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Remember way back when, before you had kids, how you and your spouse would go on romantic getaways to exotic destinations like Cancun or Paris or maybe Santorini? Ah, such relaxing vacations. But then you screwed up everything by deciding to start a family. Oh sure, having young kids doesn’t mean you can no longer go on vacations. It just means you can’t enjoy them.

By the time your kids turn seven, as summer vacation season approaches, they’ll begin the longstanding family ritual: complaining that every other child in the free world has been to Disney World – twice– “except for us! It’s no fair!” This is an excellent time to invite your kids to ask the Millers down the street if they might consider adopting them, since apparently “the Millers are way more fun parents than your mom and me.” I never particularly liked the Millers. I suspect the husband may be a metrosexual. But that’s a story for another post.

As surely as my Seattle Mariners will never win the World Series in my lifetime, it’s an equal certainty that sooner or later, you will buckle under the pressure of the relentless nagging and offer to take your kids to Disney World. And for that you have my deepest sympathy.

A trip to Disney World is the perfect vacation – if you like standing in line for hours at a time in sweltering 96-degree heat with 97% humidity, listening to your young children whining endlessly about how long all the waits for rides are. Usually by about 1pm on Day One you’re starting to seriously regret your decision to spend thousands of dollars that could have been much better spent on a brand new red Camaro instead. If this sounds like your idea of fun, then pack your bags and head to the airport for your very own Disney adventure. Then turn around and go back home. You forgot your four-year old, Ashley. Then strap Ashley and her adorable Disney-branded Lilo and Stitch backpack into her car seat and get ready for a not-so-memorable trip to visit Mickey and his pals.

Most families go to Disney World during summer vacation. And why not? The kids are out of school. And there’s no better place to be in July than central Florida – particularly if you enjoy the sensation of feeling like you’re on the surface of Venus. There is so much to see at Disney World. In fact, at last count, there were no less than seven different theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, two water parks, and, their newest attraction, Disney’s Magical World of Heat Stroke.

As you pull up to the Magic Kingdom, your kids will proclaim you the BEST PARENTS IN THE WORLD – a lofty status that will last for slightly less than an hour, after which you won’t be able to shut them up about how hot it is, how hungry they are and how you are undoubtedly the WORST PARENTS IN THE WORLD for forcing them to sit through The Hall of Presidents attraction when their friends’ parents would surely have done Splash Mountain instead.

Based on my own experience, I’d recommend that the ideal duration for touring around Disney World is approximately 90 minutes. Anything longer and you’re going to really wish you had used the time for something more enjoyable, like root canal surgery. Because you will be joined by over 100,000 other families today, be sure to plan on getting to the park early – ideally no later than 5 am. Otherwise, the closest lot you’ll be able to park in is Pluto 85 – conveniently located just two zip codes east of the park.

A better plan might be to take the Disney shuttle bus. It stops at every major hotel near the park. Just wait in front of your hotel for the next shuttle bus. It should be here in about 45 minutes. Then it’s just 30 minutes from your hotel to… the transfer station where you’ll board a second shuttle bus, which in roughly 25 more minutes will drop you off right at the main entrance to your Disney theme park. And within seconds after the bus leaves, you’ll realize you got off at the wrong Disney theme park. But don’t fret. The next shuttle will arrive shortly – in about 45 minutes.

By now, you may notice the time is already 11:15 am. So you better pick up the pace. Before you know it, your kids will start complaining they’re hungry. Not to worry. There are over 3,700 restaurants spaced at roughly 40-foot intervals throughout any Disney theme park. You can enjoy food that will appeal to every taste – so long as your taste is limited to burgers, fries, pizza, hot dogs, fried chicken, ice cream or, oddly enough, arugula salad with lemon-parmesan dressing. I know. Go figure. Personally, I recommend dining at the Country Bear Jamboree Saloon. The chicken there tastes surprisingly like chicken.

But the main reason kids love going to Disney World – other than to torment their parents – is for the rides. There are so many great rides to choose between. Should you start with Space Mountain? Perhaps Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin? Or maybe The Pirates of the Caribbean? It really doesn’t matter which one you choose. They all will have one feature in common – a sixty-minute wait to get in.

You might want to consider a time-saving way to avoid the long lines by purchasing a FastPass. It lets you reserve in advance a set time slot for up to three different rides per day – all for slightly less than the cost of a year’s tuition at Stanford. But whatever you do, do NOT go on It’s a Small World. It is every bit as chirpy and annoying as it was when it opened in 1966.

