We have been dreading it for almost seven years now, but the time has finally come. We must let go of all of our preconceived notions and prepare ourselves for this journey, which we feel is our duty. We do know it is going to cost us greatly. And will test our patience, kindness and bond as a family unit.
But beyond that, we just can’t be sure what will happen.
We have been told it will be magical. We have been told it will make us feel like kids again ourselves. We have been told that while it will come at a high price, it will all be worth it when we see the pure bliss on their little faces. We have been told it is truly the happiest place on Earth.
Yes, it is our time to load up the family truckster and make the trek to Walt Disney World with the kids.
“We will take you when you are 5 and 7,” has always been our standard reply once they started asking. They think it has to do with their heights and ability to appreciate the rides, which it does to some extent. But we also chose those ages because we thought they would still be young enough to enjoy the characters and rides, but old enough to create those magical memories and remember them, so that we may never have to do this again.
Look, we may be pleasantly surprised. We know people who go several times a year and they don’t seem like crazy people, so maybe our minds will be “magically” changed.
But I think Frank and I are dreading it so because neither of us rank amusement parks or attractions anywhere near the top of our lists of ideal vacations.
I want to be on a beach, reading books and trash magazines while my children swim and bury each other in the sand. Maybe we will go out to eat once and to a movie if it rains, but otherwise our plan is to have no plans. #purebliss
Frank’s ideal adventure would be a trip to a metropolitan city or some foreign land. He always tries to find interesting things to do to avoid tourist traps and things to do off the beaten path that the “locals” enjoy.
So journeying to a place where you have to book things six months in advance and then schedule FastPass rides so you don’t have to stand in line AS LONG, and a place where there are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites and blogs dedicated to telling novices like us how to navigate it so it won’t be miserable — well, that just doesn’t seem very fun to US.
But this trip isn’t about us, it’s about them, so we will stand in those lines and buy overpriced plush Mickeys and Elsas and eat the most expensive chicken fingers we have ever eaten in Cinderella’s castle because, by God, this is going to be the best freaking week of their little lives and by the time we are done they are going to feel like the characters in the Disney movies we have watched nine million times over the years.
Of course, if Frank and I also start to feel like the parents in these movies, that will not be good for us because that would mean we are probably dead.
Perhaps it is the impending stress of this trip that has caused me to notice this more and more, but Disney murders parents in many of their movies, especially the mothers. If the dad does survive, apparently he can only find homicidal maniacs to date on eHarmony.
Think about it.
Cinderella loses her mom and dad and is left with an evil stepmother and stepsisters.
Bambi. Poor Bambi. Absentee father (typical buck) and mother slaughtered by a hunter.
Snow White’s mom? You guessed it. Dead shortly after her birth and of course her dad marries a crazy bitch who talks to a magic mirror and orders some dude to take Snow White out in the woods to kill her.
Belle’s mother in “Beauty and the Beast?” Dead as a doornail.
Ariel’s mom in “The Little Mermaid?” Yeah, poor Queen Athena was killed by pirates who invaded their cove.
We know what happens to Simba’s dad in “The Lion King.” But at least they finally killed a daddy.
Speaking of paternal death, in “The Good Dinosaur” the dinosaur’s pops is swept away in a flood as he watches. He then meets a “caveboy,” whose parents are both taking a dirt nap.
Elsa and Anna’s parents in “Frozen?” Tragically lost at sea.
Mowgli’s parents lost him in the jungle. And I don’t think Tarzan’s parents fared much better.
Sofia the First probably wouldn’t have become “a princess overnight” if her own dad hadn’t died (presumably) so her mom could marry a bachelor king with two kids whose wife is certainly six feet under as well.
No sign of Andy’s father in “Toy Story.” Probably an unfortunate accident involving that reckless pizza delivery driver. And probably why poor Andy is so attached to a male toy/cowboy role model that he considers taking Woody to college with him. #weird #dontshowwoodytoyourroommate #daddyissues
Mickey and Minnie’s folks? I’m guessing traps or poison.
I’m not sure if Lightning McQueen has parents, but if he does I’m quite certain they’re rusting away in a junkyard.
And yeah, yeah, yeah, I know Disney didn’t write all of these tales but they certainly chose to adapt even the ones they didn’t pen themselves.
Should we be nervous to take the kids to a place where parental death is so celebrated? With kingdoms full of orphaned characters roaming around? I sure hope they are engaging in group therapy after the park closes every night.
It just seems a bit morbid and sad to me. Are they sure it isn’t the most depressing place on Earth?
I don’t know. I am sure it will be grand and Frank and I will probably survive (as they’ll need us to pay for things). And we may even love it too.
But just to be safe, I think it may be wise for us to stay away from the Jungle Cruise and anything involving pirates.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.
It looks like you are opening this page from the Facebook App. This article needs to be opened in the browser.
iOS: Tap the three dots in the top right, then tap on "Open in Safari".
Android: Tap the Settings icon (it looks like three horizontal lines), then tap App Settings, then toggle the "Open links externally" setting to On (it should turn from gray to blue).