I remember the magic of Walt Disney World as a child. It was our family’s go-to vacation when we were younger, especially if we had family visiting us from out of town. As an adult, I have found the joy in taking my own kids but with extensive planning. I recently wrote about how the internet helped me plan my vacation. I tried to find all the tips and know all the latest information for my trip, and it was worth it to me.
Nowadays, a Disney vacation can really rely on online connectivity. Either before your trip or while you’re at the parks, you can use the My Disney Experience App to make park reservations, use Genie and Genie+ and check wait times.
However, there are parts of the internet that seem to make Disney World lose some of its magic. Here are my top three examples and a small way to sidestep the magic loss.
- People who compare their vacations. Whether it’s a room upgrade, a free toy, free dessert or something else, pixie dust can happen when a cast member gives out some extra magic. However, there are then the people who are looking for and get disappointed if they don’t get anything. Yes, rock that birthday button to celebrate, but don’t expect anything extra because of it. You’ll only sabotage your own happiness on your vacation if you’re looking to compare it to someone else’s.
- Fame Seekers. I’m not a TikTok fan, especially when it comes to the ridiculous challenges. Unfortunately, some people know Disney’s deep fanbase and will use the parks to get more views on TikTok or Instagram. Their pleas for attention can ruin some of the magic at the parks if it’s a big enough spectacle. Whether it’s the guy who tastes the water from fountains around Disney, someone accessing a restricted area, or the person who goes live about how a cast member ruined their trip, these attention seekers can pop a Disney bubble, especially if you’re in the park when they’re throwing their tantrum. No matter what attention a person may receive for going viral, will it really be worth a ban from Disney World?
- Viral Items. In some ways, the internet has made Disney merchandise more available to people who can’t get to the parks as often with personal shoppers. However, it’s also helped to create the “hot items” that go viral and everyone has to have them right away. Then enter the resellers who go buy what they can and sell for crazy amounts. Now, I’m not necessarily hating on resellers (as long as they’re not clearing out shelves) because I can appreciate a good side hustle. However, people go crazy for one item until the next one that everyone has to have. How many of ya’ll that “had to have” those Beauty and the Beast rose cups still have them now that a few years have passed? And now we have the restock of Figment popcorn budgets. Patience is a virtue with Disney merch sometimes.
- (BONUS) Internet downers. Yes, I know I said top three, but I’m adding in a bonus. It seems if someone complains online about something that happened on their trip or something at Disney, there’s always (at least) one commenter who has to remark about how there’s worse problems in the world. Yes, sometimes people can be over-dramatic about their complaints, but also, they can have valid feelings about their trip. I’m sure most “problems” a lot of us have are small compared to others in the world, but we still have a right to our feelings. Put your own complaints into perspective before getting worked up about them. And when it comes to others, don’t be a Disney Downer.
The internet has improved a lot of things in life, but we all know there are many drawbacks as well. So when you’re at the parks, go ahead and unplug (as much as you can) and enjoy the moment. Be kind to the cast members. If the hot new item is sold out (or has a three hour wait to buy), just check back for it next time. Then the next time you’re online, be kind.
Sara is a Marketing Specialist by day, but her true passion is writing. She's been a freelance writer for 11 years and uses that side hustle money for traveling with her husband and three young children.