Thursday, August 14, 2008

Disney has ruined me!

Last year, at the tender age of 42, I experienced Disney for the first time in my life. My family and I spent a week at Disney World in Orlando, Florida and we spared no expense!

I was kind of skeptical about the whole Disney thing when my husband suggested it. He spent about six months researching and booking reservations for character lunches (lunch with Winnie the Pooh at the Crystal Palace) and learning the best strategies for visiting the parks (arrive when the park opens, go back to the hotel for lunch and a swim, head back in the evening when things have cooled off a little). I made fun of him the entire time but, once we got there, I was kissing his feet. His planning made our trip that much more perfect!

We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge which was a beautiful hotel! Just walking into the lobby made all our jaws drop to the floor! It had two beautiful swimming pools, two fabulous restaurants, a very cool gift shop, bunk beds made out of logs in our room and an erupting geyser outside!

I have to believe there is some kind of evil underbelly of systematic brainwashing to explain how perfect and sparkly everything was there. I've bought a few books to find out how it's done. I've grown too cynical to believe that things can be this good without some kind of horrible price being paid by someone. Isn't that sad?! Anyone with stories from the inside that prove my theory, please comment!

Here's a few more special memories from our Disney experience:

A signature from a REAL Power Ranger

Watching live rays during our wait to see Crush the turtle at Epcot

Giant fruit bats in Animal Kingdom

Zapping Zurg at the Magic Kingdom

Before this experience, I would go to local amusement parks (Kings Island, Cedar Point, and Kings Dominion) and think they were awesome. Things have changed since that Disney trip last summer.

Yesterday, we took the kids to Kings Dominion for the day and I saw the park in a completely different light. The food was terrible, the park looked dingy (especially the bathrooms), the characters were 2-dimensional, and the employees all looked crabby and tired.

Our kids are apparently too cool to pose with characters anymore so my husband and I did it instead. Below is Scott with Cosmo.

The only difference between my perception this summer and last is our trip to Disney. It has raised the bar and there's no going back now. Thankfully it doesn't seem to have had the same impact on the kids. They were just as happy riding the rides yesterday as they were last summer. The only thing they complained about was the fact that I stuck to my guns and did not buy them a single souvenir. They couldn't believe that I didn't crack!

The kids rode this one twice and it was actually a very pretty ride!


Jack and Joann said...

Hi Life Junkie,

I agree that Disney spoils you for other amusement parks. If you come to my blog and look to your right under LABELS you will see the subject DISNEYWORLD ORLANDO. Click on it to bring it up and then follow the posts down to September 30, 2007.
That was the day I wrote a long, long post about the behind the scenes of Disney tour that we had just taken. You will learn a lot about how it all works. This tour last about 5 hours or so with a break as a group for lunch and with two rides thrown in: the haunted house and cruise on the river.

By the way our oldest daughter got married in 2005 at the Wedding Pavilon in the Floridian DisneyWorld Resort. It was amazing how Disney works with a bridal party to throw a wedding. Our younger daughter went three weeks ago with her boyfriend and his family to Disneyworld. (He had just returned from Iraq with the VA National Guard.)

Would love to talk Disney with you after you read my post.

By the way I grew up in Ohio but now live in Virginia.

Sara said...

I'm glad you guys had a lot of fun. I haven't been to Disney world my other half has, but I've gone to Disneyland a bunch of times. I loved it.