's not ideal for everyone so send me a message and I can help you decide whether or not it would be for your family. I have two growing boys though and they eat … a lot! So not having to worry about budgeting for food and snacks makes our trip that much easier to plan and enjoy! But it also tends to make us overeat.
I tried to eat healthy options. But calories and carbs don’t count when you’re on vacation, right?
Epcot’s World Showcase is one of the best places to go if you’re a foodie. Eating around the World at Epcot is LITERALLY a thing! You can try original Fish n Chips from the UK and fresh-baked breads from France. Authentic Beef Brewat from Morocco or sushi from Japan. Bratwurst and Schnitzel from Germany (and beer) or School Bread from Norway. Authentic nachos and tacos from Mexico or specialty desserts from the pop-ups throughout the World Showcase.
Why go anywhere else in the world when you can visit 11 countries in one trip?! If you don’t already know this, Epcot only employs Cast Members to work in the World Showcase who are strictly FROM those countries. So when you’re in Germany, you’ll actually be visiting with a Cast Member from Germany. When you’re in Morocco, the Cast Members were born and raised in Morocco. So if you don't like visiting with foreigners and getting to know about other country's cultures, WDW may not be for you.
Beef Nachos from Pecos Bill in MK. This was one of our favorite places to eat. You order whatever you want off the menu and then you have access to their 'Fixins' Bar. You can top with things like, Mexican corn, sour cream, shredded cheese, queso, onions and peppers, and tons of other stuff. You can pile your nachos or hamburger or tacos or whatever you order as high as you want and nobody bats an eye. It's very filling! The beef nachos were $12.00 but I couldn't even eat it all!

My kids go CRAZY
I didn’t even know who they were! We decided to surprise our boys on our trip in December 2018. They thought we were taking our annual Kansas City Christmas trip. Our flight was set to leave at 5am on December 7th (my youngest’s birthday) so we had to wake the boys up at 3am to get to the airport – we stayed at a hotel right by MCI to make that early morning a little easier. We woke them up by telling them we had to switch hotels but before we left, they had to put ‘these’ on. We handed them their Magicbands. Our oldest son immediately asked if we were going to Disney World. When we said yes, he started crying. He was so happy. It was one of the sweetest moments and I’ll cherish that moment forever. Our youngest, well, he’s a planner. So the fact that we were changing our plans, regardless of where we were going, did not sit well with him for a bit. It didn’t take long for him to settle down though.
Once we arrived on Florida soil, our kids were different. They were suddenly two little boys who were in awe of everything around them. They’ve both gone before but they were 6 & 3 at that time and they only remembered bits and pieces. Now they were 11 & 8 and took in everything they saw. They smelled the smells that have always reminded ME of past vacations and they appreciated every single minute we spent there. They rode rides they normally wouldn’t (scary and 'baby' rides) and they never complained once. They got along and didn't fight or push each other's buttons. They could suddenly walk for GREAT distances and never get tired. They ate all their food on their plate and they went to bed without arguing. They woke up the first time we asked and they suddenly wanted their pictures taken with EVERYTHING that we came across. They never once asked for their tablet or to watch TV. Who were these kids?!
Looking across World Showcase Lagoon at the other countries


It rains A LOT in Florida
Despite our well thought-out planning of bringing ponchos and umbrellas, we still got caught in the rain. Chris’s poncho ripped so he was hiding underneath mine as we raced towards our dining reservation at Be Our Guest. And because these ponchos were from the Dollar Tree, obviously mine ripped as well. We were soaked from head to toe. And since we were soaked, we decided we might as well jump IN the puddles instead of over them. We had to go from one end of the park to the other to get to our restaurant and we counted 23 puddles that we splashed in along the way. Once we were done with lunch, we were able to ride any ride we wanted to and never waited more than 5 minutes. It was just the worst, I tell you.
This poncho is NOT from Dollar Tree. This is a $10 poncho that WDW sells that we purchased after our Dollar Tree ponchos ripped. Well played WDW, well played.

Walt Disney World is incredibly smelly
Magic Kingdom’s Main Street is the smelliest place in all of Walt Disney World. The moment you step foot on Main Street, you instantly smell popcorn. Maybe that’s because of the smellitizers that they LITERALLY use, or maybe it’s because there’s a cast member selling Popcorn Buckets immediately to your right. Take a few steps further and you’ll get a whiff of Main Street Confectionery. Try to avoid going in, I dare you. The sweet smell of cupcakes and candy apples and cookies and sugar is one of my favorite smells in all of WDW and instantly gives me a sugar high.

