The Happiest Rip-Off on Earth

Monday, 24 January 2011 21:12 by The Lunatic

No one has ever said that amusement parks are a good deal ... in fact, they are universally considered to be total rip offs.

But after spending five days in Orlando with my kids, I think that the Disney Corporation has just one goal: they are trying to perfect the art of shifting any remaining cash balance from my bank account to theirs.

Mid-January should be a good time of the year to visit Disney World, I thought. This should be the “slow” season, shouldn’t it? Even though it was a holiday last weekend (Martin Luther King Day), I didn’t think the crowds would be all that bad.  On top of the holiday on Monday, my kids had two extra days off school for “teacher/staff development and training”, so we had Saturday through Wednesday – five very precious vacation days.

Unfortunately, it was so miserably crowded on Saturday (Magic Kingdom) and Sunday (Hollywood Studios) that it really was not much fun at all for the kids - much less the parents.

Then on Monday, it rained – hard – which at least thinned out the crowds somewhat. Luckily, that was the day we had selected for Animal Kingdom, which is probably the only Disney park that you can do in the rain (but many of the rides and activities were closed for at least half the day). On Tuesday we went to Epcot – the best park of the bunch, in our opinion. But even then we spent far too much time in lines to be worthwhile. It was very frustrating.

Disney World has this new scheme called the “Fast Pass” ticket. Here’s how it works: instead of waiting in line for a ride, you get More...