Parents: Are you a Disney hater?

Are you a Disney Hater? Do you refuse to take your kids to Disney World, Disney Land or even EuroDisney? Do you hate Disney movies, toys and paraphernalia?

We have several friends with kids that are very anti-Disney, especially the theme parks. You would think their kids were asking their parents to be put on the racks in a torture chamber not ride in honey pots around Pooh’s storybook or fly across the sky with Peter Pan.

The same parents always groan on Facebook when we post photos from our Disney adventures. I have never pressed any of our friends about why they refuse to take their kids to the theme park, but I can make several guesses.

I think maybe they are worried about the commercialism and marketing aimed at their kids. There is no doubt they will be inundated with things their kids will want but we just say no. We bought three stuff animals and two shirts I think on the last trip and that was it.

I guess they also think it’s expensive but all theme parks are expensive — even local ones like Six Flags. One friend reluctantly took their child to Disney and then to Universal. The parent was unbelievably negative about Disney but loved Universal. I think it goes beyond just plain expense; it seems to be a particular aversion to Disney.

I guess it could also be the crowds and the lines but again most theme parks have those, and they can be avoided with a little planning.

I guess I just think the benefits of the Disney outweigh the negatives. The kids have a fantastic time there. They are happy. Everything is aimed at them. It’s all for them. It is magical and they have many wonderful memories of going as I do from childhood.

So all you Disney haters out there, enlighten me. Help me understand what your issues are specifically with the theme parks. How or why are they worse than other theme parks? Why is it a (moral?) struggle to take your children there and indulge in the Disney fantasy for a few days?

Also tell us if you were a Disney hater and went with your kids, how do you feel now? Did it reinforce your hate or could you see the magic?

125 comments Add your comment

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HB

July 19th, 2010
1:48 pm

I have to admit, I’m intrigued by people’s attitudes, both positive and negative, toward Disney. I really don’t understand some adults’ obsession with it and the parks and am amazed at how many families go there over and over again. (For many families I know, EVERY big vacation is a trip to Disney, staying on campus. Seriously, if you can afford that, shouldn’t kids get a variety of experiences? Mix it up a little!)

On the other hand, I don’t understand the total haters either. I know some people who don’t particularly like it because they want more thrill rides (I can see that) and others who generally try to do less commercial things (those folks don’t flock to Universal either), but for many it goes deeper than that to a real hatred of all things Disney. Something about that company just gets people all worked up!

anne

July 19th, 2010
1:51 pm

Disney-hater seems a little strong too me. I have nevern been to Disney. Never had the desired. My daughter hasnever been to Disney. It just seems to me that there are better things to spend my money on and more interesting places to go.

I also see Disney – and any other amusement park located in the South – as a public health hazard. All that standing around in lines on hot blacktop. No thank you!

Not a Disney hater, not just our cup of tea. Perhaps you are over-reacting?

JJ

July 19th, 2010
1:55 pm

My ex SIL goes to DisneyWorld at least once a year. She will even drive all the way down there just to spend ONE day at Disney.

I’ve been to Disneyland in CA several times, and to Disney World once, when my daughter was 5. To me, it’s no different than Six Flags….except a much grander scale. It’s too expensive, and the lines are incredibly long. Been there, done that, got several tee shirts!!!

I do look forward to taking my future grandchildren one day.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
2:04 pm

I’m a TOTAL disney theme park hater! Can’t stand it. And it comes down to one concept..and that’s value. Most know I live in the great state of Colorado….so let me give you a run down. When my son was three, we took a family trip to Maui, stayed in a condo on the beach, grilled burgers and dogs as the sun set on the horizon. I got to hang with my son during all this and the only distraction was the sound of the waves crashing on the beach so loud we had to speak up. We could see whales breaching the ocean every single day. Sand castles, boogie boarding, snorkling, chasing sea turtles all included.

Fast forward to the following year, I took my son to Orlando to visit my best friend. The flight was a little bit longer because we had a layover in Dallas/Ft Worth and cost was the same. Fortunately, I have a very good friend who lives there and we crashed at his house. I looked into staying at Disney, and it was 30% more than the beachside condo in Maui….and it was just a hotel room. All for the privilege of staying in the magic kingdom. Exit the first ride of the day, Pirates of the Carribean, directly into the gift shop where the kid found exactly the one prize we told him he could get from Disney and for the rest of the day kept asking to make sure we could go get the prize. Spent most of the day in lines in oppressive humid and hot weather. And my god, the food there….to describe it as edible would be giving it way too much credit.

Make no mistake, Disney is a casino for kids. A grand marketing dynasty designed to dull the senses and make it that much easier to separate parents from their money in the name of their kids. Comparatively speaking, there is no value in it for me and my family. And that’s the rub…there is so little value in it, to me it feels like a giant sham. Do you think those fast passes are for visitors convenience? Guess what you’re not doing when you’re stuck in line? Spending money elsewhere, that’s what.

Apparently my kid isn’t too impressed with it either. After we left, we asked what his favorite part of our Florida trip was and he said going out on my buddies boat on the lake and getting towed in an innertube. We asked what he liked about Disney, and he said the rides were lots of fun but he really didn’t like waiting in line so much and would have rather been swimming in my buddies pool. then we asked him where we should go on our next vacation and he said Hawaii. he wants to go boogie boarding again. Don’t have much of a wait to catch the next wave.

I understand why kids gets suckered into it……for the life of me, I can’t understand why adults do though. I went to Disneyland a lot as a kid and loved it. But I also lived in Europe as a kid too…and even at a young age, I recognized that gazing upon the Matterhorn in Anaheim was a very, very cheap substitute for standing at the foothills of the actual Matterhorn in Switzerland. I’m sure my kid will ask to go back to Disney, but from experience, I know I’m robbing him of really valuable experiences by taking him there when I can use the resources to take him somewhere like Yellowstone. And it doesn’t have to be an outdoorsy thing either. NYC is in the future.

What I’m saying is that Disney is devoid of culture and opportunities to learn something that will stick. TWG…for someone so concerned about summer brain drain, and the value of education and experience….I’m surprised you’re so pro-Disney.

The world is an epic novel, and to take your kids to Disney is like handing them a comic book.

CPT

July 19th, 2010
2:10 pm

I’m a ‘crowd hater’ and it’s hard to visit Disney without encountering massive crowds. Even a light-crowd day is too much for me.

Hate it

July 19th, 2010
2:12 pm

I find nothing amusing about amusement parks. I mean, sure, the 90 secoonds that the roller coaster is actually in motion is kind of a rush, but the rest of the 8 hours in line is horrible.

My son has never expressed a desire to go to Disney World. If he does, I will take him. However, I am certainly not going to bring it up.

What gets me is the Disney Synchophants who act like I am denying my kid some rite of passage.

I’d rather him see more of Appalachia before the gated community developers and Walmart ruins what little is left. I’d rather him visit the Southwest and hike to the bottom of a canyon.

HB

July 19th, 2010
2:15 pm

Follow-up question, Tiger: is it Disney in particular that you hate, or overly commercial, limited value theme parks in general? Would you feel as negative about other theme park resorts (like Universal with it’s two or three parks and now Harry Potter)?

SNY

July 19th, 2010
2:20 pm

We just came back from Disney World yesterday and I have to tell you, we all loved it. My husband and I and our 3 kids, age 7,12,&15. (The 15 is my nephew) This was our 1st family vacation and I loved the experience. We are planning another one already. I didnt really care for the lines but that is what the fast pass is for. It is definately our cup of tea and my 7 yr old cant wait to go back.

For people who hate Disney I say “to each his own”. But as long as my children want to go, we will. Plus we are also planning a trip somewhere where we can be alone as well and just be a family away from home. Im sure that trip will be just as fun.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
2:26 pm

“You would think their kids were asking their parents to be put on the racks in a torture chamber not ride in honey pots around Pooh’s storybook or fly across the sky with Peter Pan”

I think riding around in honey pots IS the definition of torture!

Don’t even get me started on Pooh. Am I the only one who thinks that is just a metaphor of the most dysfunctional family ever? Don’t we all have an Eeeyore in the family. That one annoying, whiny, negative cousin, sibling, aunt or uncle who never finds the good in anything and just complains about the state of their world, but won’t actually do anything to change it? And that freaking owl who is SOOOO much smarter than everyone else, but would never dare to actually teach Pooh and the others how to read because then he’d lose his status as “the smart one”. And rabbit is just the ODC relative who obsesses over his garden and has to wash his hands 100 times a day and lock the front door deadbolt six times repeatedly before he can go to bed. And Pooh….where do I start with Pooh. The well intentioned….utterly STUPID kid of the family who everyone hopes will learn how to fix lawn mowers some day so that the rest of the family won’t have to support him into adulthood.

“I guess I just think the benefits of the Disney outweigh the negatives. The kids have a fantastic time there. They are happy. Everything is aimed at them. It’s all for them. It is magical and they have many wonderful memories of going as I do from childhood.”

Here’s the problem with that argument TWG…..you assume that the benefits are so great, that it warrants taking them repeatedly because those benefits can’t be experienced anywhere else. In actuality, every time you utilize scarce resources to go there every year, you deny them from experiencing a new place with equal (and most likely better) benefits.

DigALittleDeeper

July 19th, 2010
2:28 pm

I have seen everything there is to see in Orlando (Disney, Universal, Sea World, etc…). This year was my last time with my daughter (15 age) before she moves into adult hood. We took the trip in stages (3rd ,6th and 9th grade). No more children vacations for me (Yippey). From this year forward, we’re going to see the Real World.

I hate Disney because it’s hot, lines are too long and over priced.

KT

July 19th, 2010
2:29 pm

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp – dude seriously, relax, its just a theme park. Take some Zanax and chill.

Wes

July 19th, 2010
2:29 pm

Yeah, I can’t understand the hatred for it. Disney World is the most well put together park ever. Six Flags doesn’t compare. Everything there is well thought out, even standing in line. Most newer rides have lines inside, where its air conditioned.

And you don’t have to spend the money, except for the tickets. But I just don’t understand the poster above who complains about all the money they make you spend in the park. Learn to tell your kids NO! We are going this year. If we get a tshirt, it will be from a souvenir shop, not from in the park. Think ahead people.

Kids love it, that’s why we go. Its not going to educate them, nor is it the best value, but its a hell of a lot of fun, and that’s the bottom line. Seeing a kids face light up when they see all the stuff there is well worth the money. I’m going in a month, and I can’t wait.