Thankfully, Disney World has one ride that is well worth the wait – the ride back to your hotel in an air conditioned shuttle bus. It’s by far the most enjoyable ride you’ll have all day, I guarantee it.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
See more View from the Bleachers posts at: http://www.viewfromthebleacher...

Your avatar
J Overstreet • 08/10/2016 at 04:03PM • Like 1

My child just went to Disney...only we sent her with someone else (see what we did there?!)

A wise man once said, If a man’s wealth be measured in grains of rice, he could hold all the riches of the world in his hands. Okay, so that man was an idiot. He was also my Uncle Larry, and he died penniless – unless you count the 850 boxes of Minute Rice found in his basement after his funeral................. Read the complete article at View from the Bleachers

Recently I ordered one of those cool robot vacuums called a Roomba. It’s pretty amazing. It will quietly clean an entire floor while only mildly terrorizing the cats. And when it’s all done, it returns to its charging station and goes to sleep.

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Dear person who never looks up while crossing the street, no matter how much traffic there is,

Hey, how’s it going? I hope I didn’t interrupt you from anything important. Please, by all means, go ahead and finish texting LOL to your friend Brad. Don’t forget the smiley face emoticon. Your text is far more important than anything I have to discuss with you. I’ll wait……… Done yet? Super.

letter to guy crossing street - man

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself. You see, I’m the guy whose car almost creamed you earlier today when you walked into traffic against the light and never once looked up. I doubt you remember me.

I can imagine it must have been hard to hear my horn blaring or my brakes screeching to avoid hitting you, what with that AC / DC song playing on your iPod at 175 decibels. I could hear them rocking away from inside my car with my windows up. I have to say, excellent choice in music, dude. Can’t go wrong with Highway to Hell – a classic.

You know, when I was young, I was taught that the center of the solar system was the sun. I now realize that my teacher lied to me – because clearly the solar system revolves around an eight-inch space between those earbuds of yours.

Okay, so technically I may have had the “legal” right of way over you, seeing as the light was green for me, and you had that annoying, flashing DON’T WALK sign that you probably missed since it didn’t flash on your cell phone. But hey, who has time to read street signs when they’re busy checking out their Facebook page, am I right?

Anyhoo, what I was trying to say is I apologize. I’m deeply sorry if my car’s front bumper photobombed the Selfie you were taking. Given that my windshield was merely four feet away from your ribcage when our paths crossed, I fear I may have ruined your Snapchat moment.

letter to guy crossing street - do not walk sign

I must confess, I envy you just a little. You looked so at peace – so completely unbothered by the gridlock you created for all those cars behind me trying in vain to make it through the intersection. I am in awe of your composure in the face of a long line of irate drivers who would have happily made you into a hood ornament.

A lesser person would have been intimidated at the thought of 4,000 pounds of steel bearing down on them at the speed of a hungry cheetah. But not you. You were so courageous, completely undaunted. Even the screams of the maddening crowd didn’t shake your certitude that the urban seas would part to make way for your triumphant, regal crossing. Way to make an entrance, King Cell Phone Dude.

And I simply must applaud your amazing ability to keep your eyes focused downward during your entire crossing. As I was trying in vain to get your attention, your eyes never once wandered from your cell phone screen during your entire 36-foot journey from curb to curb. I doubt a nuclear explosion could have diverted your concentration away from whatever YouTube roomba cat video you were locked in on.

Ya’ know, sometimes I find myself having to stop what I’m doing and pay attention to other people around me who insist that I observe basic courtesies of a modern society. You don’t suffer from that affliction.  Not one bit.  It must be nice not to have to worry about anything outside of a two-foot radius of your thumbs. What’s important to me is that you were able to saunter across the street at your own leisurely pace, without having to worry about anyone else on this planet. I am in awe of you.

I hope our paths cross again sometime. Perhaps we’ll meet on an airplane. I’ll be the guy right behind you in line waiting for fifteen minutes while you attempt to squeeze a suitcase the size of a refrigerator into the overhead compartment.

But if I know you – and I’m pretty sure I do – you won’t notice me then either. And that’s okay. Because no matter how long you make me wait for you to place your special order at the drive thru or ask the bank teller to convert your collection of 2,578 pennies into dollar bills, it’s okay. Take your time. Please don’t hurry on my account. All that matters to me – and the other 25 people in line behind you – is that you focus on the needs of Numero Uno, buddy. Act like we’re not even here. That should be easy for you to do.

On behalf of all the people in this world who are forced to wait on the outside of whatever impenetrable magic bubble you live in, I just want to say, thank you for reminding all of us that your time is more valuable than ours.

Warmest regards,

Tim Jones

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base - Click the image below to go to the View from the Bleachers website or click here:

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