Sometime this summer, I will be going to Walt Disney World (WDW) for a family vacation. It is supposed to be my parents’ last hurrah, so to speak. They are getting to the age where doing Disney with their granddaughter might not be as doable in the future, so they want to maximize the fun this summer. Good news for my wife and I – we get to go for free!
I am a meticulous planner. I usually over plan, especially for things like WDW. When I first found out we were going last summer, I quickly put together a list of hotels classified by room size, price, etc. Then once I was satisfied with the list, I started meal and park planning. Because I thought we would only have 5 days, I was trying to figure out how to fit in everything within the time frame. Then I found out we would have 6 days, which helped me relax because I could fit in everything. Then I was told we would have 8 days! How do you find ways to fill up 8 full days?
I’m what you would call a veteran of WDW. However, I have gone literally through the progression of WDW becoming more. The first time I went, all there was was the Magic Kingdom and Fort Wilderness. The next time was right after Epcot opened up. We went again before Disney bought MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios). Then we went a couple of years later. Our final family vacation was in 1996… the year before the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster was released! I went once more with a youth group in 2000, and then on my honeymoon in 2003. Finally, we kinda went in 2009. But that was more of a rushed occasion. I’m working my way to be a seasoned veteran, but it will take some time… and money!
One of the things that gets me excited is planning out the vacation. I know I’m not the only one, because there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of websites out there to help you plan your Disney vacation. And I cannot speak for everyone, but I know that half of the fun is the planning. It’s not just the hotel, parks, and food; though these all could stand alone. It is also about going back and watching Disney movies and cartoons. With the advent of iTunes and cloud players, you can plan out the music for your trip (and waiting to go) to the WDW Resort. The older you are when you go, the more childlike you are allowed to become… Well, maybe not allowed, but at least understood.
This is the politics of Disney. They are an empire of sorts. They are all encompassing, but generally don’t threaten you all at once. They work their way in with a movie here or a song there. They own the television rights to every major conference in the NCAA via ESPN.
They casually buy up Star Wars and Marvel and slowly start their indoctrination process. Before, buying a Boba Fett shirt or a Wolverine comic just meant you were buying a cool product. Now, you are being incorporated the Disney empire one shirt or comic book at a time. Well played, Disney. Well played.