It’s impossible to escape the force of nature that is the Disney brand, and some may ask, why would you want to? It’s magical, dammit. I spent a few summer vacations as a child basking in the gloriousness that is Disney World, and I daresay that when my nuggets are a little bit older (and I don’t have to skip out on riding rides to sit with a stroller) then my family will go as well. There is something dream like and wonderful about the entire experience. However, it will surely make me unpopular, but there are some solid reasons that I can’t stand Disney.
1. Disney is expensive
First and foremost, Disney isn’t your everyday amusement park, it’s an experience—and not a cheap one at that. For most parks, the biggest cost you will probably incur is the tickets themselves, but for Disney, there’s a long lineup of expenses that seem to grow every year as the experience continues to top itself. Who wants to stay at the Hilton when you can sell a kidney and stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and wake up to the sight of giraffes from your balcony? Would the fairy tale experience be complete without a spa day for little girls at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique? I’m not ashamed to say that I want to do all the cool things with my kids, but my paycheck simply won’t allow it. How can I possibly go home without doing a character breakfast with Mickey and Minnie?!
There are some slick ways that you can make your Disney vacation affordable, but most of us want to do it all. And with the money you throw down for the ultimate Disney trip, you could’ve taken the kids to Europe. (There’s a Disneyland in Paris, don’t worry.)
2. Disney is crowded
Disney is a busy place. According to Travel + Leisure, four the 20 most visited attractions in the world are Disney parks. This means that there are a ton of people there on any given day. You may catch a break while visiting the Florida properties in January and February, but for the majority of the parks and the majority of the year, visitors flock to see the Mouse. So expect to wait in some crazy long lines and don’t even think about eating on the fly. If you want to eat at some of the fabulous Disney restaurants, make your reservations 180 days in advance when they open up, otherwise it’s got to be PB&J’s for your crew—which is actually a really great way to save a few bucks!
3. Disney is overwhelming
Once again, Disney is an experience, and you don’t want to miss out. Parades, light shows, special events—there’s always something fabulous going on at these parks. As much fun as this can be, I personally find it to be a tad overwhelming. To make the most of your day, you’ve got to stick to a schedule. In fact, lots of people hire tour guides to direct them in which rides to rides, places to visit, and ultimately how to move about the parks so they can make the most of their days. While Disney parks are certainly places to have magical experiences, they aren’t exactly great locations for laid back ones.
4. Disney lacks discovery
Vacation means something different for everyone. My little brood is made up of explorers. The big, fabulous rides at Disney parks are an incredible amount of fun, but they don’t leave much space for exercise or discovery. We like to hike, swim and learn when our trips allow it. My kids take part in snowshoeing, visiting museums, whitewater rafting, finding creatures and everything in between. These kinds of organic experiences just aren’t something you will get from the living piece of imagination that is Disney.
5. Disney is….
I can’t even think of a fifth reason. Disney parks are awesome, and every child—and adult—deserves to experience that magic at some point. The best way to do that, however, is to put some serious thought into your budget, plan on going when you can beat the crowds, don’t over schedule your experience, and maybe look some some other local activities to bring the destination alive for your family.
But that’s just me though. What’s your take on Disney parks?