What Happened to the Magic?

As an eternal pessimist, it is in my nature to dwell on the negative before I can fully appreciate the positive. So I feel I must warn you that what follows is an exhaustive rant about all the suck I experienced on my Disney vacation with little mention of the awesome.

I’ve been to WDW at least 20 times in my 23 years of living (I’ve actually lost count,) and in my practically-professional experience, October has always been the best time of year to go. The weather is still warm, but not so hot that you can barely step outside without getting dehydrated; there’s some extra-fun stuff to do with the International Food & Wine Festival and the Halloween party; and, most importantly, the crowds have always been relatively small.

I guess the secret got out, because this time, the crowds were FREAKIN’ RIDICULOUS. And it was all families! Don’t these kids have school? Can’t they let child-haters such as myself enjoy all the magic WDW has to offer in peace?

It makes absolutely no sense to me. My parents, Annie and I went to Disney only 2 years ago during the same week and it was nearly empty. This time we were constantly dodging unruly brats screaming at their parents for more ice cream. And don’t even get me started on the Stroller Parents – is there some sort of secret contest to see who can run over the most ankles?

They're headed right for us! God have mercy!

Because of the unreasonable number of WDW trips I’ve made, I do have a sort of plan-of-attack whenever I visit, and I go at a very fast pace in order to maximize the amount of stuff I get done. But I was expecting the parks to be nearly empty; the long lines and congested foot traffic blindsided me and slowed me down to a near-halt. This kind of thing is extremely frustrating for an impatient, neurotic freak like me. I felt stressed and claustrophobic, and I very unfairly took it out on my family members – I’m embarassed by my cranky behavior. It nearly ruined my vacation.

Me on vacation.

The crowds must have overwhelmed the employees – er, cast members as well, because I have never witnessed so much un-Disney-like conduct from them. Pretty much everyone in our group got yelled at at some point for stupid reasons. I got it from a bus driver when I stood up and walked towards the door as we neared our stop. There’s a yellow line you’re supposed to stay behind, but of course there’s no sign or announcement made about that – you’re just supposed to know instinctively. Well, aren’t I an idiot for not knowing this? I took a single step over the line and the driver literally screamed at me to get back. Look, jerk, I’m an adult, and even as clumsy as I am, I don’t think I’m gonna let myself fall into the door. Although I guess it is a useful rule, because the Disney drivers SUCK at driving and always hit the brakes way too hard (sorry for the bold-underline-italics, but I cannot emphasize their suckitude enough. You know there’s a problem when the Philadelphia city bus drivers are better at their job, not to mention a hell of a lot more congenial.) And like I wrote earlier, almost everyone in the family had a similar experience.

Even when the cast members weren’t yelling at us, they were still pretty rude. I went into all of the shops at the France pavilion in EPCOT, and all of the people wroking there completely ignored me (to be fair, that might have to do with their being French.)

Disney people are always supposed to be upbeat, friendly and welcoming, to the point of creepy. They’re supposed to be putting on a show – that’s why they’re called “cast members.” But on this trip, almost everyone seemed miserable or bored. I wouldn’t care, but it’s the opposite of what I’ve come to expect from WDW. I actually missed the psychotic smiles. (Although I did rather enjoy Joel, but more about him in a later post.)

On Monday night, the Magic Kingdom actually ran out of food. At about 8 o’clock, Mom, Aunt Sue and I decided it was time to get some sustenance, so we tried Cosmic Ray’s for salads and sandwiches. But they were all out of that stuff, and we were not settling for burgers and hotdogs and inevitable diarrhea, so we trekked to the next closest counter-service restaurant – Pinnochio’s Haus in Fantasyland. But they were already closed. We tried the Columbia Harbor House next, and, mercifully, they were still open. But seriously, how do you not plan for more mouths to feed, especially when you’re open until midnight for Extra Magic Hours?

And my final complaint: part of the Food & Wine Fest is a series of concerts called “Eat to the Beat,” and each week a different band played. This year there were a few acts lined up that I’d love to see, such as Night Ranger, Boyz II Men and Gin Blossoms. But who plays the week I’m there? Starship. Lame.

I would have at least settled for the Pointer Sisters.

The vacation wasn’t a total bust. I’ve certainly been on worse. It was just very disappointing. Disney has never failed to exceed my expectations before, and this time they fell way under.


About Courtney O.

I do not like to write these bios.

Posted on 10/19/2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. bahahhahahaah i lvoe you! lets go on vacation somewhere not to disney. yes? lets!

  2. Not happy our little secret got out, can’t believe how crowded it was everywhere. We all had our share of un-Disney like moments. I didn’t like it, I REALLY didn’t like it! But our safari guide was happier and peppier than Mickey himself.

  3. Psst…. embarrassed to admit…we saw starship last year for kitsch value and it wasn’t so bad. This year we get stuck with Hansen!?

  4. sooo im not gonna lie, im ususally the winner at crank-pot-ness but u may have won this time…

  1. Pingback: Disney Vacation Recap – Day 5 « O'Shady

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