Disney World Planning 2019

Planning for Disney World in Orlando Florida is vital to a successful vacation.
Disney World Planning is vital! See the previous post.

Together, Disney World and Universal Studios, have more rides, more cool restaurants and more exciting things to do than any place on the planet.

Want a donut the size of your head? Yup, they’ve got that. Want to ride up a mountain and come down with a splash? Yup, they’ve got that. Want to get a wizarding wand and wander around Diagon Alley and cast spells, oh yessireeeee, they have that! OMG! OMG! OMG!

Sorry Nerd attack there. Lemme take a moment.

Ok, doing Disney World and Universal in a week would be hard, if not impossible so we had to make a plan.

Me? I LOVE planning. Oh sure, I know most planning goes to hell as soon as you arrive, but part of the fun of going to Disney World is finding out what’s cool, thinking about it a lot, then going and doing it.

planning for disney world theme park planning
The family plans for the great Disney World Adventure

The-Youngest is with me on this. In fact, he’s far keener on the whole planning thing than me and ended up doing a ton of research on the rides.

He would become our official tour guide.

First I booked the flight. Holy hell, that was expensive, but I kept telling myself, trip of a lifetime, trip of a lifetime, trip of a lifetime.

Then, perhaps not surprisingly, I became overwhelmed with all the choices, the deals, the Fastpass system, the early openings, the meal plans and booking events.

So, I decided to find a good Disney World agent.

Being me, I did my research and found a great person. Her name is Alyssa and she works for Mouseketrips.com.

I can’t say enough about her. She’s been there a ton of times and knows the ins and outs. Plus, she LOVES Disney World so she’s genuinely excited for us to become Mouseketeers or whatever they’re called these days.

Then, we had to figure out what fast passes to book. Since we decided to stay at a Disney Resort, we could get our fast passes 60 days out! The fast pass allows us to bypass lines and feel super special. But we could only book 3 rides in each park, so we had to choose wisely. Plus, even at 60 days, some of the rides were already taken by annual pass holders or worshipers of Satan.

So we watched every Youtube video we could find, The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World brought home books from the library, and I read blogs like Disneymoms.com and hotrussianbrides, the latter of which (perhaps not to anyone’s surprise) had a complete lack of information of Disneyworld.

Having gathered a ton of information (and a few requests from the Russian brides for marriage), we had a family meeting about what to do in Disneyworld, and did what all families do – We compromised so everyone was vaguely unhappy.

To find out what we chose, check out the next post.

The last thing we had to do was find out what HAD to be done in each park.

Booking the Fast Passes was not enough. We booked a restaurant. We looked up what quick-service places to visit. We figured out how long it takes to get from point Mickey to point Minny.

Now, we couldn’t plan every minute, (sadly) but we did have an idea what would be nice to do given the limited time. I mean, if we miss the tea-cups, not a big deal, If we miss the Haunted Mansion, (which we couldn’t book a Fastpass for), then that would be, you know, a thing.

With our plan made, we were good to go.

Oh, sure, there’d be clothes that needed buying (I wanted to do the Don-Johnson-Miami-Vice look), but we’d organized as best as we could!

Bring on that donut the size of my head!

Check out the links for more help. 🙂 And a neat checklist from Lil Luna below.

Planning a Disney Trip 2019

What to Pack (really an outstanding site for a whole bunch of plannin’.)

From Lil Luna – https://lilluna.com/disney-world-packing-list/

Disney World Planning

Disney Castle, Orlando Florida
Disney Castle, Orlando Florida
Disney World. A once-in-a-lifetime trip.

So, why go to Disneyworld? Why Walt’s Wonderland? Why the Magic Kingdom? Why not the equally exciting city of Calgary? Or camping in the mosquito-infested forests of BC? Why even go anywhere?

Simple. But maybe not what you think.

See? Time is running out. The-Oldest graduates next year, and The-Youngest will (all too soon) be a YouTube billionaire, software engineer, mountain bike professional or plumber (depending on the day he’s planning this out).

So, we wanted to take advantage of a week’s vacation and go someplace amazing.

Calgary and camping don’t quite fit the bill.

Sooooooo…Disney World. Florida.

And, although there are other amazing places to go (NY comes to mind, maybe the Amalfi Coast in Italy, maybe Mars), Disney World was one place we could all agree upon.

