How To Do Disney World If You are Not Into Disney

In case you’ve stumbled upon this put up by way of a Google search, please remember that it is a very particular article. It’s a information to visiting Disney World if you happen to’re not that into Disney. I actually am not that into Disney. And I fear about saying this, as a result of among the adults I noticed at Disney World appeared to be very, very, very into it. I’m virtually scared to jot down something remotely scathing lest I get bombarded with abuse from Disney super-fans. Stabbed to dying with a crystal-encrusted fairy Godmother wand. Strangled with a stretched-out Slinky Canine toy.

However right here’s the factor: many of the adults I do know in actual life aren’t that into Disney. They don’t have any sturdy emotions about it both means. And this put up is for them. Perhaps you additionally don’t have any sturdy emotions about Disney: maybe you’re just about ambivalent about it. Perhaps spending a small fortune to fly midway the world over and journey round a man-made river in a fibreglass clamshell isn’t excessive in your precedence record. This put up is for you, too.

And when you’ve got arrived at this put up by way of a Google search and are actually perplexed as to why anybody of their proper thoughts would go to Disney World in the event that they weren’t that into it then I’ve one phrase for you (a phrase that needs to be fairly apparent however I’ll indulge): youngsters. Children are certainly the explanation the vast majority of adults go to any theme park and – I’m going to exit on a limb right here – additionally the explanation that adults go to locations like Centerparcs. As a result of what kid-free grownup would voluntarily pay Enterprise Class to Barbados cash in an effort to keep in a pretend log cabin, go swimming in an enormous greenhouse and dine at a collection of the worst eateries Nice Britain has to supply?

I’d hazard a guess at…not many. (I feel I most likely nonetheless have Canterparcs to stay up for, by the way in which – the children by no means cease happening about it.)

So anyway, right here’s my information to doing Disney if you happen to’re not that into Disney – aka “doing it for the children”. And I haven’t written this put up to decrease the expertise of these adults who love a nostalgic, balloon-filled jaunt to Orlando with their particular Mickey Mouse backpacks on (if you happen to learn on you’ll see that I’m not completely proof against its charms) nor to be any form of Debbie Downer concerning the place. In the event you learn How To Guide A Vacation That You’ll All Get pleasure from you’ll see that I booked the journey to Disney partly as a result of I had all the time been interested by it: had needed to tick it off the record. See what it was all about. It wasn’t solely a beneficiant act of self-flagellation/martyrdom/madness and, at any fee, I’m fairly non-judgemental in relation to what makes different folks tick.

You get your thrills from the vacuum cleaner, energy turned all the way down to “rug” setting? Who am I to evaluate. Spend your weekends writing love letters with your personal blood? Knock your self out. You voluntarily make an annual pilgrimage to a spot with a pink citadel and a haunted lodge, the place each different constructing’s a merchandise retailer and each worker calls you buddy? Barely extra area of interest, however you do you…*

Listed below are some – hopefully – useful pointers for these contemplating a visit to Orlando.

1. Ask Your self: Do You Even Need To Go

I didn’t need to begin on a low however I’m attempting to jot down an sincere, useful information right here for individuals who don’t love theme parks. So. Be upfront with your self. Do you even need to go to Disney? In the event you’re a bit curious and it will make your child’s 12 months then that’s one factor: if you realize that you’re actively going to detest it, since you hate Organised Pleasure™ and since queues make you go chilly and since loud clips of music performed on a loop would possibly simply ship you over the sting…don’t go. Simply don’t.

On account of the truth that I’ve unrealistic expectations of issues and am eternally optimistic when it fits my agenda, I assumed that the queues and the crowds and the noise at Disney World wouldn’t actually trouble me. I additionally thought that the entire Necessary Enjoyable™ facet of all of it can be OK, though I’m a cynical previous boot and suppose Mickey Mouse is among the creepiest cartoon characters ever drawn.

