Why I’m Not Fan of Disneyland

by Edie Wadsworth on March 16, 2012

At the risk of being thrown out of America, I’m gonna go ahead and say it—-I hate giant theme parks.

I’m a little scared to say it out loud because people are crazed for them.  How do I know this?  Because I went to Disneyland yesterday and I’m fairly certain that half of California was there too and they all seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.  Everyone, that is, but me.   So what’s wrong with my theme-park loathing self?    My disdain for giant theme parks has made me question my patriotism and even my motherly love.   How can a woman  who claims to be an upstanding God-fearing American citizen and a mother of four precious children hold a grudge against the ‘happiest place on earth’?

It’s complicated but I’ll try to break it down for you.  Perhaps a numbered list is in order.

 

1.  I’m skeptical about a place to which EVERYONE else in the entire free world is flocking.  I’m counter cultural.  I love my simple small town life,  I homeschool my children,  and don’t like popular music, popular culture or popular almost anything.   If everyone’s doing it, I’m probably not.   If EVERYone loves it, I probably don’t.  The fact that Disney is a rite of passage kinda makes me a little indignant.  I’m not a fan of the herd mentality.

2.  Fairy tales are magical.  Disneyland is not.   Some things just don’t translate.  Can you convey the depth and beauty of an ancient fairy tale in a bumpy roller coaster ride with a million other people vying for the best seat?  I don’t think so.   The Cinderella story is every girls’ dream but chasing down a self-absorbed teenager in a Cinderella costume for that once in a lifetime photo is every mother’s nightmare.   Or at least this mothers’ nightmare.  There is nothing more precious than the look on the face of your children when they hear their favorite fairy tale for the first time.  That cannot be bottled up and sold for $80 in an admission ticket.  It just can’t.

3.  Surprisingly, my children did not seem to be having the times of their lives either.   They were tired and crotchety and whiny just like the other eight million children there.  They wanted a $12 snack after every ride and finally (at about 2:30) said,  ”Can we just go back to the hotel?”    Now THAT was music to my ears.   And while many of you may be bristling at the thought of us not getting our ‘money’s worth’,  all I could think was at least we didn’t have to pay in money AND in prolonged torture.   We were all so relieved to be done with it and back home to the real happiest place on earth.

4.  In general, I’m not a fan of wall to wall human traffic,  bad coffee with powdered cream,  persistent nausea from  a day of spinning and bumping and jerking,  or corn dogs for lunch.  Go ahead and call me crazy.  As corn dogs go, however, they were pretty darn good.  And of course, it wasn’t all bad.  I can have a good time almost anywhere and I enjoyed being my family all day. The best part for me was watching the silhouette artist work her magic in less than a minute, making the most gorgeous silhouettes of my girls.  I only wish they didn’t say “Disneyland” at the bottom but I’m sure I’ll find a creative cure for that.

So, Stevie and I took one for home team this week.  We high-fived each other on the way home because we’re crossing our fingers in the hopes that we’ve paid our dues to the theme park gods.  Our children won’t be able to bemoan to their psychiatrist how their parents never took them to Disneyland.  And I don’t think our kids ever suspected we were miserable.  We laughed and feigned excitement and put our best Disneyland faces forward.  I can do  anything for a day:)

*************************

I hope all you Disney lovers will forgive me.  Am I just old and cynical?  I don’t think so because I thoroughly enjoyed climbing up into an orange tree at 5a to capture the forbidden fruit.  Maybe my homebody, small town self should just stay put!

I wanted to tell you that if you don’t have plans for tomorrow morning, you should click over to lifeingrace girls and make those delicious looking pancakes.  Deb isn’t a blogger but she should be!  Thanks for sharing with us, dearie:)

Also, I’m loving all your post ideas for the community site  so keep ‘em coming!  Send your submissions to ediewadsworth at mac dot com.  I’m even contemplating adding a chat feature to that site.  Do you follow any blogs that have one?  Do you like it/hate it?  Tell all.

And if you’ve been following the book study, I’ll be updating that post soon as well, so check back in!

Toodle-loo friends!

 

 

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{ 128 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sally March 16, 2012 at 11:46 am

Oh my gosh – did you just hear that big sigh of relief that I breathed? SOMEBODY ELSE GETS IT!!!! You’re in good company Edie! It’s not my favorite thing either. Almost 2 years ago, our extended family of 11 went on a Disney cruise (now THAT’s magical!), and to WDW and Epcot — all for my parents 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Forgive me world, but I could’ve totally skipped WDW and Epcot, and stayed on that ship forEVer. Amen.

Happy weekending Edie! ~Sally

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2 Susan March 16, 2012 at 11:47 am

I have to say in defense of myself and my love for Disneyland :-) that a. I went the first time in the mid-60′s and it was a thrill for this little girl who at the time lived in Anchorage Alaska! And it definitely got in my blood. b. I haven’t gone since 2001, so I’m sure it’s gotten plenty busier! and c. in 2001, I was with my family at Disney WORLD, which is even bigger(!) and I seriously loved Epcot and the different countries in the world pavilion. The french pastries in France were amazing!

Having said all that I totally understand what you are saying. Good for you for going with your family, and I’m glad for your sake it’s over! Here’s hoping you can climb an orange tree, soon!

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3 Mary Beth March 16, 2012 at 11:47 am

Maybe you could make a silhouette necklace like the one Nester posted about this week!?

Are you and your peeps introverts? Theme parks, malls and crowds in general will send my introverted husband into a daze… We have not done Disney yet with our crew but I can imagine we’d get the same response.

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4 Alesha March 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

I am turning 21 next month and I have never been to Disney Land! I don’t regret it in the slightest! My parents took us to Sea World in Florida when I was 10 or 12 and it was a blast! The one part I didn’t like was the one ride we went on! Lol! They new Disney Land was not for us. =) So don’t worry. You aren’t the only “crazy” one out there! =)

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5 Susan March 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

Never been to Disneyland, but Disney World is not my favorite place to go. We usually hit one theme park a year – Cedar Pointe, Kings Island, WDW, Six Flags Great America, etc. so the kids can get their ride fix. Our favorite – Dollywood!! Have you been there? It is much cleaner, more compact with shorter lines (= less whining), lots of log rides, fun music and very kitschy. Everyone from my 5 year old daughter to my 73 year old mother had fun.

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6 Nikole Hahn March 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

maybe just a tad cynical.

I do like Disneyland. We live in another state, but the rare times we go it is fun. We don’t go during peak times. We go during the week in the winter when most of those eight million children are in school. The lines aren’t as arduous. It’s ridiculous to wait in the line at Haunted House for an hour when the ride stops every so often for some supposedly handicap person. The trance is broken when that voice comes on and says, “Please don’t get out of the car. the ride will resume any moment.” If people ate less of those high fat foods they could stand in line, too. Those rides didn’t stop when I was a kid going to Disneyland. Nowadays it’s so often that I think people need their own rides. They accommodate the handicap better on the roller coasters. Those rides don’t stop moving.

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7 Rebecca March 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Yes! someone who feels like I do about amuzement parks.

