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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dear Uncle Walt . . .

Back to blogging with my three co-bloggers!  Each week, one of us chooses a topic and we all post a blog entry on that topic, usually on Thursdays.  (Usually we are on time.  Usually.  Ok, mostly.  Sometimes?  Don’t judge me.)

Here are the links to the other fabulous blogs:

Merryland Girl           
Moma Rock

 This week, I chose the topic, and I asked everyone to write an open letter to someone or something.  Here is mine:

Dear Disney Corporation:

            It should not be this hard.  It just shouldn’t. 

            It is supposed to be a vacation.  A vacation.  Taking said vacation should not require hours and hours of pre-planning months prior to taking said vacation.  It should not require scheduling every single moment of every single day of something (a vacation) that is supposed to be relaxing.

            There is absolutely nothing relaxing about planning a trip to Disney.

            To the contrary, merely cracking open the Unofficial Guide to Disney World 2016 broke me out in a cold sweat.  Studying the app trying to figure out which rides merit use of the Fast Pass + literally kept me up nights.  And actually logging into the website and attempting to reserve meal and ride times triggered the absolute worst of my OCD and Type A personality.  I will eat at Be Our Guest, goddamn it, even if it means relentlessly checking for a reservation when I should be working, cleaning, running errands, reading, living my normal life.  And how is it possible the damn Dwarves Train is no longer accepting Fast Pass + mere days after I was even eligible to sign up?  It’s absolutely insane.

            Also, how am I supposed to know what the hell I will want to eat two months from now?  It took me a half hour to decide what I wanted for dinner tonight – and my choices were fairly limited.  Sure hope I’m craving Italian food in early June.

            While I’m on the subject, it should not take two people, both of whom have advanced degrees, to actually plan said “vacation.”  Once my first panic attack subsided, I reached out to my dear friend Karen, who herself had spent hours upon hours planning her Magical Trip several months ago.  I squeaked out a pathetic, “Help me,” before giving her my username and password and credit card number (I offered her my first-born child, but she politely declined).  She walked me through the restaurants and the rides.  I am not a stupid person; I mean, I’m an attorney and I read pretty complex documents on a regular basis, but I still cannot make heads or tails of your Disabled Services pass requirements.  And calling the number in the brochure?  Not super helpful, thanks.

            I’ve had what I call “Disney issues” for years.  Many moons ago, I lived in L.A., where I met several people who worked for The Mouse.  Did you know that Disney has a policy wherein if an employee writes a screenplay while employed for Disney – even if it is written during non-work hours – Disney considers that screenplay its property?  Or that some of corporate employees refer to the company as Mouschwitz?  I lived in California for two and a half years and only visited Disneyland once, largely because of the high price of admission.  My perception of the company did not improve with the birth of my first child, more than two decades ago, and my corresponding realization that Disney floods the marketplace with super-appealing characters – and then charges a roughly 30% premium for any toy or item of clothing containing the characters’ faces.  And don’t even get me started on Michael Eisner; I mean, I’m fine with corporate CEOs making a lot of money, but not when the real stars of the show are making minimum wage while wearing ridiculously hot costumes in July.  In Florida.  Trickle it down, man, trickle it down.

            Disney redeemed itself some a few months ago when it granted Daniel Fleetwood’s wish to see the latest Star Wars film before his extremely untimely death last November.  Disney helped make Daniel’s dying wish come true, and the company scored big points in my book.  I’m hoping this is the beginning of a new, improved “nicer” Disney, one I can forgive as I fork over $14.00 for a Dole Whip.

            I am told that, ridiculous planning aside, my family and I will enjoy our trip and will cherish our Disney memories.  I can only hope this is true.  I will say that I have fond memories of my earlier trips; I can even remember the words to songs from the Country Bear Jamboree – and it has been many, many moons since I saw those big old bears.  I almost hate to admit it, but I am looking forward to riding the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain once again.  I only wish that it didn’t take so much freaking advance planning.

            The Happiest Place on Earth?  I suppose it remains to be seen.  Right now, to me, Disney World feels like the most tedious, forced, neurosis-triggering spot of land in these United States.  But I suppose it’s nothing Liver Lips McGrowl and a Mickey ice cream bar can’t remedy. 


  1. OMG, you bruja!!! I was literally e-mailing with Sara about how much my husband had to plan for when we went to Disney a few years ago. He even made a map and numbered where we were going to be at different times of the day. When I was a kid, we just went to the park and the lines moved pretty fast. It was anything goes. I love this post and you crack me up!

    1. At least your husband gets it. Mine still thinks I'm exaggerating and that we don't need to plan this stuff now. It is crazy!!

  2. This was awesome! I haven't been to Disneyland in many years, and while it was a good experience, I thought it was very pricey and the long lines were a pain. I know we plan on taking our boys there, someday, and I'm sure they'll remember it as the happiest time in their lives, since they're the ones not paying for the memories. :) Loved this!