Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Most Magical Place on Earth

I admit, before our trip I never understood people's obsessions with Disney. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the mouse. Well, not so much the mouse, but the huge corporate mentality that has risen since the demise of Walt: movies that didn't need to be made (think Hunchback), mergers and buyouts of other studio, and poor television programing. Before my recent trip, I mourned the Wonderful World of Disney that I remember as a child. So, when planning our visit, I said this was a once in a lifetime trip. We weren't going to be those people who go every year or so. I'm eating those words now.

The vision and greatness the was Walt Disney is alive and well in Orlando, Florida. It really is a dream vacation. Everything in the place moves like clockwork: the entrance lines, the transportation, the ride lines, the food service, everything. The people that work there are smiling and friendly ALL the TIME. For rides that little kids can't go on, there seemed to be some kind of entertainment nearby: a play area, bubbles, or hula-hopping. Adults can go on every ride--no letting your kid ride without you and worrying that they might try to stand up. Every ride is superbly themed, so even the wait is enjoyable. In fact, we got a fast pass for the Winnie-the Pooh ride and I regretted it. The entire line was a giant play area. Fast pass at Disney, unlike other parks, is free. They also have a parent swap program which made it easy for Glen and I to ride everything we wanted to without the kids waiting too long. We had a few minor issues with our reservations, and the hotel staff was so friendly and worked very quickly to resolve everything. We lost our camera the last day. One of the stores in Downtown Disney let me back in after hours to check, and I swear they were just as relived and happy that I found my camera as I was. Magical hours really are magical: short lines and a sense of being special. The fireworks at both Magic Kingdom and Epcot were visions to behold and happen every night. The kids went to bed late and were up early and there were hardly any meltdowns. Who can be sad and unhappy when there are so many things to see and do. And, because of the ease and lack of stress, I was able to relax and enjoy my husband and kids in a way that I don't get to on most vacations. And that is really the joy of a Disney vacation and why we'll be going back again and again.