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8 Rachel March 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I can’t stand theme parks! If you have to manufacture and package fun, it isn’t really fun, it is someone selling you their idea of fun. I resent standing in lines, paying exorbitant prices for refreshments, and the pressure to buy schlock. It isn’t fun to watch my kids have a melt down, and it isn’t pleasant to listen to someone else’s kids crying either. The thing I resent most about theme parks is the noise. I think the loud music is supposed to convince everyone that they are having a good time. Or maybe the sound is used to throttle you into submission so you’ll become one more stupefied “guest” wandering around slack jawed and mouth breathing. Sorry, it all feels like a birthday party gone bad to me.
p.s. The Disney silhouettes are wonderful. If you figure out a way to hide the logo please share.

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9 Lorraine March 16, 2012 at 12:08 pm

You’re not alone in this. Sometimes I question if I’m ‘depriving’ my boys for not taking them to Disney since just about everyone we know has made the voyage. My parents took my brothers to Disneyland and then when I came along we went to Disney World.

My feelings are that I would prefer to spend that kind of money taking my boys to places that have real, authentic American history instead of a land of make believe. I’ll take a secluded campsite in the woods any day of the week.

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10 Melissa March 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm

You are not alone!

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11 dotsie March 16, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I’m with you on this. Hopefully you have paid your dues and put this baby to bed for good.

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12 Tacey March 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm
13 Sandy March 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I’m with you… I’ve been to all of them
over the years and each time it’s for the
kids or family visits… we had family
come in from Kuwait and they wanted their
small children to see Disney World, Epcot,
U City and Animal Kingdom… after a week
of this I thought I’d just melt and die…
Then when they said “Bush Gardens” I drew
the line.. NO WAY….Hey, Chucky Cheese
is too much for me…..
Sandy

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14 Mindy March 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Right there with yo!

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15 Rachel March 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I JUST blogged about Disney World and the worst part of the trip for me. We went to Disney for our youngest sons “Make-A-Wish” only because we couldn’t think of any place else. While I’m thankful for the trip,and the blessings, I’m glad that the kids got it out of their systems, can safely say that they spent a whirl wind week at Disney, and not have to go back!!! The kids LOVED it, but I can’t imagine being one of those families that go on yearly trips.

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16 Emily Morrice March 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm

you said it!!!

thank you for mentioning the cost too. anything thats seen as the American Dream but costs more than most families can comfortably afford is setting a standard where parents are bound to fail.

if you can afford it, sure, do it. but it’s hard when you can’t and you’re seen as depriving your kids. Disneyworld/land is not a NEED or basic human RIGHT, but so often that type of thing becomes that and it’s upsetting.

still, hope your girls had a good time! not trying to be a wet blanket about this :)

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17 Amy Case March 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

As a CA native, I have been my share of times. Some have been more fun than others, that’s for sure! One can definitely survive life without Disneyland, though my kids do love it. ;) Since we are only a 45 minute drive away, I have girlfriends who would take their kids once a week on their passes. I would NEVER want that much Disney in my life, personally!

As far as the silhouettes go…..I have the same ones, and also didn’t want to see “Disneyland” printed at the bottom. I got into my stash of white/ivory vintage buttons and glued several across the words. You now can’t see the words at all, and they look so nice framed. Hope that helps!

Amy

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18 Diana March 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Oh, so nice to know I am not alone! Thank you for giving voice to how I feel about it also.

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19 Amber March 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm

You are not alone. I went to Disney World last year for the first time in my life as a 28 year old adult. I was not impressed.

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20 Patti Brown March 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm

So feel the same way. Don’t really understand the “most magical place on earth” mentality…last year we took out Son and his wife and 5& 3 year old daughters, the week after Christmas…BIG, BIG, BIG mistake…terrible..nightmare…won’t say never, well, maybe I will, never again!

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21 Gina March 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

How funny! I was just talking to my sister-in-law earlier today about their upcoming trip to Disney World. I told her I wouldn’t be doing Disney again until I have grandchildren. Not a big fan either but it is a rite of passage. You seem like a small country fair girl yourself. ;) My husband and I don’t even do the fair. =P

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22 Michele March 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I heart you, my counter culture friend.

I’m so crazy about the actual stories that the “Disney” of my imagination is better than anything that can be created in reality.

We library – and there are never any lines there.

That being said, we are planning a trip to DW later this year. The kids are begging. ;)

xoxo michele

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23 Southern Gal March 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

My children have never stepped foot in Disney World. I went once with my grandparents and once with my seventh grade class in middle school. (Witnessed how to shoplift with that crowd.) Mercy. I don’t think my children are deprived. They don’t think they’re deprived although the youngest would jump on the Disney bandwagon in a heartbeat. (He watched more movies than my first two – he’s 10 years younger than his brother.) I don’t think you’re a bad mama at all. I might be though. ;)

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24 Sarah M March 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I heartily second all your reasons! I’ve never been to Disneyland and I hope to keep it that way!!! My kids will just have to figure out how to survive without that rite of passage. Sea World might be worth it, but I
don’t know!

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25 Sarah M March 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I heartily second all your reasons! I’ve never been to Disneyland and I hope to keep it that way!!! My kids will just have to figure out how to survive without that rite of passage. Sea World might be worth it, but I
don’t know!

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26 Louise March 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I LOVE Disney World. I take great care in carefully planning the trip and when we go so that we don’t deal with crowds, long lines, etc… I couldn’t go over a busy holiday like Thanksgiving or the 4th- too many people for me.

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27 Rhondi March 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one! Too many people and too man-made for me!

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28 maddie March 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

This cracks me up! So I am a native Oregonian, as are my children, but we’ve never taken them to Disneyland…however, they have been to Dollywood :)

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29 Michelle March 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Yes. Yes. Yes. And I don’t care if that makes me ‘young and cynical’, I completely agree with you :)

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30 Faiz December 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Here’s a list of tools you will need to start: Jewelers’ wire cutters – If you can only aforfd one pair, get memory wire shears. These are designed to make clean cuts on tough memory wire, so can also be used for softer wires. Chain-nose pliers sometimes called needle-nose pliers Very versatile for picking up and grasping small items, bending eye pins, closing jumps rings, even closing crimp beads. Round-nose pliers Used for creating loops on beaded head and eye pins. Can also be used for winding your own jump rings and as the second pliers you’ ll need for closing jump rings. Optional pliers Wire-looping pliers which have several graduated circumferences to allow you to form perfectly uniform jump rings and loops in place of the round-nose pliers mentioned above. Crimping pliers which have little notches to allow you to both flatten a crimp bead and then bend it to form a rounded finished look instead of the flat crimp you get using the chain-nose pliers. As for materials, I recommend some assortment packs of beads in coordinating colors, some decorative metal spacers, seed beads in both silver and gold These can serve as spacers and beautifully set off your other beads., tube-shaped crimp beads Buy the best you can find these are what hold it all together!, head and eye pins. Other than that, let your choice of project be your guide. You might want some silver or pewter charms.

