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Old 08-13-2019, 12:09 AM   #1
Undertoad
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Disney

J's family has points in this Disney points system, which allows them to book lodging for, like, free. So J has convinced me that she can take me to Disney for a 5 day vacation. Because we stay free in a place that normally costs you $410 per night, and the flight is like $150. Okay. And all we have to pay for is meals, and park entrance fees, and a few extras.

(Is that a trap?)

I have never had children, so I've never participated in the Mickey Mouse world domination program. But I am an American, so it's part of my DNA to accept complete indoctrination into this tribe.

I haven't been to a theme park in 30 years. I hear this is like 4 of them right in a row. OK. With fine dining. OK. I'm down with that.

I grew up next to Hersheypark, and that was great. Except they didn't have any cartoon characters to walk around the park, so they had.... walking chocolate bars. Even now, the characters are all walking candy. Pretty scary-looking.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:15 AM   #2
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Never went to Disney World, however I enjoyed the hell out of Disneyland in CA. Go for it, can't hurt.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:28 AM   #3
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It's not a trap, necessarily, but the meals will be expensive just like in any theme park. Not even overpriced, necessarily--Disney food is quite good, in my experience--there just won't be cheaper options available. Park entry tickets are also nothing to sneeze at, but if you're going to multiple parks you get some discounts. I assume J knows all the ins and outs if they're a Disney points family.

You'll have fun. Also, it's elitist and feels a little uncomfortable to go speed-walking past everyone else in line, but I HIGHLY recommend the Fast Pass for the shorter lines. Really improves things even during the off-season.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:48 AM   #4
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... but I HIGHLY recommend the Fast Pass for the shorter lines.
What is the fast pass? When was it created? Apparently it must be made in advance. Does it also sell out? Any time restrictions?
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:07 AM   #5
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What is the fast pass? When was it created? Apparently it must be made in advance. Does it also sell out? Any time restrictions?
They've been around for at least 5-10 years, most major theme parks have them now. You pay extra to get in shorter lines that run parallel to people who paid less while they glare at you. I don't think there's a limit, they just raise the price over time if they're selling too many. At busy times there's still a line, it's just a shorter line. There are no restrictions on the pass for general use, but at Disney one of the added things is you get to make (I think) 3 appointments per day to ride something specific, and that really jumps you right to the front of the line at your scheduled time. But those are limited, and you can't show up late, otherwise you just get in the regular fast pass line.
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Old 08-30-2019, 01:53 PM   #6
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Note to self:

Don't plan this during hurricane season
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Old 08-30-2019, 07:52 PM   #7
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Whatchyoo talkin' 'bout Willis?

You're the one that's been planning these things?!
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Old 08-30-2019, 08:14 PM   #8
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I okayed the date is all.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:27 PM   #9
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Note to self:

Don't plan this during hurricane season
Oh for shame you'd have to stay in the room with a bed and your squeeze.
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Old 08-31-2019, 05:16 PM   #10
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Note to self:

Don't plan this during hurricane season
That when the crowds are smaller and hurricanes go elsewhere (ie head instead for the Cellar).
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:46 PM   #11
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We are here. Short review of the first days:

Utter torture, occasionally punctuated by moments of delight.

Don't go in summer, or spring or fall, unless you are used to FL style humidity and sun.

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Old 09-07-2019, 03:01 PM   #12
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Today is the test, heat, humidity, humanity. Can the Toad bear the pressure or will he retreat to the A/C bathed hotel room? Stay tuned for a report or retort from our hero. Breath abatement not required.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:36 PM   #13
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Heat index 104

J found that she is no longer able to handle the heat and walking distances, so she rented the dreaded mobility scooter on day 2.

I found that, walking next to her on day 2, I felt so sick at the end of the day that my legs were uncomfortably shaking. My anxiety then went through the roof, along with medically-assisted low blood sugar. I gave up and we both had the mobility scooter for day 3 and will do it again day 4.

This place is not for overweight and/or diabetic 55 year olds.

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Old 09-07-2019, 07:49 PM   #14
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That's the bad. The good so far:

Hospitality is an amazing skill and it feels like every single Disney worker has it, in spades. They simply do a marvelous job. It's kind of amazing. And you know, I have a history of cynicism that I am trying to break, because it's not a good thing.

Disney is a corporate experience so the cynic wants to tear it down. But what I found was that this amazing hospitality puts everyone in a good mood. The crowd is usually cheerful and nobody is rude. This is how life should actually be.

I was forever cynical about the movie Pandora, but the Disney world ride for it actually redeems the movie. It's a simulated ride on one of the big flying beasts in the film. Many Disney things are 3D film combined with real effects. For Pandora you mount your seat like a horse, and it vibrates, rises up in the air, tilts every which way along with the flight of the beast. Wind is blown at you, there is mist and your senses tell you, you are actually flying. 60 minute wait for a 5 minute ride... Worth it!

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Old 09-07-2019, 08:19 PM   #15
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Some of the restaurants are just amazing. We had the best waitress of all time in this 50's style cafe. You can see why the employees are called cast members. She acted like a mom: barked at everyone to keep their elbows off the table. ("You think you can do whatever you want?") She refused to give me extra iced tea until I finished my water. She complained when bussing a table ("Nobody get up, I'll just do all the work around here.") She then forced a customer to carry plates for her. Another customer was late getting back from the bathroom when his dessert arrived, so she just sat down and started eating it! When she saw I hadn't finished eating my green beans (You think the money for that just grows on trees?"), she took my fork and fed me two of them as if I was a little child!

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