Florida Trip Disney Parks Sum Up

The Disney part our trip to Florida was a lot of fun. The resort was absolutely amazing.  I wish I would have skipped the parks.

It bothers me that I disliked the parks so much.  I keep getting this feeling like I am being unfair.  There’s a couple of things going on.

First, my son Lex competed at the ESPN/Disney facility.  It’s only a couple of miles away from the resort.  I thought we would be taking the shuttle between ESPN and the Resort.  We tried to take the shuttle but the lines to get onto the shuttle were very long and they were in the hot sun and the shuttles came around too rarely.  So we drove every time.  It was a lot easier to drive.  I don’t think that should be the case.  Taking a shuttle between Pop Culture and ESPN should be a fun, comfortable experience.  It should be fun because lots of young people from different cultures doing different sports all meet on the shuttle.  But everyone is just to hot and everything is just so awkward that it’s no fun at all.

Second, in the 1980s my parents took my and my brother to Disney.  We stayed in a Disney Hotel and we were able to hop onto the Mono-Rail and easily move in/out/between the parks.  Please forgive me if I get some details wrong, I am using 30+ year old memories.  I just remember the time at Disney being like a different world.  At the time I didn’t realize it, but I am pretty sure it was the mono-rail that made the experience so good.  The parks were great, and the hotel was great, and the experience was amazing.  I think that set a very high bar that Disney is falling short of today.  I know the Resort is better today than is was in the 1980s and I suspect that Parks are better, and I am not a moody, lovesick teenager anymore.  I am actually open to having fun now, but the experience isn’t as good today.  I am pretty sure it’s because of the transportation.

Don’t get me wrong, the drivers were as nice as possible this is not a training thing.  The transportation system absolutely, positively stinks… figuratively and literally.

I guess a modern vacation experience is three things:

  1. A place to stay/sleep.
  2. A place to have fun.
  3. A way to get back and forth between the two.

You have to get all three.  It will never matter how good Disney ever gets with 1 & 2 because 3 is so bad.  During out beach part of the vacation is was a pleasant 2 minute walk between the resort and the beach.  Heck it was fun walking to and from the beach.  During the Universal part of the vacation it was a pleasant boat ride or a nice five minute walk.

In closing, a few years back we visited Detroit.  Detroit seems to be in a slow motion collapse.  I was very surprised when we got there because the heart of Detroit is beating and the Spirit of Detroit is alive.  I thought I would experience a post-apocalyptic drive into the city.  It was just the opposite.  The highway was packed with trucks and cars trying to get in and out of the city to do business.

I think Detroit is dieing because it’s arteries are clogged, it’s arteries are clogged because they are too small and in disrepair.  I don’t think Detroit has been able to focus on the transportation in and out of the city.  Now they can’t afford to close a road for expansion/maintenance.  Detroit is fading away because it can’t get enough in/out and so it is becoming toxic from the inside out.  If you read about cells in Biology, when they get too big they can’t transport enough in and out to keep the cell alive… that’s exactly what’s happening to Detroit.

I think Disney is in the early stages of this problem.  If they don’t get in front of this, they will be the Detroit of vacation experiences.  They will rot from the inside out.  Every single day that they don’t fix this problem the problem will get bigger and harder to fix.  Sooner or later (probably sooner) they will be they will be where Detroit is because they won’t be able to shut any of their transportation systems down long enough to fix the problem.

If I was an Imagineer I would make one really cool way to get from one of the resorts to ESPN.  Then I would make a cool way to get between the resorts.  Then I would do the same for Animal Kingdom and then for Epcot…  The idea would be that if I want to get from a resort to ESPN I go to the resort that connects to ESPN and then to ESPN.

I guess I might be being unfair, I guess it just seems like from an overall experience perspective Disney has lost ground since since the 1980s.  Damn I am getting old, figuratively and literally…

LOL, I see the old guy from the Simpson’s saying “When I was a kid we all rode a fancy monorail that came right into the hotel, these days you have to ride a hot stinky bus.”

My understanding is that the Hotel/Monorail system is still around.  Maybe we will try that next time.

Oh, I have to write one last thing.  If you want to have a fun time on vacation, then do Universal or a nice beach resort.  They are both much more fun.  But there is one HUGE exception to that.  If you are taking a little girl on vacation then the whole Disney/Princess/Dress Buying/Tiara Buying/Talking to each princess and getting the autograph signed system they have in place is amazing.  It’s expensive, but holy moly, the girls that do that are just walking on clouds during the whole process… literally the happiest place on earth.  If we find ourselves with a grand daughter I definitely plan on taking her to that.  Otherwise, we’ll probably just make the sure bet and do the beach or Universal.

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