To Dis(ney) or Not to Dis(ney)

You must know it by now. I’m not a theme park person. Yet, ironically, I keep visiting them. Don’t take me wrong, I used to love Donald Duck shows as a child and Little Mermaid’s story sure made me cry, but I never dreamed of shaking hands and taking pictures with a person dressed as Cinderella. It wasn’t in my childhood or culture. But now, as I’m raising my own children in the US, numerous theme parks are definitely a part of their culture, even if they are not a part of my parenting plan.

If it was solely up to me, we wouldn’t come close to any of the magic lands, worlds or studios. I think our local fairs provide enough thrill for my little ones.  But it’s not up to me only. My boys have already gotten a taste of amusement parks on our extended family vacations. Us not going was not an option. I couldn’t deprive my children of the time with his cousins and grandparents. It was like catch 22. I know that for my sisters-in-law a week in Orlando was a perfect choice. My niece is an expert in fairies and princesses, and my nephews love roller coasters and movies. But my children shy away from rides and are either unfamiliar with or uninterested in most of the Disney productions. My older son watches Power Rangers and the younger one is into Thomas. No, we have not seen “Frozen”. In other words,  the prospect of elbowing my way from Aladdin to Dumbo and idling away in queues, in 90 degrees Florida sun, for the sake of zero degree fun was not really appealing to me.

But we tagged along. One day pass. For the sake of our family vacation.  The park was according to expectations: hot, crowded, noisy, overwhelming with the sheer number of underwhelming attractions,  full of junk food stands and overpriced souvenir stores….   While I looked like doing a thing from other people’s bucket list, the little girls in tiaras and gowns and their moms in Minnie Mouse hats and graphic shirts were having a great time. Go figure! My husband kept insisting that regardless of what I thought of the whole experience, our boys liked it. Until my overheated and exhausted children confirmed otherwise. The highlight of the Disney World was for them… a monorail. I guess taking Caltrain would be cheaper. And as far as another family vacation, I am voting for dissing Disney Parks and going with National Parks.