"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Friday, April 11, 2014

Refuting The Top 14 Reasons Not To Go To Disney, Part 7

So I'm happily looking at my Facebook newsfeed the other day and one of those "Sponsored" things is up there. It's from a site called Viral Travel (which sounds like a bad idea on the face of it) and is entitled 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney. Of course I bite. Sue me. So its about what I expect, the same things we Disney fans expect from you non-Disney fans-- crowds, expense, capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, many of these criticisms are true to a large extent, but avoidable. I hate to see people get spoiled on the Disney I love because they go about the whole experience unprepared logistically or mentally for the realities of the place. I figured just for kicks to take the 13 reasons one by one (or two by two) and try to explain why they don't keep ME from the Magic. This part four, part one is here, two here, three here, four here, five here, and six here.

4. The Nightly Parades Shut Everything Down

 Every night, the Disney crew puts on a very special parade complete with floats, music and lots of dancing. There are other parades that are held in different areas during the day, but they are relatively small and fairly easy to get around.

Just try to get to the other side of the park for that one last ride during the nightly parades, and you will be shocked at how much of the park instantly becomes essentially inaccessible. Even better, the nightly parades are the same thing over and over. Everyone stands and watches the first one they see, but by the second night you start to realize it is just the same boring thing as before.

The parade route is patrolled by the most overzealous Disney employees ever, and they do their best job to mimic the behaviors of a rabid junkyard dog as they tell everyone they cannot walk through a pathway well before the parade has even started.

Because of these lovely employees, if you don’t get to the area of the park where you want to stay until the parade is over, you will be stuck where you are until the ridiculous nightly procession finally ends.

Uh, no. No they don't.  You may have to walk around the lines or go the long way round rather than through the hub in front of the Cinderella Castle, but the nightly parade, nor the multiple daytime parades, shuts nothing down. If you see a Disney cast member acting like "a rabid junkyard dog" at ANY time, let me know. Yes, they try to keep you from being run down by Elliot, but they are ridiculously nice about it.
Elliot. Don't fling yourself in front of him.

We love watching the parades, but the writer is correct in that they are pretty much the same each time. This isn't a bad thing at all, though, as the parade draws such a crowd that parade time is a great time to visit the attractions. Getting around can be tricky, but the parade times and routes are well advertised. You are best to avoid Main Street at Electrical parade time, for example. But you CAN do as Lisa and I did once and ride Splash Mountain a few times until the parade is going by while you are on the ride and you get to watch the Electrical Parade from the top of the big drop.

I want to see THIS parade. Lots of times.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Refuting The 13 (now apparently 14) Reasons Not To Go To Disney, Part 6

So I'm happily looking at my Facebook newsfeed the other day and one of those "Sponsored" things is up there. It's from a site called Viral Travel (which sounds like a bad idea on the face of it) and is entitled 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney. Of course I bite. Sue me. So its about what I expect, the same things we Disney fans expect from you non-Disney fans-- crowds, expense, capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, many of these criticisms are true to a large extent, but avoidable. I hate to see people get spoiled on the Disney I love because they go about the whole experience unprepared logistically or mentally for the realities of the place. I figured just for kicks to take the 13 reasons one by one (or two by two) and try to explain why they don't keep ME from the Magic. This part four, part one is here, two here, three here, four here and five here.


5. The Mouse Ears And Other Hats Are Embarrassing


Even though it’s a tradition, the little mouse ears sold at the park are embarrassing, not only to wear but to also see others wearing. If you have not been to a Disney resort in a while, you will be amazed at how many different kinds of mouse ears are available to buy.

There are pirate mouse ears, ears that are themed for weddings, glow-in-the-dark ears, light-up ears, and even Jack Skellington mouse ears. Pretty much any tacky design you can think of that has anything to do with Disney has been used to make a special set of mouse ears.

Even worse, people wear the ears in the park like they are a badge of honor, just like that story about the emperor’s snazzy new clothes everyone obviously could see. Of course, if you don’t want to wear a set of ridiculous mouse ears, you can put on a Goofy or Peter Pan hat like you’re a hyperactive five year-old instead of a respectable adult.

The worst part is if you are unfortunate to have your picture taken while wearing the mouse ears, that picture might make its way onto social media for all of your friends to ridicule.