Terry Malloy

July 19th, 2010
2:33 pm

I would never go to a Disney deal since I don’t want to be surrounded by stinking brats, sow-moms and kitty-whipped dads. Plus, the whole deal was founded by an anti-semitic jerk.

WGD

July 19th, 2010
2:35 pm

Our kids have now out-grown the Disney era but we, perhaps as adults attempting to recapture our youth, make the trip to Disney World at least once a year and sometimes twice. I can agree with other posts that describe the food and “bank for the buck” and can, to some extent, agree. But, the fact is, we just seem to really enjoy ourselves at Disney.
We are flying to LA this weekend and, having never been to Disney Land, are planning a trek there next Monday.

WGD

July 19th, 2010
2:36 pm

oops – “bang for the buck — Sorry!

Dad of Two

July 19th, 2010
2:38 pm

My two girls (6 and 3) love Disney and my wife’s family is from the Tampa/Orlando area so we go quite often.

The haters will always been able to find something to whine about or point fingers at, you won’t convince them otherwise.

Andrea

July 19th, 2010
2:39 pm

@Tiger: You are killing me with the dysfunctional family analogy. I have not laughed that hard in a long time. While I am not the lead cheerleader on the Disney bandwagon, I can’t say I have honestly seen Disney evoke that much emotion from one individual. Let’s just sing “It’s a Small World” and call it a day. LOL

Disney Indifferent

July 19th, 2010
2:41 pm

If my kids asked, I would take them to Disney ONLY because my wife has been to Disney and would not deny our kids the opportunity. With that having been said, I agree with previosu posts regarding the value and economic bang for the buck. I just haven’t seen the value in it. My kids love Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Busch (Duff) Gardens, Six Flags, etc. but have never asked to go to Disney. Frankly, I’m glad because what it costs for a week at Disney I could spend two weeks somewhere else.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
2:42 pm

@HB….I think Disney particulary rankles me because most of the amusement parks I have experience with don’t promote the “more, more, more” frame of mind like Disney. Disney is about making it a vacation, not a day at the park. Stay longer, let us make sure that you don’t have to go anywhere or do anything that we don’t have our pockets line with seems to be their business plan. They really remind me of the mob. And more power to them…it’s a great business model. I’m not anti capitalism. I just take offense to overpriced under perfomance.

bbb

July 19th, 2010
2:44 pm

As the great Mel Brooks states, it’s all about “merchandising” Camping, hiking, US parks, and the ocean can provide thrilling adventures for children as much as the amusement ride. I have seen adults and children alike squeal over Mickey. I don’t hate him….but I don’t think his only motive is to provide joy to humanity.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
2:46 pm

Oh and before I completely condemn Disney for being immoral…some would say it’s immoral to let a sucker keep their money…..so more power to them. I just don’t want to be their sucker again.

DB

July 19th, 2010
2:46 pm

We’ve been to Disney as a family a couple of times — Universal Studios, etc. We try to time it on off-season times, when the crowds are not as thick. I’d be just as happy if I never went again — been there, done that. We had a good time when we went — but there are other things to see and do in the world that I’d rather explore, instead of Disney all the time.

I have a friend who is a Disney addict. She likes that it is “clean” and “safe”. Her family has Disney vacation points (their version of a time-share, and generous ones), and they go down at least twice a year. Whenever my Girl Scouts would want to go on a trip and do something fun — she would always urge us to go to Disney, because we could learn to ’surf’ at Disney, we could go to the water park, we could go to the zoo, etc. We could even go scuba diving in a tank! No need to get out into the mucky, dangerous real world.

I wonder if that’s the attraction for families — Disney is a “known” quantity — safe, clean, family-friendly, etc. Sometimes it seems to be kowtowing to the “entertain me NOW!” generation, where kids aren’t allowed to be bored for more than 5 minutes (DVD in the cars, movies on their cell phones, etc.) Family vacations that aren’t at “destinations” are often more work in the planning. Maybe some families just can’t manage it.

JJ

July 19th, 2010
2:52 pm

No POOH BASHING, I’ll NOT stand for it!!!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
2:54 pm

@KT….don’t take me too seriously….blogging leaves out much needed inflection to add to context. I’m laughing (not snarling) my way through my rant, and hoping I make others, like Andrea, get a little laugh out of it as well. No anger here…just pure lighthearted cynicism and sarcasm. ;-)

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
2:56 pm

Our family has been to Disneyland several times together.

My son went to Disneyworld, when he was 2 ( with us). My daughter went when she was 16 ( with a school trip). We did some of the other properties about 8 years ago. We have also been to Sea World and Universal Studios…holding annual passes to both. My daughter and son want to see the Harry Potter exhibit ( ? is that the correct term). We may do it this winter. We also hold season passes to Dollywood this year…it is cooler in the mountains and we go for the Holiday season and fall fest. It is country/hokey but we like it. The scenic drive is beautiful.

I AM IN CROWDS ALL THE TIME AT THE AIRPORT AND I DO NOT LIKE TO STAND IN LINE WITH CRANKY PEOPLE….MYSELF INCLUDED. I also do not want to pay to sweat in line.
Thus, I do not do Six Flags. I have not been to Disneyworld in years and if you offered me ( right now) a 3 day all expenses package, I would pass. I do like Disneyworld, even though it is not as grand. The weather is MUCH more pleasant, in the spring and fall. I would go there again in a heartbeat. We have gone in mid November where you ride, get off, ride, get off….as much as you want to.

@ tiger…your post could be longer than mine today….:0

Here is my opinion for you:
You and I have both have seen a lot of things ( me mostly in the US) but there are some people who are not brave enough to try new things. A LOT of folks, in the south, do the same summer vacation each year and never branch out. While I love the beach….there are lots of other things to see. There are even other beaches! My husband and I were really intrigued with the Oregon coast last month and the weather was incredible …we want to go again!

My daughter and I were just talking, today, about the time we rode the stagecoach in Arizona and she rode a camel with yellow gooey teeth….hilarious!

Our family has lots of memories from lots of places….Disneyworld…not so much!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
3:01 pm

@JJ….WAKE UP!!!!! Pooh wasn’t created by A.A. Milne out of inspiration……it was out of REVENGE!!! ;-)

Fred (with a capitol "F")

July 19th, 2010
3:05 pm

It is funny how different people perceive the value proposition differently. We’ve been to Disney a couple of times for a few days each time. We also have visited other parks. Disney really does the park thing the best IMO. I’ve been to Hawaii twice, this last time with both kids and found it to be the second most expensive place to vacation with Bermuda being the most expensive. We have done a variety of vacations including New York, the beach, the mountains, etc and each had something to offer. I think the kids take their clue from the parents. If you go determined that you will hate the lines and hate the cost and hate the food, everyone will hate the experience. If you go with the attitude that it something new to be experienced, then you get something better out of it I think. We haven’t always had a great time or experience with the various places we’ve been but we have almost always gotten something to remember and talk about out of all of them even if it was a laugh about how bad some place was! For us, Branson just didn’t cut it but I know people that go every year. Disney was fun but a little goes a long way for our family. Not that we wouldn’t go back, it just is not a place to go frequently.

Scott

July 19th, 2010
3:06 pm

While you definitely pay a premium for “The Disney Experience” when going to their parks, I believe it is worth it as long as you make it once every 3-4 years or so. The thing Disney does better than any other park is provide the ambiance to go along with the rides/experiences. I’m a 38 y/o male and Disney is still my favorite park experience…even moreso now that I have children. To see their excitement adds all the more to the value.

I can understand the argument against Disney that they are the corporate giant that over commercializes everything and gets rich while doing so. I agree! But at the same time, I agree that the experience is worth my money and provides great fun and memories for myself and children.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
3:06 pm

oops…I do like DisneyLAND….sorry…too many Disneys!

penguinmom

July 19th, 2010
3:09 pm

6 flags is not comparable to Disney. 6 Flags is dirty with massively expensive food that is absolutely inedible. I also would expect 6 flags to have more petty crime. I pretty much refuse to go to 6 flags. The only time my kids have gone (with my husband) has been with free tickets from a reading program they have.

I think Disney World is wonderful but we’ve only gotten to take our kids once. We’re hoping to go sometime in the next year. Last time we went in February which meant the heat and the crowds weren’t bad at all.

Last time we went to Disney, I found the food to be a little pricey but not bad. It’s about Applebee’s prices and the food is at least as good if not better than most fast food places. We did one of the character dinners and it was all very good food.

Disney is also very safe. We left my bag (with money in it) in the Disney stroller outside every ride and it was never even touched. There level of crime is Extremely low.

As far as expense, we paid $70/night for the Disney hotel which included free bus rides to and from the parks. The room had a fridge so we brought breakfast and lunch things to lower our food costs. If you are from Georgia, they often have deals on accommodations and/or tickets.

I do have one friend who is a complete Disney freak. I think that’s a little weird. They have season passes because they go so often even though they live here in Atlanta. They’ve also done the cruises a couple of times. I’d rather go to different places on vacation. Disney is just one of the places we’ve got on our list. We’re thinking of going to Washington DC this spring and like to go to the beach also.

Of course, my boys are really looking forward to LegoLand opening in Florida fall 2001!

davisdad97

July 19th, 2010
3:10 pm

Disney Lover here! I have five children ranging from 6-24. The great thing about Disney is there is something for everyone. We all enjoy going there and will be making our 10th trip down there this year.

As for hot and long waits. If the hot is what bothers you, go at a time where the weather is cooler. We go in September every year and it is much more pleasent. We are fortunate to have a Fall break that allows us to go that time a year. As for long lines, if this is a big problem for you, go a different time of year. Believe it or not, Disney does have an off season. September-mid November. January-April. If you cant go during that time, you the fast pass system. This will limit your time considerably. We have a set plan on what to fast pass and what to stand in line for. It may take a little while to figure this out but once you do you considerably limit the amount of time that you are standing in line.

As for expenses. Disney can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you want it to be. Sure you can stay on property, eat at all of the expensive restraunts and buy the souveniers in the park and you will spend a fortune. There is a way to do it and spend less. Disney tickets are not expensive if you buy multi-days. If you are only going one or two days yes it can be pricey. Staying off property is also a consideration. We bought a time share and this has reduced our cost significantly. But for those of you not going every year, Disney does offer value resorts. These are not low end hotel rooms. There is nothing short of first class that Disney offers and these rooms are, most of the time, cost less than a room off disney property. As for food. Disney allows coolers. You can bring water, soda, fruit, sandwiches or anything else you can fit in a small cooler (except of alcohol). And lastly souveniers. There is a Disney outlet store at a local outlet mall. They have a ton of of items at reasonable prices. Alot of this is discontinued items but you will also find items that are also in the park.

