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How Do YOU Feel About Disney?

Posted by on Jun. 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • 33 Replies

Disney Debate Brings Out the Worst in Parents

by Lisa Fogarty

I used to think breastfeeding was the biggest debate in the Mommy Wars. Nope -- it's Disney.

Parents who take their children to Disney World are a special breed. If you're a mom who has broken breakfast bread with Snow White -- and this goes double if you actually enjoyed doing it -- you may not realize how exceptional you are, but you are pretty bloody amazing. You've agreed to hand over a chunk of your vacation time -- a precious 5 out of 14 days you get each year to use for everything from having a root canal to attending an aunt's funeral -- to a 6-year-old who wouldn't have a clue if those Mickey ears cost $3 or $300.

When it comes to Disney, there's no middle ground. You're either a parent who loves taking your children to the theme park or one who despises the idea. And, if you aren't all rah-rah Disney and are foolish enough to admit this in front of your pro-Disney friends and acquaintances, well, expect your punishment to be very severe.

My abusive parents never took me to Disney. As a child with a pulse, naturally, I wanted to go. I shook with excitement every time I caught those commercials that showed grown male athletes celebrating their victory on the field by flying down to Orlando to get hugs from Mickey. I believed the air at Disney was filled with fairy dust and promise. The only reason I wanted to be blonde was because I desperately wanted to be Tinker Bell. So yeah, I was just your average American kid.

But my parents were immigrants who didn't get Disney. They planned really nice vacations each year, but THEY planned them, and my brother and I tagged along like two intelligent and whiny suitcases. We climbed lots of steps to nowhere in 100-degree temperatures. We visited spooky churches and amused ourselves playing with candles. We thought it was perfectly normal to silently stand in front of the tomb of a man who died 2,000 years ago. We ate at restaurants that served fish with the heads still intact. If we were good, we got ice cream on the way back to the hotel.

That was vacation.

And, looking back now, I wouldn't change it for all the rides on Space Mountain.

If you're a Disney parent -- unless you're fortunate enough to have the means to take more than one trip -- what you're doing is surrendering your leisure time to your children, putting them first. You're putting off any chance you have of seeing the Mona Lisa -- at least until the kids are either old enough to appreciate art or out of the house, whichever comes first.

I respect the choice you've made. But here's what comes to mind when I think of Disney: temper tantrums. LOTS of money thrown away at a glorified amusement park that has brilliantly marketed itself as a place as necessary for a child's development as kindergarten. Some seem to have forgotten that Disney is a business that wants your hard-earned dinero. There, I said it. Disney probably doesn't actively dislike your cute children, but it's not going to let your little ones eat with princesses for free, either.

You're right, I may be a little bitter. But, more than that, I'm perplexed by the reaction I recently received when I posted this hilarious Huffington Post article from a blogger who says she'd rather do a "shot of Windex" than take her kids to Disney. I got no fewer than 21 replies, most of which were very passionate. Someone called me a "snob" who only wants to expose my kids to Shakespeare (not true, I prefer James Joyce). Others bickered about the pros and cons of the theme park. Two acquaintances pretty much decided they hate each other because this great divide in their Disney philosophies was simply too great to overcome.

I know there are parents out there who LOVE Disney. Like, love it as an adult vacation destination AND love to see the priceless reactions on their children's faces when they run merrily through the park. They see it as the best of both worlds.

But it's totally possible to grow up healthy and happy without a Disney vacation -- I swear. And if I have $2,000 to spend on a trip, I'm going to make sure my kids are bored at a museum at least once that week.

Are you a "Disney mom" or would you rather take your children anywhere else on Earth?

Have you or will you take your children to Disney?

by on Jun. 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 9:11 AM
We've never taken our kids, they are 5 and 3. We had planned, booked, made meal plans and paid for a week vacation in disney for next week. It was going to be a surprise for them but I was excited for them so I had to tell. After hearing the news they both just looked at me blankly like whatever. A few days later my 5yo came to me and said "mama I don't really wanna go to disney world and had rather go to the beach" I asked him why and he said "because I know it's all fake and it just people in costumes and I don't want to stand in long lines just to ride rides". Turned out my 3yo didn't want to go either and wanted to go to the beach instead. So we cancelled and are leaving tomorrow for the beach. Everyone thinks my kids are crazy for passing up disney! Lol. We may see if they wanna go in a few years.
by on Jun. 6, 2014 at 9:39 AM
I fall into the middle ground. I think it might be fun to take her once, maybe twice in her childhood, but mostly out vacations will be things the adults plan, with activities worked in that everyone will enjoy. This year we went to Moab, and had a blast.
by Bronze Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 11:59 AM

I've never been to Disney but I do want to take DD.  My parents didn't get Disney either (also immigrant family) but we did awesome trips that I wouldn't have traded for Disney either.  DD has travelled a lot for her age and although amusement parks are pretty high on her list she'd trade it in for an unknown adventure and an airplane ride anyday.  She's fairly grounded so if Disney doesn't happen in her childhood she won't be crushed....I just really hope we can make it work though.

by on Jun. 6, 2014 at 4:46 PM

We've never taken our girls as of now (didn't have the money too) but I wouldn't say I would "never" take them either.  It's up in the air.

by Bronze Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Going to Disneyland this year with dd and my brother and sister in law

by Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 9:05 PM

My daughter is 15 (almost 16) months. I plan on taking her when she gets a little bit older. I went when I was a child.

by Angel on Jun. 6, 2014 at 10:59 PM
My boys are 11 n 2 yr old and we have never been as a family but the oldest went one summer with his bestfriend family and he had a blast too.
by Gold Member on Jun. 7, 2014 at 12:33 AM

I always wanted to go as a kid. Never did. I always said that I would take my kids. I still plan on that. Maybe in 4 or 5 yrs when my youngest is old enough to remember the trip. That gives us time to save up the money

by on Jun. 7, 2014 at 12:34 AM
I love Disney we are passholders, DVC,and Castaway members on the boat just booked for food and wine as well
by on Jun. 7, 2014 at 2:04 AM
Never been there
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