To Disney or Not To Disney … That is My Question

image courtesy

I’m sure many of you know my fellow Metblogger Jon has a bit of a thing for Disneyland … as I’m sure many of you do too. I’m now going to say two things that most of you need to be sitting down for – thank goodness that you’re on your computer, the odds are in my favor you’re not going to collapse from a standing position. However, you may want to hold onto your desk – One: I’ve NEVER been to Disneyland, Disney World or any other Disney owned theme park; Two: I don’t really like Mickey Mouse or any of his cohorts. I’m a Scooby Doo kinda girl.

To leave a comment or vote in the poll read on …

I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m telling you all what some might consider a deep, dark secret – I have a sneaky suspicion there a born and bred Southlanders out there who agree with me on both admissions. Let me explain why I’m opening myself up to the verbal flogging that is sure to come. It all began a couple of months ago when I met my fellow bloggers for the first time and they were having Disney discussions. I came clean because I had nothing to contribute to the conversation. They were all appalled and no one more so than Jon. We met-up again last week and Jon’s shock and persistence only intensified since our last meeting.

Jon has extraordinary enthusiasm for all things Disney and just wants to share that enthusiasm with a neophyte and naysayer, such as myself. His enthusiasm truly is extraordinary. Seriously, he actually bounced (BOUNCED!!!) at the thought of taking me to Disneyland.

If you’ve read my author bio or some of my other posts, you know I’m from Pittsburgh. “My” amusement park is Kennywood and of course I’ve been to other amusement parks, but I’ve just never had a desire to make the trek to Florida to go to Disney World* even when I’d hear my school friends talking about family trips they took, over Christmas break or Spring break (the K-12 kind, not the college kind) or summer vacation. I just always had the impression that Disney is trying to be the anti-amusement park, you know, all that goody-goody crap … no alcohol, no grit, perfectionism to the Nth degree, it’s “the happiest place on earth,” etc.

I’m not exactly sure why I have such an aversion to all things Disney. I think now, it’s more an attitude of “can I go my whole life without setting foot in a Disney theme park?” and just avoiding it ’cause everyone is telling me how great it is. It’s kind of like when someone says don’t look you automatically look or don’t read that it’s the first book you go out and read, you know heard mentality. So instead of going I steadfastly refuse to go. It might help that I don’t have kids, but that doesn’t stop many adults I know from going.

So, here’s my proposal to you, our readers, tell me why I should go to Disneyland and I’ll seriously consider allowing Jon to escort me around and we’ll blog about it of course. If you really want to convince me to go you have to prove your point, none of this generic crap like “it’s fun” or “everyone likes it” or “everyone has to go once” or anything even remotely pedestrian. Not only will I not go, I might even throw-up in my mouth a little bit. I should also warn you I’m pretty jaded and cynical, which I’m sure you’ve figured out by now. So please, if you want me to go convince me via the comments section.


* When you live on the East Coast this is the Disney you go to. I guess because it’s you can drive to it. However, that fact is debatable. My family (sister, mom and dad) took one and only one trip to Florida via the car. Everyone was miserable. This is not a hard and fast rule either, of course I know people that would fly (or drive, god forbid) to California.

26 Comments so far

  1. Jon (oc_jon) on September 19th, 2009 @ 11:01 am

    Well you know how I voted.


    I cant wait to take you! :)

  2. Jon (oc_jon) on September 19th, 2009 @ 11:05 am

    I have a forth coming post as part of my countdown to you going to the park. cant wait. :)

  3. pittrollie on September 19th, 2009 @ 11:15 am

    Whoa, I didn’t say I am going. That is to be determined. :)

  4. Jon (oc_jon) on September 19th, 2009 @ 11:17 am

    hahahaha… right…

  5. Gina (oc_gina) on September 19th, 2009 @ 11:56 am

    I have a sister whom I would describe as fairly jaded and cynical, and yet loves Disneyland.

    It’s sort of like seeing a movie, there has to be at some point a certain suspension of disbelief to enjoy Disneyland. Of course the world isn’t perfect and pretty, but it’s nice to pretend it might be, at least for a little while.

    There is an attention to detail at Disneyland that I have always admired, from the plants to the ride facades. And I think that it is especially beautiful at night, when there are many custom lighting fixtures that make everything look fantastic.

    I personally think you should go just to see what the hype is about, and then you can say with authority whether it is worth your time or not. To just refuse to go for the sake of refusing to go seems odd to me.

    But, we’ll still love you no matter what you decide. :)

  6. frazgo (unregistered) on September 19th, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

    To each their own. I got Disneyed out the year we got a 4 visit pass to keep the kids entertained one summer. Its now been 2 years since we last visted the park and I’m ok with that. I can probably not go again quite comfortably until I have grandkids…and that is an easy 10-15 years before that becomes even a remote possibility.

    I got annoyed (“p” word actually) with Disneyland when they got rid of the caramel sauce for the churro’s a few years ago and that ire I think still affects my thinking on the topic.

    The choice is yours, if you’re a scooby kinda girl you aren’t completely outta luck. He appears at times up at Universal. (Universal is a Disney-lite with a studio tour tossed in if you have not yet gone).

