FAQ Orlando

The secret to a perfect Orlando vacation

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Disney's Magic Kingdom

Real or fake? (Fake) But Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Disney's Magic Kingdom looks the part

Here’s the secret in two words: I believe.

This isn’t “I believe” in the religious sense; it’s the thing kids do when an empty cardboard box becomes a house, or a snowball becomes a weapon of destruction against your sister’s “castle.” Kids know it’s a box or a pile of snow, but they allow themselves to transform both objects into something else. They

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pretend.

Adults do this when reading a book and, after an intense scene, look up and say, “Whew, how weird that I got worked up over words on a page.” It’s a willingness to forego reality and allow emotion to trump logic. Some people are genetically pre-wired to do this; others must work at it.

The Orlando parks make it easy to pretend. Caves look like caves; Main Streets look like Main Streets; Hogwarts looks like Hogwarts. But even on vacation, many adults have trouble shaking off the reality of monthly bills, layoffs, or sick loved ones. More than a few find their enjoyment overshadowed by the vacation’s cost: $70 for tickets, $200 for hotel rooms, $9 for a hot dog. Too many adults believe: “This vacation is for the kids. I’ll spend the week making my children happy.

That’s fine, even noble. But you can have fun at the Orlando parks too if you give up the shackles of adulthood and, for a few miscellaneous minutes, pretend. Yes, underwater tracks guide the boats in Pirates of the Caribbean; and yes, part of the Harry Potter ride is a movie; and yes, the parking fees are too high.

But if you allow your emotions to bubble a bit when reading or watching a movie, you can allow them to bubble on an Orlando vacation. Sailing through a fake Caribbean town overtaken by pirates is interesting. Believing you’re a pirate is a vacation.

Posted in: Planning an Orlando trip

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