Yes, I know this post will be controversial. I know that some of the things I think are over-rated will be your favorite thing IN THE ENTIRE DISNEY UNIVERSE and I want to apologize for that up front. But different strokes for different folks, and the bottom line is not EVERYTHING at Disney is as magical as their marketing department would like you to believe. (if you want to read about a few of the things I think are underrated, head here!)
First off, my credentials that qualify me to make this list: I’ve been to Walt Disney World literally too many times to count, multiple times each year for the past 8 years or so. That’s pretty much it. Oh, and I was born within 10 miles of Disneyland Park in CA on July 17th which is the day it opened. I was NOT, however, born in 1955 which was the year it opened, thank you very much.
SO here are 5 things at Disney World that I think are overrated:
Extra Magic Hours
Disney touts these as the reason you’re paying extra money to stay on-site. You’ll get in EARLY and get to stay LATE at a different theme park every day of your trip and there will be almost nobody there, right? NOPE. There will be TONS AND TONS of people there. The Walt Disney World resort has over 30,000 onsite hotel rooms and they are almost always filled to close to capacity so if you do the math, even if there are only 2 people in each room, that’s 60,000 people. And there is only ever one park that has EMH (if that) so you do the math. It sometimes can still work in your favor, but in our experience, the park with that extra magic is typically the one to AVOID if you want to stay away from crowds.
Cinderella’s Royal Table
I get to eat in the castle and my daughter is going to meet Cinderella! Hurray! Nope, I’m out. To be fair, I don’t have a daughter, but still. Now, if this meal were less expensive or the food better, I would change my mind here. The location, clearly, can not be beat and yes, everyone should do it once but the food here is not very good and the price is RIDONCULOUS for mediocre food. Please do not let it worry you that you didn’t get a reservation here. Also ridiculous is that you have to pay in full up front. That just seems like a ridiculous way for Disney to keep up to $300 of my money for months. Please count how many times I used the word ridiculous in that paragraph.
If you pay the extra money and buy a park hopper, you can go to as many theme parks as you want in one day! And in almost every ABC sitcom where they go to Disney, they just magically seem to appear in a different park! I’m looking at you, Blackish and The Middle. Yes, this is true, but there is something you need to realize: LOGISTICS. Disney World is MASSIVE and getting from one park to another can take up to 2 hours. I’m not kidding. By the time you leave one park, get on transportation to the other park, and then go through security at park #2 it could easily take that long. Having said that, we park hop a lot but we’ve also been known to go into a park for the dreaded EMH (mentioned above), ride 2 rides and then go somewhere else, but that’s not a good plan if it’s your first trip or if you have little kids. Or if you’re relying on Disney transportation.
Because you don’t hate your family. And that brings me to my next point.
Oh good Lord, they’re awful. You can wait 45 minutes for a bus. And at the end of the day, at park closing, you’ll have to stand and everyone will be cranky and they will stink. We rent a car and we use Lyft to the places where parking is a pain (Magic Kingdom). If you Lyft to MK have them drop you off at the Contemporary and walk. Yes, I know there are some of you that just love the Disney buses. I’m so happy for you. I’m out. FOREVER. And there’s this added bonus moment where you’re running to the bus stop because you THINK you see your bus and then you get there and it wasn’t the bus you’re looking for, and you’re left sitting on the ground, miserable, for 30 minutes while you wait for your bus. Does it always happen that way? Well, no. Sometimes there’s a bus there waiting for you. But that’s the exception not the rule. You should know this going in. Rent a car.
It’s loud. It’s sticky, it’s crowded and it’s expensive. And I don’t like everyone swinging their napkins over their heads because food is flying everywhere and GROSS. Two of my least favorite meals at Disney have been there. But it is fun to eat where the monorail is over-head and the fries at the quick service right next to Chef Mickey’s are really good, so if you want that experience, do that. Will set you back $10 and no disgusting napkins flying around.
So this has been a rather cynical look at Walt Disney World and you may be thinking, why does she keep going back? Because I LOOOOOOVE it very very much and you should totally go. I just want to give you realistic expectations. I’ll do a post soon with the most UNDER-rated experiences and I’ll sound happier then. Questions? Rants? What do YOU think is over-rated? Comment below. But be nice (some of you are REALLY committed to Chef Mickey’s).