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31 the domestic fringe March 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

You know, I’m not a fan of amusement parks either. My family thinks I’m a crazy party-pooper, but I don’t really enjoy them. I’m always glad when my kids are having fun, but I wouldn’t go for me. We haven’t been able to take our kids to Disney, and it is a dream (of sorts)of ours, but a little part of knows we’re not really missing out on that much. The corn dogs look good though. ;-)
~FringeGirl

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32 Julie March 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Ohhh! I’m sorry you didn’t love Disneyland. We are definitely a Disney family & if you ask my kids where in the world they would want to go if they could go anywhere, they’d say Disney World…even though we’ve been more times than anyone should be allowed. But, I get that it is a personality thing. And I’m sure, for me, it’s partly that it’s just a super-sentimental place because we started going when I was very young because my grandparents lived near there. Funny thing is, we’ve been thinking about a family trip to California this summer & the first thing my kids said is, “Can we go to Disneyland?!!!” :) Hope you’ve enjoyed California!

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33 the farmer's wife March 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I concur. I’m not a fan of the theme park–at all.

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34 karol March 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Right there with ya! We went when our girls were 6 and 3 and it just wasn’t my thing (or theirs). We spent lots of quality time at the condo pool. So, when we returned from our trip we decided to put in a pool and enjoy our time at home!! :)

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35 Susan March 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Edie-I am with you. We took our boys to Disney World when they were small. It was ok, but they enjoyed Sea World tons more. For some, it is almost like a drug that I haven’t taken. I have friends and family who have made multiple, multiple, multiple trips to Disney. I say good for them, but I will pass. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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36 Kellie March 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm

We are a homeschooling family too. We limit television and movies around here and work hard to keep our children from falling victim to consumerism. Disney and the theme parks are not magical, but a financial drain on families. If you want a magical vacation…take your children to a National Park and sleep under the stars or see the Grand Canyon. Having breakfast with a college girl pretending to be Cinderella is not magical. lol

Families don’t need Disney. Children simply need parents that are “present”.

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37 Dori March 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I completely agree. You can add the Cooperstown (age 12) baseball experience to that to. Our most memorable and cherished moments didn’t come with a $$$pricetag. Thank Goodness!

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38 Lisa March 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I HATE THEME PARKS! There I said it…LOL! You are not alone. I think I’m also a pretty good mom of two kiddos who are now grown (one with a kiddo of her very own). I did the zoo, I did the Fair but I drew the line at Carowinds and Disney! I shipped them right off to those “Wonderful Theme Parks” with their dads family (HA!)And I’m not ashamed…nope not one bit…LOL.

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39 Kelly March 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

We LOVE Disneyland! LOVE IT! We took our boys for their first visit a couple years ago and can’t wait to go back! We only go in the off-season. It’s wonderful and, yes, magical! My oldest son was able to participate in Jedi training and fight Darth Mal. It was pure magic! The joy on his little face was priceless. It’s one of my favorite memories of him ever! Our entire trip was fantastic!

(and for those who say the only real magic or fun to be had is while camping or visiting historical site, we do plenty of that too. it’s a different kind of magic :))

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40 Trica March 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Agree, agree, agree and agree!!

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41 Mary March 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Edie- We have not yet taken our 13- and 16- year olds to Disney, although I often feel mommy-guilt about it. I think I would feel much the same as you. We live 20 minutes from a huge amusement park, so I have often wondered if my ambivalence is due to overexposure to King’s Island. I do share your counter-culture mindset also, to the extent that I often won’t read the most popular books. And I am a voracious reader. Glad you got that over with!

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42 Deb March 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

sshhhh! I don’t like them either and I’m a Canadian eh?

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43 Theresa March 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm

thanks for making me NOT feel guilty that I really don’t ever want to go back to Disney!!! It is not relaxing or fun at all. it’s too crowded and nosiy and over stimulating!

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44 Lucrecia March 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I’m so happy we aren’t the only ones!! I just don’t understand the allure of paying an insane amount of money to wait in line for an hour for a 30 second ride.

We are taking our “one for the team” and doing a Disney cruise instead.

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45 Stacy Averette March 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

One more reason to love you and your blog! Twins separated at birth I tell ya. My friends cannot believe that we’ve never taken (will never take) our five children ages 12yrs- 19yrs to Disney World or Disney Land. They are equally mortified that they’ve never been to Six Flags (Georgia) especially since we live an hour and a half from it. My kids would truly rather hike a mountain, sleep in a tent, sit by a campfire, and “wish upon on real star”. You always bless me!

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46 Melanie March 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm

On your SoCal adventure you should have skipped Disneyland (yuck!) and gone to Crystal Cove instead! We went just last week and found giant starfish and indulged in yummy milkshakes from the shake shack. Added bonus: hardly ever busy!!!! And it’s worth the parking just for the mural filled tunnel under PCH!

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47 SoCalLynn March 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I live about 30 minutes from Disneyland and I believe I am one of the very few of my many friends whose family does not have, and may I say never has had, annual Disneyland passes. One reason is the expense, but for me personally I agree with most of the things you outlined! I don’t need Disneyland more than about every 18-24 months, and frankly the last 2 times we went there because of out of town friends, my (now)12 year old daughter hasn’t really enjoyed it as much as spending all that money should dictate. :-)
PS: I do treasure the silhouettes of each of my girls, but I cover up the “Disneyland” name. ;-)

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48 Dayle March 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I don’t use the word “hate” very often, but I hate, hate, hate theme parks. You outlined the reasons just fine, thank you very much. We took our daughter, and her friends, on occasion, to theme parks and to Disney, when she was growing up, but I never had a good time and always ended up holding everybody else’s stuff … and complaining about it, to boot. I sound like a sour puss, I know.

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49 tara March 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I always shared your same sentiment for giant amusement parks UNTIL we lived in Orlando. We learned when to go to beat the crowds and the heat, and we were able to go for four or five hours during the best part of the day….a perk to living 20 minutes from the parks. :)

glad you’re enjoying your time there with your sweet family!!

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50 Katharina Thomas March 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I always liked you and your blog!Now I even like you more!I am definetly not a fan of amusement parks either and I willl only go some time soon because of our 6 year old!I am from Germany and a lot of things I still have trouble to adapt living in the US!And amusement parks are definetly one of them, even though my husband loves it to death(he is the American :) )!I really enjoyed reading this post!God Bless!Katharina

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51 robin March 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I have never been able to fathom the supposed wonder of Disneyland. I think I’d rather poke myself in the eye than go there.

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52 Lulu March 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Oh Edie i am with YOU on this! Thinking about amusement parks sends cold chills down my spine! We don’t live close to Disney, California or Florida so i keep telling my four kiddos that it’s just not going to happen in their childhood… they can by all means experience it when they have a job and take themselves there without Me :) i always tell them that they can’t have everything in there childhood…they have to have something to complain about as adults…LOL
it’s so nice to know i’m not alone in this!!!
xo,
Lulu

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53 melissa stover March 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm

we are kindred spirits. disney is not even on our top 5 places to visit before our kids leave home. yellowstone is.

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54 Trish March 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm

AMEN! You couldn’t have said it better!

