In Defense of Whimsy and Not Planning…
Welcome back to Not Club 33, your new home of the Disney Cynic!
Last week I was inundated with planning for a business trip that I’m on this week. Without getting into specifics, because I don’t feel like you should know too much about me, part of my job appears to be herding cats. As a general rule, I hate cats. I’m allergic to them, they look upon me as a demon would, and they never seem to do anything that I would want them to do. *Editor’s Note: fucking cats, amirite? – not sorry* Yet they are also the perfect metaphor to describe the project supervision portion of my job. Coordinating a team of four to carry out a project when the location of said project is hours away by car is no small task. It’s also super stressful to coordinate travel plans, unfamiliar subcontractors and deal with push back from departments that are weary of this kind of project.
Several things occurred to me while in the middle of a level 5 migraine, caused by both cat allergies and the stress of work:
- I cannot help but over-think a situation when it comes to project management and planning. Why do I know where the pizza delivery is located in the middle of nowhere but have no clue where it is at home?
- Seriously, where the hell did these cats come from? They aren’t even the funny cats, they just have menage. This is why Bob Barker told you to get these things spayed and neutered.
- Why would anyone ever want to do this kind of thing, not for straight cash like I am, but for pleasure and enjoyment, the very essence of what a vacation is supposed to be?
The level of stress I’ve experienced for the last couple of weeks is exactly what I go through every time my wife and I want to head down to Orlando. I don’t even plan any of the trip either, I just get waterboarded into agreeing to ADR’s 180 days from now. Unlike a Disney trip, I’m actually getting paid for my side trek to the middle of nowhere. Disney vacations, as you’re well aware, cost the full salary of one parent and a kidney of another for a week long trip.
My Disney World travel experience is admittedly different than a lot of readers, even more so from my Not Club 33 teammates. I live in Atlanta, a solid 6 + hour drive from the parks. My parents are DVC members and my wife is a travel agent as a side hustle, so getting a room at the last minute that does not require becoming a living organ donor isn’t that difficult for me. I theoretically could leave after lunch and get to Orlando by dinner on a whim. Sadly, there’s no room for whimsy in the age of Fast Pass and ADR.
I also feel like Disney has an outdated sense of family dynamics. There once was a time that the husband worked while the wife tended to the home. That was fine in the days where Leave it to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show were producing new episodes, but it’s just not reality these days. For many families, both spouses work full-time to pay the bills and would still struggle to scrap enough together for a Disney vacation. In many other situations, there’s a single parent who’s trying to raise the family, cook the meals, etc. while also working full-time. This isn’t a judgement, mind you, but it is a reality. How the hell are these parents supposed to juggle their daily reality while also planning a Disney vacation?
There are hundreds of threads on the Dis Boards or any other sitewhere Disney fans come together to bitch about stuff that deals specifically with planning. Eventually, some newly minted grandparent uses the phrase “back in my day”, and others of the same age come together and agree. While I admit that I am rapidly approaching middle age, I also don’t nearly have enough grey hair to use that phrase. I have, however, been planning trips to Orlando for a decade, and it was far easier to do before 2010 than it is now.
If you book other trips aside from a cruise, I’d imagine that half the time you don’t know fully what there is to do until you actually get to the hotel and are assaulted by a pamphlet display. Think of a beach trip your parents took you on when you were a kid to a place you’d never been. In other cases, you know exactly what you can do, but it’s best to play it by ear.
For example, let’s look at a trip to Las Vegas, the debaucherous adult equivalent to a Disney vacation. There’s literally thousands of things to do, none of which require you to make reservations 6 months ahead of time. Some of the worlds best hotels and restaurants are available to all (sound familiar?), and because they make more off you gambling drunk than sober, they give you free drinks at the casino! *Editor’s Note: free drinks in Vegas are not so easy to come by these days. People love alcohol enough to pay for it and casinos figured that out a couple years ago* Don’t get me wrong, Vegas isn’t Disney. For one, Vegas isn’t as humid, and I’m prone to nosebleeds. For another, there’s definitely a different odor in the air, and that odor is sadness. I’m just saying that if it works on the scale of a city, it can work at Disney World.
Today though, as my crew finishes up a long day of hard work, it occurs to me that maybe the best thing I could do to keep morale high was throw in a bit of that whimsy I’ve been clamoring for. After all, I should probably walk it like I talk it. We’re about an hour from the coast. It might be a good idea to get them in the C-Max (yes, I drive the fleet equivalent of a clown car) and go get some fresh seafood and salt air. After all, what’s life without a little unplanned whimsy….#Unplanned #NoADR
-The Disney Cynic
“I’m all beers!”