Monday, December 15, 2008

Disney Lesson #1

WARNING: I've just returned from Disney World and have it on the brain.

The joy, the pain, the financial burden, it all adds up to an often unforgettable, frequently unbearable, and undeniably fantastic experience for the family. While we are regulars at the happiest place on earth, this was a trip of firsts. It was the first time we camped (on property at Fort Wilderness) and the first time we went during the holidays. The camping experience was fabulous. Ugly Dawg was good to us and it beats the heck out of any hotel room. I do long for a camper with a shower and bathroom but I'm grateful for the Dawg and look forward to many more years of fun within her climate controlled vinyl walls.

I'm going to share some lessons from Disney World with my readers. Here's lesson number one:

Never, EVER underestimate the price of a product or service at Disney World.

As I've mentioned before, my son has a healthy Star Wars addiction. It's something both my husband and I support as we both loved the movies as children and take a certain measure of pride in his newfound discovery of the series and characters. After making a B-line to the Star Tours ride at Hollywood Studios on Day one of our Disney vacation, my son noticed someone getting their face painted like Darth Maul. He spent the remainder of the week obsessing about it and, overcome by the palpable Disney Magic (sure, it sounds like a myth people but it effects you, even the hardcore skeptics like myself) in the air, we relented promising to return to the Studios to get his face painted later in the week. Later in the week turned out to be our last day. I'm a theme park multi-tasker so I handed my husband $15, surrendered custody of both my kids, and took off across the park for a fastpass. My walk was shorter than I'd planned so I came back quickly to find my husband in line to get the kids' faces painted (my daughter had to have hers painted as well). He pointed to the cash in his hand and shook his head animatedly from side to side. What? $15 isn't enough for two face paintings? Are you kidding?

As it turns out, $15 was barely enough for one face painting. That is the going rate, in fact, for the "Sinister Sith" AKA Darth Maul face painting. My daughter's less-sinister, "sparkle kitty" paint job ran a mere $12. So, yes, I dropped $27 on two face paintings that took all of five minutes. The most painful part? There's a clown here in Cleveland, TN that does face paintings at just about every local event/party for $1 a pop and her work is JUST AS GOOD! She doesn't do "Sinister Sith," mind you but she does a rockin' "Sparkle Kitty."

So, folks, lesson learned: Never, EVER underestimate the price of a product or service at Disney World. You and your wallet will live to regret it!



  1. I saw so many kids with those face paintings and wondered how much they cost. I was too afraid to ask, fearing that my own kids would beg for one. We, however, found many other ways to spend money thanks to that familiar Disney magic!
    Sorry we missed each other. Hubby & I got sick on Wednesday night and were miserable beings until we got to the doctor this morning. Our souvenirs from Disney? He brought home a serious sinus infection and I brought home bronchitis bordering on pneumonia. Good times.

  2. Great pic! I am sure the kids enjoyed it though! Can you imagine the profit Disney must make each year!

  3. Can't beat the Darth Maull face with that festive Christmas background.

  4. I'm sorry, it's just that when I think of Disney, the music for "It's a Small World After All" flows through my mind, and I'm a little busy right now, sharpening a stick so I can jam it into my eye and get that DAMN SONG OUT!!!!!

  5. But look at the picture, a small fortune well spent I say!

  6. Hmm. I've always wanted to go to Disney around Christmas time. I like the idea of camping but I think I'll take the hotel room...I want someone else to make my bed for those prices.