Living in Florida has many pros and cons. There is a constant expectation to be tan, but the sweltering, “can’t be outside for 10 minutes without having sweat from my neck to my ass crack” weather makes that impossible. We don’t really get seasons. We just have “very hot,” “not as hot,” and “livable;” I can wear shorts and sandals about 360 days of the year (except on April 25, because you’ll need a light jacket, obviously). The biggest pro (and the biggest con) of being a Floridian is having so many amusement parks. We’re home to all of the bests, including Busch Gardens, SeaWorld, Universal’s Islands of Adventure (home of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter) and, of course, every sorority girl’s mecca: Walt Disney World.
Now, I write this with caution, since I know Disney is the “one true love” for some of you, but I feel that as a veteran amusement park goer (as I tend to hit up the parks at least a few times a year) I need to let you all know something that Floridians have known for a long, long time: Disney is not the happiest place on Earth.
Don’t get me wrong–it’s fun, and everyone should go at least once. But before you sell your soul to Walt, be aware of a few insider tips, facts, and cold, hard truths about Disney World.
1. Don’t expect to actually ride the rides.
It is a very rare occurrence to wait less than an hour at any Disney theme park. If it happens, please realize you have stumbled upon something most people never experience in their lifetime. The plus side of the extremely long lines is that you get to spend 60 (or more) minutes complaining about the heat and how much you hate lines with someone you’ll like slightly less after sharing the miserable experience.
2. You will never be able to pick the “right” pair of Mickey ears.
There are just too many. Back when the only options were Mickey and Minnie, you had a chance, but now? Any possible occasion for being at Disney has a set of ears. Graduation? They have ears for that. Getting married (LOL)? They have ears for that. Hungover in last night’s ’80s costume? Pretty sure they have some ears for that, too. And you can’t go to the park without buying the ears representing the reason for your visit. That’s just, like, the rules of Disney World. Oh, and they’re fucking expensive.
3. You will literally never be a Disney princess.
Really. After having tons of (very talented, stunning, and perfect) friends audition, it is proven almost impossible. Not to mention, it’s one of the hardest jobs ever. You have to be the exact height, build, have the right facial structure, voice, non-awkward dancing abilities, extensive knowledge of Disney, and the ability to handle 100 degree weather while wearing at least four layers. Plus, you’re not allowed to post pictures of yourself as a princess, let alone tell people which princess you are, so it makes the whole thing pointless since you can’t brag on social media. And if all of that didn’t convince you, some very, very creepy dads hang out at Disney. And unfortunately, the hot dads are NEVER the creepy ones.
4. Magic Kingdom does not serve alcohol.
This right here is basically THE deal breaker. As opposed to its hip and cultured sibling, Epcot, Magic Kingdom does not serve flowing, endless booze. It was groundbreaking a few months ago when the French restaurant Be Our Guest started serving wine and beer (only to customers dining in and only while they’re seated. Don’t expect to smuggle that $17 glass of wine out into the rest of the park). If you can’t handle long lines and screaming children when you’re sober, then Magic Kingdom isn’t for you.
5. You’ll step on a small child.
Unfortunately, Disney is the place that every single parent feels the need to bring his or her offspring to, despite the fact that the kids won’t remember it and will most likely start crying when a dressed up character holds them. It’s not only mean to the kids, but it’s mean to the (unfortunately sober) adults who paid way too much money to be there. Then the parents get mad when you don’t see their three-foot tall child lying on the disgusting ground right in your path. Suddenly, it’s your fault when you step on them. I just call that bad parenting.
6. It doesn’t have Harry Potter world.
And if you don’t understand that, then you don’t understand true magic, and you just don’t get it. Muggles.