I know that there will be some that still do not like the Disney experience. As for my family (all seven of us), we look forward to it every year!

one of "those" disney fans

July 19th, 2010
3:23 pm

Many people do not realize that WDW in Fla is the size of Manhattan. Just as families would NEVER plan a trip of everything Manhattan has to offer in 3 days, families should not plan a trip to “do everything Disney” in 3 days. Yet – this is exactly what families do, and they come back from their vacation hot, tired, and plain worn out – all blaming “disney.” I have been there probably 100s of times – my son who is 8 has probably been there about 20 times (I’m guessing.) We started taking them at 3 months. All I can say, is that Disney is like a more wholesome New Orleans – what I mean by that is that I heard there is a saying about New Orleans that “if you can’t get it in New Orleans, you can’t get it.” You will get at Disney whatever it is that you are looking for. If you are seeking out a candy filled schmaltz fest, you will get it. If you are seeking an educational experience, you will get that. If you want to do it five star and not see a single kid – believe it or not, you can do it. If you want to have a romantic honeymoon, or a blowout with the extended family – it’s all possible. Golfer? Early morning Surfing lessons? Spa experience? Horseback riding? Fishing? Hot air balloon ride? Snorkeling with Sharks? Scuba Diving? Doing a ladybug release in the rose garden? Race car driving? Private safari to have up-close encounters with wild animals? It’s all there. We have kids age 6 and 8, and go several times a year and do different things each time, and REALLY enjoy the things we happen to be doing. We try to never do the same thing twice in a year – it’s easy to do. We’ve stayed there a week before and never set foot in the Magic Kingdom. Why do we go back again and again? Because it’s EASY. We have kids and it’s EASY – kids are not only welcome they are EXPECTED at even “fine dining” places. The kids are entertained, they enjoy it – the adults enjoy it – all in all we have a real VACATION. When the kids are older, we’ll plan trips to Yellowstone, DC, NYC – but at age 6 and 8, it makes for an easier educational experience to go to what my friends call The Land of the Giant Mouse. And at the end of the day your 6 year old can ride down a slide shaped like a serpant’s tongue. What is more fun than that. For you Disney haters – know that you can stick your head in the sand and deny it, but the fact is they do have incredible experiences there – we try to “wow” the kids at least once every trip, and we do try to make it a learning experience at every turn, and they know it. For those who think Disney is all about commercialism, high fructose corn syrup, burgers and fries and and waiting in lines in steamy black asphalt while singing “it’s a small world” – really you are missing something really cool. Next time you go, take the time to research unique and different things – have everyone in your family choose ONE “must do.” Then do it. It’s not all about the kids. Make Disney part adult vacation as well as kids vacation. You’ll enjoy it, and your kids just might walk away with a better appreciation of “fun.”

Brian

July 19th, 2010
3:33 pm

You are doing your kids a great disservice if you don’t take them to Disney. Most on here complain about the prices and the crowds, will complain about that anywhere. The trick with Disney and yes my family has been every year for the past five, is to go in the off season. The best time to go is the first several weeks of october or december. Most families will be in school and the lines are non-existent. In october you can visit Mickey’s spooktacular, and in December there is no place like Disney for Christmas. Your kids will love it, just do like we do and stay in one of the value resorts and eat very little at the parks and you can get in and out for a week under 1400 with meals for a family of four. No one does it better for children than Disney.

Bob LeBlah

July 19th, 2010
3:35 pm

Disney is not that expensive if you know what you’re doing. We spent $38 per person per day on tickets. You’d spend that at six flags and not get nearly the enjoyment. Yes staying in the park is expensive, so don’t. Stay in hotels just a mile or 2 off the property.. you save bundles…

JJ

July 19th, 2010
3:37 pm

PenguineMom – LegoLand is already open. A friend of mine took his sons back in May.

LWA

July 19th, 2010
3:38 pm

I love Disney. We only take the kids when they are old enough to walk for long distances without the need of a stroller. My rules when we visit a park: you must walk and carry your own stuff. I don’t carry anything.

In ‘07 we went the Sunday after the last day of school and the crowds were very, very light and the weather was nice. I have visited in August and it is to hot. It is good clean fun and for me I felt like a kid again. There is always something new to see and do there. I have gone 4 times since ‘94 and I plan to go again when the now 4 year old is about 8.

It is as expensive or as cheap as you want to make it. We stayed off property at a Residence Inn. Breakfast was included. Light lunch at the park and dinner at a national chain (Fridays, Applebee’s, etc). The kids saved up Christmas and birthday money for 1 year to get the souvenir’s that they wanted (and had to carry).

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
3:40 pm

@one of those disney fans…..I’ll admit I didn’t have a bad time at DisneyWorld. I just can’t get through the smoke and mirrors of it all. I’m sure you can do all those things that you mentioned. We went we stopped off at the faux Hotel Del on property just to check it out. Much to my surprise, the Hotel Del in Coronado is much, much nicer…..SHOCKING.

And that, my fellow bloggers, is why I hate Disney theme parks. I believe they sell you a cheap substitute of the real things they imitate and promote them as “as good as the real thing”. Well they’re not as good as the real thing. Having an italian meal in EPCOT by an italian foreign exchange student is not as good as, or the same as, having an italian meal in Italy…..or even an italian meal in lower Manhattan run by a 3rd generation italian family. But Disney will go to any length to tell you it is.

Walking through a castle that looks a whole lot like Neuschwanstein in Bavaria in Orlando is NOT remotely similar to going there. But they’ll sell it as an impressive “replica”.

I’m not offended by those who subscribe to Disney fanaticism, I’m sure that my rants have given the impression that I am, so I apologize. But in the spirit of what TWG requested…why do Disney haters hate Disney, I present my, and mine only, reasons today.

JJ

July 19th, 2010
3:49 pm

Brian, I prefer to go to new places. Not the same one over and over and over. There is just too much of this world to see to go to the same places over and over and over. I’ve done Disney. Off to a new adventure.

My daughter NEVER asked to go back to DisneyWorld. She much prefers to see new places too.

HB

July 19th, 2010
3:51 pm

I get what you’re saying, Tiger. Universal seems to have tried to imitate the theme park resort model, with onsite hotels and multiple parks, but you’re right that they haven’t managed to create an entire self-contained world that comes close to matching it.

For those of you who enjoy Disney but hate lines and heat, I highly recommend EuroDisney (Disneyland Paris). Back in the mid-90s, I was on a summer abroad program in Paris and we all swore we would NOT visit any of the horrible commercial American places that had invaded France. But then we realized that we were leaving Paris on July 12, missing both our Independence Day in the U.S. and Bastille Day in Paris. The thought of missing all the fireworks and celebration depressed us, so after classes ended the morning of the 4th, we headed off to Disneyland for a wonderfully campy American Day (and stopped at McD’s on our way to the train). It was awesome! 70 degrees and super-short lines — way better than Florida!

Ken

July 19th, 2010
3:58 pm

For my 4 year old twin daughters Disney was a magical experience (they are OBSESSED with princesses). For instance, when one of my daughter’s saw the Beauty and the Beast play and Belle came out in her yellow dress, her eyes got as wide as saucers and her jaw dropped. TO a 4 year old these characters seem real. For my wife and I, to see their reactions, well, it is a memory we will always treasure and it is really hard to put a price on that. You just can’t get get that experience anywhere else, so yes, I will gladly put up with all the annoyances. And let me add that the Disney Castle all lit up at night is, in my opinion, one of the 10 most beautiful sights on earth.

BlondeHoney

July 19th, 2010
3:59 pm

I come from Florida, first visited WDW a few mointh afrer they opened in Feb ‘72 with my grandparents, took my 2 boys a few times and my Dad, sister AND my cousin all worked for Disney at one time or another…and I agree 1000% with Tiger. It’s a phony world; my kids are indifferent to Disney at best, couldn’t tell you anything they did there but they remember EVERY moment of thier childhood trips to Cancun, Washington DC (twice), Puerto Rico, Spain, and Hawaii. All those trips cost what Disney costs and were so much better and more meanignful..for all of us.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
4:02 pm

@Ken….

“And let me add that the Disney Castle all lit up at night is, in my opinion, one of the 10 most beautiful sights on earth.”

No offense…but I would be fascinated to hear your other 9! :-o

T

July 19th, 2010
4:06 pm

First of all, the word “Pooh-bashing” being mentioned in an article titled Momania is hilarious.

I’ve been to Disney twice, once as a child and once as an adult. If you’re into the theme park thing, there’s about nothing more fun for young kids. I have to say though, growing up in Cleveland, I spent nearly every summer going to Cedar Point and I always liked that better than Disney. As a roller coaster nut, I’ve been to lots of different parks. If you like theme parks, Cedar Point is the place to go. No question. It never gets hotter than mid 80s and they even have a beach for the moms to relax on and read, etc.

Jeff

July 19th, 2010
4:07 pm

Tiger, you make some great points. But my munchkin is 7 and I’m going to take her ONCE so she won’t cry about not going if she’s 30 and in therapy. You’re right, though, that there are soooo many other things to see in this country for cheaper. Grand Canyon, festivals everywhere, farms, smokey mountains, lakes.

Roswell Jeff

July 19th, 2010
4:08 pm

Who would got to a theme park for fine dining?

Roswell Jeff

July 19th, 2010
4:09 pm

Value to entertainment is all relative.

Roswell Jeff

July 19th, 2010
4:11 pm

I had a co-worker that hated anything Disney soley based upon the fact that they have a “Gay Day” at the park.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
4:17 pm

@Jeff…i don’t blame you a bit. My son was 5. i wasn’t a buzzkill either, we had a decent time, and were ready to ride out the day until closing time. We got there when it opened and at about 4:30 he looked up at me and his mother and said “you think we could go back home and swim now?” I’ve never been so proud. Best of luck to you!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
4:21 pm

@Blondehoney….it just dawned on me……WDW is the Matrix! ;-)

dixie pixie

July 19th, 2010
4:25 pm

I worked for The Disney Store for several years. My ex loved WDW, so we went frequently. Not so much now, but I still know a few tricks to spending less money and still having fun. Little things like. . .if you don’t care about the parade, that is the time to ride the main attractions–everyone else is watching the parade! I kept a journal of ideas about the various ways to spend less money and have loads of fun and would be happy to share. TWG has my email address if it is needed. . .

Becky

July 19th, 2010
4:45 pm

I have been to WDW once and wasn’t that thrilled with it..Will I go back and take our two little ones? Heck yeah, if they want to go..Try anything (just about) once..

