A Bear at Disney

Ok, ok, writing a blog about Disney, especially after describing many exotic destinations, seems a bit of a regression.  But my experiences with Disney began at approximately age ten and seem to be concluding 56 years later…and perhaps this is part of the Disney allure. If lucky, we visit as children, we visit with our children and parents, and we visit with our grandchildren. Our experiences become a life fabric, even without adding the movies, mouse ears, and Disney stores at the mall.

Like most things, Disney can be seen from the positive and the negative. On the positive, it doesn’t really seem to matter what the trip costs…you get what you pay for…there are cast members everywhere who are very well trained and helpful. The parks are clean, efficient, and spectacular to all of your senses. I dare you to find a ride at Busch Gardens or Six Flags that includes an olfactory stimulation. This all takes a lot of money.  On the negative side, it always feels like Disney has their hand in your pocket.  By providing the allure of the “happiest place on earth, you don’t even really notice that you keep paying and paying. For example, I have no idea why our hotel charges a $25 resort fee when most people spend no time at the resort???  And why are you excluded from the airport transportation if you pay for your room directly with the hotel rather than letting the mouse in on a piece of the action????

On the positive, Disney provides jobs to a lot of seniors and students. On the negative, the girl who controls your life in Space Mountain looks like she graduated from middle school last June!!!  I sure hope she can read the danger codes on the screens!!!

On the positive, I want to live my next psychologist life working for Disney…It is a real psychological skill to get people to feel so happy about being miserable…”I’ll forget all about waiting in line for hours because I have a fast pass for Pirates at 2:30!!!!”

img_0060Another positive:  The fact that Disney seems to tap into everyone’s heartstrings.  Why else would people wait an hour to fly to Neverland unless they all feel a little of the “not growing up,” aura while riding with Peter Pan???

I noticed more old farts on this trip. Maybe the relative absence of small children on an off week made them more noticeable.  I even asked a couple, Kate and All, if I could include their photo to illustrate this observation.   They were here with no accompanying children or grandchildren. And that is Disney’s greatest achievement: That no matter how old you are, you are always a kid at Disney!!!!

I am always a little skeptical about the Disney allure. But I respect it, and grudgingly admit that the world is a much better place with Disney in it!!!!

img_0103My greatest criticism is that every time I return, the leg area in the ride seats somehow gets smaller I am not sure why they do these remodelings, especially since my arthritis also seems to worsen with age. But, on the other hand, I hardly notice the aching while streaming by Uncle Remus on the way to Splash Mountain.  Maybe I am a child for those few moments with healthy knees and an innocence for intolerance…and THAT is the true allure of Disney!!!!

One last recommendation:  Don’t fall asleep in the first couple rows of a live show…the actors will see you, and they will forever brand you as the “sleeping grandpa!!”

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