I’ll be frank: the entire above bothered me, to various levels. To not the purpose the place I used to be doing a Michael Douglas in Falling Down however loads of the time it undoubtedly didn’t really feel satisfying, within the regular sense of the phrase. It felt intense. Extra of an expertise than an indulgence. I feel you’re both a theme park fanatic otherwise you’re not; you’re both the form of one that can succumb to your childlike glee at princess appearances and glitter-filled balloons otherwise you’re the form of one that’d fairly pluck out your personal tonsils with a pair of blacksmith’s tongs.

I discovered it straightforward to be swept away by the children’ sense of pleasure and that was an exquisite, memorable factor, but when that enthusiasm degree ever waned, even fleetingly, I’d discover myself screaming inside my very own head: WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HELL AM I EVEN DOING HERE IF THEY DON’T EVEN LOVE IT?

Consider carefully is all I’m saying. In the event you suppose you’ll hate it then you definately virtually undoubtedly will. There are bits I cherished (carry on studying) and I’m glad I went, as a result of it was a really distinctive expertise, however there have been contact and go moments the place I’d prefer to have turned again time and spent the cash on a seaside vacation with a youngsters’ membership. Or two seaside holidays. Perhaps even three. And on that be aware:

2. Value It Up Correctly

With regards to understanding your finances, I’m going to present you my two cents as somebody whose persistence was stretched the minute they arrived at Magic Kingdom: prioritise not having to queue.

As a result of these queues, they’re lengthy. They had been routinely a 35 minute wait even for probably the most fundamental youngsters’ carousel and fairground kind rides. For the “massive ticket” objects – the quicker rollercoasters and in style sights (Slinky Canine rollercoaster, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Practice come to thoughts) – wait occasions had been generally two, even three hours lengthy.

Three hours! To journey for thirty seconds on a rollercoaster!

Anyway, all was not misplaced since you may purchase one thing to alleviate the ache of queueing and it was known as Genie Plus. Genie Plus is a form of precedence boarding service (just like the Common Specific Move I wrote about) that permits you to use a separate queue to the remainder of the poor sods sweltering away within the warmth. The toilers trudge via the traditional lane to await their destiny and also you, along with your Genie Plus, really feel smug/like a prize twat (delete as relevant) racing previous lots of of individuals in your Lightening Lane, which is totally empty and will actually be paved with gold, simply to stress the distinction between them and us.

There’s one thing fairly incorrect about it, isn’t there – you can pay a fortune for admission to the parks however for that colossal whack of cash all you get is the present of seeing your life slip away in half hour increments? To get entry to the parks and benefit from the rides and never want you had been sawing off your personal ft in a puddle of lemon juice, you have to pay additional. The additional, after we had been there (second week of April), was $25 per particular person per day. Plus tax, clearly, as a result of it will be an excessive amount of to only inform folks precisely how a lot something was going to price.

You possibly can see how this may add up over the course of per week, this Genie Plus factor, however don’t be in any doubt that it provides you a completely totally different expertise. On our first day on the parks we didn’t have it and managed two rides earlier than the children obtained sick of ready round – it simply felt as if we had been always strolling then ready, strolling then ready – however on the day I paid for Genie Plus, we (and that is no phrase of a lie, I used to be an absolute ninja on the app by lunchtime) did fourteen rides. Fourteen! Not solely that, we did them over three parks. So decided was I to get my cash’s price.

The downsides of Genie Plus? Effectively. It’s not like at Common the place the cross simply helps you to swagger like an entitled berk down the First Class boarding lane every time a journey takes your fancy: you must e-book your actions via the aforementioned app. You possibly can solely e-book separately, and plenty of the fascinating rides e-book up fully from round 7am when the app permits you to begin your frenzied bun struggle (so enjoyable, so magical); however after an hour or so of being completely apoplectic with rage and disbelief, you quickly get used to the system.

Oh additionally: many of the actually sought-after rides aren’t included in Genie Plus. Issues just like the Tron journey and Avatar, the large Star Wars journey and (inexplicably) the Slinky Canine rollercoaster. If you wish to go on these marvels and never queue up then the Genie Plus you’ve paid for received’t work, you must pay a one-off payment for the particular Lightening Lane. After we had been there it was $20 every for Avatar.