This one is personal. I like hats. I like funny hats, odd hats, unusual hats. I am a very responsible adult, I dare say possibly more responsible than a guy writing for a fly-by-night travel blog for a living. Just perhaps. I wear funny hats at Disney. I don't wear Mouse Ears because they tend to fall off my head, but I have a plaid Santa hat with mouse ears on it. I have a ridiculous safari hat. One of the things I was looking forward to on our last trip was buying a safari hat with mouse ears on it, but I was unable to find one. I was sad.

Safari Hat, sadly no Ears

If you are embarrassed at seeing other adults in funny hats, you need to forgo your Disney vacation and spend that money on therapy. Really, you'll thank me later.

As for being embarrassed to wear a silly hat in the parks yourself, that's a little  bit of a different matter. We are socialized to be safe, socially, to fit in and not do anything to stand out. We are taught to be Team Players in the best sense and drones in the collective in the worst. Certainly we need to conform to basic norms for society to function and for groups within that society to efficiently do what they need to do. Wearing Mickey Ears to your job might be a bad idea. But Disney isn't work, it's a fantasy land, a play world, a stage for showing off parts of yourself that wouldn't be easy or safe to display in the real world. That's what all those people in the Mickey Ears get that this writer misses. They (we) are having FUN, we are being silly in a place where silliness is celebrated.If that offends you, I feel really sorry for you.
Mouse Ears Santa Hat

But I'm a firm believer in carrying that freedom to be silly sometimes outside the parks. Disney has turned it into a marketing campaign with their whole Show Your Disney Side thing, but I have been a proponent of sometimes not running with the crowd for years. I wear my Mickey Ears Santa hat around a lot, to parties, parades, even work. I have a Goofy shirt that is just plain goofy. I'll dress up in odd cloths with the smallest of excuses. It's liberating, really, to simply not care what people say about you on social media or anywhere else. It's not your friends making fun, anyone who is isn't a friend and why should his or her opinion matter? Worried your boss might see? Ever stop to think that your boss may be your boss and not a drone him or herself because maybe he or she isn't an in-the-box thinker? Successful people break molds, they go outside the normal. Live a little. If it starts with a Mickey Ear hat on vacation, all the better. You might just bring some of that silliness home with you and find out that often silliness is simply another word for creativity and imagination. And those are the things that open doors.

I wore this get-up to a birthday party for our friends' son. It was Renaissance themed, so why not? The mom and dad were also dressed up and also my lovely wife.  I got the stink-eye the whole time from the Cool Kids, but really, who cares?  Life's just too short :-)



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Refuting The Top 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney, Part 5

So I'm happily looking at my Facebook newsfeed the other day and one of those "Sponsored" things is up there. It's from a site called Viral Travel (which sounds like a bad idea on the face of it) and is entitled 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney. Of course I bite. Sue me. So its about what I expect, the same things we Disney fans expect from you non-Disney fans-- crowds, expense, capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, many of these criticisms are true to a large extent, but avoidable. I hate to see people get spoiled on the Disney I love because they go about the whole experience unprepared logistically or mentally for the realities of the place. I figured just for kicks to take the 13 reasons one by one (or two by two) and try to explain why they don't keep ME from the Magic. This part four, part one is here, two here, three here, and four here.

6. The Food Is Insanely Expensive


You know it’s bad when movie theater concessions look like a bargain in comparison. Have you ever paid $8 for a hot dog? At Disneyland you can have that privilege.

Anyone else notice a trend here? Everything is "insane" it seems. I wonder about that...

And just for the record, hot dogs are $7.79 with fries at Casey's Corner in the Magic Kingdom or $5.25 from a cart in either Storybrook Circus or Frontierland. Been to a ball game lately? I challenge you to find a cheaper hot dog at a major league ballpark.

Yes, food in the Disney parks is not as inexpensive as you could find outside the parks. But ALL theme parks are like that. And the circus. And the fair. And concerts. And sporting events. Anywhere you are a captive audience, you will be charged more for food. Welcome to capitalism.

The Lapu Lapu
One of the reasons we love Disney, though, is the food. Sure you can get burgers and dogs and mac-n-cheese, but you can also eat sushi and baklava and dole whips and Hawaiian barbeque and wiener schnitzel and creme brulee and pretty much anything else you can imagine. You can eat these things in a pagoda or a fish tank or with Winnie the Pooh or Cinderella. You can listen to your wedding song played on a ukulele while drinking a fruity rum concoction from a pineapple then watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from your table while you finish your meal with bread pudding.

