Epsiode 293: The Disney World Disaster

October 15, 2014


Featuring Matt Anderson and Ben De Bono

For the first time ever, Ben’s stories of his horrific 2013 vacation to Disney World are collected in a single podcast

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4 comments on “Epsiode 293: The Disney World Disaster

  1. Scott Oct 25, 2014

    The Disney Kingdoms, much like the Jundland Wastes, are not to be traveled lightly.

  2. Michael Jan 22, 2015

    So I finally got around to listening to this. Ben, you’re an incredibly talented raconteur. Your command of hyperbole, irony, inflection, detail – everything is great. And it seems to come effortlessly; this didn’t seem scripted. I really enjoyed listening to your tale. Bravo!

    But – all that said – I am left wondering if you did any planning in advance! So many of the things that frustrated and angered you about Disney World would have been non-issues if you’d read a good guide book. The monorail route is well-publicized. You are free to bring your own food into the parks, including food purchased for reasonable prices at home that you pack and bring with you. There are numerous books and websites telling you exactly what to expect on rides and attractions; some of them even assign “scariness factor” ratings. Yes, you will be around a lot of people, and there might be some strange ones. (Although I found most everyone in a good mood, and friendly; and, if not, that’s why they have security guards.) And, yes, surprise, Florida is hot much of the year.

    A Disney trip is expensive, no question. But, as my wife and I were looking to piece together other “fun in the sun” type vacations for our family of four this summer – considering air fare, hotel fees, renting a car, dining, extra excursions, etc. – it quickly became apparent that putting together our own vacation a la carte was going to be more expensive than plunking down the money for a Disney vacation. As crazy as it seems, it really ends up being a cost-effective value. So, yes, you are “trapped” once you’re on resort property—but it would cost you even more were you not. I’m not saying there are no cheaper ways to take vacation – obviously, there are – but you really do get a lot for your money. Disney doesn’t miss a chance to make a dime, no, but neither are they stupid.

    As far as your daughter’s lost baby Minnie doll and how you handled it: you actually had a third choice. Disney’s lost and found service is, like all their guest services (at least in our experience), amazing. My son lost a ballcap on the Tuesday of our visit. He was sad and all, but bucked up as best he could, while we dutifully reported it to lost and found. We had no expectation they would find it – but when my wife checked back on Saturday, guess what they’d found? Disney runs a really tight ship, and while I can’t guarantee they would have found Baby Minnie for you, I do know they would have made every effort. (If you didn’t think your daughter could handle being without the doll, of course, they can’t help you there – but I thought the way you handled it was actually pretty sweet, and is going to be a story your family tells and enjoys for years to come: “Remember the time Daddy pretended he had a doll finder app on his smartphone?” Good job, Ben, good job!)

    If you really want to criticize WDW, I think some comments you made on another episode about the implicit messaging of much of the experience were pretty on-target (i.e., the “Celebrate It’s All About You” stuff). That’s hard to square with most of what Christians believe, I can’t deny it. And, for sure, the environmental footprint of WDW is disturbing – however, I do think the company makes some big good faith efforts to mitigate and offset it (although of course the thing is not ultimately a sustainable proposition), and, at the least, there were plenty of recycling bins for plastics when we were there.

    For what it’s worth, I will agree that the backlot tour sucks, and “Small World” is the pits. Animal Kingdom is best avoided altogether. But demanding canonical continuity from Star Tours? Oh, come on! (Although, he said, pushing his glasses up his nose, just because we didn’t visit Coruscant or Naboo in the original trilogy doesn’t mean they didn’t, in-universe, still exist; and Coruscant is even pictured in the Special Edition ending of Return of the Jedi, so, Q.E.D. ).

    Anyway, sorry you had such a rotten time. I don’t think it had or has to be that way.

    • Ben De Bono Jan 23, 2015

      Just to be clear, even if your suggestions improved my trip tenfold, I would rather spend a year in each of Dante’s nine circles of hell than ever set foot inside a Disney park again 🙂

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