Are you following all of this? Good-o.

All I’m saying is, I’d make the Genie Plus a budgeting precedence, even if you happen to solely add it on for a few the times. If you must sacrifice a couple of lunches – eat massive at breakfast and early to dinner – then so be it. It’s price it.

3. Eat Massive At Breakfast

Meals. By the point we reached Disney World we had already performed per week in Florida (examine that right here) and, to be blunt, didn’t have to eat one other stack of pancakes or skewer of shrimps or double-pattied burger ever once more in our whole lives. And so we weren’t even vaguely tempted by the beckoning finger of Disney’s many and assorted meals institutions. I can not touch upon the usual of the meals as a result of genuinely, within the 5 days we spent there, we solely purchased two objects. A croissant and a baguette from a “French patisserie” in Epcot. (Each had been superb, not nice.)

What we did as an alternative (and this very a lot ties in with the following tip) is we purchased pretty fluffy bread rolls from the Publix grocery store, a small tub of butter and a packet of sliced ham and turkey and within the mornings we spent roughly six minutes stuffing these rolls and wrapping them in foil. In they went, into the backpack, together with eight baggage of crisps (you must have spares on this parenting life, don’t you?), 4 baggage of mini cookies and no matter different conveniently-packaged delights we’d picked up down the aisles.

Complete value of lunch every day? About six {dollars} for 4 of us. It could have been round 100 had we performed even a fundamental quick meals joint. It additionally meant we may cease after we needed, discover a shady spot and simply sit down and eat: no queues, no planning required. You possibly can get free iced water at many of the foods and drinks service factors and so we crammed up our Chilly’s bottles (we took three with us in our checked baggage, can’t advocate Chilly’s bottles sufficient) and had ice chilly drinks all day lengthy.

Meals for a household of 4 at Disney isn’t low cost (is it actually low cost to eat out anyplace lately?); you may simply spend $300 or extra a day on meals and so that you undoubtedly want to create space for it in your finances, if budgets are your factor. (I really like a vacation finances record: something to break my very own enjoyment. I’m mainly a self-sabotager.) Reducing out lunch bills with a simple packed picnic is a superb means, in my view, of giving your self a bit again. To spend on Genie Plus passes…

4. Lodging: Go In Onerous

I’m going to do a complete u-turn alone sensibilities right here and advocate one thing that I didn’t truly plan, or do. As a result of I feel that this may have truly made the journey to Disney a lot simpler and – I’ll say it – simply that bit higher: if I used to be going to re-do my journey then I feel I might undoubtedly…virtually undoubtedly…keep at a Disney resort.


You probably have been following me for any size of time you’ll know that staying on a Disney resort wouldn’t be my jam. Not my jam in any respect. However hear me out, as a result of there’s methodology to my obvious insanity. I booked an Airbnb as a result of it will give us more room, the choice to prepare dinner within the evenings if we needed (or put together picnic lunches!) and a way of freedom to return and go from the parks that we wouldn’t get if we stayed in a lodge.

Effectively. All of that was true (and the Airbnb was about £342 per night time, so rather a lot cheaper than one of many Disney rooms that has the separate dwelling space with a settee mattress for the children) however we barely used the home other than to sleep and have breakfast. We had been often up and out by half previous eight and didn’t get residence till 9 ish at night time – the choice to prepare dinner was helpful, however we solely cooked as soon as. And even then, as I stood stirring burned garlic in an unfamiliar pan, I did marvel why I used to be attempting to make spaghetti bolognese with cupboard-salvaged elements after I was imagined to be having the Vacation of a Lifetime™.

