I haven’t written for a bit. That’s because a little over a week ago, we returned from a family trip to Disney World. We were there for the World Dance Competition, which was simply amazing, but more on that later. I want to discuss a radical proposal. Now, I love me a Disney trip. I am seduced by the attention to detail, the amazing customer service, and the familial joy. Note, however, that I did not refer to said excursion as a “vacation.”
By the end of a Disney jaunt, I feel like a wrung out dishrag, and the faces of the parents at the Orlando departure gate would indicate that I’m not alone. We all sat with a slightly glazed look while our children, high on sugary, sunburned energy buzzed around our aching feet. Likewise, a number of the dance moms who’d gone on the trip posted celebratory couples only shots at Summerfest over the subsequent week, reveling in their alone time. Please don’t get me wrong: I realize how lucky my kids are to have gone to Disney more than once in their young lives. Heck, my first trip there was in the fourth grade, via full-size van and involved running out of cash on the return trip and a drive straight-through back home. I get that it’s a special treat. But for the parental set, I’d like to suggest some modifications that will allow for the noun “Vacation” to apply.
A Radical Proposal: Disney Re-Entry Experience, a.k.a. Disney Detox
This 1-2 day experience will be located well away from any tempting Disney-related attractions, lest you feel compelled to check off one more “most-do” item from the list. I’m thinking a parking lot near the airport or a nondescript office park on the outskirts of Orlando. It doesn’t have to be a glamorous location; nobody will be going outside for any length of time during re-entry. It just needs to be outside the sphere of Disney (and other theme park) influence.
I’ve drawn up some sample language for promotional literature. Let me know what you think:
During the re-entry process, parents will be gently separated from their children. We acknowledge that you love them, but during this re-entry period it is important for you to attend only to your own toileting / hunger / thirst / entertainment / impending meltdowns. Children will undergo their own re-entry experience in the care of qualified, boringly-dressed professionals who do not give out autographs or call anyone “princess.” Daily programming will include clearing one’s place at the table, unembellished sandwiches / cereal / casseroles for meals, being responsible for one’s own belongings, and long periods of boredom. Don’t worry, they’ll be fine without you for two days. Besides, let’s be honest–they need a little time away from you as well, Ms. Sweaty Boob Crabby Pants.
The adults-only facility features muted color, dim lighting, soft music and staff without name tags. The option for separate bedrooms is entirely up to you and your partner. Trust me, we get it. Daily programming consists of napping, reading, board games, spa time, TV watching, and yoga or light stretching. You can go for a leisurely walk if you must. There is no schedule, opening / closing times, or lockout period for any of these. YOU CAN DO THINGS WHEN YOU WANT, THERE IS NO NEED FOR A FAST PASS.
In addition to our serene detox environment, we are proud to highlight the following:
- An excess of bathrooms. You will never have to hunt for them or pre-emptively empty your bladder in anticipation of a long line.
- Set menus requiring no decisions and no discussion of allergens.
- Common areas arranged kind of like study carrels in a library–cozy chairs arranged such that you can avoid eye contact and, as a result, forced chitchat with any other re-entry guests. For those inexhaustible extroverts among us, there will be a dedicated chatting lounge. It is in pristine shape as it has never been used.
- A return to a cash economy. You must be shaken awake from the ridiculous ease with you have moved to paying for things with your wrist.
- Foot massages.
- Evening sunset-viewing from our shaded deck with 2+ dedicated chairs for each guest to choose from. There will be NO fireworks.
- Did we mention the foot massages?
- No ponchos. Anywhere.
So who’s with me? I figure all we need to do is line up a few investors, arrange for a drop off point for the Magical Express, garner the support of the legions of Disney Mom Bloggers, and we should be set!