Monday, November 9, 2009

Disney Down the Drain

I find that I take a hate to things and then refuse to like them no matter what. There is no rhyme or reason to this. It happened with Martha Stewart (pre-jail) and mocking her hyperperfection. My stand becomes so principled that I resist even the hint of giving in. When my son was in pre-K and we had to decorate posters about them, I criticized the elaborate creations parents were bringing in, rolling my eyes at how carried away people got ... and then entered Michael's for the first time and spent a stupid amount of money on stickers (they were 3-D!) and other miniature embellishments (I am a sucker for mini anything). I would never admit it was fun or that I maybe liked it just a little bit. I hated Martha Stewart and her ilk, and I was not, nor would I ever be, one of "those" moms.
So it comes as a surprise that I am feeling a bit sad that our first Disney trip is not happening this year. There was lots of build up that it might. My father-in-law is celebrating a big birthday in February, and all he has ever wanted for about the last decade is to see Disney through my kids' eyes. (My in-laws are incredible like that.)
I have never been a big Disney fan. I just can't stand all the hype and the gushing and the schmaltz. I am sentimental about a lot of things, but feeling like it is my children's birthright to see Disney World is just not something that pulls at my heartstrings. I am a mean mom (just ask my kids). I don't feel badly for them to be practically the only people they know at this point who have not been to Disney.
Since when did it become taken for granted that every family must mortgage their future to journey to the Mouse? (I actually called him a crack dealer in an old blog, but I haven't yet figured out how to import those entries ... I was worried I might get tracked down and sued and banned from all parks.)
My kids will be just fine without a trip to Florida (actually, the state of Florida is one of those things I took a hate to, so I wholeheartedly believe my children can live their whole lives never entering the state and be all the better for it). But I do love my father-in-law and would do just about anything I could to make him happy because he deserves it (along with my mother-in-law, of course). So I played along with his Disney birthday wishes and embarked on the overwhelming search for all things Disney. There is just a ridiculous amount of information out there. The official stuff, the unofficial stuff, the websites, the enewsletters, the mom panels ... it is really unbelievable to me how much time and energy people have to devote to the Disney empire, especially when it costs so freakin much to go there.
I have to pay these people to torture me with their confusing layout of resorts and levels of accommodations and intricate system for internal transportation? I have to consider dropping five figures to have the privilege of learning lingo about dining plans and character meals and park hopper options and the names of different firework shows and parades?!? Seriously?
But my father-in-law and I do share a love of lists and researching things to death and gathering suffocating amounts of information. So I dove in and tried to embrace Project Disney 2010, but I was never genuinely excited about it or daydreaming about my kids' eyes lighting up. I was really just going through the motions for my father-in-law, and becoming more and more convinced that the whole damn thing is a cult. The process drove me nuts; the sheer volume of ink (virtual or printed) devoted to this operation astounded me.
But I made it through and came up with rough ideas and dates and even some quotes to guide the big family discussion. Which was over before it really got started because it is just too much money to go. It was always too much money, but somehow this faux planning frenzy got under way, and I guess I was more invested than I thought because when it abruptly came to an end the other night, I was bummed.
Me, the anti-Disney mom, feeling sad that we won't go this year? Why should I care? Why aren't I relieved? Maybe part of me is, but maybe part of me was also getting sucked into the Disney magic. Or maybe I was just annoyed that all of my hard work investigating and planning was rendered useless. I mean, I spent hours and hours on this Project Disney 2010, only to have it fall apart in the end. Just when I had started getting a handle on it all ... oh well. There's always next year.

1 comment:

  1. My kids haven't been there yet either! I am not as anti-Disney as you thought you were but the costs have always been prohibitive. A trip to Aruba is much more enjoyable than dragging-ass all over the damn parks in the heat. And I LIKE Disney and have fond childhood memories of many trips there. I guess that was before you had to mortgage your house to go there.