Keep going a few steps further and you’ll walk past the Main Street Bakery and Starbucks where they have fresh baked bread and, obviously, fresh-brewed coffee. Even each of the bathrooms has their own smells. Oranges or Glade Air Fresheners or clean laundry … it’s probably an environmentalist’s nightmare. For me though, the smells of different places and areas of WDW are as familiar as the buildings. Every thing/area has a distinct smell, somehow reaching your nose through the fresh air and hordes of people. It’s nostalgia for me. If you ever get a chance to go to WDW, pay attention to the smells. Odds are, the scent in the air was crafted by Imagineers to fully immerse you in the magic.


If you haven't noticed by now, I'll fill you in.  I don't really 'hate' Walt Disney World. Actually, it's my most favorite place in the world. I've traveled all over. I've traveled to other countries and I've done staycations as well. But my Home Away from Home is hands down, Walt Disney World. It's my family's happy place.

Continuing on with my 'hatred'...
  
Some of the rides are dated
It’s a Small World, Peter Pan, Carousel of Progress, etc. These rides are like acid trips (I totally have never tried any sort of drug but if I could imagine what acid trips were like, it’d be those rides). Yet, we found ourselves liking the classic, dated rides the most. Ok, maybe It’s a Small World is only a one-ride per vacation ride only but still. When I ride these rides, I can’t help but think of Walt himself. These were his ideas, his creations and his imagination. Obviously there are some rides that need a fresh update (think: Tomorrowland Speedway which is currently under refurbishment, thank goodness). But sometimes, you just have to let the original ideas stay in place and just give them a fresh coat of paint every once in a while. “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.”-Walt. These classic rides were his dreams. And dreams are forever.

It's so dang expensive
So many people ask how we can afford to go to Walt Disney World as often as we do. It’s simple, really. We research and we plan and we save and we make sacrifices. I did Swagbucks (note: if you decide to try Swagbucks, follow my referrel link so that we can get a bonus!) and turned my recipes into points that turn points into gift cards. I used Shopkick (use my code: SHOP421799 or click this link to download so we get the bonus) and coupons. I bought Disney Gift Cards from Target (5% Redcard savings) or Sam’s Club (about the same discount) and used the gift cards to pay off our trip. I bought Disney gear from Target when it was on sale or Dollar Tree if they had something we needed for our trip. We skipped distant vacations and opted for exploring nearby nature trails or only took one-day trips. We did have a family reunion in Colorado last year (which was the same year of our most recent WDW trip) but while most of our family stayed several days, we just stayed a couple of nights but were still able to fit in some mountain time. We saved change in a jar and sold items we no longer used. We turned gifts into gift cards and budgeted our grocery list carefully. Birthdays and Christmas were Disney gift cards or stuff we needed vs. stuff we wanted but didn’t need. We only ate out for special occasions and used the needs vs. wants method a lot while purchasing things. However, we never once felt like we were missing out on something during the years we saved for our trips. And in return, the days that we spent in Lake Buena Vista, Florida are some of the BEST memories we’ve ever created.
This paid for over half of our vacation. See above how we bought the Disney gift cards.

Disney put a spell on me
You often hear the phrase 'Disney Magic'. And to people who haven’t witnessed the Disney Magic, it’s hard to explain. For some, it’s an experience. For me, it’s a feeling. It’s a feeling that I can’t describe. It’s the same feeling I get when I see the castle that I got the first time I saw the castle. It’s the feeling I get when I hop on the Magical Express at MCO heading towards our resort. It’s the feeling I get when I smell the Main Street asphalt or the water on Splash Mountain. It’s the feeling I get when I hear the words, “¡Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas!” (Please stand clear of the doors) as I sit down on the seat of the Monorail. It’s the feeling I get when I see Mickey Mouse or any of the Disney characters whether it’s a commercial on TV or in the parade in the parks. There are simple sayings that all I have to do is hear them and I instantly teleport back to Walt Disney World (WDW fans will know this: “Paging Mr. Morrow. Mr. Tom Morrow"). Disney Magic is different for everyone. And until you experience it, it’s hard to understand the meaning of it.


At 36 years old, Walt Disney still brings out the kids in me. The nostalgic feeling of being in Walt Disney World and escaping reality is Disney’s catalyst to creating the Magic. It’s not known as ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ for no reason. And if someone tells me that they didn’t have a good time the last time they were at WDW, I simply tell them, “then you didn’t do Disney World right.”

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