I'll just say that our last trip both the Lapu Lapu (the aforementioned pineapple drink) and breakfast lasagna
were life-changing experiences. 

Disney isn't about an $8 hotdog, even if that was the price. It's about having experiences you can't have in the real world, and for our family many of these experiences involve food.

Oh, and if you love food as much as we do, look into the Disney Dining Plan. This is basically pre-paying for your meals during your trip. You get, with our favorite option, a snack (we use this for breakfast usually), a counter service meal and a table service meal for each day of your trip.  It's a good deal if you are foodies and tend to clean your plate. But it is worth a whole post, or series of posts, on its own.



Monday, March 31, 2014

Refuting The Top 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney, Part 4

So I'm happily looking at my Facebook newsfeed the other day and one of those "Sponsored" things is up there. It's from a site called Viral Travel (which sounds like a bad idea on the face of it) and is entitled 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney. Of course I bite. Sue me. So its about what I expect, the same things we Disney fans expect from you non-Disney fans-- crowds, expense, capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, many of these criticisms are true to a large extent, but avoidable. I hate to see people get spoiled on the Disney I love because they go about the whole experience unprepared logistically or mentally for the realities of the place. I figured just for kicks to take the 13 reasons one by one (or two by two) and try to explain why they don't keep ME from the Magic. This part four, part one is here, two here, and three here.


10. The Princesses Are Snobby


If your kids (or you, for some sick reason) really want to meet the princesses, you have to stand in a long line for more time than even the hottest rides. Once you get up there, you get the crap shoot as far as which princesses are there. To top it off, most of them think they’re pretty hot stuff because nobody told them they aren’t real princesses.


8. Seeing Your Favorite Character Means More Lines

You don’t have to wait in crazy lines just to see the princesses. Disney has decided to not let the characters really roam free in the park. Instead, there are designated areas where you can wait to meet various characters. The newer the character, the longer the line can be, with the hot new ones commanding a 4 hour-plus wait.

The infuriating thing about this whole list is the swing, often within the same paragraph, from truth to complete fabrication. Reason 10 is a great example. Yes, since Frozen was released and became the highest grossing animated feature of all time, the lines for Elsa and Anna have been huge, sometimes reaching a four hour wait. That is more than I've ever seen for a ride. Everything else in that paragraph is utterly false.

The Princesses are not "snobby." I've met a few myself and never had a bad experience. I spend a stupid
Magic, not snobbery
amount of time looking at Disney-related social media and blogs and message boards, much of which is populated with complaints about every aspect of Disney imaginable, and I've never once heard a complaint about a rude character actor. I asked my Disney Geek pal Jen about her experiences as she and her son Max are true Character Hounds with likely over 100 meet and greets under their belts and she couldn't recall even one meet that was less than lovely, particularly with the Princesses. Think about it for a minute. This is a plum job, a stepping stone and resume enhancer like no other. Disney can recruit and choose only the best, most entirely invested people to portray their characters in the parks. The idea that someone with any chance of being "snotty" to a guest would be hired is ludicrous. I mean, I'm still here trying to think of where on Earth the writer came up with this "snobby" idea. I simply don't get it.

I am also completely at a loss as to who can't read the sign or even look at the front of the line to see who they are getting in line to meet. If you don't know which princess is waiting at the end of the line, it's completely your own fault. Not only will there be a sign, and likely a cast member if you can't find a sign, but character meets are advertised in the daily schedule handed out as you enter the park. Downloading the My Disney Experience app to your smartphone will also give you access to a real-time list of every meet and great in every park. Really, it's not rocket science.

But let's be honest, just knowing who is in what line isn't always the goal. Sometimes you have certain characters you wish to meet. Reason 8 here is correct in that there are tons of characters spread throughout all the parks and finding the ones you really MUST see requires a bit of, must I say it again, planning. Here I  once again asked the advice of  Jen, the experienced Character Hound.

First and foremost, she says, prioritize. Decide who you MUST see and schedule around that. Besides the MDE app and the Times Guide, there are websites devoted to Disney character meets, the best by far being Kenny the Pirate. Kenny has all sorts of tips that can help you find exactly who you are looking for, often when others can't, leaving a short wait time. Once you find the characters you're looking for, grab a FastPass (yes there are FastPasses for some meets) or simply try to be the first in line. Many characters don't have much more than a 10 or 15 minute wait, but the hugely popular ones, like Elsa and Anna, will have huge lines. Get a FastPass or get there early. It'a matter of priority and planning.