To be fair, it’s not just Disney World. It’s a trip to see Disney AND see Universal Studios AND, maybe, just maybe, take a ride out to see the Kennedy Space Museum.

All in 8 days, including a flight.

That’s no small task.

Seems there’s a lot to see and do in Disney World (and Universal). Seems there are, like, 4 theme parks in Disney World, and in Universal, 2 parks plus a waterpark. Doing the math, we’d need 7 days, plus 1 for looking at rockets, plus 2 days for travel. That’s ahhh, lemme do the math in my head, ah, carry the two, invert pi, and, yeah, that’s 10 days.

And we have 8.

So how would we do that? How could we design a vacation that wasn’t a stresscation where we ran around desperately trying to see everything, probably literally running from ride to ride?

We would have to compromise. The simple truth was, we couldn’t see or do everything. So we began to look at what was important.

It’s why Disney World and Universal were the go-to vacation locations. The boys had already been to Disneyworld and, long, long ago, Legoland. I wrote a ton about that vacation. There was so much to see and do.

I mean, just look at what Disney World has to offer.

Rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Avatar’s Flight of Passage, a Tower of Terror, a Haunted Mansion, a ride soaring above spectacular scenery, safaris, loads of Disney characters wandering around, parades, fireworks, shops that sell authentic Dug backpacks from Up.

Then there’s eating a donut the size of your head, tasting the oddly popular dole whip, or munching on a huge pretzel in the shape of Mickey’s head.

 So, we came up with a plan. A basic plan to be sure, (that’ll be the next post), but a plan nevertheless.

All we had to do was figure out what was important to us. What did we HAVE TO see and do?

The-Youngest had a LOT of opinions. Even The-Oldest, after trying his teenage best to pretend this wasn’t going to be fun, had a few ideas. Both The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World and I had ideas as well, but let’s face it, this was a trip for the boyz and we wanted to make sure they had the BEST time ever.

More to come!

As always, thanks for reading this. Below is a neat video on planning a Disney World Trip.

Some good suggestions here – for people who like their planning!

A Will

Last Will and testament document.
Last Will and testament document.

As an adult, there are simply things you HAVE to do. Feed yourself (and hopefully others.) Wear pants while shopping at Walmart. Make a will.

Of those, making a will is the most important and most likely not to be done.

Hey, I get it. It’s not easy to think about what will happen when you’re gone. Discussing death is not a fun conversation to have around the dinner table. Figuring out who will get your collection of mint condition STNG Picards is particularly hard.

But it needs to be done. The truly horrible thing is that you are going to die. We all are. Some a lot earlier than expected. So it’s vital your loved ones know what to do. Here’s a quick link to a blog about wills.

I began thinking about this, again, while talking to a friend of mine. He didn’t want anyone to go to any trouble after he died. Just sprinkle his ashes somewhere. Have a drink in his name. Move on.

I had the exact opposite thought.

A funeral pyre would be nice.We just don’t do pyres anymore and I’d like to bring that back. Or maybe a nice cremation on a Viking longboat.

Then, when I’m ashes, I want my friend to take them to the top of Everest and build a monument for me. Made of marble. 20’ high. In the shape of a giant hobbit’s foot so that a hundred thousand years from now someone will find it and go, what the fuck is that?

I want lots of people at my funeral even if you have to pay people to be there. I hear the homeless are pretty cheap. I don’t care about how anyone dresses.

I want a choir to sing songs of lamentation. I want crying. Lots of it. Big tears. Quiet sobbing is ok, too.

No wailing though.

Amazing Grace played by a piper. How sweet the sound.
Amazing Grace played by a piper. How sweet the sound.

I want a piper. Playing Amazing Grace. In the mist. Or back-lit by the setting sun.

And someone to dress in a kilt. With no underwear. And ,no it can’t just be the piper.

I want someone to make a speech about how they’re going to miss me. I want people to tell stories about me and them. About our shared experiences. They don’t even have to be true. They just have to be good stories.

I want free booze for everyone. This may help with the sobbing and attracting the homeless. I want people free to feel whatever they want to feel. But only if it’s sadness.

