Walt Disney World 101, The Introduction.

I grew up going to Disney by virtue of having employees of The Mouse in my immediate family, so I have no idea what it is like to not have had the experience of the Walt Disney World parks.  I can imagine that without the foundational knowledge and memories of The World that I would be hesitant to try it out.  For one, it’s expensive.  For another, the ‘classic’ stories irk me a bit (although after seeing “Enchanted,” I now adore Snow White because she is so utterly ridiculous.)  But mostly, I would have guessed that the environment was too perky, that it reflected some strange 1950s family perfection, and was just too American white-bread for me to handle.

Ultimately, this would have be a shame because I would have let my impressions rule my judgment.  I would have missed out on quite a lot.  Disney is a wonderful, amazing experience… even for cranky academic curmudgeons who have suburban allergies and an affinity for bargain travel in lesser-developed countries.

Here’s the deal.  Disney does entertainment – parades, fireworks, attractions, special effects, you name it – better than anyone.  Going to one of the Disney parks isn’t like going to a mid-way carnival or amusement park.  It’s a theme park – and excellently and uniquely themed – so that each and every experience is distinct.  It sounds completely cheesy, so very cheesy that it hurts to say it, but there is a magic to being here.  And with small children?  Well, it’s even more magical.

That said, unless you’ve got money to burn, time to waste, and absolutely no care in the world – you are going to need some help to visit this place.  It’s unfortunate because Walt Disney adored families and envisioned these parks as places that celebrated them.   But the reality is that travel and entertainment are a considerable expense and as a result, can be stressful for families.  Planning is the way to mediate that stress and expense.

I’ve given advice about the parks for years, but will start posting more specifically here.  Please feel free to send questions.  As much as I love the entertainment potential in public melt-downs, we do use some tricks to keep things… like costs, time, and tempers… under control.  Stay tuned.