The easiest way to meet characters is Character Dining. Disney offers meals during which a certain group of characters will come to your table for a meet and photos. There are meals for just about any taste featuring a huge range of Disney friends, and you get to eat while you're at it, so there's no time "wasted" in a line. Here is a handy little chart showing who you are likely to find in which restaurant.

One last bit of advice from Jen, one I hadn't even thought of. If you are not the type to wait in line to meet a character, but your young child is or may be very anxious to meet his particular favorite, it's important for YOU TOO to know where that character will be so that you can avoid the area at the time the character will be there and so also avoid a possible melt down as you try to drag the young fan away from his hero.

As I said at the outset, my family isn't one to go all out to meet certain characters. But these characters are an important part of the magic, even for us. That photo above? One of my top ever experiences at Disney. This was our son John's first time at Walt Dianey World (he was 3 going on 4) and we'd made reservations for King Stefan's (now Cinderella's Royal Table). This was September, so it wasn't a really crowded day in the Magic Kingdom. On our way up to the restaurant we passed through what appeared to be a thrown room. Being us, we stopped to all sit in the thrown, having really very little idea where we were. As we were goofing around, Cinderella appears. She ignored all of us and looked straight to John, who was totally enthralled and shocked. He was a shy little guy but Cinderella simply knelt down to him and spoke, so quietly we couldn't hear. And shy little John spoke back. To this day we have no idea what they said to each other, but John fell head over heels for Cinderella. After their little talk she greeted all of us (my parents were along as well) and posed for that picture with John in her thrown (and gave him a lipsticky kiss) before sending us up for dinner.

Magic.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Refuting The Top 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney, Part 3

So I'm happily looking at my Facebook newsfeed the other day and one of those "Sponsored" things is up there. It's from a site called Viral Travel (which sounds like a bad idea on the face of it) and is entitled 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney. Of course I bite. Sue me. So its about what I expect, the same things we Disney fans fans from you non-Disney fans-- crowds,expense, capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, many of these criticisms are true to a large extent, but avoidable. I hate to see people get spoiled on the Disney I love because they go about the whole experience unprepared logistically or mentally for the realities of the place. I figured just for kicks to take the 13 reasons one by one (or two by two) and try to explain why they don't keep ME from the Magic. This part three, part one is here and two here.

11. The Crowds Are Insane

So you’re going to go to Disney when it’s vacation time, but so is everyone else who happens to have time off work and school at the same time. Unless you can go during the off-season, you’re going to be enjoying the park with thousands and thousands of strangers

9. The Lines Are Insane

With the big crowds come big lines. The better the ride, the longer the line. Want to go on Space Mountain? Be prepared to wait well over an hour. The most insulting part is the ride is over in 5 minutes, making you question how worth it the wait really was.

Yes, Walt Disney World is one of the most popular vacation destinations on the planet. It gets crowded, sometimes very crowded.  Crowds equal long lines for some, and sometimes almost all, attractions. But find me a theme park that isn't like this, or a beach, or any popular vacation spot. If you go away to a popular place during a popular time, you likely won't be lonely. Basically, the complaint above is correct in that any time your child is off school, the park will be crowded. And when Disney parks are crowded, there will be lines. There are two ways to deal with this, go when it's less crowded or learn ways to make the most of your time when the lines are long.

The easiest way to deal with Disney crowds is to plan your trip for a time that is less crowded. Sites like touringplans.com offer detailed crowd calendars that can help you pick a less crowded time. In our experience, September is great and we've had good luck doing weekend trips right before Thanksgiving. If your child attends a school with a year-round or other non-traditional calendar (or you home school) you're in luck and it's easy to go at a time when crowds aren't "insane." NEVER go right around Christmas, particularly the week between Christmas and New Years. I am a HUGE fan, know all sorts of ways around crowd problems and have been enough times that I am not dying to ride every ride, but I see pictures from that week and it doesn't look at all like something I want to be involved with. We've had days in September when we walked on every attraction, not a line to be had. Those times are getting fewer and harder to find, but they are still there. It's worth taking your children out of school for your trip, in my opinion, but course that depends on the child involved and the school. We've had good luck is all I can say.