And, every time we drove up and down the interstate, to and from the parks, I did ponder how life would have been less complicated if we had simply flown immediately into Orlando as an alternative of Miami, dumped our instances in a Disney room and eased again into per week of themed buffets and lodge water slides. I’m coming round to the concept that if you happen to go to Disney, you go in laborious. No automobile journeys, no having to seek out locations to eat within the night (we ended up at 5 Guys and McDonald’s as a rule, anyway) and the good thing about having the ability to wander round later within the night to see the fireworks and night time reveals. We didn’t do any of these in the long run, as a result of there was all the time a way that we nonetheless needed to get residence…

The proper resolution can be the aforementioned bigger Disney room or suite with a kitchenette and a separate little house for the children. Then you may make your picnics, have pastries for breakfast if you happen to fancied that as an alternative of trekking all the way down to a buffet or what have you ever, and replenish your mini fridge with helpful snacks and bits and items to maintain the children going.

However the value of that? After we had been there, it was about £770 per night time at one of many deluxe inns. £350 per night time would have seen us in a twin room (two queen beds) however no kitchenette. And, as we’ve established, the kitchenette is essential…

5. Discover the Peak Occasions and Keep away from Them

So: it’s all totally complicated, isn’t it, Disney? Keep there – but in addition don’t. Take a picnic, however solely when you’ve got a kitchenette. Have a kitchenette, however solely if you wish to prolong your mortgage. There’s one laborious and quick rule that I’d dish out although and it’s this: keep away from peak occasions. Keep away from, keep away from, keep away from!

I used crowd calendars after I was planning the journey to work out the most effective time to go to the parks (yow will discover them on Google right here) after which selected per week that was in a low-medium interval of busyness. And it was nonetheless actually busy. The week earlier than had been rated as absolutely the busiest, most capability time (it was Easter) and I can not even think about what that might be like. Use the gang calendars and for the love of God, keep away from the height occasions! Although apparently there are storms in the summertime months so there’s that to consider…

6. You Might At all times Wait Till They’re Older

Contemplating Disney with a child and a toddler? WHY? Why, for the love of God? If you’re not that into Disney then I can assure you they’re not. Certain, little Jimmy’s face lights up when he sees Discovering Nemo pop up on the iPad however will he bear in mind a visit to Disney in a 12 months’s time? No he is not going to. Save your cash, go to Sani resort (nonetheless want to check that one, too) and make use of that glorious-sounding creche factor they do on the seaside. Nonetheless kicking myself that I by no means did that vacation…

There have been so many individuals at Disney with prams and toddlers, double prams, child papooses and prams, triple prams: I used to be determined to know who they had been doing it for. If it was for them, the adults, as a result of they simply love Disney, then truthful play. However I simply can not see how it will be price it for the very fleeting reminiscence a child or toddler would have of it.

I used to be aghast. Primarily as a result of I discovered taking my child and toddler (mine are nineteen months aside) to the grocery store sufficient of a mission once they had been little. Going to Florida and negotiating thirty-six diploma warmth as a way to journey via a fake tin mine? The thoughts boggles.

I’ve to say (and it’s most likely the one factor I virtually obtained fully proper): I assumed that I pitched the journey fairly nicely by way of the children’ ages. They had been 7 and eight at time of visiting. The littler one didn’t like among the feistier rides (the Millennium Falcon one, for instance, and he didn’t need to attempt the curler coasters) however my eight 12 months previous was sport for completely every part.  She was a correct thrill-seeker. Maybe a 12 months later would have meant they’d each need to journey the entire sights however you reside and study. I’m not a bloody soothsayer.

Anyway, I feel that 8-ish is a beautiful age to go. Sufficiently old to do the entire rides and to recollect every part (that they had higher bear in mind every part) however nonetheless younger sufficient to be swept away by the entire magic on the Most Magical Place On Earth™. Nonetheless younger sufficient for my cynicism to not have rubbed off on them.

7. Arm Your self With The Info

You’ve determined you’re going: what subsequent? I say arm your self with the information earlier than you begin reserving admission tickets and inns and Airbnbs. There are some issues you must know which may have an effect on how you intend your vacation. As an illustration: Disney World is definitely made up of 4 totally different parks (the enduring Cinderella citadel is in Magic Kingdom after which there’s Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) and you’ll’t stroll between them. The truth is, getting between them is a little bit of a faff, whether or not you’re taking the Disney transport system (monorails, ferries, gondolas, nearly every part besides flying elephants) otherwise you use your personal automobile and drive from one to the opposite.

