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No, I Do Not Hate Disney

I promise, I really don’t. OK, I admit, Disney and I have a complicated relationship. But we stay together for the sake of the children. I do my best to overlook the flaws but folks, it’s a challenge at times. Disney can be extremely selfish, greedy and simultaneously cheap (cough, old screens at Epcot, cough). Not to mention, I have to compete for Disney’s affection with thousands of other people.

But kids just can’t get enough of it! There is no replacing Disney for them and believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve introduced them to Legoland and while they’ve enjoyed it, now that the annual pass has expired, they are back  to begging  me to take them to Magic Kingdom. Sigh… So, if your family is like mine, and I suspect that it is, let me do a  round-up of all the posts I did on Disney so far, plus some other external resources. Without further ado:

How to survive Magic Kingdom

Is Epcot “weak sauce” compared to Magic Kingdom?

This is my house! Plus a way to get “free” Disney tickets

Disney hotel points options for large families

Is going to Disney similar to being drafted?

Camping in Disney: Not all white people like it

I’m sure there are more posts, but these should keep you plenty busy. Now, on to the external resources you might want to check out:

  1. Disboards (Disney discussion forums)
  2. Disney touring plans from Undercover Tourist
  3. Reach out to HaleyB via Twitter. The “B” has to do with her last name, OK? She is an expert on all things Disney and actually offers consulting service to help you get the best bang for your buck. I don’t know what the price is, but I’m sure it’s worth every penny. If you are super busy, this is definitely something to consider. You can check out her slide presentation on Disney for free preview of her awesome Disney hacking skills.
  4. Reach out to my reader Nancy who runs Saving for a Dream blog. I don’t know if Disney pays her for endorsements, but it should! She is a Disney fanatic and proud of it. Also, if you have a large family, you definitely want to follow her site. It’s primarily a travel blog, but many posts have to do with miles and points redemptions. I view Nancy as a less crazy version of me, and that’s a good thing.
  5. Disney section on Tripswithtykes blog. Another unapologetic Disney fanatic who knows her stuff.

Let’s face it, Disney vacations are expensive with or without miles and points. They can be super stressful too. But with some preparation, you can reduce the stress and focus on enjoying time with your family. Who knows, maybe in time, me and Disney can rekindle the magic after all.

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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12 thoughts on “No, I Do Not Hate Disney

  1. Oh Disney…. my daughter is starting to hear from friends that have been there. The whole Disney thing is something that my husband and I cringe at. I didn’t grow up watching Disney movies, I mean, I did watch some but it wasn’t like I could sing their songs by heart and knew all the names of the characters. We try to avoid anything that is “manufactured fun”
    we prefer the real deal, the state parks, the actual cities, the lakes and the ocean as opposed to pools and lazy rivers. Anyway, I liked this response from a reader to one of Mommy points posts about Disney, not sure if you can publish this here:

    “This summer my family and I rented a canal boat in the north of England and cruised through the countryside, popping into old villages and castles along the way and mooring at the side of the canal to sleep.

    Because we booked fairly last-minute, went during the height of summer, and got a boat with six berths when we only needed four we wound up paying a good deal more than you have to for the same experience. When people ask me how much it cost my stock answer is “not cheap, but probably not any more than visiting Disneyworld”.

    Boy, I had no idea how much cheaper it was than Disney! I’ve asked my girls if they wanted to go to Disneyworld and they’ve always responded with revulsion — I thought I was offering them a cheap and easy vacation; looks like I dodged a (very expensive) bullet!”

    I felt reassured by the guy, why go to some stupid plastic castle when you can go to the real thing? Anyway, I’m not saying we’ll never go, maybe we will but it would be worst than work for us.

    • @Leticia That’s an interesting comment from a reader of Mommy Points. I’m sure Summer doesn’t mind if you quote it here. Cruising in a canal boat sounds lovely! My husband would totally go for it. I’ll check into it in the future.
      I tend to feel similar to you when it comes to Disney. I’ve said before that Magic Kingdom isn’t my cup of tea. But the thing is, kids absolutely love it. So, it looks like we’ll be going back next year. Of course, we live in Florida and will be using hotel points. Also, we have this deal where you can get 3-day pass for $139 if you are a state resident. Honestly, Magic Kingdom is quite impressive: The rides, the fireworks, the parade. You might enjoy it more than you think. My mom absolutely loved it.

