Recently I joined my family on a week long vacation to central Florida for a visit to Disney World. We had been planning this trip for some time with some dear friends and were very excited about this week of fun (though I hesitate to use relaxation). It was not our first trip to the World of the Mouse and so we felt like we had a good handle on what to do/where to eat/what rides to hit first, etc...
What we did discover quickly is that there is a hidden perk at Disney! Patience. Now, I love Disney. This was my third trip ever and I have kind of decided that once every 2 years is not often enough to visit. It truly is a magical place! However, and Disney does not promote this too much, it is also a great place to teach families patience.
Once we landed in Orlando, we were excited to be in such an exciting place. What we forgot was that the trip from the airport to the hotel was a long 45 minute drive. Disney does their best to entertain you en route, but its a long drive. Our luggage, which was conveniently checked for us and whisked away without us having to touch it, took an extra 3 hours to arrive (which was tough on a family who really wanted to get into pajamas and go to bed, as we arrived late in the evening). Our first morning we remembered that the wait for the bus to take us to our first park was going to be a while. Once we boarded the bus, there was another wait as we were herded to Epcot. All of this was, of course, preparation for the lines we would stand in for each ride. There were also long lines at the restaurants where we chose to eat, in the shops where we tried to buy merchandise, and even at the bathrooms. Disney has mastered the theme of waiting and has done everything possible to make these waits palatable, and I think its part of the curse of Disney-- being good at making people wait makes more people attracted, thus compounding their wait time. Eventually a saturation level is reached and no matter how attractive you package the wait, it still gets tedious.
We had a great time on our trip. Truth be told, the park was not as crowded in October as it might be in March-April or even the summer. So I guess we got lucky when it comes to wait times and crowd sizes. But I think that our 10 year old son and 7 year old daughter learned a valuable lesson from this vacation- good things come to those who wait.