Saturday, November 10, 2007
Our trip included a two-day tour of Disney's Magic Kingdom. All in all, it was successful and we had a very good time (even my old cynical self did).
Here are my official Frozen Chamorro Disney Tips:
Arriving at Disney:
When you arrive at Disney, you get to pay $11.00 for parking. If you give the guy a $5.00 bill and six dollar bills, he will cheerfully say to you, "Let me just make sure you didn't give me too much money." This is Disney-speak for: "Let me make sure you're not trying to jack me." Disney has the art of BS down to a science.
1. Do go in November. 95% of the rides were walk-on ready. The longest wait we had was 14 minutes.
2. Do bring in juice boxes and water bottles. Skip the snacks; your water bottles will crush the crackers you brought, and truthfully, your kids will want Disney snacks anyways. But at least this way you won't pay $3.00 for a bottle of water.
3. Do some research. In fact, do a lot of research. The park is so big and it's nice to go with some sense of direction and some good advice.
4. Do pay $6.95 for a cute autograph book if you don't have the forsight to bring one (see #3). Actually getting autographs is about the only FREE thing you get in Disney. And it's really fun. I was shocked at how excited I got over finding another character to sign our book; so excited in fact that I'm right there between my kids in our character photos.
5. Before you go to Disney, go to one of the two Character Wareshouses at Orlando outlet malls. It's Disney's dumping ground for stuff that didn't sell fast enough; it's good stuff, they just keep pushing it out at such a rate that they need shelf space. It is so worth it. Those huge fancy (tacky) Disney snow globes (dust collectors) which sell for about $75 in park go for $24 in the outlet. People were buying up like 4 at a time. Mouseketeer ears were at least 50% off.
6. Do keep your eye out for the little things. Little things to make you smile are around every corner.
7. Do realize that it is entirely possibly to eat your way around Disney World and blow your budget in a jiffy, especially with $7.00 smoked turkey legs at every corner.
8. Do be prepared to see hundreds of small girls traipsing around in fancy princess dresses which cost more than your wedding dress, hair slicked up with gobs of glitter hairspray, wearing more makeup than Jon Benet. Why mothers think this is cute (or worth paying $$$$ for) is beyond me. It gave us the creeps.
1. Don't expect your group to want to follow any sort of touring plan. Even if you do copious research and pay money to a website which allows you to print out Brilliant touring plans for two-days in the Magic Kingdom. Even if you review the plans with your spouse and make a pact to work as a team and stick to the plan. Your group will arrive at Disney and your spouse is certain to say, "Hey, how about finding Pirates of the Caribbean first?" If your first thought is to stomp your feet and shout, "Are you stupid?!? Pirates is Stop #3 on Day #2! See the plan!" it is best to keep it a thought.
2. Disney doesn't serve alcohol, so don't bother wasting your time trying to find it. Especially if you ignore Don't #1 and need a drink to get over the letdown of your group chucking your Type A Dream Plan.
3. Don't expect all of your kids to like the same things (see Atticus' face). Take turns hitting attractions so that you only have to listen to one child complain at a time.
4. Don't expect all Disney staff to be nice. We were amazed by the number of grumpy castmates.
5. If you are the pack leader, don't lose the park map. Your group will lose all gratitude of the amount of work you have tirelessly done and will turn on you in an instant.
18 hours of Disney touring, most of which is spent carrying a 2-year old who refuses the stroller, will induce a budget-oriented, somewhat fashion-conscious 32-year old woman into thinking that purchasing matching Goofy sweatshirts for the ENTIRE family is a fabulously adorable idea. (Fortunately, this scenario did not come to fruition due to el cheap-o skate-o husband for whom paramedics had to be summoned due to his price tag-induced faint).
The FINAL Advice:
Do let yourself have fun. Look at Disney through your kids' eyes. While some of it is just too over-the-top commercial, some things are breathtakingly wondrous.