@penguimom..You will have a great time in DC..If you don’t already know, get in touch with your congressman to get tickets for touring the White House and a couple more places..Plus in otder to see a lot of the things there, you’ll have to be there like at 7 in the morning..Enjoy it..

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
4:46 pm

I do think every child should have a chance to go to Disney at least once, if it is an option.

I do not hate Disneyworld. it is just not something I am willing to do every few years…or even ever again.

This falls into the same spectrum as camping ( for me). LOTS of folks love it but I like clean sheets, my own potty and a comfortable bed without any surprise guests. Yes, I camped with my family
( growing up) for many years. Also a road trip from Chicago to LA…northern states first and southern swing on the way home.

I think ( as Blonde Honey) there are so many other wonderful and memorable things you can do as a family. Snorkeling, Grand Canyon, Desert and seeing a Rainforest or Glacier are not the same as riding the Teapots…to me.

JoDee

July 19th, 2010
4:49 pm

Tiger, I’m with you. We traveled as much as we could when our now-17-year-old was growing up. Disney holds more unpleasant memories than any other trip for him. I just asked him what his favorite vacation memories were. The best one was Costa Rica—surfing, watching an active volcano at night, zip-lining through the rain forest at 45 mph, white water rafting, and staying in huts fashioned after indigenous pre-Colombian shelters. Yellowstone is in the top 10, where we went backpacking and fly fishing. Another would be the countryside of Italy—eating fresh mozzarella for lunch after watching the campesina make it, watching the sun set over the cliffs of Sorrento while watching an Italian wedding feast on the terrace of our hotel. The real world is so much better than the Matrix, er, amusement parks. Disney is hot, crowded, expensive, and fake. ugh

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
4:58 pm

HHHMMM…wonder if those who LOVE Disney have done some of the things JoDee shared…sounds like a lot of fun to me. FYI…kids will tell you they would rather go to Disney but they do not know the other wonderful options. Adults who never venture out do not know them either. I have been to some of the most interesting places, completely on accident. I have met some fascinating people too! As I mentioned before, my daughter DID NOT want me to take her along to Alaska….SHE LOVED IT!

Dar

July 19th, 2010
5:03 pm

@T – ahhh, yes, Cedar Point. My son is 13 next year and I have already told him that CP will be one of our summer trips. America’s Roller Coast. I went to WDW with my parents and sister every other year from age 9 through 17. I was able to watch it grow year over year from one park into the collection that it is now. My parents now snow-bird near Orlando and my son has been over to WDW once or twice, but because we normally visit during Spring Break when it is busy we generally stay away from the parks and just hit the beaches. I think this year I might take him in October just to see WDW and Universal. Our main family trip this summer was a week in Toronto (well, a couple of days in Niagara Falls and then Toronto). HHoF, CN Tower, Blue Jays, CJs Skatepark and wandering the harbour area of the City….no amusement park needed.

TechMom

July 19th, 2010
5:05 pm

Went to Disneyland several times as a kid (we lived in Las Vegas and it was a cheap ‘vacation’ – or the closest thing we ever got to a vacation when I was a kid anyway). When we moved to Florida when I was in middle school my parents took us for a couple of days to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot but it was horribly crowded so we got little enjoyment out of it and I think that spoiled it for me (if I didn’t enjoy it when I was 13, is it really going to be more fun as an adult??)

My son is 15 and has never been to DisneyWorld. We took a trip out to Cali when he was 9 and we took him to Disneyland and my parents have taken him to Universal and Sea World but amusement parks aren’t real high on our list of vacation spots. I will say that Disneyland was much nicer with the fastpass system in that we didn’t spend lots of time in line but even then my son wasn’t impressed with he rides. So I guess it’s not that we dislike Disney, we just aren’t impressed with it. It’s an experience that is fine once or twice but I do have a terrible time understanding people who go back year after year and never go anywhere else. I have heard that Animal Kingdom is great tho and wouldn’t mind checking that out one day but likely it would be on a trip to Florida to see our friends and wouldn’t be the reason we took the trip.

Again, we don’t plan vacations around amusement parks but our favorite one that isn’t too far away is Wild Adventures in Valdosta. We used to live down there so we’ve seen it grow from a petting zoo to a full-grown amusement park. It also helps that we are usually down to see family and friends and they don’t mind hanging out at the park with us. To me it’s like a miniature Busch Gardens. They have animals, a great kids’ area, several coasters and even a small water park. Plus when they do concerts, they’re included with your ticket price unless you want to be up close. The lines aren’t like SixFlags though it has been 2 summers since we’ve gone during peak season but overall, it’s a great value (I think it’s about $35-40 for a ticket but that gets you 2 days at the park- you pay the first day and can come back any additional day in the next 5 days I think). When my son was younger and we visited more often, we would often just get annual passes. They’re about the same as 6Flags but they’re open year-round, not just during the summer.

Sally

July 19th, 2010
5:09 pm

I happen to love Disney. We do not go every year but have been several times and plan to go back next year. Every time I have been has been a different experience, and our children have enjoyed it in different ways every time. Planning is important and knowing what will appeal to your family is crucial. Disney puts on a “show” down to the tiniest detail and for us that is fun and fascinating. From the moment you enter the property, you are part of an elaborate production – sure it is fake – but that is what makes it so much fun.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
5:11 pm

@ Dar…oh yes the tower in Toronto with the glass floor…that really gave me the heebie jeebies but it was such a neat place. We also went to a bat cave while there and my daughter was all excited to talk to her teacher about echo location!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
5:28 pm

@Jodee, Dar….we’re cut from the same mold. It’s not “a small world after all”… Disney just wants people to believe that AND that you can see enough replicas of it at Disney to pass for the real thing in the name of convenience. It’s acutally a very, very big world and I want to show my kid as much of it as I can and instill a spirit of wanting to see more of it when he’s on his own.

TnT's Mom

July 19th, 2010
5:32 pm

We went in ‘087. my boys were 9 and 13. I think that is the perfect age. The were not tired, were able to ride all the rides. They absolutely enjoyed themselves. yes we stayed on property,. we camped at the campground. It was the cleanest, nicest campground we have been to. Having our camper, allowed us ot save lots of money on food. we ate breakfast before heading out each morning, ate a light lunch in the parks, then a snack dinner when we finally returned to the camper.

Disney is not for everyone, but if you want to go, go at least once. We stayed four days and hit Animal kingdom, epcot, magic kingdom, blizzard beach and even spent some time at downtown disney. We felt like we did and saw what we wanted. But, we definately did not see it all. If you go with a plan and dont’ dry to do it all in just a few days, I would say a week would be best if you want to do it all, but why wear yourself out.

so whatever, if you don’t want to go, fine, If you do fine. Just leave each other alone. I have no desire to go snow skiing so don’t bash me because of that and I wont ask anyone why they wont’ go to the beach or to disney.

HB

July 19th, 2010
5:33 pm

“If you don’t already know, get in touch with your congressman to get tickets for touring the White House and a couple more places..”

Good tip, Becky, but definitely limit that to the White House, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and maybe a staff/intern-led Capitol tour. (Really, though, the docent tours from the Capitol Visitor’s Center are better and more accurate — interns sometimes make stuff up as they go and also learn a lot of bad info when trained that was probably made up by previous interns. The red coat docents are well-trained and must adhere to much higher standards when giving tours.) Some offices will offer to set up itineraries with special Congressional Tours all over town, but it’s often a disaster. You get doublebooked at the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court and then have to get to the Kennedy Center in 10 minutes (can’t be done). Don’t tell Congress, but pretty much none of the special Congressional tours in town are special. Various sites set one tour each day for Congressional guests, but they get the same tour everyone else gets throughout the day, but with less scheduling flexibility. The government sites just do it to keep Congress happy (they control the budget). Most of the Cong. offices have it figured out and only set up WH tours (you have to go through Congress for that one), but some keep trying to act like they’re going all out for their constituents while really making their trips far more difficult than necessary.

uconn

July 19th, 2010
5:34 pm

Personally, I don’t what the big deal is with Disney. If I am going to pick a park it would be Universal studios – ISlands of Adventure… I love both those parks… But thats only if I have to pick one… I too hate standing in an endless line and smelling all the wonderful smells that you get in the summer with people visting from overseas… No thank you…

BlondeHoney

July 19th, 2010
5:34 pm

Amen Tiger, JoDee, Dar; I always strived to do just that, instill the spirit of adventure in my boys. I believe I have done that; when my 23 year old graduates from Sub Officer School in October, while he is on liberty he and a friend are backpacking across Europe for three weeks :)

DB

July 19th, 2010
5:44 pm

@Tiger: “It’s acutally a very, very big world and I want to show my kid as much of it as I can and instill a spirit of wanting to see more of it when he’s on his own.”

Amen to that! I’m bemused/proud/envious that my kids’ passports are far more interesting than mine were at that age, due to school trips and other programs. My daughter’s passport alone includes England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Romania and the Ukraine, as well as Canada and several ports in the Caribbean. I had been to Canada and spent three hours in Mexico when I was 18! She just showed me a photography/filmmaking semester abroad the Queen Mary 2 — 103 days and 35 cities around the world on all continents. I LOVE that she thinks that something like that is possible and fun! The world is a huge place, full of interesting people, places and things. My “bucket list” has about 300 things on it :-)

@MJG: We’re off to SF and southern Oregon in a couple of weeks — the Shakespeare festival in Ashland, Crater Lake, etc. We hope to hit the coast, too, but it’s a big state!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

July 19th, 2010
5:58 pm

@DB, Blondehoney, Dar, MJG, and JoDee…thanks for being around today…for a while there I thought I was the odd man out!

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
7:07 pm

My daughter and I are off to Boston tomorrow. Sorry Wayne but she just wanted us to do a Mom and Girl trip. Did not want us to meet anyone from the blog while there :0 I am glad I have points to cash in…the hotel is $300 per night….love those free stays but it takes a lot of paid stays to get there!

DB. let’s touch base after you get back…I love SF too! We loved shore Acres!

[...] to find out what was driving all this anger towards Disney and asked it’s readers “Are you A Disney Hater?” Results are on both sides of the aisle. There are some legitimate concerns that Disney might [...]

Alex

July 20th, 2010
8:24 am

I find Tiger’s comments intriguing because they suggest that it’s impossible to be interested in culture AND ‘comic books’ (I happen to think those are culture too, but hey).

