Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 11.08.49 AMAll my friends go to Disney. I love Disney. I’ve been there several times. My parents did it right, though. They waited. I was nineteen.  I didn’t think I would enjoy a pilgrimage to see Mickey Mouse at nineteen. I was wrong. It was awesome.

There were a few things that could have made Disney better for me–there were a decided lack of lack of vegetarian options for food and snacking at the time, something I hear is much improved these days as vegetarianism is considered less a medical disorder and more of a lifestyle by the American mainstream.

As such, I was forced to consume an awful lot of those Mickey-ear ice cream bars from the vendors that seem to be near every hour-long line of screaming children. I have to give Walt credit, though. It was good training for my future of picking through salad plates and side dishes at each one of the fifty weddings in which I was destined to take part, and for my travels overseas in countries where they include vegetarianism on the list of medical ailments that can be cured with proper medical treatment or a little voodoo.

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 11.07.36 AMEven though food options have improved, I’m going to wait before I go back. That is because I have a five-year old.

You’d think, “No, this is the perfect time to go–five-year old minds are ripe for the magic Walt Disney brought to America. Outside of the New York Yankees and maxed credit cards, there is nothing so American as Disney.”

I have a three or four sets of friends who go to Disney constantly. The first two have systems as to how to get the best deals and minute-to-minute plans as to when to sign up for food.  The third friend goes all out–he has a Disney concierge who does most of the legwork for him, both for regular Disney and the Disney cruise lines. He spares no luxury in his pursuit of the Big Mouse. They are on a first-name basis.

I see this a little differently–I don’t want to go with young kids. I am glad we went when we were older, the youngest among us being ten. My parents want to go down with all the grandchildren. That would mean, between my son and nephews, we’d have four kids ranging in age from 8 or 9 down to preschool.

Disney is equipped for these ages–vendors at every stop, an ice cream guy conveniently stationed at every long line, and stroller parking so that you can hold that little one in that one-hour line making the waiting also multitask as weight-lifting. Even Walt Disney knew you have to get in your exercise to be a healthy parent.

Going to Disney with little kids is sort of like taking coolant out of a reactor core. As the temperature rises, you get ever closer to the meltdown. This happens at Disney daily. That Magic Kingdom time each day when every little person forced out of a nap routine breaks down in an orchestrated symphony of whining and crying. Parents try to get through the line in which they had just invested some of the best years of their lives, or even worse–to push a little bit harder to squeeze in one more attraction.

This is why I am not going to Disney with kids until they complete my Disney Training Course. Today, I’m giving it out free, but after this, you can download it for $.99. I think a lot of parents will be interested in this foolproof method to get the most out of the Great American Vacation. Here are some highlights:

Chapter One: I set up concert-style ropes in the yard, winding around to simulate a quarter-mile line.

Chapter Two: Declan is required to wait in the line for a progressively increasing amount of time each day until he works his way up to six hours.

Chapter Three: In the last week of training, “Hell Week,” enticements are placed in various key locations around the line. Ice cream carts, balloon men, etc.

Chapter Four: He completes one of those intensive training sessions in line with other children at a temperature over one-hundred with humidity at 90%. Water is permitted for safety of all trainees.

Chapter Five: He finally succeeds in standing in the megaline without crying, whining, or saying “I’m bored” after getting recycled back to phase one just like a Marine in boot camp four times.

When all the children pass intensive course, they will be considered Disney certified. Not before. Then, we will get on a plane and visit the greatest heroes of all time. But by that time, I’ll probably have to train my grandchildren first.


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