Is Disney worth it?
I’ve been quiet on the blog this week because I can’t keep my eyes open long enough to even think about communicating. Since arriving in Orlando last week, we have moved into a little condo that we arranged via house exchange (meaning at some point the owner of the condo will come stay in one of our cottages in exchange for our stay here). It is so nice to a) have a bedroom b) have a kitchen and c) be in one place for 11 days! We also arranged a pet-sitter via Dogvacay.com – what an awesome website. It is like an AirBnB, but for dogs!
We came here to go to Disney World. It is something we would have preferred to wait on for a few years, but since we were in the area and had time to burn before crossing into mexico, we made it a destination.
Out of our 11 days, we would spend 6 in the park. Since WDW is made up of 4 parks and each of those are huge, you could easily spend 10 days to do absolutely everything. Yet we wanted to have enough rest days to really enjoy the days we were at the park, so 6/11 sounded like a good balance. Plus, who needs to do everything anyway?
Our kids had never even been in a Disney store, nor amongst such crowds or excitement. On our first day, we decided to tackle “Downtown disney” as an initiation. This is basically a shopping area full of official Disney stores and restaurants without the rides (and hence, no entrance fee). We just let them run around the stores, touch everything and be totally overwhelmed by the merchandise. They each had $20 to spend on whatever they wanted (and thats “It” for the week!) and they both managed to spend all their money on the first day.
This turned out to be a super plan. The next day we had a “rest” day as they were exhausted from the excitement of just the shopping and were happy to play with their new toys.
Finally we went to Disney and it has been great fun for all of us. We’ve currently done 4 days (with 2 rest days) and have 2 more disney days with 1 rest day left. I love that since the kids have spent their money, we have no need to dwell in the gift shops (which at WDW are at the exit of every single ride!). They totally get it and are happy with just the rides and meeting the characters.
Millie at 6 years old is a perfect age for WDW. She is tall enough for every ride and loves them all (the faster the better!)…yet she is still young enough to enjoy the characters. I get asked at least 50 times per day “Is that real mama?”. It is funny to see her trying to figure out the real vs. pretend. Plus, it’s nice she can tough out the long days. Oh, and I am very happy to report that her favorite thing at WDW is NOT the princess castle – it is the roller coasters!
Andy at 3.9 years old is a bit young, but fortunately he is 40″ tall so can do almost everything. He LOVES the characters and the rides (again the faster the better!)…yet he is tired. The excitement, heat and long days are a lot for him. We still get him to nap in the afternoon (on our shoulders!), but even with our rest days, I think it will take him a week or so to recover from this!
And for us at ‘adult’ age, it is fun, totally beautiful and magical, yet also challenging. Parenting 2 tired, over-excited kids while running around in 30-40 deg is exhausting!
There are so, so many parents here with children under the age of 4. Gino and I just shake our heads and silently laugh. I don’t know what they are doing here. Why would anyone want to go through that? It is almost hilarious watching them trying to get their two year olds to pose for yet-another-picture with a character while the kid just wants to go jump in the puddles.
Anyway, the point of my post – yes I think Disney World is worth the experience. I’m really happy we came and we are having a wonderful time. However, my advice – don’t rush it, wait until the kids are old enough (6-17), come in september (low crowds) and put the camera down. Experience it for the memory of the moment, not the picture to take home. See it for real!
And that said…here are some pictures. ;-) Disney has a photographers placed all over the park, so it is cool to let them do the work for us! If for some reason you haven’t seen enough here, there are more on our flickr account (just click on any picture).
Tags: disney world