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How the Internet Can Ruin Your Disney Vacation

How the Internet Can Ruin Your Disney Vacation

The internet...we love it don't we? We can get just about any piece of information, advice, name it, at a moments notice.  We won't talk about age here, but when I was a kid we were still using card catalogs at the library (am I the only weirdo that misses those?). Nowadays everything is instantaneous and broadcast to hundreds of our closest "Friends".  Don't get me wrong, there are so many perks to the internet. I love that I can find any recipe I want within seconds, connect (and stay connected) with friends all over the country, and so very much know I'm going somewhere with this right?

Something has been bothering me for the past few years. I often have discussions with people about the existence of travel agents. For decades they were vital in helping people plan vacations all over the world...simply because they had knowledge that others didn't possess. Then came the internet where EVERYONE is an expert...along with booking sites like Orbitz and Expedia where you could get amazing deals...all by yourself! Then something happened...all of a sudden there is TOO much information. I often hear from clients that sorting through information about a Walt Disney World Vacation (coupled with all their friends advice and MUST DO's) is just too overwhelming...and now here we are again back to Travel Agents.

We don't posses any's the 21st Century and the information is out there for the taking! What we DO possess is much more than that...we possess the skills to plan vacations, the patience to wade through the vast information the internet holds, the experiences of visiting Disney destinations and so much more.

But here's the thing...along with all that amazing knowledge and information came something that I view as a negative.  Years ago if you visited a Disney destination, you might have talked to a few friends or neighbors but they probably told you they had a great time, and don't visit in the summer. NOW if you scroll through the internet you will find EVERYONE'S opinion...and not just that but you'll find what deal you SHOULD have gotten, what ride you MUST do or your vacation will be over. You also read every little secret or surprise that's what behind every corner.

So I'll say it...I think it's nonsense and I'm tired of the entitlement behavior that I read about on various blogs and discussion boards.  I'm all for research...Disney is expensive, that's not a secret. You need to make sure you are spending your money they way you feel comfortable (whether that's value or deluxe). Here are some things I think have been ruined by the internet (ok ruined is a strong word):
  • Character interaction
    You do  NOT need to know the exact phrase to say the characters to get them to do something special...let your CHILD talk to the characters..or heck even you but leave the script at home and experience it for yourself!
  • Birthday (or any other kind of celebration)
    I want to share a quick story. When I was a Cast Member working at the Market House I met a couple who was about to be engaged (she didn't know it yet). I told the soon-to-be husband to stop by the shop afterwards. She had a dozen roses and a beautiful ring.  I gave them a bag with a few goodies in it (champagne glasses, bride and groom stuff). It was simply a magic moment for them (and something Disney allowed us to do). Nowadays that's the kind of thing that people come back and report on and tell you if YOU don't get the same preferential or special treatment, you should complain.
  • Discounts
    This is a tough one...everyone wants to save. I understand that. But the rumors of what is coming out and who will get gets to be too much. Disney puts out discounts to fill empty rooms...not to discount those who have already booked.  Most people get lucky and get that discount applied anyway...but take for instance the last Free Dining release. Most of my clients ULTIMATELY got it but most not right away. It left for a lot of unhappy people...mostly because of the unrealistic expectation the internet gave us.
  • Spontaneity
    Ok I know what you'll are going to blame Disney for this one but I disagree.  Yes you SHOULD book table services restaurants in advance and Fastpass+ too, but that still leaves a LARGE portion of your day unplanned.  Between sites designed with minute by minute itineraries and message boards with lists of what you can't miss or your vacation will be ruined...well it can take the fun out of just walking around the parks and enjoying them! There is so much to see and do that's not on a schedule!!
  • Food
    Ok what gives, right? You know me and you know how much I LOVE Disney food, but just hear me out. With the internet comes opinions...and EVERYONE has one.  Along with some things I've mentioned above, food is just one of those things. You'll hear 10 different reviews of what's great, what's awful, what restaurants you CAN'T miss or...say it with me, YOUR VACATION WILL BE RUINED!! To a point we can talk about quality of food, but really with so many different types of meals and restaurants, there is no one great answer. What someone else hated, you might love, and vice versa

So what's the point? What's the point of my rant?  Here it is...I'm going to lay it out there. Please take my advice...and take a deep breath. Walt Disney World is my favorite place, and it's gone through a lot of changes over the years.  To me, it's still AMAZING, but we all need to take a step back and RELAX. Have a good plan in place, and just ENJOY your vacation.  Take pictures, enjoy your kids, EAT, swim, play...ENJOY! Take it for what Walt wanted it for in the first place...a place to enjoy time as a family!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for saying all the above! Disney is beautiful, fun, and full of great surprises. Stop running to the each ride and just enjoy the walk. As we walked into the Tree of Life to see A Bug's Life, we saw such amazing little things in the creation of this tree, all the while folks were running past not realizing the extraordinary details of this beautiful creation of architecture.