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Please help me to not hate Disney!

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    Please help me to not hate Disney!

    I'm going for over a week this time. Why, if I hate it? Simple - I love my 4 year old child more than I hate Disney.

    We went when he was 2 and a half. He mostly was into stairs back than.

    It was HOT. Blazing sun, sweating, drenching yourself and him in sunblock, standing in those stupid lines for a cheezy 3 minute ride. My eyes were too sensitive from all the sun even with hat and sunglasses.

    Food SUCKED. "Family restaurants" means cheap deep fried trash with fast food smell, and higher end ones were just edible but with NYC prices.

    It is crowded, hard to walk, people everywhere, distances huge, parking far, even VIP.

    I would not imagine why anyone would go voluntarily, if they did not have kids. I visited 4 parks, and this theme was throughout. It is just not worth standing in line and fighting crowds in that treeless oven of a place for what you get.

    But, DH has a work function there at the resort, so since his hotel and flight will be paid for, it seems like we have to take advantage of a good deal and let my son experience it, just like his peers.
    We are staying at the Dolphin this time, and I was hoping you guys could give some tips that will make our stay a little bit better.

    There must be a good place to eat in Orlando somewhere, I just haven't found it yet. I mean I enjoy backpacking and can find great food from street stalls in third world countries, but I can't meet this challenge in Orlando.

    Any other tips? (Short of "rent a disabled person" for your trip to skip the line - I'm not really comfortable with that).

    I'm going this July. We're only doing 2 days at the Magic Kingdom. And, we're doing the fast pass thing to avoid the lines.

    I know it will be hot, and the food will be pricey, but I can stand on my head for 2 days. I should be ok.


      Just don't go.
      "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

      "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass


        Anyone who goes to disney in june, july, or august deserves to have a miserable time. My friend was just there 3 weeks ago and had a great time. No crowds, could practically walk up to any ride and get on with only a few minutes wait. You're better off dragging your kids outta school during the off peak months. Heck that goes for any popular vacation spot. If you're headed to the beach on the east coast then you dont have much of a choice though.

        Also, life is too short to hate on a place. If you dont like it...go somewhere else. There's only a couple hundred thousand other places you could go for the same amount of money you're going to spend there.
        Last edited by rennigade; 02-18-2015, 07:23 AM.


          We are going in April. It is still hot. Last time we were there in April and I was dying.

          It is a bargain since employer is paying for DH's flight and hotel room (who will be working in air conditioned conference room) while I can take my son to a place everyone is supposed to love. And it is age appropriate for him.

          I'm asking here because I know there are people here, like Disneysteve, who love Disney. And I would like to know what they love about it and how their experience is different and how I can enjoy myself.


            Originally posted by Joan.of.the.Arch View Post
            Just don't go.

            I was just telling my spouse he should take the kids next Spring. (He has family in Orlando and I can't go in Spring, so this plan sounds good to me! I doubt they will even bother going to Disney.)

            If you do go, go mid-week spring or fall. I don't know if I have ever waited in the line in D-World or D-Land, and I wouldn't have the patience to. Fast Pass is nice.

            I think the weather in Orlando is hell on Earth. & Fall is the only time of year I have been there! (SO HOT and humid).


              Wow! So many haters here . Folks, you're talking about the happiest place on earth!

              Nika, I'm at work and don't have time to give a full answer but I promise I will get back to you later. Just to give you some perspective, I've been to Disney World 32 times. The last 7 trips were 10-14 day stays in August the past 7 years.

              So yes, we love it. My daughter has been 21 times - she's 19.

              So hang tight and I'll PM you with some suggestions to better enjoy your experience.

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.


                We love Disney! No kids, but we love it!

                However, we go in January. Last January went for 3 days. We stayed in the Pop Century resort (I think that's what it's called - one of the cheaper resorts). But because it was a Disney property we go bus service and the fast pass bands. It was an AMAZING visit! We rode all the best rides in every park 7 or 8 times. No lines. Ran up to the front of everything and didn't even NEED the fast pass bands. Thought the food was fine. Had a few exceptional meals, actually. One BBQ fast service place in the animal park was exceptional. Had most dinners out in Orlando.

                Go in the off season or don't go it you hate it so much.

                It's not a "bargain" or a "deal" if you hate it. And if you're miserable your kid isn't going to have any fun either...


                  It's something I enjoyed as a young kid, but have never enjoyed as an adult. Admission is expensive, it's hot, lines can be long, food is expensive and choices are limited, there are rude people, and screaming children -I'm not a fan of either. Now you know why they're called "theme" parks, because they all have the same theme

                  My suggestion would be to limit your park adventure to just 1-2 days and be done, doing it during the weekdays if you'll be in the area for an entire week. It's more about your kid, and less about you. Visiting theme parks is probably one of the great parental sacrifices.

                  I love Disney movies. The parks--not so much.


                    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Disney! Maybe I can help

                    We just got back from 8 days there on Sunday. I have never gone in April but this was my 3rd time there in February and we love that time of year. DH and I hate crowds. This is a cooler, less crowded time to go. Sounds like you'll be there around spring break time, and crowds will be much higher. Since you are locked in to going at that particular time, do your researchahead of time and find out what parks are the least crowded on which days. For example, our 2nd trip, we went to Magic Kingdom on a Monday. NEVER DO THAT. The crowds were insane, even for an "off" time of year, and we were so disgusted that we gave up on any rides and went home.

                    Here's the link to the crowd calendar.


