Disney Decisions and Disney Revisions

One of the most exciting parts about a Disney vacation is the planning.

It doesn’t mater how far away the trip might be, be it 6 months or 4 years, figuring out when, where and how you will vacation at Disney is a rush.

Upon returning from my most recent trip to Disneyland Resort in April I sat down and had a think about when I could go next and where I would like to go.

Finances dictated that with careful saving I should be able to go on a trip by 2020. Star Wars should be up and running by then and I am an absolute Star Wars tragic.  Long before I was a Disney fan I was an uber Star Wars nerd.

Three years is a long wait so I decided to plan an ultimate Disney trip.

Two weeks at Walt Disney World followed by a 7 day Cruise on the Disney Dream or the Fantasy.

Now that I had made this decision I started to plot out my days. How many rest days will my wife need? (I can go two weeks straight in the parks but she needs a rest day every now and that. Sometimes wife gets in the way, I MEAN LIFE!) How many days in each park will I need? Which parks on which day? At what point in the trip will I head over to Universal for a day? And so on and so forth.

I even plotted out all my Restaurants and did a dining plan calculator to see if I could save any money on it (surprise, surprise it didn’t. More like Disney Dining Scam!).

I was all set! Now all I needed was to wait 3 years and tweak the plan as needed.

And then I read;

RUMOUR: Disney planning huge overhaul of Epcot due to be completed in 2022.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!?!?!?!?

But I’m going in 2020! That means Epcot will be under full construction! I can’t miss the revamped Epcot!

This unconfirmed news has thrown a huge spanner in the works for me.

As I have stated previously I don’t get to go to Disney very often so I like to plan my trips in a Disney construction sweet spot. I thought after Star Wars was finished id be all good! Obviously not.

So now I’m thinking about pushing that trip out to 2022. But no Disney for 5 years!?!?!?

This is where I’m starting to rethink  my plan.

A trip to Disneyland Resort is much more affordable than Walt Disney World so I can probably delay the trip to 2022/23 and then in 2019/20 go to Disneyland and cross off my bucket list item of seeing Disneyland for Christmas.

This is always the problem with a Disney trip. What will be closed? what will be opening the next year that I will miss?

This is actually why I first went to Walt Disney World. I had a week long trip to Disneyland booked in April of 2015 and then they announce that pretty much half of the park would be closed in preparation for the 60th anniversary. What a big old waste of money that would have been so I moved the trip to Walt Disney World.

A lot of people say “Just go and you can always come back!”

For Americans that is very true but for us foreigners you never know, it could be 5 to 10 years before you get back so delaying a trip by 1 or 2 years seems like a better option.

When I first visited Walt Disney World in 2015 it was at the start of its revitalisation. New Fantasyland had just been completed, Disney Springs was in its final construction phase and we were yet to see an announcement for Toy Story Land or Star Wars Land.

Once we add Toy Story Land, Star Wars Land and a revitalised Epcot to New Fantasyland, Pandora and Disney Springs I think Walt Disney World will be in a pretty construction free zone to visit in 2022.

So event though it kills me to do it I think I will make the decision to delay my trip to 2022 to see it all.

Hang on…what about the reimagining of Tomorrowland?

Urgh I need a nap.

Advertisements

Disneyland Australia?

One of the questions I get asked most when I mention to people that I’m a Disney Parks fan is the age old question for Aussie Disney fans;

Do you think they will open a Disneyland Australia?

Here’s my answer;

No. 

Would I like them to?

That’s a harder question. 

First, let me explain why I don’t think we will ever get a Disneyland park in Australia. 

The main reason we will never have one is population. 

For a Disney Park to be profitable, you need a minimum of 5 million visitors per year. Now you might think “that’s not too many! Disneyland gets 14 million a year!”. Yes but let me remind you that the state of California has a higher population than the entire country of Australia. Yup that’s right. Australia only has a population of just under 24 million. 

So that means you would require over 1/5 of the entire country to visit every single year. 