I grew up in London, England with Greek parents and had visited practically every country in mainland Europe by the time I was 10. My parents still drive through Europe to Greece every year, and sometimes I join them. Now that i’m 30, the last few holidays I’ve gone on were to Rome, Barcelona, the West Highlands of Scotland… and Walt Disney World. I’ve been to WDW about 10 times since I was four, and I would go every year if I could, because it entertains me. I love the rides, the attention to detail, the (almost) guaranteed great weather, the way everyone there is grinning broadly at being able to act like an overexcited kid all day. And I don’t have children yet (she’s due in a few weeks. ;)).

Somehow my parents managed to bring up a culture-appreciating, museum-visiting, Philosophy grad, book-reading, writer-by-profession daughter who both visits beautiful and interesting cities around the world AND appreciates great animated films and a couple of weeks enjoying a theme park. I was never allowed excessive treats (I have one stuffed animal and a pair of mouse ears), either, so it wasn’t about the commercialism.

My husband thought he’d hate Disney because of the queues, heat, people and sales pitches, until I talked him into taking our honeymoon there. Now he’s wondering when we can afford the next trip.

I say mix it up. It doesn’t have to be ALL Disney, and it doesn’t have to be NO Disney. If it doesn’t work for you and your family, don’t go; I just don’t see the reason to hate. I got some seriously snooty attitude from some people when they found out where we were going on honeymoon, but I just pitied them for being so impolite and narrow-minded!

Lady Strange

July 20th, 2010
8:44 am

I have never been to Disney. I plan to take my son though when he is older (maybe 4 or 5). I have always wanted to go so it will be an experience for both of us. I hate lines and crowds too so we will most likely go in the off season. Not something we will do every year but at least once and if my son wants to do it again then we will see when we can go back.

Becky

July 20th, 2010
9:04 am

@penguimom..Also while you are in DC, go to the pier where they sell fresh seafood (if it appeals to you)..We took the little ones when they were 5 and they loved it..There is also a all you can eat seafood place there that y’all might like..It’s fairly expensive, but for us it was worth it..

Visit Georgetown..You can see the steps where the Exorist was filmed..It’s a really nice place to see..If you are driving, maybe you could go into VA. and see some of the caverns or tour MT. Vernon..No matter what you do, I think you’ll have a great time..

zapperz

July 20th, 2010
9:52 am

1. I became a Disney theme park fan only when I was an adult. So I was never “indoctrinated” into it as a child.

2. Many of the complaints against Disney theme parks are not unique to Disney theme parks. When it is hot and humid at WDW, it is also hot and humid throughout the rest of Florida. Do you complain about that when you’re on the Florida beach as well? So this is more of a complaint of Florida weather rather than WDW theme parks.

3. The complaints on crowds are also not Disney-specific. In fact, Disney has better crowd controls that most theme parks. If you hate crowds, then you have issues not just with Disney theme parks. Your “hate” isn’t specific to them.

4. Both #2 and #3 can be avoided with better planning. Go to WDW in early February or early December. You’d be surprised how pleasant the weather is and how short the lines are. If you can’t go during that time because the kids are in school, then BINGO! You’ve hit the main reason why these places are so busy during those times. But don’t simply make the general conclusions that they are busy and hot ALL THE TIME! They are not.

5. There are TONS of websites and blogs on the ‘net on how to do WDW cheaply. Like any other vacation, you have to plan and do a little bit of homework before you go. Figure out where to stay cheaply (you can stay in a standard room, on Disney property, for less than 100/night!), and eat quality food for less. If you complaint that they are too expensive, you haven’t done your homework. Do anything, not just Disney theme parks, without planning and you’ll pay through your nose, because you just didn’t know any better.

6. I didn’t grow up in the US and have traveled to many parts of the world. I’m not short on seeing different things. I certainly am not here to recommend that people go to Disney theme parks exclusively in lieu of other places. But it is also unfair to criticize the theme park for what it is.

7. WDW has more educational and learning experiences than most other theme parks, if that is what people are also looking for. Walk through Innoventions at Epcot and spend some time there. For a theme park, they didn’t have to do this. It takes time, effort, money, and manpower for something that isn’t what guests at their parks expect. Yet, they continue to do it, and often, opening new “attractions” within this complex.

8. Disney theme parks are full of minute details that, as an adult, I can truly appreciate. We laugh when we walk “in the sewer” in Liberty Square, and why there are no washrooms anywhere in that land because there are no indoor-plumbing during that era. The original carvings and stories at the Animal Kingdom Lodge never cease to amaze us. There are tons of other details beyond this that, as an adult, you appreciate the theme parks even more, and keep discovering new ones with subsequent visits. Disney theme parks may appear to be aimed towards kids, but they were constructed for adults (the Dumbo ride sits two adults comfortably). All these reasons are Disney theme park-specifics, not just some generic praises that can also be lumped with other places. You’d be hard-pressed to find another theme park that pays THAT much close attention not only to the training of their cast members (employees), but also to the construction of the theme parks and attractions.

Zz.

Lee

July 20th, 2010
11:55 am

zapperz, well said! Every point you make is absolutely spot-on, particularly with regard to cost. I spend less on a 1-week vacation to Walt Disney World staying on-property in a “Deluxe”-level resort, than on a weekend trip to New York City. You mentioned that you can stay in a standard-level room on property for under $100/night. Let me expand that to say that you can stay in such a room for under $75 a night, which is what I spent on a discounted room at a Greensboro, NC Residence Inn last week.

I am one of those who vacation there several times per year. The reason I can afford to do so is because I know how to save money on the trip to make it affordable, including park tickets and meals. I also travel to Europe and Asia. No, I am not wealthy. As the adage goes, knowledge is power.

Anyone who thinks Disney World is only for kids is missing the picture. Go there without your kids, and you’ll have a whole different experience. Good on you for pointing out the attention to detail that is lacking everywhere else. Take a long, leisurely stroll on Main Street USA and you’ll be blown away by the detailed touches.

If you just dislike Disney on principle, more power to you, and I’m glad I won’t have to stand next to you in a queue.

Long lines? There are ways to avoid that, and no, it does not always involve FastPass.

Crowds? Also can be avoided if you know when to go, down to planning which day you spend at which park.

Overpriced souvenirs? Not a Disney-specific problem. However, there are many places on property that offer quality merchandise in the $3 to $10 range. You can also get more expensive authentic souvenirs at a deep discount if you know where to go. Personally, I don’t buy souvenirs, neither for myself nor my children. I tell them “no.”

Weather? Sorry, you’re on your own there.

Judge if you will, but I love the Mouse!

Mark W

July 20th, 2010
12:11 pm

I’m not a parent so I’m outside the target audience of this blog… 24 year old single male but I found this blog post linked from “The Disney Blog” so I guess that lets you know where I’m coming from. Just wanted to respond to what some people have said…

@Terry Malloy “Plus, the whole deal was founded by an anti-semitic jerk.”

Not true. There is zero credible evidence that Walt Disney was anti-semitic. This claim comes solely from a poorly-researched if not outright deceptive book entitled “Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince.” The work has very little credibility as it has been widely denounced by other historians and biographers, and also contains the now-thoroughly-debunked claim that Walt Disney’s body was put in cryogenic storage. Sadly, due to late night TV shows and adult cartoons using the book’s contents for comedic fodder, the book’s claims are now widely accepted as true. They’re not.

@everyone else but especially Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

Disney isn’t perfect. At all. I love Disney and I’ll readily admit that. But when it comes to “how did they do that?” special effects, immersive themed design, and customer service, 9 times out of 10 Disney is the best of the best. Disney isn’t intended to be a substitute for all of the things that it imitates. Despite what Tiger says, I don’t think that Disney wants you to believe that. (Although, many of the full service World Showcase restaurants are staffed by excellent chefs, not “italian foreign exchange students” as Tiger says. You DEFINITELY can have a world-class dining experience at Walt Disney World if you’re willing to pay for it.) Furthermore, yes Disney is a business that is motivated by more than altruism and they can be quite expensive. But guess what? The airline that takes you to Australia is a business. Touring in Switzerland generally isn’t very cheap. The restaurant that you eat at in Rome is motivated by more than just altruism. That’s how tourism (and the world) works. I don’t see how Disney deserves being singled out for it.

Secondly, I’d like to second Alex that you can love Disney AND the rest of the world. I’ve been very fortunate to have had the chance to do quite a bit of traveling. I’ve been to every state in the U.S. and most of the U.S. Nat’l Parks. I’ve traveled throughout Canada, the Caribbean, the UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Japan, and Hong Kong. I’ve loved all of those places. I love experiencing new cultures, seeing new sights, observing new art, and learning new things. And guess what? A lot of my favorite memories are from Disney vacations, and if hard-pressed, I’d probably say that if I had to choose my favorite vacation destination, it’d be Walt Disney World.

Now, granted, Disney isn’t for everyone. But I would submit that a lot of people hate Disney because they approach it the wrong way. First of all, going to Orlando in the summer is hot; REALLY REALLY hot. Summer is the worst time to go to Walt Disney World for a whole lot of reasons. If you do it, take advantage of longer park hours by sleeping in, going to the pool during the day, and hitting the parks mainly in the late afternoon/night. No matter when you go, you need to pace yourself and not approach it as an “Orlando Commando” who has to see/do everything. The Walt Disney World property is twice the size of Manhattan. It is IMPOSSIBLE to see/do everything even if you had two weeks there. You need to choose what’s most important to you, plan on doing that, and leave time for sponanaeity and relaxation (just like you would on any sightseeing vacation). If a line is too long, DON’T WAIT IN IT! Get a Fastpass or come back at another time when it’s less crowded. I never wait more than a half hour (usually no more than 15-20 mins.) for any attraction. And above all, relax and treat it like a vacation. Even if you’re not “on an attraction,” the immersive, incredibly detailed themed environments themselves are attractions. Allow yourself to relax, slow down, and take it all in.

Mark W

July 20th, 2010
1:56 pm

One other quick thing to add since it was brought up by an earlier commenter and there is a lot of misinformation about this… The “Gay Days” events that happen at Disneyland and Walt Disney World are not sanctioned, sponsored, or endorsed by The Walt Disney Company. They are organized and promoted by an outside organization. Disney doesn’t promote the event, but they also can’t turn someone away just for being affiliated with it (not that they would want to). Disney probably doesn’t like all the controversy associated with the events (though that’s tapered off quite a bit in recent years) but I’m sure they don’t mind the additional business.

If you’re there during Gay Days, know that those who are there for the event identify themselves by wearing a red shirt. Plan your wardrobe accordingly to avoid any, ahem, “potentially unwanted attention.” I don’t know if this is still the case, but it used to be Disney policy that if an unknowing guest wore a red shirt into the park that day and complained, Disney customer service would comp them a non-red t-shirt.

