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Amanda Lamb: Where in the world is Disney World?

Posted March 14, 2010

I was playing a guessing game the other day with my six-year-old daughter. The answer to the question was “Florida.” I was trying to give her clues.

“It’s the state where Disney World is located,” I say with encouragement as she furrows her brow and contorts her little mouth into a frown.

“How would I know where Disney World is?” She says, her hands on her hips. “I’ve never been there.”

Believe me, this is not the first time I’ve heard about this major travesty in her young life. I am reminded at least once a week that my children have not been to Disney World.

“Mommy, everyone in my class has been, seriously,” she says with wide eyes and an angst-ridden expression.

Let’s get something straight. My kids have been flying on airplanes since they were just a few weeks old. They’ve been to New York, Philadelphia, the Jersey Shore, Washington D.C., and yes, even Florida. They have also been to the Bahamas, yet, I didn’t get a passport until I was a teenager. They’ve been on all kinds of boats, visited water parks, been rock climbing and skiing.

But for some reason, I am the worst parent in America because I have not yet braved Disney World. Frankly, the more they whine about it, the less inclined I am to go.

I admit it — I’m not a big fan of crowds. I’m also not a big fan of large cartoon characters with big heads, but I understand the lure of the place to a young child. My parents took me exactly one time, and as I recall, I enjoyed it. I later visited Disney with friends in my twenties. It was on that trip that I decided I would never come back again until I was accompanied by my children. As an adult, it simply wasn’t my cup of tea.

I know there are families who go back to Disney again and again. They can’t get enough of it. I am like that with the beach. I could never get enough of it. That’s why we spend so many weekends at the coast. I know that eventually I will have to give in and take them to Disney World. It is a rite of passage for parents and children.

But maybe I’ll put it off just a little while longer…

Amanda is a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including one on motherhood called "Smotherhood." She appears here on Go Ask Mom every Monday.
 

13 Comments

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  • carousel mom Mar 18, 2010

    We have not braved Disney yet. I have an almost 8 yr old & two 5 yr olds. We want to be sure they can do and see and ride everything when we do go. It is very expensive, and searching thru all the tips and tricks to make it cheaper can be overwhelming.
    Sure, this is probably the best time to take them when they still believe in all the magic and fairy tales, but we have decided to wait a couple more years.

  • sparfitt Mar 17, 2010

    We went the first time when our daughter was 5.5 years old. It was fun we had a good time. But then we just went back this past October when she was 8 and it was the perfect vacation. October is a beautiful time to visit, not great crowds and the weather was perfect. We had the best time as a family. It was so much fun. I truly can't wait to go back. We told her we will try to go every 2-3 years till she doesn't want to be seen in public with us. Ha-haaa. Enjoy your first time, it is a ball.

  • whyalltheproblems Mar 15, 2010

    We just went for the first time in January, over the MLK holiday weekend...supposedly the slowest weekend. It wasn't too bad at all. Our kids are 9 and 7. It was good to take them, more or less to get it out of the way and say that we went. They loved it and it was a special time for them :).

  • originalTarheel1 Mar 15, 2010

    Save your money. I took mine twice, when 8 and 10, 10 and 12 at their request and stayed on the "property". It is long, hot and exhausting. Ask them now, both in their 20's, which were their favorite trips and they mention Yellowstone, France, British Columbia-and each of those trips cost less, were more relaxing and exciting.

  • sharonmefird Mar 15, 2010

    We took our son in May 2007 soon after his 7th birthday that March. Our year-round school schedule allowed us to go the second week of May. It was perfect weather and the crowds were small. We toured 4 Disney parks and Sea World in 5 days. A bit much but we so enjoyed it. Our son was tall enough to ride everything, including all the rollercoasters. He only gave out on the last night at the Magic Kingdom during the evening light parade and asked to go 'home' to bed. I'm looking forward to going again, which we hoped to do next year as he nears the end of 5th grade. However, the school board voted his elementary school back to a traditional calendar and we WILL not try to visit Disney during spring break or the summer, which is horrific with crowds, heat and humidity. Bottom line, take your kids when they are old enough to walk through the parks and tall enough to ride whatever they see they want to try. Otherwise, they're too small to truely enjoy it and remember it, if you are going fo

  • khoggard Mar 15, 2010

    I have done Disney several times. I am currently planning 6th trip. The last trip was our son's 1st time at age 5. I think he was the perfect age. He enjoyed every single second we were there. He was treated special because he had a 1st visit button that he wore proudly everyday of the trip. Our next trip is this November over the Thanksgiving holiday. He will be almost 9 then. It is not as crowded at the beginning of Thanksgiving week & the Christmas decorations, which are spectacular, are up then. I can't wait to go again & I'm 38!! It makes me feel like a kid all over again.

  • raleighmomx2 Mar 15, 2010

    Amanda, it's a completely different experience when you take your kids!! The magic of Disney World through their eyes is addictive, I promise! My kids are packing for their 5th trip...& they are only 4 & 6 yo. There's some great specials offered right now! Take them!!

  • kep701 Mar 15, 2010

    My only trip to Disney was back in 1973 when I was in 5th grade. I just returned 3/12/10 from taking my 12 yr old boy and 6 yr old girl to Disney World. We did one park a day, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and on the last day, the Magic Kingdom. Take my word for it, the trip is worth doing b4 they get too old to enjoy the "Magic". Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful, magical place, but it's MORE magical when they're younger and believe the animatronics are real... and do the Magic Kingdom last, otherwise your younger ones may be asking you to leave Epcot or the other parks to take them back to the Magic Kingdom... And so there are no surprises, you might want to check Disney's website to verify the height requirements to be sure your child is tall enough to ride the rides. Disney is expensive, but worth doing, at least once when they're young.

  • jbass2 Mar 15, 2010

    Had a friend from a power company in PA who was sent to the Orlando area several years ago after they were hit by several back-to-back hurricanes. Disney put them up at some of their hotels and provided transportation for them to and from the staging area where their utility trucks were parked overnight. Every morning as they boarded the bus to head back to their trucks, they were sent on their way by a Disney staffer with the memorable send-off "Have a magical day!" It has become our send-off greeting now.

  • kellypratz Mar 15, 2010

    I told my first daughter when she was 5 years old at the time we would take her & her sister the year she turns 9. Well she turns 8 today 3/15 so I guess that means my husband and I will be planning a disney trip next year and believe me if we go back on our word we will never hear the end of it.

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