As a comparison Warner Bros. Movie World has an attendance of around 1 million guests per year. So you would need to increase Australia’s theme parks attendance by 5 times. 

Now you might say “But tourists will also go!” Ok true. But where do majority of our tourists come from? Asia. How many Disney parks are there in Asia? Four in three locations so why would they travel to Australia?

What about American Disney fans, they will travel right? Probably not. Would you go on a 14 hour flight and pay thousands of dollars to visit something that is a copy of an original you have in your backyard? Probably not. 

For these reasons we will never get our own park. 

Now would I like one?

Yes of course but I think having one here would take away a bit of the unique experience I get traveling to the states to visit the parks. 

Now just because I don’t think we will ever get a park doesn’t mean we won’t have a Disney presence down here in the future. 

We will most likely get Disney Cruise Line sailing out of Sydney at some point. I think when Disney expands their fleet and adds more ships they will run itineries in our waters. 

But the thing I think we will get that is closest to the parks is an Aulani style resort somewhere in Queensland. Maybe Port Douglas or Hamilton Island. 

To the average Australian, a high quality beach resort is more appealing than a theme park holiday. It also costs far less to run so our low population will not be an issue. 

I think this is the closest we will ever get and even then I don’t see it happening in the next 10 years. 

Sadly I think we are all going to remain Disney Detached for quite some time. 

Adulting is Hard

Wake up. Eat. Work. Eat. Work. Eat. Sleep

Wake up. Eat. Work. Eat. Work. Eat. Sleep

Wake up. Eat. Work. Eat. Work. Eat. Sleep

Wake up. Eat. Work. Eat. Work. Eat. Sleep

Wake up. Eat. Work. Eat. Work. Eat. Sleep

Recover

Recover

REPEAT FOREVER!

That above, in a nutshell, is adult life. We kill ourselves 5 days a week to just spend the next 2 recovering so we can kill ourselves again for another 5. We work our butts off so out of 365 days of the year, we have money to do what we want for only 124 of them (52 weekends plus 4 weeks annual leave).

I hate to adult.

One of the reasons I think Disney is so appealing to so many of us is it gives a break from, for lack of a better word, adulting.

But sometimes adulting is inevitable.

Enter the mortgage.

Currently my wife and I are preparing to buy our first home. I use the term home very loosely as for within our budget in Melbourne I’ll be living in something similar in size to Walt’s apartment above the firehouse.

Now the first step is always saving. Literally taking every cent you earn above what it costs for your current rent and food and putting it into an account and watching it, very, very slowly creep towards the amount you need to be able to go to the bank and say “I have all this money! I’d like some debt please!”

Now how does this relate to Disney? Well, this is where adulting comes into it.

There are times in our lives where we need to take a step back and think about what’s best for 10 years from now rather than what do I want right this second.

Right this second I want to be planning a Disney trip for next year, and the year after that and the year after that and so on and so forth. I want to spend $10-15K just on Disney every single year. But, I can’t do that and save for a home as quickly as I need to. Owning a home is an investment, and like all investments, the sooner you invest, the better the returns.

This kills me. The thought that I won’t be able to go to Disney till at least 2020 makes me anxious. Also, the only way I will even be able to go in 2020 is if I manage to reduce my fortnightly spending enough to save an additional $150 per fortnight outside the house deposit for the next 3 years.

So that’s sacrificing a lot right now, for a 3 week trip in three years time.

And that’s hard because it’s not like Disney is my only interest. I’m a sneaker head and love to buy nice new sneakers, I like going out for dinner and to the cinemas and lots of other things. So I will be reducing the amount of times I get to do these things in order to satisfy my Disney addiction in 3 years time.

But the most important question is; is it worth it?

That’s a very good question and probably one I wont know the answer to until 2021.

This is an element that is much worse for us who are Disney Detached.

Why?

Well when you live so far away from something, it costs a lot more to get there.

