Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Disney World

A short drive away (OK a 7 hour trudge up the turnpike) is a quaint little empire known as Disney World. I went there a few years ago with my ex, but since we didn't have kids we spent our time at Pleasure Island. This past weekend I went back, to experience the mayhem through the eyes of my nephews.

When I met my bro and his family at their hotel that first evening, I received my first lesson in Disneyomics. They were staying at a VERY nice resort, in a huge (twice the size of my house) 2 bedroom suite with a full kitchen and 2 full bathrooms and laundry etc etc. Just a few miles away, inside the perimeter of the Disney compound, this suite would have cost over $500 a nite. Here, among the vast expanse of resort/timeshare/condo campuses, the cost of the suite was barely 20% of that. This told me more about Disney than it did about the resort. This is business.

As soon as I walk in I'm attacked (literally) by my nephews. Besides pummeling me (what is it about being an uncle?), they enthusiastically showed me the Disney souvenirs they'd accumulated already: Pins, t-shirts, hats, and yes Mickey ears. I heard all about the fun they'd had, and about the fun we were going to have tomorrow. I started feeling like a kid myself. This is gonna be fun!

Morning came, and with it the realization that I was headed to kid mecca. I could see the excitement in the boys' eyes, and I started to feel the rush too. Let's go! We piled into two cars and made the 10 minute drive. After entering the gate we drove another 10 minutes as we wandered through the maze of parking until finally we were directed to our parking spot. Despite the chilly temps, the boys exploded out of the car.

I really wish I had more time to spend there than I did (my 7 hour return trip was looming), but we definitely made the best of my half-day in the park. I may have only gone on a few of the rides, but to be able to spend those hours as a 6 year old was all I had hoped it would be. They had 3 or 4 days to explore all that Disney had to offer, and despite their enthusiasm and efforts I sincerely doubt they saw/did it all. That place is H U G E.

My final take on Disney? It serves a purpose, and does it to perfection. It's that place that EVERY kid should be fortunate enough to visit at least once, and during the course of that visit his parents are gonna fly/drive/park/eat/ride/stay (i.e. $$$$). Fun fact: After every ride, the only exit route passes directly through a souvenir shop. Somebody thought this through...

I've been to football games and spent $100 on a ticket and $7 on a beer etc, and despite bitching about it I'll keep getting back in line. Disney is the same way - everyone goes there knowing they're gonna get gouged, but the park delivers the goods. In the end it's money well spent...said the guy that never touched his wallet.

Many thanks to my bro and sis-in-law for treating me like the kid I wanted to be, and to my nephews for showing me why it all works.

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