Sometimes, however, you find yourself in the Disney parks with all of humanity trying to ride Space Mountain at once. I'm going to start sounding like a broken record in these posts, but planning and knowledge really are the keys to making a Disney trip fun no matter the circumstances. Understand and use the FastPass system. Period. You are a fool if you don't. FastPass is Disney's way of letting you pre-book an attraction for a specific time window allowing you to return at that time and wait in little or no line. The FastPass system is free to all park guests and it really works, but you need to use it and it helps if you enter the park with a general plan, because using FastPass kills spontaneity to some degree.

I can't explain all there is to know about FastPass in one blog post. Books could be written about FastPass at this point, but they'd likely be obsolete by publication because Disney is in the process of changing how FastPass works. The introduction of MagicBands has turned FastPass into FastPass+, allowing you to make attraction reservations months before you leave your home for your trip. The trade-off is a restriction on the number of attractions you can get a FastPass+ reservation for and a sort of Chinese restaurant menu system for choosing which ones. You can now get one from column A (the most popular) and two from column B (the less popular) in one park each day. Attractions include rides of course, but also reserved parade viewing and character meet and greets. You can use an on-site kiosk while in the parks or the My Disney Experience app to change your FastPass+ reservations at any time, so ALL the spontaneity isn't gone, but it's more complicated.

That's one thing I will admit as a potential drawback to a Disney vacation. It requires a lot of forethought, planning and study to make it all it can be. For me, that's a plus, I LOVE doing those things. But if you don't, Disney can be a hard place to navigate. There are plenty of resources to help you, though. Websites like Chip & Co, the DisBoards, AllEars.net, WDWInfo and touringplans.com are great. Many guidebooks are also available, the best of which is without a doubt The Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World. One caveat about the Unofficial Guide, though, this year's edition went to press before the FastPass+changes were finalized, so it is zero help navigating that system. The 2015 version will be out in the fall and will I'm sure be awesome.

One last note. This might peg me as a total Disney Geek more than anything else, but I actually feel a bit
You wouldn't want to miss the giant balsa wood airplane, would you?
cheated when there is no line. Disney makes their queues interesting, even fun. The "line" such as it is, for the Dumbos is a big indoor playground waiting area. Guest receive a beeper and when their turn to ride comes, it goes off and they collect the rug rats and head onto the Dumbos. I didn't even get to look around this area because there was no line when we rode, twice back-to-back, during the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. There are video games in the Space Mountain queue and kids' activities in Winnie The Pooh's. The themeing of the hotel housing the Tower of Terror is spectacular, there are tiny details everywhere and it kind of kills me that every time we've visited the attraction, we've walked right by all of them. I annoy the folks behind me stopping to look all the time, and tend to get shuffled along.

I've truly embraced the Disney Magic, I actually LIKE the lines. :-)




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Refuting The Top 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney, Part 2

So I'm happily looking at my Facebook newsfeed the other day and one of those "Sponsored" things is up there. It's from a site called Viral Travel (which sounds like a bad idea on the face of it) and is entitled 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney. Of course I bite. Sue me. So its about what I expect, the same things we Disney fans fans from you non-Disney fans-- crowds,expense, capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, many of these criticisms are true to a large extent, but avoidable. I hate to see people get spoiled on the Disney I love because they go about the whole experience unprepared logistically or mentally for the realities of the place. I figured just for kicks to take the 13 reasons one by one (or two by two) and try to explain why they don't keep ME from the Magic. This part two, part one is here.


12. There Is Constant Construction


You might see this as a positive, but Disney is always under construction. If you see a ride that looks way cool but it’s not complete, that means the kiddos will be bugging you to death to go back so you can endure even more Disney in the near future. Joy.

7. Rides Are Shut Down All The Time

Disney is careful about maintaining rides and keeping them safe, but the flip side is that your favorite ride might not even be open the whole time you’re at the park. Some rides seem to be especially prone to breaking, or always shut down when there’s even the slightest hint of rain. Of course this means you can go back again and hope the ride is open, or you could just go to the beach.

I've bundled these two complaints into one becuase they go hand-in-hand, I think. First off, the writer admits that new construction is really a good thing. I mean if a place that makes you wat to return is a bad thing, maybe stay-cations are more your cup of tea. The second issue, number seven on his list, is also true. In part. Let's look at construction and refurbishment in Disney Parks realistically.

