Five Great Things
1) It’s Disney. The little ones truly think it’s all their favorite movies, books, and characters coming to life. It’s great to see Kenzie starstruck when the “real” Sleeping Beauty says hi to her.
2) The fanfare. The endless parades, fireworks, and general frivolity. It really is like a 12 hour party.
3) FastPass. It’s a Godsend when used well. You can “cut” lines legally which is priceless for the impatient kiddies and exhausted parents.
4) Serendipitous Disney employees. You just kind of run into them or they pull you aside – like the street sweeper who personally walked us out of the park when we were lost, the ride operator who gave us VIP front of the line pass to Pooh’s ride, and the train operator who pulled Kenzie aside and gave her a whistle to officially start the toy trains today at Epcot.
5) For the little girls, the hundreds of other little girls that you’ll run into all decked out in their princess gear. Kenzie has made many instant friends with fellow princesses and it’s a blast to see spontaneous ballroom dances emerge from a group of 10 little girl strangers in the main lobby as live Disney music is being played.
Five Not So Great Things
1) Getting here. It’s not Disney’s fault, but even just traveling from Philly to Orlando with a 1 year old and a 3 year old is a big hassle. Door to door it was 9hrs (with no naps!) As a result, you just kind of expect/hope everything to be perfect once you get here. You feel like you kind of deserve it after all that work and the money you spend.
2) The weather. Once again, not Disney’s fault, but we weren’t expecting weather in the 30’s for Florida in March. It has been warming up by late afternoon to the low 60s, but it just hasn’t felt like Florida. The beautiful pool has been serving as one big tease.
3) No wireless access is crippling for this Mommy blogger. It’s 2009 and the flagship Disney World Resort the Grand Floridian does not have in-room wireless? Epcot is all about future technology but the reality for resort guests is stuck in the past. Come on, get with it Disney! In room wired access is $10 a day and it kinda feels like they’re nickel and diming us.
4) Lack of attention to details, considering the “flagship” resort status (and pricetag!). A bunch of small things went wrong so far. Each one is small but all together they just kind of suck. Including, a broken down monorail this morning making a 10 minute commute to Epcot (to capitalize on the hour early opening for resort guests) take an hour and a half, a handful of rude/unhelpful employees, the Disney “Magical” Express (free resort transportation from the airport) added over 2 hours to our already long trip, a video game machine ate up $5 and no employee could help, our faucet was broken, our ice bucket was half full with water from the prior guest and we inadvertently spilled it, nobody offered to take our bags at check-in, getting double billed for our internet access and a very limited kid’s menu (except breakfast).
5) The crowds. Yeah, I guess there’s no avoiding it but the crowds are a real drag. All the people and the long lines are magnified with our little ones who exercise little patience. And who can blame them. On all the Disney commercials and brochures, they’ve been taught to expect that Disney is their kingdom just waiting for their arrival, so Kenzie has a tough time understanding why she always has to wait so long. You never see any crowds in any Disney marketing material – isn’t that funny!
Overall all, I’m a sucker for the manufactured “magic” and will come back in a heartbeat. My husband, on the other hand, is a bit more jaded and would be fine with never coming back again. But if his little princess and prince want to return, I know he’ll rally.