RickJM

July 20th, 2010
2:55 pm

I normally take two vacations a year, one to WDW and one somewhere else. I went to Puerto Rico this spring and will go to WDW this fall. WDW will be about 500$ dollars cheaper per person.
WDW is one of the cheapest vacations out there. To rent a house at the Jersey Shore in the summer you are looking at about 2500$ a week. To rent one outside of WDW is about 1000$ a week.

Theme park tickets are dirt cheap if you stay 5-7 days. The price is about 45$ a day. So that’s 45$ for entertainment from 8AM to about 11PM depending on time of the year. Where else will you get that kind of value. Even if you figure in 20$ a day per person for food, that’s still a good value.

I went to Hershey park last weeked. Ticket for the day was about 45$. Very few family attractions and no night time entertainment. We spent about 5 hours there. Plus we spent about 20$ on crappy food.

WDW is the premeir familty destination in the world. That doesn’t happen by accident or by ripping people off. There is a reason it is the top vacation destination. The people that I know that don’t care for Disney are for the most part, very cynical, and just about everything in life.

austin

July 20th, 2010
3:40 pm

i am 16 and i am a Disney addict and it hurts to hear when people have such great hatred towards tohe one thing a actually like i don not like most things but the one company that i can trust is Disney of course there are somethings that need to change but what company doesnt have things like that i do want to work at the Disney studio in the near future

Open your eyes

July 20th, 2010
4:38 pm

I’m a 30 year old father of 2 boys with a passion for architecture, history, attention to detail, and value. That’s why I feel WDW makes each of my vacation dollars go so far.

I feel the people who least enjoy WDW share one thing in common – they keep forgetting they are in a THEME park, not an amusement park. There is a big difference. Six Flags (I worked there for 5 years) has random, disconnected attractions scattered about like somebody in the corner office couldn’t decide if they were running a water park, carnival or petting zoo. They had to have it all, so they do it very, very poorly.

For example, at 6 Flags you SHOULD be upset when you wait 45+ minutes in a roller coaster line that traces its way back and forth under a dirty, boring metal shack on hot, sticky asphalt. You SHOULD be upset when you are loaded into the vehicle by a rude 17 year old pot-head who has his iPod headphones dangling around his neck. You SHOULD be upset when your ride is finished in under 90 seconds and you are dumped unceremoniously back onto the hot, sticky asphalt with a sore and bruised back. Then you start to wonder, why was that called the Viper? I didn’t see any snakes?

At a (Disney) Theme park, you are immersed in a consistent and rich story. A Disney attraction starts in the queue. If you take a moment to look around, you will notice that every artifact in the queue is there for a reason – NOTHING is by chance. EVERY element enhances the story and builds anticipation for the attraction. For example, Expedition Everest. It’s not a roller coaster, as so many people think. By the time you have worked your way through the queue, you ACTUALLY BELIEVE you are boarding a train at the base of the Himalayas in Nepal in search of the illusive Yeti. And those artifacts you are looking at? They are ACTUALLY from that area of the world.

So, open your eyes, and experience each queue for what it can be – a self guided tour of artifacts, or paintings, or even a museum of sorts. Turn your time in line into an opportunity to explore that authentically themed subject matter. This all comes free with your park admission ticket. So, to the people who complain about value, I argue that it IS there. Do you need value shoved down your throat? I bet you are the same people who rush to the Empire State Building observation deck upon your arrival in NYC. There are things to be enjoyed passively if you take the initiative.

(And to those who need more examples of passive enjoyment/education;
In the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, note that the shutters are hanging crooked. That’s because at the time of the American Revolution, metal shutter hinges were melted down to make musket balls, and replaced with leather straps. As the leather aged, it sagged making the shutters hang crooked.

In the Norway Pavilion of EPCOT, look on the roofs of the buildings. That is real living moss, just like the ancient Nords used to cover their roofs.

In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, go look at the big dinosaur that acts as an ice cream stand. It’s not tacky or random at all. That’s an example of a type of architecture called California Crazy that was popular in California during Hollywood’s golden age. It’s a reference to Gertie the dinosaur, a 1914 silver screen star, and a milestone in animation history. But all you probably noticed was the price of a Mickey Head ice cream, right?)

Oh, and a side note, the Magic Kingdom has no black top in it. None. Walt saw a women’s heals sink into black top in Disneyland in the 1950s and didn’t want to be like the “rest” of the parks. Imagineers came up with a clever fix for our comfort and enjoyment so to @Anne who said, “All that standing around in lines on hot blacktop. No thank you!,” I say you’re welcome!

finbarr

July 20th, 2010
6:22 pm

i am an unrepentant Disney fan. have been to disneyworld about 13 times my wife myself and my dad are going to Orlando for seventeen days in October and its costing us a total of 2,000 euros for flights and a condo. our son and daughter are going to new York in September for 5 days and its costing them 1,900 so Orlando wins hands down for value for money. i wouldn’t stay on Disney because its outrageously expensive although if i ever do win the lottery i would love to spend a night at the contemporary. why do we go back so much, simply because it allows me a 47 year old to be 10 all over again and again. one of the great things about living in ireland i can visit the rest of europe at the weekends for all the culture i want. so i get the best of both worlds

Christie c[

July 20th, 2010
7:54 pm

Enter your comments here

Christie

July 20th, 2010
7:56 pm

Sorry, my 2 year-old son managed to post that comment (or lack thereof) by rolling his giraffe over the keyboard.

jan

July 20th, 2010
8:26 pm

I love DisneyWorld. There are so many things to do there that have nothing to do with the parks. Ever taken a fishing tour there? Rode the horses at the campground? Played golf or tennis? Rented a bike to ride at the campground? Taken a walk at the boardwalk? Don’t get me wrong, I love the parks too, but we spend just as much time away from the parks doing fun things as we spend in the parks.

As for the souvenir cost, it is as expensive or as cheap as you decide for it to be.

Old School

July 20th, 2010
8:41 pm

I’ve never been a fan of contrived entertainment especially when it costs a small fortune just to pass through the gates. I’ve chaperoned a few band trips to DisneyWorld. I mostly people-watched and the things I saw parents do was pretty disgusting. Evidently, because of the cost, some think they must cram as much into the day as possible (much like some approaches to all you can eat buffets) and the littlest kids get dragged and jerked around until it seems to border on child abuse. (By the way, the Aid Stations are probably the best spot in the park! You see all kinds of folks with the most interesting problems come in. . . like the lady with the tip of her tongue snatched off when she froze it to a frozen treat and yanked it loose!)

Give me hiking trails, Brookgreen Gardens, the beach in November, or some other slow paced adventure where I can chat with my family and breathe in life!

JimDogg

July 20th, 2010
9:29 pm

I hate Disney because they pander to gays

There's a reason Epcot has a bar

July 20th, 2010
9:36 pm

If you don’t mind staying outside the park, you can book a nice hotel room on Priceline or Hotwire for as little as $30. And these aren’t on the other side of Florida, they are on US 192, less than two miles from the parks. Disney, as a corporation, is a marketing genius, but so are Wal-Mart and Chick-Fil-A.

Eric

July 20th, 2010
9:36 pm

We’ve taken our kids (some of them now adults) to a Disney property (Disneyland until last year, then Disney World) about once every five or six years and have thoroughly enjoyed it. We’ve done other types of travel too — and while I can’t see making Disney an annual adventure, as a special destination once in a while it has been a lot of fun.

We actually thought that Disney World last year was a pretty good value; there’s a wide variety of parks, Disney’s “low-end” hotels are quite comfortable, transportation in the park system is free, and options are available to keep food costs in check. Other than food, we spent very little beyond our hotel/admission package. We went in February, so it wasn’t terribly hot and the lines were seldom long.

I say, take the kids to national parks, historical sites, the beaches and (if you can afford it) foreign countries. But don’t deny them this bit of Americana that makes for great family memories.

Monica

July 20th, 2010
9:40 pm

If you go to Disney, you have to have the right mind-set first:

1) It is NOT a vacation; it is a trip. You are completely exhausted afterwards.
2) If you go for more than one day, leave the park during the heat of the day, go back to your hotel room, and take a nap!
3) It’s going to be hot.
4) There will be long lines, but you can by-pass some of these with the fast pass option.
5) You can take food in with you.

We also have opted to wait until our boys are older so that we don’t have to spend time in the small kids’ section, nor will we have to deal with whiny little ones. We have taken the boys to Disney for one day before – we did a tour-the-timeshare deal and got two free tickets. We stopped on our way to the beach.

joe taxpayer

July 20th, 2010
9:46 pm

I love WDW. Its fun and the kids love it also. Its not for everyone. We also spent a week in Seaside Fla. and there is commericaliztion there too. I am glad its expensive, could you believe the lines if it were cheap. I am so glad that we are blessed to live in a land with so many choices. I bet some Disney haters just can not stand seeing people have a good time doing something that they disapprove of.

[...] Are you a Disney hater?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Are you a Disney Hater? Do you refuse to take your kids to Disney World, Disney Land or even EuroDisney? Do you hate Disney movies, toys and paraphernalia? … [...]

Sarai

July 20th, 2010
11:02 pm

I was so happy to go to Disney World this year! When I shared this joy on Facebook one of my friends started berating me for loving it so much, something about corporate greed, that it was against her moral standing to ever go to Disney, etc. It frankly put a damper on my excitement for that one day. But I thought she was a hypocrite because for someone who is supposedly against big corporations like that she said she would on the other hand have no problems going to Universal Studios. So corporate greed aside it just came as a matter of personal preference to me. When I called her on it and asked to explain the difference between the two really she never replied. Score! Oh and I thoroughly LOVED my Disney vacation!

Stewie

July 20th, 2010
11:04 pm

Throw me in the “hater” camp.

Never could stand that mouse, even to this day.

Visited once…best thing was the fireworks show.

Don’t like theme parks in general, so it logically follows that I would not like the “grandest” one.

I think the biggest reason I dislike it is similar to why I don’t like cruises…I’d rather create my own adventures as opposed to having them delivered to me. I’m not a fan of all-inclusive anything. My sister, on the other hand, loves that kind of stuff and has taken her kids to Disney World several times and they’ve had great times. For them, it’s so much easier because it is all-inclusive…to each his own.

As others have said, I’d much rather spend my time and money exploring the real world. Glad I went once…no need to go again.

