Theme Parks and Us


Alright, a spiffy new category, let’s see if we could break it in.

First off, Theme Park Adventures is going to be a pretty open category. Experiences, stories, picture dumps, reviews, whatever. Basically, when we moved back to Orlando, we knew one of the top things we wanted to do was get annual passes to the theme parks. Heck, we were heavily considering getting annual passes while living in NC! Were we crazy? No. We were bored. But that’s not the point. Point is, we were looking forward to spending any given weekend among stressed out tourists and disgruntled teenage employees. It was something we really took for granted when we lived here before, and now that the kids can enjoy it all, we can’t wait to have a spare few hours in a day to go over, ride a ride, and come back home. You don’t have to tell me twice, I know it’s a blessing and there are thousands out there who wish they could do the same. So maybe what I post here can be encouragement or inspiration; to take the first steps or help you prepare for a trip to this magical place.

I know – theme park hopping, flaunting our annual passes, rollin’ up to the parking lot attendant and flashing the card to get waved in without paying – if it sounds like a 90’s rap video, then you’re picturing it right. Especially when I’m walking through the crowds of vacationers, and I’m going by in slow-motion, makin’ it rain fast pass vouchers. But that’s neither here nor there. Point is, we’re doing this for the kids, first and foremost. But at the same time, the wife and I absolutely love this crap. We’ve been theme park junkies since way before the kids were twinkles in our eyes. When you live in Central Florida, you either love the parks or hate them. Very seldom is there an in between, because financially, it doesn’t make sense to just go occasionally without an annual pass. Like, zero sense. So because we love the parks, we’ve never had a problem forking up the money for the pass because we know it’ll be put to use. And boy, are they put to use.

It’s nuts, thinking about it now. Wife and I used to spend weekends and nights at the parks when we were dating. We loved the atmosphere, the fun, the “magic” feeling, as cliché as that sounds. It was always there for us, and still is. All those times we went, and all those families with kids we passed and stood next to in lines and saw having fun in rides. 

It’s amazing we’re getting to spend that time with our kids, in the same lines, and the same rides. Well, technically, it’s not fun to spend time with the kids in the lines, they can’t stand that mess, the impatient little turds. But we love sharing the excitement of the rides they love and the joy of just walking around the parks.

At the same time, the wife and I still go on our own from time to time. If we have a date night where we feel like walking around and the kids are with their grandparents, we’ll go to the parks and unwind. It sounds crazy, I know! How the hell can someone unwind in the craziness of these tourist laden madhouses?! Well, when we go with the kids, it’s usually non-stop chaos. Trying to get from one thing to another, lugging around a stroller, making sure snacks are administered before they turn into little Hulks, and usually riding the same things because the thrill rides are too much for them. So, when we go on our own, we’re taking it all in, doing whatever we want to do. We’re not worrying about multiple trips to the bathroom because one kid didn’t have to go when the other kid went, but oh look, 5 minutes later he has to pee more than he’s ever had to pee in his entire life. So there’s another bathroom stop, coincidentally during the climax of a fireworks show. 

Every… Time.

Or if our youngest is eating his snacks with the hands that just rubbed and cleaned every inch of the handrail while waiting in line. Seriously, I’ve gone through more sanitizer in this year of going to theme parks than I did in 5 years in NC. But yeah, none of that is going on. It’s just the wife and I, and the theme parks we love to enjoy. Our fave thing to do when we’re kid-less in the parks? Point out to each other, then smile and rejoice as we enjoy the sounds of screaming children and upset parents who are around us. Ahhh, such a sweet sound when it’s not your kids. You’re laughing because you know it’s true.

Now you may be wondering why only Disney shots in this post. I guess I’ll let the cat out of the bag now – we cancelled our Universal Studios passes. I know, us. It’s unfathomable. But we’re happy we did. Universal was really slipping with the way they were handling things lately. Not to mention the new attractions they keep coming out with are nothing but glorified motion simulators. Disney has a few themselves, but when coupled with the immense value you get with Disney’s pass vs. Universal’s pass, it’s a no brainer. It was almost the same price monthly for both passes. But the perks we used with Universal (the Preferred Pass, which we had) you get entry into the 2 parks and a 10% discount on merchandise. Disney gives you entry to all 4 parks, access to fast passes which is INVALUABLE, unlimited free downloadable photopass, and 20% discount on merchandise. Seriously, what are you doing, Universal?! Especially with a family, it’s hard to justify. Universal seems like they’re trying to focus away from kids and more towards the young adult demographic. Which is fine, but it just means it was easier for us to ditch them like we did. I can easily say the only thing we’ll miss from there is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, or, Potterland, as we call it. We were able to have one last hoorah there though, and I took plenty of pics, so look forward to that post in the future. 

 

This place. I dig it. 😌

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So that be that on theme parks. I’m excited about this section of the blog, so hopefully I keep it going. Are you excited to hear about theme parks and what we’re up to? Anything you’d like to hear or know about? I guess the best question would be if you like theme parks… Haha, whatever question you want answered, let me hear it!

 

6 Comments

  1. Awesome!
    All of these reasons hit home with us, too!
    I barely graduated high school because of annual passes (called 4 seasons pass back then – 1990). I have held passes with my husband(s) through 2 marriages, and a decade of gawd awful food (the 90’s sucked, foodwise, for Disney). The husband and I now, and for past 13 years, have been known to go into the parks, only to eat at a specific restaurant. Yes, Epcot rocks it with some amazing places, and their food and wine festival, but the other 3 are pretty competitive as well! I miss that the most. For the past year and half that we haven’t had passes, we spend in Disney Springs and at the resorts for some outstanding food. The Blue Zoo and Jiko being our two stand out favs. We have even spent way too much money at Victoria and Albert’s, once. Totally worth it 😄

    1. Yes! When we didn’t have passes and we vacationed here from NC, Disney Springs (I’ll always call it Downtown Disney, like I’ll always call Hollywood Studios MGM) was always a go to place where we spent a lot of time. I always heard about Blue Zoo but never been. Boma is one of our absolute faves, it’s buffet style in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Can’t wait for the F&W Festival, we’re both excited!

      Thanks for the comment! Glad to see another Disney fan around here!

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