What else…there’s an attraction at Magic Kingdom known as Swiss Household Treehouse and it seems to be as if it could be an journey climbing park for the children. It isn’t. Don’t be tempted to enter the gateway, even when it’s the one place and not using a queue. It has no queue for good cause and that’s as a result of it’s full shite.

Personally, I might analysis absolutely the bejeezus out of your journey. It received’t spoil any surprises, it’ll simply offer you an concept of the issues you must prioritise and the issues you must miss. See the following tip:

8. There Are Issues You Shouldn’t Miss

Clearly this put up has a really distinct tone. One in every of – unsurprisingly, as a result of it’s within the title – an individual who shouldn’t be that into Disney. In fact this was by no means going to be a glitter-strewn account of which cupcakes had been the yummiest – get actual. You’re on the incorrect web site if you happen to’re after popcorn stands and “prime ten rope drop rides”**, child!

Nevertheless, I’ll say that there have been a couple of issues that made the entire journey worthwhile. No less than it pulled all of it into perspective and made me nod my head properly and mutter, ‘ah, now I (form of) get it’…

The very first thing was the Star Wars world in Hollywood Studios. It’s known as Galaxy’s Edge and it’s phenomenal. I grew up with Star Wars being an enormous a part of my life (the unique three movies, clearly, I received’t even entertain the thought of the remainder of them) as a result of my brother was borderline obsessive about it and my dad and mom cherished it (when my Mum remarried she walked down the aisle to the Star Wars theme performed on the church organ) and even I knew the names of the entire characters, main and minor, may determine a Gamorrean Guard and sketch a Galactic map with the entire essential planets.

So it was a little bit of a second, going to Galaxy’s Edge. Once I say that you’re completely immersed within the theming I’m not exaggerating: every part from the bathrooms to the bins to the drink dispensers are completely performed. You’re feeling – if you happen to ignore the entire different folks sporting shorts and baseball caps – as if you’re truly in Star Wars.

In order that was good – and the Star Wars rides had been epic. We most likely spent extra time there than anyplace else. The opposite enormous spotlight was the Avatar journey in Animal Kingdom: it was life altering. I’m not even being sarcastic, which is a primary for me. It’s a movement simulator journey the place you go on the again of a winged alien chook factor known as a Banshee and also you truly really feel as if you’re hovering via the air and over land and thru slim cave openings. It’s one of the vital thrilling issues I’ve ever performed, which is each shocking and barely unhappy seeing as if I used to be a world vogue mannequin for twelve years. It’s the truth that you look as if you’re flying and also you really feel as if you’re flying: in your head, you’re – 100% – flying.

Bloody marvellous. You sit on this form of bike seat after which – little bit of a shock! – a steel barrier comes up behind you and pinions you onto it from the rear after which off you go, into the land of digital actuality. And the land was so lovely – breathtakingly so. I truly had a second the place I welled up, because the Banshee and I paused on the fringe of an alien savannah, he to catch his breath, I to soak up the environment.

This, I assumed, is among the most lovely issues I’ve ever seen.

God assist us when VR and AI and no matter else change into regular, on a regular basis life instruments. Who’d need to spend the morning driving a bus via Milton Keynes once they may very well be swooping about via waterfalls and over canyons? The world will likely be at a standstill.

Anyway, what I’m attempting to say is that there have been HUGE highlights throughout our journey to Disney. I additionally loved the overly sentimental, dripping-with-nostalgia efficiency of Magnificence and the Beast that we stopped to observe, the place I hugged my eight 12 months previous tight and considered myself at eight and the way it felt like yesterday after which cried quietly behind my sun shades as a result of time goes so quick…

Story as previous as time, tune as previous as rhyme…

And, in the end, had been we not there for the children? Was this complete journey not a celebration of childhood and the privilege of being dad and mom within the first place, an opportunity to essentially join as a household and cherish the dear moments collectively?

