When my wife started pestering me a few months ago about taking our two sons to Disney World the conversation went something like this:
HER: “We should take the boys to Disney. They would love it.”
ME: “Have you seen our bank account?”
The discussion pretty much ended there.
It’s not just the money. I’m the guy who loathes eating at a chain restaurant. I eschew Hollywood blockbuster movies for small, independent films. I avoid popular pop & rock artists in favor of lesser-known arthouse bands. So, packing the kids up and heading to Wally World, er Disney World, feels like the most establishment thing I can possibly do. (Cue the “Holiday Road” song and fill up the old family station wagon.)
So, why did I fork over $1200 bucks the other day for a 3-day trip to the Mouse’s House?
The answer: my kids.
Sure, I visited Disney when I was 10-years-old. We flew on an airline that no longer exists and spent a week in Orlando. It was memorable because it was so damn hot. It was also memorable because we were together as a family and it is a seminal moment in the life of a family.
Thirty years later, I live in Florida and a trip to Disney is like a trip to the mall. Well, if that mall was 3 hours away but you get the point. We don’t have to fly to visit the Happiest Place on Earth and we get a Florida resident discounted rate so I really couldn’t claim that the vacation would financially break us or prevent us from feeding/clothing/housing our children.
That’s why these arrived at our house the other day — Disney bands that will grant us access into the parks. It’s like being given a top secret password to whisper to a bouncer at an ultra-hip nightclub.
Here’s what makes a trip to Disney worthwhile for me — my children are counting down the days until we arrive at Disney and I know that the look on their faces when we walk into the Magic Kingdom later this month will be worth triple what I’m paying for the vacation. Their love affairs with theme parks — and my rekindled one — is about to begin. I am psyched about that.
As for becoming part of the establishment, there are worse things in life.