I’ve always heard that Disney has thought of everything, and while visiting Disney World this past weekend, I saw it firsthand. Every employee is a “cast member” — even the janitors are artists who use water to “draw” Disney characters on the sidewalk.
Mickey himself drives you to and from the airport (in “Mickey’s Magical Express”) and every guest is given a “Magic Band” that serves as a room key, credit card, theme park admission, and super fashionable accessory. There are buses and fast passes and meal plans and costumes.
There’s only one thing that Disney did not offer: Personal space.
I’ve discovered that the older I get, the wider my personal bubble has grown. In my past life I didn’t mind crowds; but now if there are more than a handful of people in my general area, I’m annoyed. So at a place like Magic Kingdom, a bit of the magic is lost on me when I’m constantly being bumped into by groups of teenagers with bright yellow t-shirts and backpacks and small children on leashes.
Waiting for a ride, the line would move slightly forward. I’d take a step one inch towards the ride. The person behind me would take a step three inches towards the ride. I wanted to say to them, “Don’t you think you miscalculated that one a little bit?”
True to an old blog post, I spent the day at Magic Kingdom wearing a beautiful, handy, sexy fanny pack. The fanny pack didn’t prevent me from getting pushed, shoved, and bumped into, but it did make my shoulders feel great.
So if you’re like me and you enjoy at least one hula hoop’s worth of personal space among strangers (who smell of perfume, body odor, and popcorn), then maybe Magic Kingdom is not for you.
Other than the personal bubble issue, our day at Magic Kingdom was fun — and my favorite moment was probably my all-time favorite ride, “It’s a Small World.” What a wonderful opportunity for multiculturalism, dolls, boats, and an annoying song that you like at first, then hate, then slowly grow to love again.
For Adam and me, the best day of our trip was our day at Epcot. The rides were fun — fast, space-related, futuristic, and much less kiddie — and we both loved touring each country.
We tried on sombreros in “Mexico”:
We ate my favorite kind of pizza — Italian Neapolitan pizza — in “Italy”:
We enjoyed each country’s sights, sounds, and smells (excluding the strong European perfumes in Italy and France).
Our trip also included a day of relaxing at the pool, exploring our New Orleans-themed Disney hotel by horse and carriage, and doing quite a bit of walking.
Conclusion: Magic Kingdom is a great place for kids; Epcot is a nice place when you’re too tired to act like a kid all day long. Come to think of it, at Walt Disney World, you love the excitement, then you hate the crowds, then you slowly grow to love being around people who love Mickey.
See you next time, Mickey!