Sticker shock

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In a moment of insanity, The Pilot and I let the kids choose our next vacation. We’re not completely crazy, of course, so we gave them only two choices. Option A was to take the Fun Finder on a two-week camping trip through Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Option B was to spend a few days at Walt Disney World. I’ll let you decide which I was rooting for. And I’ll let you decide which the kids chose.

Yep. We’re going to Disney World in a few months. I am not excited by this idea. Not one little bit. I tried my hardest to make a long camping trip sound exciting and adventurous, while maximizing the tedious lines and heat of inland Florida. But that stupid mouse won in the end. Going to the Happiest Place on Earth is a good idea in theory but I am not a people person. While I do enjoy the occasional social outing with a select few friends, even grocery shopping in the middle of a weekday can make me irate. Add in hot, whiny, bored kids and I’m already annoyed.

Two of my trusted friends have assured me that I’ll have a good time despite my crappy attitude and told me I should fully embrace the experience. I let myself sulk for a few days that I wasn’t getting the trip *I* wanted then decided to take their advice. My initial plan was to spend no more than two days in the parks then drive to the Everglades. I’ve seen the Everglades in passing but haven’t spent any time there so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. The kids would get to see their damn mouse and I’d get some nature therapy.

As I started planning our trip, however, I realized that it was nearly as expensive for just two or three days as it would be for a full week. Carpe Disney, I thought, and planned for a whole week. We have to make sacrifices for our kids, right? Isn’t that what being a parent is all about? A week at a crowded park with little chance of recharging my batteries with solitude is really stretching my willingness to sacrifice, though.

I quickly realized that putting together a trip to Walt Disney World is more complicated than planning a wedding. Which section of the park do you want to stay in? Do you want a value-, moderate- or deluxe-priced resort? Which hotel within that price range do you want? What type of room in the hotel do you want? Do you want to be able to visit multiple parks on the same day? Which dining plan do you want? What flights? What type of ground transportation do you need? And we haven’t even gotten to choosing specific restaurants yet. I was ready to throw in the towel before the price was even calculated.

And then the cost was revealed. I came very close to ruining my computer because I choked on my wine. Trust me, you will need some type of alcoholic beverage to navigate the planning process and stomach the cost. I could have a really nice solo Australian getaway for the cost of this week in Florida — even at off-season prices. But we’ve promised the kids and it’s a one-time only trip so we sucked it up and booked the trip.

In the end, I most likely will enjoy the trip and the kids will definitely have a good time. We are going off-season because I draw the line at visiting during the busiest times and the grayness of winter in northern Indiana will be wearing on me by then. Besides, I’ve been told you can drink around the world in Epcot and the margaritas are to die for. That’s where you can find me when it gets too people-y for my sanity.

Thanks for letting me use your photo, Elizabeth, and avoid being sued for copyright infringement.

4 thoughts on “Sticker shock

  1. Epcot was my favorite park! They have amazing adult beverages and their food is to die for! The only park that was crazy crowded was the Magic Kingdom! Which is expected. All and all it’s a great trip. Disney literally takes care of everything! Besides being worn out and tired…the trip for us was amazing! I’m glad you are spending a week…we spent 4 days and 3 nights and it was not nearly enough time. It ended up truly being 3 1/2 days. You will enjoy it 😊

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