So I think we’ve finally recovered from our trip to Disney World last week. I’ve been wanting to write this post as things were happening, but that just wasn’t the case. Things were happening too fast and on the “supposed” last day of our vacation, Little Bit got horribly sick. Even worse, she passed whatever she had onto Grammie and me. Thanks a bunch, kiddo. We owe you. ❗ We ended up staying an extra day because I wasn’t about to put Little Bit in the car for a 12-hour drive back home after her fever had only broken about four hours prior.
Anyway, I wanted to give you guys a review of Disney World, specifically the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, since those are the only parks we went to. Why you ask? After spending four days and five nights, that’s all you did?
Yeah. It’s because Disney World doesn’t cater to toddlers. The Magic Kingdom is about as good as it gets in terms of rides that everyone can go on. And if you’re willing to pay $89 per adult ticket and $84–I think–for kids 3 to 9 years old, then knock yourself out. We ended up going to the Magic Kingdom three times (once for Mickey’s Not So Scary Party and the third time was more so spur of the moment). We chanced the Animal Kingdom because we wanted a change in pace. And from what I recall, we could only ride two of the rides with Little Bit.
I’m disappointed in Disney because my toddler knows “Mickey’s Castle”, Donald Duck, and Twinkle Bell. She’s a HUGE fan! I’m sure my toddler isn’t the only one. It would’ve been nice–and worth my time and money–to see the other Disney Parks acknowledge that with more than just a lousy “toddler area” where they can play. My child can play in the park for free at home. Even though she was admitted into the parks for free because she’s 2, the price that my mother and I paid to get in–that millions of parents pay to get in–should be enough to put up a few rides for our toddlers. Just sayin’.
So let me mention a few specifics that really bothered me. Disney upped the price of the tickets, which doesn’t surprise me. What did was any ride that involved revolutions, you got three before the ride stopped. That means you get three revolutions on the Flying Dumbo and that’s it. Less than thirty seconds before you had to get off. Prince Charming’s Carousel, the same thing. Aladdin’s Magic Carpet ride, ditto. How the hell can Disney justify the price hike and not give us a little incentive like increasing the ride times? Not only that, but those who can’t afford to eat at Disney, there are these “fresh market” stands where they offer snacks and fruits. Forgive me, if I don’t want to pay $3 for a small container of grapes that will probably cost me $0.99 at the grocery store. It’s the principle of the thing, really.
Now for the things I liked. Magic Your Way tickets/cards are awesome! No wait in line to buy your tickets, if you buy them in advance and across multiple days. Not only that, but you’re allowed to bring snacks into the park with you. You can’t bring a cooler filled with food, but if it hadn’t been for our grapes, cheese and crackers, pretzels, Doritos, and juice boxes, we would’ve been SOL with the other people in the overcrowded restaurants. And given that Little Bit is as picky as a toddler comes, that was especially life-saving. Oh, and how could we not like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Little Bit loved trick-or-treating around the park and getting candy. I liked that in one spot they were handing out bananas instead of candy. What can I say? I’m a mom. 😉
Now just as a side note, we stayed at the Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista. We won’t be staying there again. The hotel room was nice…until we got to the bathroom. The shower curtains were old and the bath mat looked like they hadn’t changed that thing out since the hotel was built. But that’s not the main thing that turned me off. We went on a timeshare for the same reason everyone goes on a timeshare. And like everyone else, we were lied to in terms of how long the presentation would take from at Wyndham Bonnet Creek. Instead of the promised 2 hours, it took 4. All of it was arranged by the Clarion. It wasn’t until I got loud and insulting that Wyndham finally free us from captivity. I was so freaking annoyed that I took my frustrations to the line in the hotel where we got our discounted tickets and nearly staged a revolt among the other pissed– also lied to–people in line. In all, I blame the Clarion for this and that’s why I’ll never stay there again. Oh, and let’s not mention that they decided to change a transformer during our stay, meaning half of our room was without power for almost half of the day.
One last note. If you’re thinking about going to Disney Quest because you’ve never been there, save your money. No freakin’ way is their lousy 5-story arcade worth the $44 (I think) ticket to get inside. Even worse, we found only one simulator ride in the whole place. Seriously, it’s a waste of time. We got those tickets for free, so I’m not complaining. Still, I wish I had chosen Blizzard Beach or Typhon Lagoon instead. But as I said, don’t waste your time or money at Disney Quest.
In all, we’ll go to Disney again, but it’ll be sometime in 2014 when I’m sure my daughter will be able to ride more rides. Not only that, I’ll need those two years to save up enough money to make it happen. The average family of four will probably need around $2500 for a 4-day trip to Disney and that’s assuming you don’t stay on the property. You don’t go there unless you have enough money to spend. Otherwise, you’re deluding yourself. It’s expensive, but the thrill in Little Bit’s voice when she saw the castle from the ferry was worth every grumbling penny.
Magic Kingdom (traveling with a toddler): B
Animal Kingdom (traveling with a toddler): C-
Downtown Disney (traveling with a toddler): B
Disney Quest (regardless of age): D-
Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista: C