Monday, October 05, 2009

I Want A Disney Fairy Tale Wedding

4 years ago when my husband and I decided to get married, we decided that we wanted a Disney fairy tale wedding.

No, not the frou-frou kind with the big white dress in the wedding chapel at the Grand Floridian. No, we wanted to get married in the park. Granted, we couldn't agree on which park, or where in which park. I wanted to get married on one of the little bridges behind the eating pavilions at the Flame Tree BBQ in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Hubs wanted to get married in the rose garden in front of Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom. That's a little too normal for my taste, though I do like the area.

The other area hubs thought of is the path between Mickey's Toon Town Fair and Tomorrowland, particularly the section just before you get to Space Mountain. Now THAT I could live with. Both the bridge in Animal Kingdom and the path to Tomorrowland are rarely inhabited, and we always sort of feel like they're "our" spot in each park. We have a few other such spots, but those two are probably the least obtrusive and the most secluded and romantic given that both are surrounded by trees- one has the addition of water and the other has the addition of flowers most times of the year.

It was going to be very small too. Just the two of us, the pastor and his wife. Unless anyone from our family really wanted to pay their own way, it would have been just 4 people in a little 5 minute ceremony- if that!

I love planning vacations, and planning a wedding on vacation just made it even more fun! So, I dutifully called up the official Disney wedding planners. And found out that if I wanted to get married in one of the parks, the bare minimum that we could spend on said wedding was $10,000.

Somehow, we just couldn't see putting ourselves $10,000 in debt for a 5 minute ceremony. There were cheaper options- in fact, I think one of the options was only $2,000. But, for me, what's the point of getting married at Disney World if you're not actually getting married at Disney World?

We briefly considered sneaking the ceremony in- after all, 4 people standing on a bridge that no one else crosses? It certainly wouldn't be obstructive at all. No more so than when we stop to take a picture, and then a video, and then another picture... just like we do on every vacation. But beyond feeling that sneaking in that way is wrong, the idea of sneaking in on Disney- the place we love, the whole reason we wanted to get married there, just seemed very, very wrong.

So, someday when I'm making millions of dollars a year, I have informed hubs that we will be having a vow renewal, and it will be at Disney. The JP we went to was a wonderful man, and it was a suitable wedding for us, but some day, I'm going to have my Disney fairy tale wedding.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Disneyland Next?

Well, I've been to Walt Disney World 6 times now. Mostly because it's a 16 hour drive, trains are too expensive, and I don't want to fly.

However, hubs is getting fed up with WDW taking out awesome attractions (Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, or Alien Encounters, anyone?) and putting in pathetic replacements (Stitch's Greatest Escape anyone?). I think when they decided to put in yet another half.... uh.... planned Stitch attraction in, instead of improving or replacing the horrible Stitch attraction that's already there (seriously folks- the promo's alone were 100 times better than the actual attraction- there's no doubt that Stitch makes a great addition to tomorrowland, but not when it's so poorly done and removed one of the best attractions on property), something snapped in my husband.

He doesn't want to go to Walt Disney World anymore.

It's bad enough that they've started pandering to first time visitors ONLY- because, of course, repeat visitors don't do anything for the World. Of course not. We only spend all of our savings every year to be there. Where's the 10th visit buttons, I ask you?

Anyway, it's not only bad enough that they've started pandering only to first time visitors, but they've been homogenizing the shopping experience (although the Original 1971 revival helps a lot), and lowering the food standards (since when does Disney order in mediocre chocolate cake instead of making the gastronomic delights themselves?), but you never know whether the staff will be trained well enough to smile or keep the parks clean. It seems to be a shot in the dark whether you get the quality service that you expect and pay for, or something only moderately better than the nasty flies and sour faces found over at Universal Studios.

OK, so right now it sounds like I'm the one that doesn't love Walt Disney World, which isn't true. I'm frustrated, but it's still the most awesome place to me. My husband however, says he wants to go to Disneyland where they respect the classic attractions, and have some other attractions that we don't have on the East Coast.

Problem is, we don't fly. And if we do buck up and deal with it, I can't hear and have pain in my ears for days afterward. Then, the whole trip is tinged with the dread of getting back on a plane. All in all, that's no way to spend a vacation.

The train takes 3 days and has an 8 hour layover in Chicago which is rediculous. It also will cost between $2ooo and $3000 with sleeping accomodations. At that cost, it would be more reasonable to actually stop for a day in each layover location and stay in a hotel instead of sleeping on the train. Plus, you get to see a bit of the country, and spend about $1000 instead of $3000. Except that will drag the trip out to about a week each way, and a 3 week long vacation isn't quite doable when we both have jobs. It seems that time truly is money in this case.

Still. Husband is determined that we're not going to Walt Disney World again until we've been to Disneyland. That determines me, that I have to get my niche sites profitable in time to either quit my job to take that 3 week vacation, or enough to pay for a $3000 train trip. Cuz I don't fly unless I'm staying somewhere 3 weeks or longer.

Anyone have suggestions? And I don't mean for making planes more bearable!