      But… If you are coming from another state, the cost can be tremendous. That’s why planning is essential. I think, Disney vacation can be a success if you are determined to make it a success. I’ve written about some things to avoid, like going in the summer. Also, I do recommend you look into camping in Fort Wilderness. Read my last referenced post. I know you are a camping family and honestly, it’s a lot of fun for kids. It’s also much less “manufactured fun” if that makes sense. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than their resorts. Watching a Disney movie outside and roasting marshmallows is a huge hit with kids.

      I hate to say it but having a little girl, it will be hard for you to avoid Disney forever! You might as well look into it and see if you can pull it off financially at some point. You can do a 2-night getaway at a beach so the trip won’t be only about Disney. There is nothing wrong with visiting Magic Kingdom for just one day and moving on to something else in Florida. Our state has so much to offer. I highly recommend driving to the Keys. Orlando-Key Largo route shouldn’t take you more than 6 hours.

    • I do not think you would like Disney World. Having said that, I was certain I would not either. Having said that, I love pools and lazy rivers. Having said that, I hate the idea of waiting in line for pools and lazy rivers. Having said that, I do know Disney songs by heart. In sum, you should go to Disney World. Use the free perspective from easywdw.com to get a sense for how to structure your trip, grab some fast passes, show up early, and enjoy a day at MK. I think you could probably schedule a low risk trip that had a Disney visit as a small part of a larger Florida vacation. Afterall, there is an ocean about an hour away from Disney.

    • @Shoesinks No problem! I enjoy following your family’s adventures and learned a lot from you. Feel free to write about Disney and make your comments as long as you wish. 🙂 I think it’s important for readers to get a balanced perspective. I know I’m a bit biased, and my views probably don’t reflect how many moms feel about this subject.

  2. I’ll keep this simple.
    1. To the skeptics: Coming from a former skeptic, Disney World is worth a shot.
    2. To those thinking about going: easywdw.com is the best resource on how to have an efficient and fun trip at Disney World. Also, it’s free, unlike many things associated with Disney.

  3. I love all of you guys’ comments. Do you work for Disney? If I try it I’ll share it with Leana so that you learn about it. Actually the other day I got a pop up from Disney offering a $900 for 3 people that included hotel and park passes! That sounds fantastic for my family of 3, I know there aren’t many families of 3, maybe that’s why? It was for February or something, when nobody w/kids in schools can go but we have a couple of days in October here in Minnesota so I may try for that if I ever decide to go.

    • That’s not a bad amount for most families to spend on a disney vacation. But…
      1, I would consider staying at a hotel you can use points at. Disney resort rooms cannot compete with traditional chain hotel rooms. And Disney World itself is so big that many of the resorts are just as far away from a park as a non disney resort/hotel. I tend to do an RCI/redbook rental, or stay at a Marriot. My personal fav, is the JW Marriot Orange Lakes.
      2. If you plan to stay more than 2 days, buy the tickets from undercovertourist.com as they are cheaper there for 3day+ tickets. And even cheaper if you sign up for the mousesavers e-mail list and click through their link to undercovertourst.
      3. Use Arrival or Cap 1 points to cover ticket costs, or if you purchase the package you mentioned.

    • @Leticia Listen to Cheapblackdad! He is a wise man. I would love for you to share your thoughts on Disney if you do decide to go. I strongly recommend you don’t focus your entire trip on just Disney the first time around. That way, you won’t be disappointed. Like I said earlier, include a beach getaway and maybe St. Augustine. I love the latter, it feels like you are in Spain. I honestly think your daughter will love it, not sure about you and your husband.
      Also, $900 for 3 people doesn’t sound bad, but if it just includes 1-day pass, you can do better. Check my post on Magic Kingdom. There are some decent redemption options. If you have SPG points, there is a category 2 (3,000 points per night on weekends) Sheraton property near Disney. And like Cheapblackdad mentioned, there are many other lodging possibilities.

  4. Pingback: To Go to Disney Magic Kingdom or not to Go, that Is the Question… | Miles For Family

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