What makes a vacation

Jeff, you’ve caught me in a strange place, far from home. I’m in the most magical place on earth, or at least the most forward-thinking and Hollywoodiest branches of the most magical place on earth, Disney World. For only the second time as parents, my wife and I are leaving the kids at home, and enjoying only each other’s company in a place most reserve for children and family (The first was a “baby moon” when our eldest was a few month’s old).

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. We were supposed to take a 10 year anniversary trip back to Jamaica. That was going to be in the fall of 2020. The world was still spinning from Covid. Our first plan was crushed due to circumstances outside of our control.

We were supposed to go on a group vacation with our friends in 2021 or 2022; just adults. If you thought getting one couple out of the country was a scheduling nightmare, try getting 3 couples with 7 total kids out of the country. That one was on us for dreaming too big.

The final change to our plans came a month ago. We had fully planned on going to Florida in November. Get out of the fall weather of the Midwest, and hit up the fun and sun in Florida. Instead, my wife found an insane deal to get us more park days at better resorts for less money…And 5 months sooner.

Now, you don’t know me. How could you? We live in different parts of the world, and I don’t have some great following that would put me on your radar. So, you’re probably asking, “No kids! Why Disney?” And I would find that an extremely valid question.

There are a couple of great ways to rate a vacation:

  • Relax Factor
  • Adventur-o-meter

Just Chillin

There aren’t a lot of people in the world who would think Disney would rank highly in Relax Factor. They would be wrong. My wife plans everything. It isn’t down to the minute, but it is down to the top rides she wants to hit, the places she wants to get food, the Fast Passes she wants to acquire, and the shows we’re going to watch. All I have to do is follow her, and my vacation is taken care of. There is nothing left to stress about. I get to live in the moment.

“Adventure is out there”

Now, you might be wondering then how it can register on the imprecise device that is the Adventur-o-meter. For, if everything is planned, and I know what is happening, there is no adventure. It is rote.

I think there are two more factors at play making Disney World an adventure. The first is simply, it isn’t something we can do every day. It is grand, and therefore an adventure. While we have been VERY frequently since 2018, every trip comes with a new wrinkle, making it a new adventure.

The second is a little more “Je n’sais quoi.”

You know it when you see it

I think Apple fanbois and Disney fanbois are probably one-and-the-same. Apple intentionally places whimsy in all the places it counts. Everywhere else, it maintains an efficiency designed to please people, its users.

Disney World is the same. Nothing there is a straight line. Forced perspective makes small things appear large. Paint colors are chosen to make buildings invisible. What the user sees is cleanliness, magic, technical excellence, while the underpinnings and inner-workings of the machine are completely hidden.

When you’re at Hollywood Studios you feel like you’re in California in 1950’s LA, or on an alien planet called Batuu. When you’re at EPCOT you can travel around the world over the course of the day. You feel like you’ve hopped dimensions to be somewhere special. You aren’t worried about the plate that used to contain your lunch, you know you’re going to pass a garbage can in the next 14 steps. Just like I haven’t worried about changing the RAM in a computer since ‘08 after I bought my first Mac.

Oh, and I’m heading for Universal Studios for the first time. That place has some ADVENTUROUS roller coasters.

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