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55 Jennifer March 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Oh, good! I’m not the only one. I loathe the thought of Disneyland or Disney World. I can barely stand the Kiddie Rides section at the county fair. I’d much rather walk around the Home Ec booths and 4-H barns! :)

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56 beth March 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I agree, too many people, too much money, too much….we love our little patch of country we call home and an occasional trip to the redneck riviera….

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57 Kimberly Dial March 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Oh Edie, I LOVE Disneyland. I have only the fondest memories of trips with my cousins & grandparents as a child, wonderful times with friends as a teenager & last but not least, Grad Night … the stuff dreams are made of but, with that said, I can appreciate the whole dislike of wall-to-wall people. But alas, I can’t do anything but smile with I think back on Disneyland but I was a girl raised in SoCali who now resides in West Virginia, so that may explain the love I have for all things Disneyland :)

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58 Amber March 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm

I’m right with you on point no. 1. Right with you.

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59 Andrea | HomageStyle.com March 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Oh, I am so with you!

Plus we used to live in southern CA, so people that came to visit *always* wanted to go to Disneyland. As did my kids.

Blick.

But I did like the teacup ride.

I’m exhausted just reminiscing.

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60 Jenny Williams March 16, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Honey-child let me tell you, you are NOT alone! We are just north of Atlanta, so we’re about 20mins from Six Flags. AND, to make matters worse my husband’s job is like 5mins from Six Flags. So guess where my kids ask to go at least 40-11 times a week? How many times do you think I tell them “oh, darlin we’ll go soon”…yep 40-11 ;) hehehehe I’m with you on the anti “herd mentality” notion. Run, run like the wind. Get away as fast as you can! I’ve always thought I’d like to go to Disneyland/world…someday. But then we just talk ourselves out of it. My husband’s brother and his wife and her entire family go every.year.and I’m talking they even take 3 month old babies sometimes (well, when someone’s baby is that little, they don’t just take random ones haha). WHEW…no thanks. I’ll stay right here in my NGA country-bumpkin way of life. So here’s to you Edie!! You’ve got a friend in me! Thanks for telling me something I was already feeling pretty solid on! Shhh….but puleez don’t tell my kids!

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61 Audrey March 16, 2012 at 11:51 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now and I think this is the first time I’ve heard you complain about something! And it’s about Disneyland! haha

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62 Cath March 17, 2012 at 12:22 am

Edie, you are not alone.

I’ve never cared for theme parks, amusement parks, throngs of people, indoor concerts, subways. They all have large crowds of people.

A week out West, a trip to Alaska, a mission trip, a family picnic, a week in the Outer Banks or a sailing trip; these are what I call the good stuff and I make no apologies for enjoying the sound of nature and my family without all the hype.

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63 Angie March 17, 2012 at 1:15 am

Edie you are killing me!! And not about Disneyland, I’ve lived 40 minutes from it for my entire life and could take it or leave it. I, like everyone else who follows your blog, would LOVE to have had the chance to meet you in real life!! I guess I’m going to have to save up for Blissdom one of these years ;) Hope you guys enjoyed your California visit.

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64 Lisa Schron March 17, 2012 at 2:11 am

i was born and raised behind the “orange curtain” (in the OC as they now all it).

now married with children (and i homeschool too) we had annual passes for years and have forgone them for 2 years now.

i can accept disneyland as a very great place to people watch and, quite honestly, to giggle inside at those “im gonna get there first” type of visitors!

plus the LOOOOOOONG lines leave lots of room for a captive audience and good discussion with the kido-s in between the bumpy, wind in your hair rides …

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65 Bev March 17, 2012 at 6:01 am

So with you! We lived in Florida for years just two hours from its sister Disneyworld. We had friends who would go monthly and wear costumes and custom clothes and pins and oh, my! We went, we far more enjoyed the pool at the hotel and I so dislike. We are now 20 minutes from Six Flags and my hubby graciously takes the three boys to get their adrenaline fixes so my daughter and I can do things like paint, nap, or find lint balls ;)

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66 Di March 17, 2012 at 7:15 am

Our family trip to WDW sounds similar. We didn’t mind Epcot, but could’ve totally skipped the Magic Kingdom. Our girls too asked if we could go back and swim at the house. (They were about 7 and 10 at the time.) I’m so glad to know there are others like us out there.

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67 Vicki J. March 17, 2012 at 8:13 am

Same here Edie. We went to Fla in December thinking our 8 year old boy would surely want to go to Legoland. Nope! Shark tooth hunting at Venice beach instead. Yes!!!

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68 Jennifer March 17, 2012 at 8:29 am

Whew…I’m not alone! I was beginning to think I was defective, never wished to go, likely never will, my kids will just have to do that on their own someday!

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69 Deborina March 17, 2012 at 8:39 am

Amen !!! [Hallelujah Chorus in the background]

I do not understand the intrigue of a theme park with the facade of magic. For full disclosure – I did go to Disneyland as a child – but, it paled in comparison to other vacation destinations – great cities, small towns, prairies, deserts, mountains, forests and countless museums. I agree with you that magic is found in so many other places, not the least, our own backyards. So, again, I say Amen to using our own imagination instead.

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70 Michelle@Life on the Funny Farm March 17, 2012 at 8:49 am

Oh yes, I’m with ya! I hate theme parks. I don’t really enjoy Dollywood that much and it’s nowhere near as crowded as Disney, unless you go in the summer. My kids enjoy it and I grin and bear it. About the other site, what kind of material are you looking for? I’d love to be considered for submission but I’m not sure what to submit.

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71 Terry A. March 17, 2012 at 9:17 am

I am totally with you on not flocking where everyone else is going. (That also pertains to which shows I watch on TV and which blogs I follow – partially explaining why I jumped off the Pioneer Woman bandwagon some time back). I’ve never been to Disneyland/world, and I’m not sad. I definitely like to find those special places that aren’t overhyped.

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72 kelly ellils March 17, 2012 at 9:42 am

Disney World was the only vacation my mother took us after our father passed away so I do have a soft spot for it…but saying that as a single mother never got to take my own kids….but not big fan of big parks…my daughter loves rides I don’t..I would go for the gardens and see the little kids faces light up but Im sure the daughter will never let me forget we never got to go…but still loves me..and I do take her to the Disney Store…she is 18 by the way…really enjoy your blog…

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73 Amy March 17, 2012 at 10:10 am

Yeah for the internet! I think I am the only person I know that is not saving every dime to go on a big Disney adventure. Thanks to the internet I see I am not alone in despising theme parks, especially Disney. Part of it is that I have a real problem giving them any more of my money. You can hardly buy toys without it going back to Disney. I know it is the devil, not Disney, but I hate what Disney has done to our society. I especially dislike the “tween” shows on tv. Anyway. I really don’t have this bad of an attitude about everything in life! I just don’t have the nerve to speak up about this too much since everywhere I turn people are feeding the Disney monster. And yes, maybe my attitude is a little about being different. We home school our four kids and don’t mind being different! We do have passes to Silver Dollar City since we live just thirty minutes away. It’s not so terrible. Since we live close we can skip the crowded days and it is a pretty place to walk around.
Anyway, thanks for your take on it all. It’s nice to know we are not alone here!

