In a couple of weeks, I will be going with my family to The Happiest Place on Earth. Florida. Orlando, Fla. Disney World! I have never been there because I was born an old man who thought himself too sophisticated for that kind of tomfoolery. And, probably, from my parents’ point of view, because it is the most expensive place on Earth — dad joke intended. While I have warmed to all aspects of the trip with the exception of the Florida part, if you haven’t planned a trip to the Magic Kingdom, let me regale you.
First, I would like to fully disclose that I have done nothing to plan this trip beyond agreeing with itinerary, nodding my head, and pretending I have any idea what goes on at Disney. So full credit to my wife for addressing the nitty-gritty. I know there will be furries and rides and the “newly” acquired Star Wars franchise. But until a few months ago, I had no idea Disney was multiple parks, not just one! And you have to buy passes to each, unless you have Park Hopper ticket — there are so many fantastic branded upgrades. I had heard the words Epcot, Hollywood Studios, etc., but figured they were scattered around one park. I can’t even imagine how this works. And I know that’s stupid, but here we are.
The true magic of Disney lies within the fast pass, a ticket that affords high rollers — like newspaper employees — the extraordinary power to cut the line for rides in front of people who didn’t want to pay extra for the privilege. God bless America. I would definitely pay extra for almost anything that has a line in order to move to the front. Slip an extra $20 at the DMV. I could go broke doing this. There’s also a concierge who assists you with acquiring all these extras. You may know them as a “salesperson,” but Disney has some kind of clever name for them — like Trip Wizard or something.
I get all of my information about going to Disney at group gatherings, where I overhear friends talking about their previous trips. “Don’t get the meal plan.” There’s a meal plan? “Definitely schedule a character dinner.” OK. There’s definitely a “right” and a “wrong” way to do Disney, but I can’t remember which is which.
So, my plan is to follow my family around, pay strict attention to the Trip Wizard’s detailed instructions, and pay my way to the front of any line inconveniencing me. Oh, and I want to eat a lot of unhealthy food. And definitely see Mickey! And check out Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios! And hopefully find a screen-printing shop that can put a picture of me and my family on a T-shirt! You can’t beat that smell.