Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Stop and Smell the Roses at Disney World

When I think about going to Walt Disney World, what's the one thing I wish I had more of?  If you said "money", you would be ... well, correct.  It's hard to dispute that one.  As we've discussed (and common sense would dictate), these trips can be expensive.  But I wanted to talk about a different finite resource today - time.

As someone who isn't a Florida local, a trip to Walt Disney World is a BIG deal, something that has to be planned many months in advance, something that requires a lot of energy and devotion in order to get things done.  That was part of the reason I wanted to start this blog, really - I was hoping to provide that perspective, as someone who doesn't live there.  Many (great) Disney blogs are filled with people who live in or around Orlando, and can visit the parks anytime they want.  This is not my perspective, and therefore one I can't write from

So when I talk about wanting more time to spend at Disney, I'm not necessarily talking about adding more time to a weeklong trip.  As much as I love it, walking around Disney parks for a week straight is an exhausting exercise.  Even if it were possible to extend that trip a few more days, I don't know that I'd be able to do so, at least not without taking "pool/resort day" breaks, which is something I generally DON'T recommend to first time or infrequent visitors.

Instead I'm going to wax poetic for a bit, and pretend that I'm someone who can go to the parks any day I want.  Maybe I'm independently wealthy (and ready for that $110,000 around the world Disney trip) or maybe I'm just a professional blogger who can make a living off of this site (unlikely, but still more likely than the first option above).  What would I do in this situation?

As much as I would love to ride Flight of Passage or even Pirates of the Caribbean on a daily/weekly basis, I think my biggest dream would be a chance to relax and take it all in - stop and smell the roses as the saying (and title of this post) goes.  I would love to be able to let the chaos unfold around me, as people rushed to attractions at rope drop or gathered to watch the nightly fireworks, as I stood back and indulged in one of my other favorite hobbies - people watching.

Some of the best moments at a Disney park are the quiet moments.  They're worth more because most times they're harder to come by.  But if I close my eyes and think about my past trips, the first things that come to my mind are often not the rides themselves but the moments in between - my daughter eating a pretzel in the Tortuga Tavern seating area after a visit to the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, snapping a photo of the backwards waterfall outside Journey Into Imagination, seeing the sun rise over Expedition Everest.

These are the kinds of moments I wish that I had more of.  It's cliched to say at this point, but Disney is about more than attractions, it's about magic.  Being a part of that background and being able to look around without missing something is what I dream about.  It also dovetails with my desire to become a better photographer; the professional Disney photographers I see on Instagram and the like always floor me with the types of shots they come up with.  Part of that is just being a creative individual (something I struggle with) but part of it is the ability to take a step back and see what you can see as you walk around the parks.  

To be clear, this is not a "strategy" for touring the parks.  If you have limited time (as is the case with most people who vacation at Disney), I'm all for maximizing that time in any way possible.  I just wish I was able to enjoy the little things more - perhaps this kind of calm and serenity is what people do yoga for (I wouldn't know personally).  

I don't really have much of a point to this post, to be honest.  I'm just someone who thinks about Disney constantly, and while I love all the attractions, I don't often picture myself waiting in the long lines and heat to ride them.  Instead, I picture walking into Frontierland and listening to the background music loop - doesn't everyone do this (my wife would definitively say "no" here)?  So I guess I would leave you with this - take advantage of any quiet moments you get at Disney, as there aren't many of them and they deserve to be treasured.  

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