                    Since the Swan is not technically a Disney property but they do get a lot of the same benefits, I'm not sure if you can book your Fastpasses 30 or 60 days ahead (it's 60 days for those staying on property, 30 days for everyone else). But either way, smart use of your Fastpasses is the best way to ensure you're not trying to keep your 4 year old entertained on a 90 minute line for something he really wants to do. We found that the best way to do it was to book fastpasses for early afternoon, and ride everything that we don't have Fastpass for first thing in the morning. At Magic Kingdon, we got through the Peter Pan ride, Its a Small World, Winnie the Pooh, and Mickey's Philharmagic all by 10:30. If you wait to do Peter Pan or Winnie the Pooh later without a fastpass, you'll wait at least an hour for each. Never use Fastpass for a show, you don't need them and it doesn't get you any special seating. Magic Kingdom was really the only place we had a lot of popular rides that we wanted to do, and only 3 fastpasses a day that we had to prioritize. You definitely want to get a fastpass for Jungle Cruise, Seven Dwarves Mine Train, and maybe Haunted Mansion. Pirates of the Carribean doesn't have a very long wait if you go first thing in the morning.

                    Yes, food is horrendously overpriced. We always do the dining plan since my boys are at an age where they love the character meals. We know that otherwise we would talk ourselves out of doing things that they would love just because of the cost. I feel that you sacrifice food quality for character meals, but we try to balance it out. If your son likes Disney Jr shows, we really like lunch at Hollywood & Vine - it has Jake, Handy Manny, Sophia, and Doc McStuffins). As for other character meals, the food at Tusker House was really good, as was breakfast at Ohana. Chef Mickeys is fun for the characters, but the food isn't very good. For quick service meals, I recommend Be Our Guest (I think they are going to reservations for lunch, but it's still considered a quick service meal) or Pecos Bills Cafe. We ate at Boma for dinner one night, not a character meal, and it was terrific. We always bring a box of cheerios and granola bars and eat breakfast in our room, and then just do lunch and dinner at the park or at our resort. Since you're not using the Disney dining plan, unless your son has a big appetite, get one meal for the both of you and split it - portions are usually very big! That will save you quite a bit of money.

                    If there are things you know your son will want to buy, get them ahead of time and bring them with you. We wound up going to Target one afternoon for something and bought the boys shirts for $9 each and they were $25 at the parks. The first year we went, we bought clearance stuffed animals from and saved a fortune.

                    So bottom line is, use the crowd calendar, use Fastpass, and prioritize the things you and your son want to do (for both time and money). Sorry, I know I got a little long winded That's how much I love Disney though!


                      I just took my kids to Disney last June, as work had a convention in Orlando, and ex wife took 4 days off work to drive kids down, meet me at park, then take kids home while I stayed for a week long convention.

                      It had its ups and downs, as I did not research the trip beforehand.

                      A few tips, the fast pass suggestion is a good one. We received that advice about 5 hours into our first park, and it made the next day and a half more enjoyable.

                      If you have a picky diet, then I would plan for that, not complain about it.
                      There are ticket plans with meal plans, and when I go again I will look into those.

                      My kids had a GREAT time, and I am happy both their mother and I could share their first experience at Disney together even though we are divorced.


                        Originally posted by ua_guy View Post

                        My suggestion would be to limit your park adventure to just 1-2 days and be done, doing it during the weekdays if you'll be in the area for an entire week.
                        I think this is good advice. We have certainly enjoyed Disney in the past, but our personal limit has always been just one or two days.


                          Also some great advice I may have heard here or somewhere else. Do not stick to a hard schedule and force your kid to do things they do not want to do. Meaning if they're tired and getting cranky...head back to the room and let them take a nap. If they're hungry but you'd rather not eat in another 2 hours...get them food. Keep your kid happy and you'll have a much better time...or so I hear from others who provided this info.

                          Disney is massive. You'll only be able to see a fraction of it for the time you're going to be there. Take it easy.


                            I would be surprised if anyone would be able to win you over. It doesn't sound like Disney is your thing.

                            I typically go 4 times a year. I agree with you that it gets hot in APR. We have rules--we don't like to go between APR and OCT. It looks like Easter is Apr 5th this year. I hope you are not going the week before or the week after Easter because it will be super crowded. The last 3 weeks of APR will have an uptick in crowds due to spring break crowds (still busy--just not as bad as the weeks wrapped around Easter).

                            I like going in the Spring for the Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT. There are some additional things to see and do like awesome topiaries around the park, some special play areas for the kids. Flower Power concerts. But, if you aren't feeling the theming I doubt you'd want to invest much time checking it out.

                            I also agree with the advance FPes. Now-a-days you have to buy your admission media and link it to a My Disney Experience account so that you can make your advance selections. (I don't recollect if staying at The Dolphin lets you make them 60 days in advance, but you could call and ask). You can get a My Disney Experience AP on your smart phone. It makes it easier to make adjustments when you are there. You can make 3FP+ selections in advance per park per day. (You can get more FPes on the day of at the park after you have used your first 3). Note: we don't spend all day in the parks "commando style".

                            Food. Well, yup, it's expensive. On our last visit over NYE week I would say our best table service was at Shula's (which is at the Dophin. ) Our best "counter service" experience was at Be Our Guest Restaurant (for lunch). We also went over to Port Orleans for some great beignets. Kona Café was another favorite for lunch. We had a few "misses", too.

                            Good luck with your planning.


                              One positive for staying at the Dolphin is that you will be about a 10 min boat ride from The Disney Studios and about a 15 min boat ride to EPCOT.

                              One not so positive is you will have to take a bus (or your rental car) to get to the Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom. Sometimes the buses to the parks are shared with a couple of the resorts.
                              Last edited by Like2Plan; 02-18-2015, 11:19 AM.