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74 jennibell March 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

I really couldn’t agree more. I go through times when I feel like I should be saving up and anticipating a big family trip to Disney but. . .well. . .it’s just so *much*, y’know? So. . .my kids could very well be the ones seeking therapy when they are older because their mother didn’t make this a priority – ha! Glad to see I’m not the only one in the world. And I love, at the end, where you say that your kids will never know that you didn’t have a good time — good for you! I need to take that attitude more often when doing things my children love but that I don’t especially. Thank you for that reminder.

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75 Kellye March 17, 2012 at 11:30 am

I COULD NOT AGREE MORE!!!! There is something that us small town, dirt loving, homeschoolers can ALL agree on, and that is we do not have the herd mentality!!!! We just got home from Disney World (family vacation with my husbands entire family which did make it fun) and we had enough MAGIC to last us a lifetime by day two. As all 4.3 billion of us merged toward Cinderella’s castle my husband could not resist calling out in his best COW VOICE…..”MOOOOOOOOOOO”. Really he wasn’t too far off…we were like cattle going to slaughter. NO idea where we were going and NO clue why!!! As you can see my husbands carriage turned back into a pumpkin on day one, and I vote the resort pool to be the best part!!!! IM OVER IT!!!!!!

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76 Lisa D.B. Taylor March 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I love Disneyland – especially in October when the Haunted Mansion becomes “Jack” themed. BUT I *would avoid it like the plague* if my daughter didn’t have Down Syndrome – thus we are blessedly able to pretty much avoid the lines completely. There is no way I would wait in those lines, swimming through the sea of people is bad enough!
I do agree with everything you wrote though, especially number 1! But my “Princess” loves Disneyland, and we have been there many times, though honestly I’m more of a National Park/History Buff/Museum Nerd myself. (And I can promise you’ll never catch me on one of those Disney Cruise Ships!)

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77 VaGirl2 March 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Oh my word…I can’t believe there is another person out there who feels like I do about large theme parks…but especially Disney. We took our 2 sons when they were 10 & 5 to Disney World…they had a fine time and excitedly asked their father “daddy, daddy, when can we come back?” And he said…”when YOU have kids, we’ll come back”. I thought I would die laughing.

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78 Heather March 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I grew up by and still live by Disneyland, so I have been there many, many times. The part of Disneyland that makes it unenjoyable to me, these days, is the long lines. One time we took our kids to California Adventure (the Disney park right next to Disneyland) and we waited in line for 2 hours to get hot dogs. I’m not joking. My family was hungry and cranky by the end of that wait, and the silly thing is we could have just left the park to have a cheaper lunch at a restaurant nearby and returned in half the time. I think that if Disney is going to charge such a high price for tickets (and food and parking and souveniers) they really owe their customers the decency to limit the amount of people they let into the park each day, so that people really do have a great time. That being said, I still love Disneyland and so do my kids. I actually think that having to learn to wait in long lines at Disneyland while growing up helped my children develop patience.

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79 Rachel March 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm

My friend told me the best way to avoid the long lines at Disneyland is to go on Mother’s Day. That makes sense to me because what mother in her right mind would want to spend Mother’s Day traipsing around with her kids at Disneyland?

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80 courtney e. March 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm

so funny! my husband and i feel the same way. we just took our kids to DW for the first (and probably last) time a couple of months ago. when people ask them what their favorite part was, they say, “playing in the pool and the beach!” (polynesian resort). awesome–we could have saved thousands by going to our town’s embassy suites.

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81 kelly March 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I am SO with you. I am totally a closet rebel at heart, and never want to do what “everyone” else is doing. I also just completely do not get the appeal of Disney, but if you say that out loud people look at you as if you might be possessed. :-)

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82 Deb Martell March 17, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Amen and amen!!!

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83 chris March 17, 2012 at 8:07 pm

I’ve never been to Disneyland , but my family and I love Disney World , all the linked resorts and EZ passes to avoid big line-ups but there will be line ups at theme parks , right. Went to Disney for our honeymoon , and twice now with the kids and we loved it. But that being said I have no desire to go back after going 4 times in my life. I insist our next real vacation is going to be something tropical and relaxing , ocean beaches beautiful tropical plants, Oh I can not wait.
I think there are those that like theme parks or amusement parks or those who hate them , I do enjoy them , but only one day at a time because they are tiring but fun. I guess I’m the odd one out here.

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84 elizabeth highsmith March 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm

i’m with you sister friend my first visit was in the sauna of august hot! i spent my time hopping in and out of the gift shops with air condition!!! icky!! just a theme park on steroids. though i must confess i love my hometown fair like the first day of spring and the lights of Christmas!!!!!!

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85 {darlene} @ fieldstonehill March 17, 2012 at 9:43 pm

oh. oh. oh.
yes to every. dern. thang. you said.

don’t make me go. please, please. don’t make me!

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86 Gretchen March 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

So lovely to hear you admit what probably a million other parents feel. Disney is the Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s magical, and if you can’t feel it, you just don’t get it. ;)

We went last summer with the grandparents. Their gift of that trip was incredibly generous, but I’m glad we’ve checked that off the list, and hope we’ll never have to do it again. I think the kids would have been just as happy swimming in the pool all day.

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87 Charlene March 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Such negative vibes here which is not what I’m used to seeing. I’m curious if you get this many comments on a happy post so I’m gonna go look. I’ve never been so I have no say in the Disneyland experience.

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88 anna March 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I couldn’t agree more, Edie! I went once as a child, but I haven’t taken my family yet, and I don’t intend to. The long lines, the over priced everything, the STUFF… I am trying really hard not to spoil my children… that is not easy in this day and age.

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89 Sarah L. March 18, 2012 at 12:03 am

Ok I feel better already.

I’ve never been to either of the Disney parks and well I’m old. Ok not really but I will have my 40th this year I’ve never been or have yet to take my kids 12 & 9. They just seem more stressful than anything else to me. I assume one day we’ll go, so they can leave me alone about it. But I keep hoping that I’ll enjoy it after all.

But, I knew I loved you for a reason, just assumed that it was all of your neat & nifty blog posts.

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90 Jennifer March 18, 2012 at 12:08 am

Amen, Edie! Though I loved Disney World as a child, I’m hoping to avoid taking my own children there. I guess I’d rather show them lots of spectacular “God-made” wonders first, just to keep things in perspective.

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91 Charla March 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I am STUNNED! I have never known anyone in real life who doesn’t love Disney! For real…I thought EVERYONE loved Disney! I grew up in the OC going multiple times a year, honeymooned at WDW and my hubby and I are taking our kids (5 and 2.5) to WDW for the first time next month. They’ve both been to Disneyland / CA Adventure a few times. We LOVE Disney and just assumed that everyone else did too! Boy, am I wearing rose colored glasses or what?