  7. frazgo (unregistered) on September 19th, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

    ps…can we stuff the ballot box?

  8. Margaret (unregistered) on September 19th, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

    You know, I’ve never understood why people who don’t like Disney feel the need to make a big production out of it.

    You’re not into the Mouse. Cool. My dad’s not either, but he too feels the need to make a big show out of his distaste for Disney. One of my best friends practically has a song & dance number about hating Disney.

    Granted, there are people who LIKE Disney that are equally obnoxious. But geez, people.

  9. Jon (oc_jon) on September 19th, 2009 @ 12:47 pm

    Well I feel it’s an overstatement to say “Jon has extraordinary enthusiasm for all things Disney”. For the record, I have an affinity for Disneyland but not necessarily for Disney itself. What this means is, I love the place but I am not obsessed with Mickey or princesses or whathaveyou.

    When you go, and you will be going, you will understand.

  10. frazgo (unregistered) on September 19th, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

    I like Jon’s positive attitude.

  11. Gina (oc_gina) on September 19th, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

    Well, we all know the path to Frazgo’s heart, through his stomach! I didn’t even know the churros had a caramel sauce to be taken away.

    And this is coming from a woman who has had an annual passport for the last five years.

  12. jumpcut on September 19th, 2009 @ 3:26 pm

    If you love natural lime, but hate artificial lime flavor, you will hate Disneyland. Everything is artificial there. Artificial fish on the submarine ride, artificial animals from the steamboat ride, even artificial presidents. Save the $100 you’ll spend on admission, parking and artificial food and visit one of OC’s great open space trails instead. You sound like that kinda gal…

  13. The Glamorous Life Association (unregistered) on September 20th, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

    I have taken many a Disney-Virgin to the Park….and it was a joyful and wonderful experience. However, it is possible that since you are all ready so hell bent on hating a place you know (admittedly) nothing about first hand…it could just go horrible.

    So maybe don’t go.

    One less person for me to wait in line behind.:)

    You have to be a positive, happy, life affirming person to GET the magic of Disneyland. Cynical, ‘better-than’ folks should probaly return to their home states and go to their little ‘amusement’ parks that they remember from their childhood.

    You don’t HAVE to go to Disneyland. Its okay with us.

    But is it okay with you?

  14. Jodi Kurland (jodi) on September 20th, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

    I happen to LOVE Disneyland, but it seems like you really don’t want to go, so I said don’t! It’s a free country. If you do decide to go, I’d recommend skipping California Adventure. Aside from a couple of things, that park is pretty lame.

  15. Jon (unregistered) on September 20th, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

    Well, when she goes I’ll make sure she gets the first class non-dca tour. Don’t worry, I have plans for her special day! hehehe.

  16. frazgo (unregistered) on September 21st, 2009 @ 8:00 pm

    Wow, the vote is overwhelming.

    Gina…you are correct feed me and I’ll follow you anywhere.

  17. pittrollie (unregistered) on September 21st, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

    So folks, I forgot to give myself a deadline to decide … when do you want to know my decision? I know you are all waiting on the edge of your seats. ;)

    ~ T

  18. Dave Share (daveshare) on September 21st, 2009 @ 10:55 pm

    So, I’m from Burbank. Sure we have Disney Studios, but we don’t have NEARLY the Disney-fied influence up there as we do down here. I grew up knowing Disneyland fairly well, but since it’s “so far” from LA, we never really went. In fact, the only times I went to Disneyland as a teen was for free when we performed for band.

    I used to be very Disney jaded. I used to say all the negative things others have already mentioned in the comments all the time. It wasn’t until a random audition landed me a dancing gig in the parades that I started to really appreciate the place. As a Cast Member, I got the whole behind-the-scenes experience, which while at times was less than thrilling, taught me so much about the history of the Disney parks and what they meant to a truly brilliant man. I also began to appreciate what Disney parks do for families and children and even adults!

    I hope that WHEN you go, I get to be there, because with the right people, you really can have a (dare I say) “magical” experience. But you must go with an open mind. You have to let yourself suspend belief. I’ve found that when I see something I don’t like, or I think is just stupid, that if I look at it through a kid’s eyes, it tends to make a lot more sense, and often times I begin to enjoy it after I do that. I’ve been with first timers who had SUPER high hopes and were let down. I’ve also been with first timers who were trying so hard to make it such a miserable experience that even I wanted to go home after a couple of hours. You can’t expect to be completely blown away your first time as an adult.

    Look at it this way, at the very least, you have something else to post about and you’re getting FREE admission to the parks! Plus if you’re lucky, you’ll get to hang out with some SUUUUUPER cool people (*clears throat ;->)……and Jon……..

    PS- The people watching is seriously worth the price of admission most days.

