Breeding ground for disease or the most magical place on earth? Here we have two sides of the same coin weigh in—Young Sara will be taking a stance against Disneyworld, while Old Sara will point out why Young Sara needs to just take a nap and get over herself (it turns out I was a real priss when I was younger).
Sara Roan, age 9 – Longmeadow, MA
Honestly, I don’t understand why anyone would want to go to Disneyworld. I’ve never been and I couldn’t be happier about it. Sure, my family doesn’t really go on vacations. But if we did, Disney wouldn’t even be in my list of Top 50 Places To Go To because it’s probably the worst.
First of all, do you know how many other people will be at Disney at the same time as you? Crowds like flies drawn to egg salad on a picnic table in the midday sun. All of them trying to get on the same rides as you, see the same shows, eat the same food. Lots of people = lots of lines. It’s not relaxing to wait in line. Why would I want to go on vacation and be packed in a space with a bunch of sweaty people I don’t know, waiting to get on some rollercoaster or something? I can go on a rollercoaster at Six Flags, which is only an hour away.
Besides, what does Florida have going for it? Old people and…? Orlando isn’t even near the ocean. If I’m going to go somewhere hot, I want it to be tropical. It should have a beach and blue-green water and exotic flowers. I love flowers and I bet they smell so good in the Caribbean. If we’re not going on any vacation at all, I might as well dream big, right? So far Disney is just waiting in line for not special rides in a not special place.
Then there’s the Disney aspect. The whole thing is based on cartoons and if you like cartoons then you’re probably immature. Like, one time I had a babysitter who wore a Tweety Bird watch. I don’t know if Tweety is exactly a Disney thing or not, but same difference. Tweety Bird is the type of cartoon that children who don’t like to read watch. Embarrassing. And yet, here was a grown-up who held my safety in her hands, watch proudly displayed. How was I supposed to trust her? I can only imagine how many supposedly grown-up people are traipsing around Disney with similar accessories or, God forbid, items of clothing. You expect me to go to a place where it’s acceptable for a grown man to have one of the Seven Dwarves on his t-shirt, hinting at his most dominant character trait?
“I’m sorry for getting in your way, sir. I can see now that you’re prone to grumpiness. Shame on me for not looking at your shirt before trying to pass in front of you.”
Let me put it this way: an adult wearing cartoony things is almost as bad as someone over the age of eighteen getting braces. There’s just something very inappropriate about it.
I understand that Disney movies are pretty good; I’ll give you that. The Lion King made me laugh and cry, I like playing the songs from The Little Mermaid on my clarinet, and Prince Eric is super dreamy. I wish he were real, but the thing is, he isn’t. So why would I want to go meet someone dressed up as him wandering around an amusement park? It’s cheating.
Even if I could get past the fact that the characters at Disneyworld are imposters, I could never touch a Mickey or Donald. My mom pointed out that their noses must be covered in germs because so many people kiss them all the time. And if you’re walking around as Mickey, you can’t just whip out the disinfectant after every snotty kid gets his juices all over your plastic mask. So, yeah. No thank you.
Sara Roan, age 27 – Brooklyn, NY
Oh, do you not like eating and drinking whatever you want whenever you want in a whimsical setting? Then sure, Disney is definitely not for you. Also, are you made of stone?
I recently spent a week there and let me tell you: it lives up to the hype! Here’s the thing: there are four Kingdoms in Disneyworld. FOUR. They’re all different and huge. There is so much to do and the rides are awesome. Nothing like what you find at a Six Flags. There are some crazy coasters, sure. But most of the rides are nice and slow and mildly educational. You basically sit down, and they glide you through a scenario for 3-5 minutes. Winnie the Pooh’s forest, a glimpse at how technology has changed through the years—these rides are versatile.
And you can do it all whilst ingesting as many turkey legs and frozen margaritas as you can without getting belligerent. The turkey legs are insane. Huge. They’re also pink inside and kind of taste like ham, but that’s not worth thinking about too deeply because the photo ops they provide are incredible.
“Here’s one of me just ripping meat off the bone with my teeth, very primitive. In this one I’m pretending to be a delicate lady, but see? I’m holding a giant hunk of meat!”
Animal Kingdom, Epcot: you can travel the world just by walking around. Hey globetrotter, you’re in France sipping champagne amused by the somewhat surly service you’re receiving, and then BOOM! You’re in England having a sing-a-long at the local pub. Keep going and you hit Mexico where you can eat some guacamole in an effort to settle your stomach after a flight of tequila. What a cultural experience! Just make sure you can keep it all down—no one likes the person who gets the Rockin’ Rollercoaster shut down for clean up.
My friends are surprised I like Disney so much. Admittedly, it has never really been my thing, but a vacation is a vacation, right? If I get to eat and drink well in a warm locale, then mission accomplished.
Also, I went with my boyfriend’s family and, therefore, didn’t have to pay for any of it. That may or may not have had something to do with my level of enjoyment.