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92 Lily March 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Wow, you sound like a crotchety miserable old woman. :( I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy everything there is to enjoy. I visited D-land for the first time when I was very young & loved it. Been to D-world & loved it too in highschool. My family & I now live in SoCal & have season passes. We go there just to hang out & walk around or just to eat dinner or a treat. Last year, a large group of my family visited & we all went for several days & had a total blast, even in the hot & crowded summer days. On busy days, I go in prepared that yes- it’s going to be crowded, but I can still have a good time with the right mindset.

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93 becky March 18, 2012 at 11:21 pm

i hate saying it out loud as well. people react sooo strongly. but i hate it…the only other time i liked it was when i went to school in the same town and on rainy days we would head over for the day – peopleless and blissfully wonderful. though i do have to go twice in the next month (both sets of parents have arranged trips for the grandkids).

what bothers me are the number of people in our community who have passes and go 10-15 times a year – food, hotels, everything. and while they can afford it, it bothers me that by the time their kids are grown (and some have) all they can say is that they spent tens (and tens and tens) of thousands of dollars and have only showed them an amusement park over and over again. they could have seen the world. the entire world. it just makes me sad.

so, while it can make for some very special childhood memories – we are surrounded by the most spectacular adventures in this country – and this has somehow become the pilgramage.

but i could be biased. i do hate people, en mass, smashed together, paying $14 for a really bad sandwich. my bad.

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94 denice parker March 19, 2012 at 10:14 am

Once again, I read a post from Edie and I say, “Amen, and Amen!!!”

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95 teresa humphrys March 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

Yep, I’m with you on that one! Mr. G and I went to DisneyWord when I was preggies with my firstborn. It was great, but never desired to do it again. I never took my girls–and always felt like a bad mama. But, we couldn’t afford it anyway!

I stay away from crowds of all sorts. Lines make me ill. Fast and high rides cause me to have vertigo. Long stretches of concrete make me feel like I have the flu.

Give me the soft rolling hills of my TN home, and the mountains, and even the beach for a week (Gulf only along the Emerald Coast with WHITE sand) and I’m good.

Here’s to ya, Edie, you did it again :) (made me smile…..)

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96 Tasha B. March 19, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Goodness, you are not alone! Unless it is just me and you… and all the other relieved people commenting! I agree – I confidently and automatically hate anything the masses are flocking to. Also, I have worried about my children telling the psychiatrist their horrible parents never took them to Disneyland, and plan on taking them ONE TIME as well. Yep – I can have fun anywhere for a day.

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97 Sara March 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

3 HOURS MAX!! That’s the key to D-land. We live on the south OC/San Diego border. I can’t stand going to north OC (where I grew up), but buy passes because we can park in downtown Disney (not the awful mile wide parking structure!) on a weekday and stay for 3 hrs max.

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98 Whitney March 19, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I hate Disney World! I agree with every you’ve said. Except you’ve said it much more diplomatically than I could have. Very tactful and very spot on. Also, it’s cheesy.

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99 Richella @ Imparting Grace March 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm

To be honest, I’ve never taken my kids to any Disney parks. Not Disneyland, not Walt Disney World. They’re about to turn 21, 19, and 15, and they don’t seem too marred by the deficiency. We’ve been to a few other parks, like Busch Gardens and Universal Studios, but in general, we’re not big theme park people, either. A couple of exceptions: LegoLand and the now-defunct Opryland USA. Anything LEGO is a favorite around here. And oh, my gosh, I loved Opryland. I went lots of times back in the 1970′s and 1980′s, then was fortunate enough to take my little boys one time in the 90′s before it closed.

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100 Drue March 19, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I agree!! I would not even go if I had free tickets!!

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101 Anne March 20, 2012 at 12:30 am

Our last vacation was to Disney World and it was fun … and flawless. There are resources out there that will map out how and when to hit the various rides to avoid the crowds. We also homeschool, so we went right after Labor Day and our longest wait for a ride was 10 minutes. I hate crowds and can have panic attacks in particularly close crowds, but had no problems while there. Is the food good? Nope. But it’s one of the only places we can vacation and no one looks at us funny when we request allergen-free food for our youngest. We paid more to stay close to the main parks and we had a blast. We told the kids ahead time there’d be no souvenir-buying, no character breakfasts or picture stops, etc. They don’t like that stuff anyway.

I totally get why people don’t like these places. I used to be cynical and skeptical, too. But I did some research, planned to go during a slow time and everyone loved it. I’d go back, but not every year. Maybe just one more time …

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102 Amy Lynne March 20, 2012 at 9:14 am

We are not theme park people either. I don’t really get it and the crowds about do me in. Thankfully our boys are not into them at all! We’ve done it, but it’s not really our idea of fun!

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103 Diane March 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I’ve always held the belief that in going to Disneyland, you pay A LOT of money to be held hostage! You hit the nail directly and firmly on the head with your description. We had season passes for one year in which we used them 3 times (which barely paid for the pass.) The final straw was when I took the kids on a Friday during Lent (and it was beyond crowded) and couldn’t find anything decent without meat. I actually bribed my children: we would go to Build-a-Bear and they could go crazy if we could just LEAVE! So, $80 (and a fairly yummy shrimp po-boy later) we headed home. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy!!

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104 Sarah March 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Thank you for this post!

I have no desire to take my kids to Disney. We live in an affluent area, so we are literally the only people we know who have not taken our kids there. We have done Pacific NW/Alaska, SoCal, the mountains of Colorado, and many other fun GOD-made things closer to home.

I am saving this post and the comments for the next time the guilt and pressure resurfaces. I HATE that it has become a rite of passage!

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105 K Elkin March 21, 2012 at 12:52 am

Thank you! For saying it out loud. Hate Disney for trying to assume a role in our society. It’s a monopoly of ‘popular ‘ culture too- yuck. I told my daughter that Disney hired an illustrator who knows nothing about real princesses, and so their depictions are false.Look at the princess stuff sold by Disney- ultra low cut dresses & cleavage on the illustrations anyway.
We love ‘real’ wonders like national parks, sky watching, etc. Or exploring food, history, and local culture of destinations.

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106 meg duerksen March 21, 2012 at 1:01 am

i hate them too.
and i know it’s not a safe thing to admit out loud in most company.
:)
you a brave woman edie.
ha ha ha

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107 Ginger March 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Oh, I do genuinely love the magic of Disney, though World is far better than Land… they learned as they built a second one.

Nobody has to love everything, but I’ve always questioned people who rebel against EVERYTHING popular (as an aside, I plan to homeschool my children too, but because I feel I can give them the best education, not just because it’s counter-cultural).

Norms aren’t always the best, but anyone going against the stream, for going against’s sake should possibly question “why?” Some things are the norm for a reason that the greatest number of people have found them to be the best.

I’m sure your comments were partly in good fun, but often “rebels” are just those who never emerged from adolescence.

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108 Rebecca March 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm

A quick hint…DON’T go to Disney during Spring Break, summer months, or holidays! When kids are out of school, it’s going to be a zoo! Go during a “slow” time…yes, there really are some; and go when they offer free dining, etc. It really can be fun :) !