Baldemar Huerta

July 20th, 2010
11:09 pm

Disney. Culture for the “Fred Whitebread” set.

Wendy D

July 20th, 2010
11:20 pm

Several of my siblings have gone to Disney repeatedly, both before and after they had kids. They love it. But me????? I was never interested and never would be. Yuck. Around 10 yrs. ago I had to go to Orlando several times for a professional convention and the hotel was inside Disneyworld. Even being there, not even going to the park, was just too much. I really do NOT see the appeal — heat, tons of tourists, people in costumes, long lines. The only thing I think would be cool is Epcot.

Yes, folks, I’m the kind of person who vacations in England in February. And LOVES it.

Alecia

July 20th, 2010
11:30 pm

We took my daughter to the Magic Kingdom and MGM when she was 4. The entire time she asked “When are we going to the beach?” At the age of 7 we took her to Sea World and Kennedy Space Center and she loved it. We offered to take her to another Disney Park and she adamantly refused. Supposedly, 7 yr olds are too old for Disney. Again, she wanted to go to the beach. A few years ago we went to the big island of Hawaii and Oahu. The experiences of Disney cannot compare to those of Hawaii. We spent $1500.00 for the 3 of us to stay at a resort on the big island,food,rental car, and excursions. I never hear about the trip to Magic Kingdom(we did in same yr). However, I am still hearing about Hawaii. We try to spend our money on vacations where we experience new things, have fun, and hopefully get the opportunity to learn something new.

Rufio

July 20th, 2010
11:56 pm

HATE??? Because someone does not go over board about your vacation photos you assume they HATE Disney ? Could it be that they don’t want to see your photos. Maybe, they are jealous or saddened that they can’t afford to take their kids to WDW. The ticket and hotel pricing have gotten to the point that many families from lower and middle class just can’t afford it.

We are fans of WDW. In the 90’s we took our kids 2 to 3 times a year. We purchased annual passes. We hardly go now. The prices are just way too high. Disney has lost the magic in my opinion. Disney has gotten it down to a science on how to get the most money out of you while you are held captive in their parks. They force feed you everything Disney. ABC, ESPN, Lifetime, Soap Channel, etc. Heck, you stay at one of their resorts they black out all cable channels not owned by Disney with the exception of local NBC, CBS and Fox. I am sure people don’t like that feeling. I know I don’t. The fact is I no longer feel like I receive the entertainment dollars I was did. I believe Disney is “Declining by Degrees” they are no longer having the street shows, live bands, horses, maintenance is declining, trash is all around. These are things that people notice. We went in June for a few days and we ate at the park 4 times. 2 were good meals and met our expectations. 2 did not and were horrible. One was the Rose and Crown that was supposed to represent the UK. The food and service was horrible. I met the manager and the Chef. Found out it was frozen fish and frozen fries and Disney owned/managed it. They make you believe it was all British fare…..not true. In China, we had a great meal. Not owned or managed by Disney. Disney is just riding on their image of the past and current management is killing a Great American Icon.

Jubal Harshaw

July 21st, 2010
12:05 am

I worked for and at Disneyland during the late 70’s and early 80’s. The company was good, the unions stunk, the people that came to the park…well they were people. The Disney ‘universe’ was destroyed by the practices of Michael Eisner. Under Walt, the park was a wonderful place. Under Eisner, well, the man fired 94% of the permanent employees, hiring them back as part time so he wouldn’t have to pay benefits. The bottom line ruled. Safety for the rides…well, preventative maintenance was a lot more expensive than insurance payments and occasional death or injury. You decide. Quality toys and products made in the USA traded for crap made in China. Guests maimed or killed because the costs of training and having a permanent supervisor were ‘excessive.’ Like I said. You decide. Used to be known as the “Magic Kingdom.” Now the employees call it the “Tragic Kingdom.” And that’s without getting into what Eisner did to Pixar, or the studio teams before that.

Annie Clark

July 21st, 2010
12:50 am

Used to camp on some of the land that later would become WDW. Watched from a few towns away, as it was built. Went down the road w/out of town relatives & visited The Kingdom on their tab. Went to Senior Night in High School (Disney in a full length dress, THERE’s an experience!) went some other time with a bunch of folks & got pinched on the ass by Tigger- I just figgered it was somebody I knew inside there, trying to say “Hello”. Then I started finding out about how the State of Florida basically gave Disney sovereign rights. How the EPA couldn’t get straight answers out of them. How rapes happen, but sheriffs deputies aren’t allowed to investigate- Disney security’s got it, Thanks anyway. Read Carl Hiaasin’s “Team Rodent” and a few books about the “branding” of children still in the crib…decided I never really need to go back again. I remember standing in the heat, in line, and getting the greatest reactions, as a scornful teen, when I said loudly: “Are we REALLY sure there’s not just a cattle car lined up behind the ride entrance?” YEAH! (Lord, teens are such jerks- even when they’re right!) It’s a small, plastic, fantastic world. When I hear that friends are going down, I beg them to take AT LEAST one day to see real Florida- before it’s all gone. Go to Ocala National Park, or anywhere that Nature is still 50% or more in charge. One shouldn’t go to Disney only & say they’ve been to Florida, cause it just ain’t true.

itpdude

July 21st, 2010
1:22 am

I never much cared for theme parks when I was a kid. I do remember liking Epcot. But I could have taken or left Disney. In the end, I didn’t like how my parents drug me and my sister around so we could see absolutely everything at Disney, I didn’t like the other kids, I didn’t like the concessions, I didn’t like the rides, I didn’t like the lines. I didn’t hate the place. I simply did not like the place. As a teen, I refused to go to theme parks or amusement parks and haven’t been to one in 15 years.

I found the state and national parks better than the packaging and commercialism and materialism. I preferred hiking trails and that sort of thing. I still prefer it today and refuse any visits to Six Flags, even if it’s a free pass.

The word hate is too strong. I don’t hate the theme and amusement parks. I simply don’t like them for their crass commercialism, pre-packaged “fun” nature, the cost (if I went, I’d feel ripped off by the concessions. I have a natural diet and last I understood, the places won’t let you bring your own food, instead forcing you to chow on their highly preserved “food”), and most of all, the kind of people who go to these establishments. I don’t like rabidly materialistic people.

Give me nature. Let me paddle. Let me hike. I will visit the battlefields where men spilled blood and the monuments to American achievement and learn something new about the USA.

You can have your plastic world.

BJ

July 21st, 2010
1:26 am

My kids watched Disney movies, but we always read the original book that the movie was based on. (Walt Disney never met a book that he didn’t think that he could change for the better–but he came up far short of the mark on most.)

My kids, now in their 20s, never really enjoyed theme parks well enough to warrant the time and expense of going to Disney. I figured when they were kids that I’d rather stuff their heads with something other than fluff (my apologies to Pooh), so we went to museums and other cultural sites with plenty of “scope for the imagination”.

sassyfrass

July 21st, 2010
2:22 am

I went to Disney when I was a kid and loved it (ok, except for the lines, and the waiting. . .90 minutes for a boatride!) At the time, Epcot had been nothing but a bunch of razed acreage. However, after reading and hearing how Walt basically screwed Florida to aquire this ‘magic kingdom’, not to mention that he was a racist cheapskate who took credit for other artists in his employ. . .well, I’m a bit jaded about ‘the mouse’ these days.

And Jimdogg. . .you do realize that the loudest gay-bashers are just in denial about themselves, don’t you?

Heather

July 21st, 2010
4:53 am

I’ll come out as a Disney-hater.

I hate Mickey’s falsetto. I hate his stupid smile and Minnie’s stupid bow.

Nearly every Disney movie contains the demise of a parent, usually the mother. If the mother doesn’t die *in* the movie, she’s dead before the movie starts. If the parents are still alive, they’re absentee parents.

I hate that Disney has led millions of little girls to believe that being a princess is a good quality and a life goal. Have you noticed that Disney’s only characters of color, Mulan and Pocahontas, have been left out of the “royal” lineup?

I hate that nearly every female Disney “heroine” looks exactly alike: long, flowing hair, big, empty eyes, no nose, white, toothy smile, hourglass figure and teeny-tiny, barely there feet. The fools or foils look the same, too: long, skinny noses, big, googly eyes, fat cheeks and big hindquarters.

I hate that everyone gave Disney credit for adding an African-American princess (like we really needed another princess), but no one mentioned that it took them decades to do it, that Tiana is basically Belle with a suntan, and, hello, they added a black character to MAKE MORE MONEY.

I hate the idea of spending my vacation being dragged through a steamy, hot theme park, surrounded by screaming, vomiting children and frustrated, thoughtless parents. Luckily, my kids hate crowds and lines as much as I do.

I will NEVER set foot in Epcot. If my children want to see the world, we’ll save our money and actually go places, not some faux, prettied up version of what Disney wants the world to believe.

And that’s just the start of it!

DLPFan

July 23rd, 2010
10:52 am

Some fact-checking would have been nice. Disneyland Paris hasn’t been called EuroDisney for 14 years now.

Proud American Indian

July 23rd, 2010
11:30 am

Disney peddles a lot of racism in their films, from Dumbo (antiBlack) to Peter Pan (antiIndian) to Aladdin (anti Arab) to El Dorado (anti Indian again, whitewashing the conquest of Latin America) to Pocahontas (yes it’s anti Indian. The real life Pocahontas was a little girl kidnapped and raped by colonists.)

So as an American Indian, why the hell would I spend lots of money on a racist company like Disney? I’d rather take them to a powwow.

Mark W

July 24th, 2010
9:36 pm

For the record, El Dorado was a Dreamworks film, not Disney…

john

July 25th, 2010
3:06 pm

I have lived in both Australia and Sweden, as well as other states in the U.S. of A. My wife is from Australia, and we have both traveled the world, all around it. We have seen it all, and been to all…
We have four children, and have taken them to Australia, as well as around the U.S., many many times, and they have seen a great deal more than the average child in the U.S.
Thus, we have experienced a great deal. With Disney, well….we went FIVE Times last year, to Disney World, and twice this year (we also spent three weeks in Australia-on a teacher’s salary, mind you-so NOT rich at all…public school teacher, here)
We go to Disney World for a few reasons. It is so clean, so very clean. Important. The employees try rather hard to make all at home, and happ. Important. The attention to detail in EVERYTHING Disney does is most impressive, from each theme park, to each ride, to simply each building. Disney pays a great deal of attention to detail in each building and structure to make each unique. Important. Also, the ease of travel once getting there. I simply hop on a Disney bus, and allow the employees to take me where ever I wish to go, without any added cent. When I go for five or so days, not once do I get into my own car. Important.
Thus, with all of this, the value is second to none. And…I believe that my wife and I enjoy it more than the kids. So, I feel that the Disney “haters” simply don’t appreciate all it has to offer.
And, neither I nor any in family are in any way associated with Disney as an employee. We are members of the Disney Vacation Club, and wish we had joined earlier. Yes, we have still travel elsewhere, but Disney’s attention to customor satisfaction is great. And, we are not brainwashed by Mickey. God is first in all we do….

john

July 25th, 2010
3:10 pm

and by the by, sounds like Heather has a lot of “Hate” in her life. Those people are simply difficult to be around, and will be very hard to please. That is why I avoid people like Heather, due to the negative outlook (”I Hate….I hate…I hate…”) yet pray for her.