Some "construction" is really upkeep or even seasonal decorating, like in the photo of the Cinderella Castle below being fixed up with Christmas lights during our last trip. Most decorating is done at night out of public view, but the castle is a big job and each year there will be times when it has cranes around it. While you may be disappointed you can't get the "perfect" castle photo on your trip during these times, there's always Photoshop, and besides, as my friend pointed out to me it's kinda cool to have photos of the decorations going up, not everyone gets to see that process.



Hanging Christmas Lights on The Castle


Upkeep is also a constant and closes some attractions and restaurants throughout the year. This can cause hassles if you're ill-prepared. Luckily, there are plenty of on-line resources to keep you up to date on what is going to be closed and when. The Walt Disney World site itself is the last word, but fan sites often have the info just as current and much easier to find all in one place. It's important to check this out, there WILL be rides you can't go on and/or shows you can't see due to refurbishment. Knowing before you go will save you much worse disappointment later, especially with little ones. The writer's contention that "some rides seem to be especially prone to breaking, or always shut down when there’s even the slightest hint of rain" is exaggerated at best. Do the attractions break down and have to close for short periods sometimes, sure, but it's far from common. And besides, there is SO MUCH to do at the Disney parks, that no one attraction is a game-breaker for us.

Actual new construction is also always going on. It's a GOOD thing, even a great thing. Every time you visit Disney there will be something you've never seen before, and often it will something spectacular. During our last visit, Disney was in the process of building a huge expansion of Fantasyland called, rather stupidly, New Fantasyland. I wonder if the creative team was on vacation when they dreamed that one up. Anyhow, it's kinda a big deal and while some of it was open when we were there, we had a ball peeking over and around barricades and walls to catch a glimpse of the Beast's Castle and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. One of the big reasons I planned to get at least half a day in the Magic Kingdom during our upcoming weekend trip was to get a chance to check out the completed New Fantasyland.
New Fantasyland Under Construction

We don't sweat the refurbs, honestly, because we've been enough to see most everything and there's plenty else to do. We actually enjoy the construction both because it means new things on the way and simply for it's own sake. We like watching the Magic being created. We are such Disney Geeks we even took pictures of all the little Walt Disney quotes hanging on the construction barricades. Take some time to read them yourself when you visit, he is the reason this place is magic.


 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Refuting The Top 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney, Part 1

So I'm happily looking at my Facebook newsfeed the other day and one of those "Sponsored" things is up there. It's from a site called Viral Travel (which sounds like a bad idea on the face of it) and is entitled 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney. Of course I bite. Sue me. So its about what I expect, the same things we Disney fans fans from you non-Disney fans-- crowds,expense, capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, many of these criticisms are true to a large extent, but avoidable. I hate to see people get spoiled on the Disney I love because they go about the whole experience unprepared logistically or mentally for the realities of the place. I figured just for kicks to take the 13 reasons one by one and try to explain why they don't keep ME from the Magic.

13. The Tickets Are Insanely Expensive
 If you think going to an amusement park and paying $60 a person is steep, wait until you pay the price of admission for Disney. You’ll be looking at well above $100 per person, depending on the type of tickets you get and the time of the year.

Yes, tickets to Disney theme parks are expensive. However, the above item is only half correct. Park tickets do not fluctuate with time of year, but adding certain options CAN increase the cost significantly, depending on how you plan your stay. Like anything Disney vacation-oriented, it's complicated.

A one day ticket to the Magic Kingdom is $99. But the cost per day decreases as you add days to your ticket. Stay for 5 days and the tickets are $60.80/day and each day you add after that only brings the total cost up $10 each. For example, a ticket that gets you into the Magic Kingdom for one day costs $99, one that gets you in for 5 days costs $304 and one that gets you for that extra sixth (perhaps when you arrive in the afternoon) day costs $314.

The "type of ticket" they talk about refers to certain options Disney offers, the most popular being the "Park Hopper" option. A Park Hopper ticket allows you entry to all four Walt Disney World theme parks on the same day and costs $60 more, whether you by it to apply to a one day ticket or a ten day ticket it's a flat $60, once again making it a better value the longer you stay.

You can also add options that allow you entry to the two water parks and/or the DisneyQuest mega-arcade. This is really only a really good value if you plan to vist these places more than once on your trip, as entry to each is less than $60/day.

So, yes, Disney tickets are pricey, especially if you go for one day (as we are doing this fall), but come on, it's the very prototype of the theme park. It's another world, lots of other worlds, actually. Play your cards right and stay long enough to see and appreciate everything, and the tickets per day aren't so bad at all.