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109 mypatsyann March 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I live near Disney World. I drive past Busch Gardens every day on my way to work. Can’t stand either of them, for all of the reasons you mentioned above.
You’re not alone….and thanks for saying it!

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110 amy March 23, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Wow. What a downer to read all the negatives. While i’m pleased you were honest and that others find kinship in the opinion, I just had to quit reading. I think it pays to plan well for theme parks. I have by no means drank the princes cool aid, but we have taken our family twice. No waiting…followed crowd avoidance tips…and had some very good and memorable times. We can’t wait to go back…but feel no pressure to rush. Anyway, i’m sorry for the bad experiences and want to encourage and suggest planning ahead. Our go to guy and site is http://www.tourguidemike.com.

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111 Stuff and Nonsense March 24, 2012 at 9:14 am

i had to
smile in agreement
with you words

we finally saved up our pennies
and made the trek to Disney World
last fall
(yay for homeschooling and getting
to go to places like DW in September
rather than July)

and i was surprised that

tho’ my kids enjoyed themselves
they were not as thrilled with it
as i thought they’d be

and thankfully
we never have to go again

at least until
we have grandchildren begging to
be taken.

alison

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112 Peggy March 28, 2012 at 5:44 am

I think it is too bad that you did not go to SeaWorld first. One of my boys is an animal lover and I think it was one of the best days of his life. I will never forget it. :) It is best to plan your trip so you avoid the biggest crowds. I do enjoy Disney. We took the kids when they were small and believed in the magic. But I would not go to Six Flags again if someone paid me!

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113 Mandy March 30, 2012 at 1:10 am

Oh, gosh. I’ve been following this blog for a long time and have never felt anything but uplifted after visiting, but not tonight. Such negativity across the board. I find that very strange. Maybe you have to dislike anything that isn’t God-made to fit in here. It’s not the diss on Disney..it’s just the attitudes behind it. I’ve been visiting Disney World off and on since it opened when I was 11. My siblings and I enjoyed it…my kids have enjoyed it and I look forward to taking grands there one day. We planned our trips around slow times and never had any negative experiences. Yes, it costs money…but so do a lot of the things mentioned and shared on this blog.

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114 Angela April 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I think I’m going to plagiarize your post and put it in my kids’ baby books along with the pictures of our family at DW where we are clearly in H#&&. We skimped, saved, sat through the most insulting and down-right mean promotions for time-shares just to get a free ticket or two, and packed more homemade pbjs than I care to count just so we could give our kids “the experience” before they were too old to enjoy the fantasies. It was our worst vacation EVER. I won’t even begin. The kids were miserable too. They were 5, 5, & 7 at the time (12, 12, & 14 today), and none have any desire to go back. We had high hopes, great expectations, positive outlooks, and more than our share of excitement, but it wasn’t for any of us. We read the books, ran the traps, got the fast passes, etc., but even the best moments weren’t worth the hassle, the lines, and the cost. But there are those who love it and who look at me with furrowed brow when I say none of us ever want to go back. Takes all kinds. If nothing else, it’s a nice little economic development project in Orlando and some families do have delightful memories. The memory it created for all of us is being able to laugh at how much we all despise Disney and everything that went wrong on the trip. Actually, now that I think of it I’m sure I chronicled it somewhere just so we could all laugh at it some day.

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115 deirdre April 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm

LOVE YOU EVEN MORE NOW!!!! I 100% agree w everything you said!!! You would think I abuse my children with the looks I get when I say we have no plans to ever take our kids to Disney anything! I would much rather see what God has created for us or maybe eat for a year???? instead of going to Disney for a week?

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116 Ali April 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

As a Mom who feel the pressure to give her kids the “Disney magical experience” but, we can’t afford it THANK YOU! It does seem to be a rite of childhood in this culture and its such a shame that it is so very expensive! My husband and I tend to take our kids to state parks to hike and camp (because that is what we can afford to do). So we feel terrible that our kids who are at that perfect age haven’t been to Disney. This posted helped me realize that its okay if we never make it to Disney with our kids.

~ Ali

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117 shelly May 2, 2012 at 9:25 am

ha! you said it all so well! as a child i never had one teeny tiny inkling of wanting to go to disney . . . and i’m hoping that the thot never crosses my children’s radar either. the nausea, crowds, money, and the fact that it’s SUPPOSED to be so COOL to be there . . . ah, I’d rather be almost anyplace else. :)

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118 Gloria June 22, 2012 at 11:58 am

My grandparents lived across the street from Ollie Johnston, one of the original animators with Walt Disney. Ollie was a wonderful man and he would give us rides on the little train in his yard and tickets to Disneyland whenever we came to visit. My grandparents were experts at getting the most of the Disneyland experience. Because I have wonderful childhood memories of those trips with my grandparents, my husband and I took a trip to Orlando a few years ago. I wanted him to experience the Disney magic as I had. What a joke. If you enjoy being herded along narrow streets (think: running of the bulls) and standing in lines for hours for rides and overpriced, crappy food, being pushed and shoved continuously or waiting 6 people deep in crowds to catch a parade, go right ahead. We hated it. We purchased food one evening and there was no place to sit and eat it, so we ducked into an unused doorway. Within minutes a Disney employee stopped and told us that we would have to move along. I asked him where he suggested we eat, and he vaguely pointed down the street and said there might be a place “around the corner”. So we just left. I was so frustrated and disappointed at this point, I was in tears on the way back to our car. We did enjoy Epcot, though. Although only for the photographic opportunities that the architecture presents. Other than that, Epcot is just a place for adults to shop, eat and drink. We will never go back. Thanks God we only bought 2 day passes to Disney, we thoroughly enjoyed the rest of our weeklong vacation exploring Orlando.

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119 Jenny July 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm

To each his own……..we love backpacking, hiking, swimming, running, rafting,…..and we also love Disneyland. Our visits were truly magical and my kids and I had amazing times of joy and fellowship (Left hubby at home as he knows himself well enough to know that it wouldn’t be for him). Perhaps there is grace enough to allow each other the experiences that make them happy?

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120 Missy August 25, 2012 at 11:15 am

I just came across this and giggled. It echos what I try to explain to my friends who think I must be broken or heartless to dislike so vehemently “the happiest place on earth” – which, by the way, seems to have a myriad of crying and whiny folks (and their children don’t seem happy either)! :) I’m just a simple mama in East TN who lives on a little mountain and has the pleasure of taking walks in the woods – marveling at giant boulders, mountain streams and waterfalls. I don’t dig crowds and plastic, fake everything…. Thoreau pegged it when he said, “I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

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121 Richard Coyle October 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I live two hours away exactly from the door of my house to the toll booths. I do not plan on going back there any time soon. I have a couple of friends that are..well…obsessed with the place. Even the day they pay their yearly park pass is a celebratory day for them. Truth be told they don’t go to Disney for the rides or anything like that. There are a lot of special events in the evening for local patrons.. Huge wine tastings, cheese tastings, Steiff Teddy Bear collectors, you get the idea. In my opinion what is touted the most, the parks themselves, are the problem. Here is what I’ve learned over the years about visiting the parks.