But more than all of that, I want to make sure everyone takes care of the person I’ll be leaving behind. She’ll need lots of hugs. A few shoulders to cry on. Maybe some wine and someone to talk to. A lot. I want people she loves to be there for her. To hold her hand at my funeral. To find something funny to say about me that will make her laugh. To make sure she’s not alone. To remind her that she was loved more than anything else in the world and will find that again some day.

As for my possessions, ah, that’s where the will comes in.

Without a will, the court will decide who gets what. Likely it’ll go to my wife, but without a legally binding will, that could take a while and be a HUGE hassle and who needs that kind of hassle when you’re grieving or working on how to find a long boat to light on fire.

In our complex world, I need my estate to pass along to those left behind as quickly and easily as possible. No fights with the courts. No claims from all the illegitimate children I’ve sired. No confusion as to what goes to who.

Please, if you do only one thing this week, make sure it’s getting a will done.

Is there a sadder movie than Up?
Is there a sadder movie than Up?

As for the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world, she has some requests for her funeral, too. She wants clowns. Sad clowns, mostly. A few angry ones. Old retired, disgruntled clowns. They need to all arrive in one car. Some need to have matted hair. All should have drinks in their hands. And there should be lots of balloons. Lots and lots of balloons.

In other words, she wants people to laugh and cry.

Not a bad request.

In the end, I think we all just want to know we’ll not be forgotten. That we mattered to someone somewhere. That we’ll be missed.

 

 

 

 

Frosted Flakes – Frozen Review

frozenFrozen – Movie Review

Like frosted flakes, it’s kinda sugary and far from the worst thing out there. But it’s not the best choice, either.

Here’s the plot (from IMdB). Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

Blah.

Not being a 12 year old girl, it’s difficult for me to like this movie. It’s not bad – it is Disney after all – but it has 5 things that doom it for a geeky guy like me.

1) It’s about princesses. Not pirate- or hobbit- or cyborg-princesses either. Just princesses. In princess dresses. Doing princess things. Thinking princess thoughts. Ack.

2) There is singing. A lot of singing. Some of the songs are cool but why have a song when you can have a dragon eating someone? Or at least threatening to eat someone.

princess bride3) This, to kinda quote the Princess Bride, is a kissing movie. Now I’m not really against kissing movies, but at least Princess Bride had a funny, highly quotable Scillian villain (“You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” – but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line”! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha…” plop), Inigo You-killed-my-father Montoya and Miracle Max. It was so much more than a kissing movie. This is not.

panda4)  Where are the memorable quotes, I ask you, where? All of my favourite kids movies have epic quotes. Kung Fu Panda “We do not wash our pits in the pool of Sacred Tears.” Up. “Squirrel!!!” Toy Story “To infinity and beyond!” The only quote I can remember is Anna – “Olaf, you’re melting!” Olaf the Snowman – “Some people are worth melting for.” Cute, right, but not epic. Not something I’ll likely quote at biker rallies or in MMA bars.

5) Once again, the parents die. What the m*therf*ck is wrong with Disney that they have to kill off the parents? There is some serious therapy needed at this international super-corporation.

On the plus side, it has 5 things to recommend it.

1) Crazy good graphics! Check out the snow (while you listen to someone sing about something.) Look at the way the light plays off of the walls of the ice castle!

olaf2) The sidekicks rock. The snow man who sings of seeing the sun and doing things that snowman do in the sun is funny and heartbreaking. If Disney does one thing well, it’s usually their supporting characters. Without Olaf the snowman and Sven the reindeer, this movie would be an epic fail.

3) Popcorn was good. And buttery. A movie is so much better with buttery popcorn. Disney should give this away for free. My reviews would be kinder.

4) It’s not that turkey movie about turkeys trying to save turkeys from being turkey dinners. When all else fails, realize there are way, way worse movies out there.

5) It has a good moral message. All kids movies should, imho. I won’t spoil it, as much as I’d like to, so just know that these Disney folks, they not only love a happy ending, but one that should create better little human beings. Me, I’m too old for that stuff and in no way got a bit teary at the end, no, that was allergies and popcorn butter in my eye.

So, if you want to check out a few more reviews, look at Rotten Tomatoes. Most of them totally disagreed with me.

But if you want my opinion, it’s not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon with kids under 12. Boys may find the lack of cars, fighting robots or fire-breathing dragons a big problem. I know I did.