  19. Jon (oc_jon) on September 22nd, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

    “SUUUUUPER cool people (*clears throat ;->)……and Jon……”

    Thanks Dave. Next to you a day at Disneyland with me would seem like journey into hell I am sure. Heheheh. :)

  20. lani (unregistered) on September 25th, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

    Our youngest son has an aversion to all foods “new.” In our house, we have a “one bite” rule; you have to at least try something before you declare you don’t like it. Along these lines, I say GO! And better to go with someone who loves the park. Search out the hidden Mickey’s, stand on the stake at the center of the park, stroll by the “secret” club in New Orleans Square, and by all means, stay for Fantasmic! If after a day of exploration and people-watching (seriously one of the BEST places to do that sort of thing, besides Wal-Mart) you still have no affection for Disneyland, so be it, but at least you gave it a taste.

  21. Can’t Get Enough Disney? | Orange County Metblogs (pingback) on September 28th, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

    […] Hmmm, I’m guessing that Pittrollie will not become a subscriber… […]

  22. Greg (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

    We’d never been to Disney World until last year. I flew the entire family over to Florida to spend a week at WDW. It was the worst experience we’d ever had.

    Disney is way to big and way to crowed for my enjoyment. The rides are mediocre at best.

    If you don’t get sticker shock from the admission price you’ll get it if you try and dine there!! We paid almost $300 for our family of 6 to eat at Cinderellas Royal Table….I could of gotten a better meal at Denney’s for less then $50. I guess the other $250 was so we could have Princesses walk around and say “hello” to us and have their pictures taken.

    I suppose Mickey needs all the cash to help pay for his plastic surgery, face lifts and joint replacements…..he is after all, over 80 years old! LOL

    Anyway, our family will not be returning to any Disney park after this experience. We’ll let all the hardcore Mickey fans make the trek several times a year to boost Mickey’s bank account, but he won’t be getting anymore of our hard earned money.

    We’ll spend out money flying out to some quiet island in the Caribbean, not stepping on other people heels at a Disney Park and waiting in line all day for mediocre rides.

  23. Dave Share (daveshare) on October 2nd, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

    I’m sorry to hear you had such a crap time at Disney World, however I blame that fact that you went to Disney World on your experience. I know there are people who love it out there, but when my wife and I went on our honeymoon (we got in for free everyday due to old Cast Member passes, so that helped) we were practically the only ones in the parks and we had less than a great time. I feel like at Disney World, they bought up all this space and decided they would make everything so far spread out for no reason what-so-ever. To give you an idea of how empty the parks were, we did everything in Epcot in about 5 hours. Everything. I can’t imagine what those parks are like when they’re full of tourists. And trying to control a family of 6…..I envy you for making it through the week.

    As far as Disneyland is concerned, it is much smaller. I feel it is in a good way though. At Disney World, you’re walking forever to get to each attraction for NO reason at all. Again, I feel it’s just because they had the space so they decided, why not? It’s retarded. I won’t say you can do everything at Disneyland in one day, because if you go during the peak seasons, you can have a terrible time. I’m damn patient at the Mouse and I can even get frustrated when it’s packed. I can’t imagine if I had a whole family with me and I was trying to get my money’s worth. If you can get your family together to go sometime between January-March, end of April-June or September-beginning of November…and you don’t come EXPECTING the greatest trip EVAR or in terrible spirits because DW sucked balls, I’m certain you all would have a great trip. Not to mention, since there are only 2 parks (and Disney’s California Adventure can be finished in several hours), you don’t need to spend a week out here! Or if you do, you can do OTHER things like see our awesome beaches, or see Hollywood or something.

    That’s just my 2 cents. I’m sorry if DW ruined the Disney Park experience for you forever, because it shouldn’t. DW is it’s own money pit/family hellhole/marathon a day beast. The original park is much more subdued and (why am I saying this again) magical. And remember….there’s always Six Flags!!! :-)

  24. Dave Share (daveshare) on October 2nd, 2009 @ 11:12 pm

    Oh yeah…..and I hate the fact that at Disney World, all the lines are twice as long as out here (I mean queues and people) and yet most of the attractions that we have here are half as long out there!! I’m looking at you Pirates and Haunted Mansion!! /rant

  25. Greg (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2009 @ 8:45 am

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for your comments. We did go to Disneyland about 12 years ago during March and had a fun time even though it rained on us. The park was very empty during that time and that’s probably why we enjoyed ourselves.

    We took the pilgrimage to WDW because everyone kept telling my wife and I how much better WDW was over DL…yeah right!

    I estimated we spent a maximum of 6-8 hours in the parks each of our 7 days because me and the kids just couldn’t take anymore then that.

    We spent about $1600 for our park hopper passes, so I was spending around $30 an hour to stand in lines and walk around everyday.

    My kids are into high speed roller coaster which Disney doesn’t have many of.

    When we go to theme park we now prefer the Six Flags and Universal Studios. (off season)

    After our 7 days at WDW we did a DCL cruise for 7 days….again people told us how amazing Disney cruise lines were. We paid about double what other cruise lines were charging for the same itinerary because it was Disney. While the ship was very nice the service was terrible. We went down for dinner on our 4th night on the ship and our servers had forgotten about us and didn’t have a table for us? We ended up going to the buffet for dinner? :-0

  26. Dave Share (daveshare) on October 3rd, 2009 @ 9:07 am

    OK. I’ve decided the Mouse has a personal vendetta against you. If I were you, I’d be bitter too.

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