‘Subsequent 12 months we’re doing that seaside lodge concept,’ stated Wealthy, as we met up exterior the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast journey, ‘the one the place the children go snorkelling however another person takes care of them.’

9. Exit By The Reward Store

One of the best piece of recommendation I obtained earlier than Disney? I”ll cross it onto you now, just like the Olympic Flame. Treasure it.

There are extra merchandise shops at Disney World than virtually the rest. The truth is, a Disney World streetmap would look a bit like this: present store, present store, meals place, present store, bathrooms, present store, journey.

You’ll realise, the second your youngsters step into one among these merch shops, that your life as a sane grownup is about to finish. They need to purchase every part. Nothing has an easy-to-read value. All of it seems to be surprisingly much like the stuff you may get on the way in which to the tills at Primark. In the event you permit unhindered merch store entry you’ll find yourself two issues: deranged and poor.

A buddy gave me this pearl of knowledge: permit them one journey to a present store per day and one solely. Inform them that they could not truly purchase something till the final day. Give them a finances. Inform them that as a result of there are such a lot of outlets they need to suppose very fastidiously about what they need, as a result of they’ll see new issues each time they go into a special place. Inform them they could look, however not contact.

Completely bloody genius.

I reckon this methodology of Delayed Merch Gratification saved us round 4 hours of pointless standing about in outlets and possibly round $80,000. As soon as they knew the foundations, the children caught to them admirably, wanting like a bit like skilled antiques sellers as they stood subsequent to the racks of teddies, arms clasped behind their backs, surveying the wares and mentally deliberating over whether or not or not they’d indulge when the fantastic day of Merch-Shopping for reckoning lastly arrived.

Clearly the final day was a nightmare, as we rushed from one land to a different looking for the one store that had the Sew keyring and attempting to resolve whether or not the costly Storm Trooper helmet was higher than the smaller youngsters’ one (the smaller youngsters one is nice, by the way in which, and was $29.99, which appeared an absolute discount in comparison with the tiny Yoda backpack attraction that was across the identical value). However a minimum of the nightmare was a contained nightmare. It didn’t spill over repeatedly into the day by day grind. I imply enjoyment.

10. Different Info

I’m performed with this put up. By no means has one thing taken me so lengthy to place collectively. Between this put up and the one earlier than (right here) I reckon I’ve spent extra time writing concerning the “vacation” than I used to be truly on it. Listed below are some additional random ideas that I can’t be arsed to weave into any form of complete order:

  • Florida is sizzling. They name it the Sunshine State however that’s like calling the Arctic the “Bit Nippy Place”. The warmth was brutal and that’s coming from somebody who loves a little bit of scorchio. Pack accordingly, get these sunscreens you’ll be able to spray on from a can for simple mid-day top-ups and make use of the iced water. I imply, actually do.
  • The safari at Animal Kingdom is great and – from what I can see on-line – vastly underrated.
  • Bathrooms are plentiful, not too busy and they’re clear. Simply in case you had been questioning. I prefer to go for a wee at least thirty occasions an hour and so this happy me drastically – there have been bathrooms in all places. It was a recurrent UTI-sufferer’s paradise.
  • We did 5 days at Disney in complete and it was sufficient. On the longest day (the primary time we had Genie Plus) we walked 12.7 miles and parked in three totally different automobile parks. Automobile parking is $30 per day however you need to use it in the entire automobile parks – you want tickets that permit “park hopping” in an effort to go to multiple park in a day.

Proper: do you could have any suggestions? Or do you simply need to stab me to dying with the fairy godmother’s wand for saying something destructive about Disney? Feedback beneath, please!

*joke! I couldn’t resist a little bit of ribbing. I’ve a minimum of three associates and two work colleagues who’re going to take nice offence at this.

**rope-drop is when the parks open. Individuals queue as much as be the primary in (although you get to go shortly earlier than if you happen to’re staying at a Disney lodge, which might be price noting) and when the “rope drops” they run to the journey that they most need to get on, which is able to hopefully have a shorter queue. How this even counts as enjoyable I don’t know.

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