When all is said and done these are just huge amusement parks. The best run ones in the world, undoubtedly. But if you are going there thinking you and your kids are going to have the time of your lives for hours on end you are sadly mistaken. After a couple of hours the gloss becomes dross. You start to see behind the curtain and a sinking feeling sets in. Now you are desperately trying to suppress the feeling that you’ve been royally had and it’s not working!. The smiles become forced and stretched as the day wears on. Tempers flare and old wounds are re-opened..loudly. If a real fight breaks out, the crowd goes wild! At last! Something to really tell the Jone’s about when we get back! It will be broken up in a flash though. They have very tight security. Look around you while you are there. Every street has at least five or six ‘visitor assistants.’ Don’t pull any stupid crap. They’ll be on you like flies on stink and they will lock you up. They are an incorporated city in their own right and have the bucks for a large well trained and well equipped police force.
.
Do not visit the parks in summer! Don’t go even go if someone else is paying for it! It will crush your soul! The parks are so packed and hot during summertime in Central Florida that you just cannot escape the smell of fried food and loaded diapers mixed with suntan lotion. The heat can literally kill you. You have to constantly drink water to survive. May God help you if you don’t bring your own. Their bottled water has been specially blessed or something and you pay accordingly. If you are going to have any fun at all during a summer visit it’s going to be back at your hotel having a cold one at the pool bar late in the day.

Theme breakfasts are a very special kind of hell reserved for parents with small children. It’s like the biggest, noisiest birthday party for five year olds cranked up to eleven! The screeching and yelling can reach ear bursting decibels. Keep your elbows in at the table or your arm may be broken by a hurtling small body. Pray for those parents. They are making a true sacrifice for the joy of their children.

The optimum time to visit Leviathan is about mid-January to mid-March. The weather is great and the crowds are gone. It’s comfortable to walk around and sometimes you can easily do every ride in one park before lunch! I’ve done it. On a weekend!

Staying in a hotel on property is definitely the way to go if you can afford it. You leave your car where it is and take the buses into the day’s ration of homogenized official joy. One other nice thing is the hotel experience is some of the best you will ever experience if you do not make a habit of staying in five star establishments. Although expensive you will get an almost too perfect room. You may catch yourself wiping the sink after use so it doesn’t look like anyone has used it. It can get noisy at times, but by 9pm all the little kids have passed out and the noise stops. Just stops. You kind of miss it for a few minutes. A wonderful evening meal at one of these theme hotels with everybody rested after the day’s torture takes away a lot of pain.

Always, always, always keep in mind that all that joy and happiness is expensive. You pay for what you get and a lot of the time overpay. Almost everything in the parks is overpriced and in your face at every turn. Are you or your kids really going to wear that huge character hat when you go home? Six and below, you can get away with it I suppose, but any one older once maybe and it will be a mistake you won’t soon forget. It’s funny how on property everyone thinks it’s fun. Anywhere else it looks very stupid and at best looks like you are showing off. ” We got to go and you can’t afford it nanny nanny boo boo!” Then it goes up in the hall closet never to be seen again.

So to sum up stay at one of the themed hotels on property, visit in the winter between mid January and mid March and get the hell out of the park by 2pm at the latest.

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122 Gweny November 3, 2012 at 10:09 pm

WHAT? how could you not love D-land.. lol.. OK first off you have to go during the week and never during the summer. The wknds are taboo for sure. D-land is for sure no fun when the lines are crazy and its bumper to bumper people.. BUT D-land during Christmas omg its so beautiful I know you would love it. That said at least you tried it and like you said your kids can say they have been there.. ha ah
Blessings, Gweny

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123 Signe January 6, 2013 at 12:00 am

I realize that I’m a little “late to the party…” here, but I have a hint for you all (or…ahem… y’all): Leave the kiddos at home and go just with your significant other! Seriously, my husband and I actually honeymooned at Disney World in Orlando and had the most wonderful time! Went back for our 10th anniversary (no kids…) our 15th anniversary (again…no kids!) and we are planning on going again for our 20th (by now… kids are grown and have flown the nest!). Now don’t get me wrong, I adore our children but as they were growing up, we tended to take them on trips like to the Grand Canyon, or cool road trips, or walk the Freedom Trail in Boston, or visit the Lincoln monument in Washington D.C. — my husband even took some of the kids to England (he was there on business) so they have had TONS of wonderful vacations (and YES! They even went to Disneyland — but not with us — with other relatives! mwahhhahhhhahhhhhaaaa!) I just think that because children tire easily and whine when they get that way, then parents end up buying them a bunch of junk just to make them happy which frustrates the parents but makes the suits at Disney VERY happy! And really, who can live up to the slogan (the) “happiest place on earth”!! What a bunch of hoooeeey. So, next time, leave your kids with Grandma and Grandpa and take your grown up attitudes and return to your childhood (without all the whining……) and laugh and eat ice cream and ride the Mount Everest roller coaster! It is such a blast!!

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124 MJ January 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm

We (family of five) spent five days at Disneyland recently. Three days would have been better. Know these things: It is horribly overpriced. The park truly exposes the “me first” mentality of all too many people. We had a nice time, but we will not go again.

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125 SB January 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Growing up and living in California, I’ve had plenty of opportunity over the course of my life to go to Disneyland. I’ve done this in intervals: at 4, 9, 17, 21, 40, 50 years of age. We’ve also taken our daughter a few times as she grew up — she was underwhelmed. Each trip, I hoped I would finally discover what the big deal is for so many people. I have friends who go EVERY YEAR with their kids (and never anywhere else). How they can do this and not be bored with the same commercialized stuff, mediocre food & rides, and massive crowds, year after year, I cannot say. I guess it’s just not my thing. I’d rather go to a real place in another country or elsewhere in the US, where authenticity is an essential part of the experience, than return year after year to that same tired amusement park in lackluster Anaheim. Maybe I define “magic” differently, too. To me, magic is watching a whale breech off the coast of Maui. Or ziplining through the Redwoods. Or eating a picnic lunch with my family atop the bluffs overlooking Big Sur. Or driving a power boat across Lake Tahoe at 7 am. The magic is in the real, breath-taking beauty of the venue and having my family with me to enjoy it. So, they can keep the characters, the mass-marketing, the overpriced admission, the pressing lines of humanity, and the lousy, cranky cross-section of ‘merica. I can see that any day, for free.

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126 S March 25, 2013 at 12:40 am

Parents who choose not to take their children to disneyworld or disneyland even though they can afford to and are physically able to are stupid! They shouldn’t be allowed to have children. I went to Disneyworld and my children have gone to disneyworld and I know plenty of parents who would agree with me. There are right and wrong opinions and yours is wrong!

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127 KC June 9, 2013 at 12:34 am

So glad to find out that I am not the only one. My brother and his family go every 2 years and I don’t get it. I hated the time I went with my family, his family and our parents. I would have liked to just stay at the great hotel we were at. My sister in law does a count down when they go and I just want to tell her to stop it drives me nuts, but at least I don’t live with her, LOL.

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128 proba June 27, 2013 at 7:40 am

Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess
I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for newbie blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

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