Disney dislike

July 25th, 2010
3:35 pm

I’m no Disney hater and we have actually taken our 2 oldest kids there while living in Fla a few years ago, but I definitely don’t like the liberal slant the current Disney corporate direction supports. What really settled it was 4 years ago when we were considering a stop at Disney for a few days while driving to the Keys for an extended stay. I was seconds from booking a very expensive onsite trip when I inquired about the “gay days” event to make sure we wouldn’t be there during it. The agent wouldn’t confirm or deny the event dates so I was leary and researched further and found out we would have been in the middle of it. Unnaceptable for my family, so we stopped at Universal instead a few days after the event on the way home. Have tried to avoid Disney in general since but that’s not hardline, kids still see movies, tv, etc. though I monitor the underlying messages more carefully if I know it involves Disney. Sad because I’ve heard nice things about their cruises and we won’t go now because of that experience. Try Dollywood for a more relaxed theme park experience, we’ve been and it was our second favorite vacation destination after Montana/Wyoming.

Terry Malloy

July 25th, 2010
3:40 pm

Mark W is obviously a bought and paid for Disney pimp, sent over here to do some damage control. Evidence abounds outside of the book he referenced (which, BTW, I have never read, so it couldn’t be MY source) that Walt Disney was a crypto-fascist loathsome human being who treated his employees like the dirt under his wealthy feet. Ever heard of Charles M. Jones? Better known as Chuck, he knew Disney personally and has been quoted on the topic. Do your own research.

Sk8ing Momma

July 25th, 2010
3:45 pm

I’m somewhere in the middle.

1. We take our children to the theme parks (Magic Kingdoms in FL and CA) every once in a while; however, we prefer other theme parks over Disney b/c we find that other parks have more thrilling/exciting rides. We much prefer better rides over the character/marketing-driven Disney. Disney characters have never been “pushed” in my house so my children don’t really care about Mickey and friends; hence, we don’t feel as if we’re in a money pit when we are there b/c my children don’t want/ask for lots of “stuff” (junk, IMO) where we visit.

2. I *really* don’t care for the Disney movies. Most are far too basal or “dumbed down.” The books are even worse and have very little, if any, literary value, IMO. I much prefer my children experience the original stories upon which the are based. For example, Pinocchio is a great read-loud that my children enjoyed. So much is missing from the movie! I’d just as soon skip the film adaptation and stick to the real thing. All that to say, I don’t get my nose out of joint if they watch a Disney film at friend’s house, it is just not our choice for viewing at our house and I know that in the grand scheme of things my children will not suffer irreparable harm from watching a Disney flick.

John

July 25th, 2010
4:02 pm

Where to begin. If you like your culture homegenized (and “culture” is an overstatement), then Disney is for you. Disney is ONLY appropriate for young kids to experience some of their storybook characters in real life. After the age of 5, why bother? If your kid is so stupid as to still believe in fairytales at that age, then think about finding a psychologist to test him/her for mental retardation. From an aethetic standpoint, if you like seeing buildings made of concrete composite, food from cans in their “finest” restaurants, and grown adults masquerading as fairytale heroes, then you ahve no taste. Seriously, take an educational trip to Europe or New York and tour the architectural landmarks and museums. Your kids will be more appreciative when they are older and you can stop the cycle of idiocy upon which the Disney dynasty is founded.

Manny

July 25th, 2010
4:34 pm

We’re Disney lovers over here. When we go to Disney, we eat, sleep, play and stay everything Disney. We also go on a separate vacation… to Orlando.

All politics and everything aside, it’s a fun place for us and we like to go there all the time.

As a matter of fact, we’ll be going on our first Disney cruise this year. We are definitely looking forward to it.

But I do appreciate those people who, for whatever reason, doesn’t like nor wish to ever attend Disney World or anything else Disney. I am not one that will ever try to convince you to go. Because you don’t go, that’s just one less person in the lines.

So for all the Disney haters- Thanks. Stay home. I, for one, really appreciates it.

Atlanta woman

July 25th, 2010
4:51 pm

I have taken my kids 3 times to Disney; however, I have a friend who hates it because of the commercialism aimed at her children.

There’s no need to hate Disney. I don’t really like it, but good grief, I get so tired of people being against things –like they are morally superior to the rest of us.

PS-Theresa- it’s “stuffed animals” not “stuff animals”! ha!

Buena Vista Live

July 25th, 2010
5:30 pm

Disney is what you make of it. You can spend very little (if there is such a thing on vacation) or you can bankrupt yourself. People should go where they want on vacation and spend as much, or as little, as they want. For people to criticize their friends about what they do with their vacation time leads me to believe that those people need to spend a little more time minding their own business. Unless someone is flipping the bill for me and mine, then I really don’t care what they think, and neither should anyone else care about what I think regarding how they spend their time.

Mary

July 25th, 2010
5:42 pm

Went to the original Disneyland in 1956. Even then, then lines were too long. Since then I’ve been to two other theme parks (while visiting the same family in NJ and again in Florida). Much prefer the rivers, oceans, mountains, seashores and museums I visited (and still visit) at a fraction of the cost. Then there’s the whole subject of Uncle Walt and his very distorted world view. I don’t hate him or the folks that flock there, I just wonder where their values are.

twinkletoes

July 25th, 2010
5:45 pm

Walt Disney took 100s of acres of wetlands, orange groves and wild woods and turned it into a paved, overpriced, pocket emptier. I lived at Disney’s front door before it was built. Went there more times w/my kids and international visitors than I could easily tolerate. I am so glad that I no longer have to go or stand around with rude visitors just to take a 20 minute ride. I don’t hate the place, but neither do I love it. And Disney panders to gays? Huh? ONE day a year and that is pandering? Get real! They pander to the almighty $$$ and not much else.

john

July 25th, 2010
5:54 pm

Interestingly,

my children have been to New York city, as well as Washington D.C., Grand Canyon, and beyond, including five trips to Australia in the past 10 years. Along with that, we are foster parents, and experience a wide range of cultural differences, even adopting one who is ….not of our color (we are all the same color, just different shades of God’s skin…)
Yet, we continue to return to Disney due to the great custumer service, as well as the ease. And for someone who has studied at length the history of Walt (currently reading about the Good Neighbor program between South American and Disney in the 1940’s), I am not afraid of him, nor his beliefs, only that he did not pursue our Lord in more of what he did…
Six Flags? Why bother!

john

July 25th, 2010
5:57 pm

And for those who are negative and have only negative things to say, I would ask that you please stay away from Disney World, as your negativity is rather depressing, and a turn off to those who wish to remain positive and want to make life enjoyable for children…. of ALL ages.
I love Donald Duck!

jg

July 25th, 2010
6:03 pm

We did the “Disney Give a Day Get a Day” Program this year and we are heading to Disneyworld next week…..my 14 year old is a little reluctant – as she thinks she won’t find anything she will like. I went to Disney when I was 18 and absolutely fell in love with the Magic Kingdom…..I am hoping she feels the same.

Fred

July 25th, 2010
7:06 pm

I wonder why my posts don’t show up on this blog? Maybe this one will……….

Fred

July 25th, 2010
7:07 pm

Wow, wonder of wonders, it did. Oh well. i’m sure as hell not re-typing the last one. I guess it didn’t fit in lol.

Seen it all

July 25th, 2010
9:19 pm

I know of a case involving a man who spent a little over fifteen years working at ABC Radio in a top-5 market, 14 of which were good years. The last year and a half was under the Disney thumb…he says he should’ve known trouble had arrived during the very first 9-member-unit meeting led by crisp-white-shirted young Disney wags (very Aryan in appearance), who immediately pronounced his entire crew as “cast members” (nee “employees”), then followed up with every other word being, “synergy” (absolutely true!). This guy found an illegally-planted listening device during a time of Union negotiations…then learned his lessons about “principle”, after being harassed, “investigated”, eventually fired for refusing to turn over previous-year Income Tax returns to mgmt. — then being blacklisted, and bargaining-chipped down the river by the Union and his so-called “attorney”. Just try to fight that, along with the all-holy-worship-Disney culture pervading most of the largest American metro areas…how could anyone creating such cute little talking animals be as audace’ as to destroy anyone’s career? “Whistleblower laws”…duly enforced, as long as you have $25K or more to lay in the lap of the “right” attorney. Even Jeffrey Katzenberg’s attorney swore off taking on any more anti-Disney cases around ten years ago…without explaining why. Most people outside any aspects of “the biz” are unaware, but Disney is probably the most anti-family corporation in the country, given what they have done for generations to many long-term employees guilty of independent thought and conscience. Unions?? Yeah, right! All of them are absolutely petrified of Disney. All of us of a certain age remember “The Voice” of Disney, a gentleman by the name of Jack Wagner, who did 99% of the announcing for Disney films, TV and live park promotions for several decades. Jack once mentioned that, without his wife’s astute real estate speculation skills, he would have had no retirement at all. Another friend had a relative who was one of Disney’s original animators. In the ’50s, some of that group reluctantly sold original animation cels at premium prices put the back door, in order to build what retirement funds they could. Also, some will recall Warner Bros. deliberate creation of Daffy as a black duck…an insider’s back-handed slap at Walt’s known racist views. Many companies are all sorts of things: incompetent, careless, clueless, gutless…Disney is nothing short of satanically evil. How’s THAT for reasons to build a better Maustrap????

Dickey Rat

July 25th, 2010
9:25 pm

John (7/25, 4:02PM) for Emperor! “john” (7/25, 5:54 & 5:57PM) for Village Idiot!

Dickey Rat

July 25th, 2010
9:29 pm

Heather I love you! “john” isn’t fit to be your dog.

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jimmy

August 4th, 2010
9:00 pm

Whatever you do DO NOT book your trip with eTourandTravel.

They are very unprofessional and do not deserve your business.