Flights from Melbourne to LA are usually somewhere between $1,100 and $1,400 return for economy. So for myself and my wife that’s $2,800 just in flights to get to Disney.

When you are spending that much to get somewhere, you usually choose to stay longer to make the most of the cost of the airfare. However staying longer also costs more.

You see the problem?

Trips to Disney for Aussies are very expensive which means we have to usually make larger sacrifices in order to visit event half as often as an American of similar financial standing.

This is just a reality, one I have accepted and try to mentally deal with each and every day.

However there are ways to cheat…a 5 night trip to Aulani is only $5,000 in August. I gotta go call my wife!

 If you enjoy this blog please click follow in the bottom right hand corner or follow me on twitter and Facebook @disneydetached 

Detached from Disney

Hello, my name is Mort and I am an addict. 

Do I smoke? No, never had a puff. 

Do I drink? Does a Mai Tai once a month count?

Do I gamble? When in Vegas. 

No I don’t have any of those traditional addictions, my addiction is Disney. 

When I say this to people I get blank looks, sniggers and astonishment. I should probably explain that I live in Melbourne, Australia. The most liveable city in the world, if you’re a millionaire and can afford to. A city of sport, high end restaurants, enough coffee shops for every person to have their own, art that makes no sense and no Disney.

What do I mean by no Disney?

No Disney Parks. 

No Disney Stores. 

No Disney Cruise Line port. 

Nothing. 

Not. 

A. 

Single. 

Thing. 

Do we get Disney movies? Yes of course we do but Disney has little to no presence here. Much like the Trade Federation and Tatooine but without the Hutt involvement. 

So what does that mean? 
Well it means that I usually have a 2 to 4 year gap between getting my Disney fix. And that sucks. 

I am Disney Detached. 

Have I always loved Disney?

In a way yes but not really. 

Like all people born after 1985, Disney movies were a big part of my childhood. 

I believe the first movie I ever saw at the movies was Toy Story. The first movie I watched on repeat on VHS was Peter Pan  so it’s safe to say as a child I loved Disney. 

However, as I grew up, I grew out of Disney. I still saw some of the movies. Mainly Pixar, nothing after Lion King really caught my attention from Disney Animation. I moved onto other things. Music and girls…mainly girls. 

The point is that without Disney being around and engrained into Australian culture like it is into American culture, it’s relevance to me was lost. 

So how did I get to where I am now?

As I got into my late teens, I met my wife. And a rite of passage for all couples is always the first trip away. And as poor uni students living in Australia we went to the most exciting place we could afford. 

The Gold Coast. 

Now why is that important to this rambling story? It’s the Theme Park Capital of Australia. 

Now I had been to the Gold Coast 3 times prior to this and had enjoyed theme parks. However on this trip I fell in love with one in particular. Warner Bros. Movie World. 

I fell in love with the escape, leaving the real world behind and entering a world of wonder and manufactured perfection. 

Over the next few years I tried to get to Movie World ever year or so but I was still heavily into my music so it wasn’t a huge focus. I was trying to make it as a rockstar and I was completing a Bachelor in Audio Engineering so I was pretty busy and distracted. 

Fast forward to the next rite of passage of life. You get a full time job and what comes with that? Money. More money than you have ever had. You first start blowing it on stupid things. Sneakers, guitars, clothes ect but eventually you do what every Australian does. You sit down and watch the episode of Entourage where they go to Las Vegas and you yell out to your girlfriend in the other room “Hey you wanna go on a trip to America?”

Ok well maybe not everyone does exactly that but you get the idea. 

So we started planning the trip and given my love of Movie World there was of course one plane I HAD to go. 

Universal Orlando.

But wait, isn’t this blog about Disney? Yup you’re right but you’re not misreading. I didn’t really care about going to any Disney Theme Parks. I was a huge Harry Potter fan and I’d heard everything about this brand new Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I had to go. Disneyland and Walt Disney World? Well they are just for kids right?

It was actually my wife who said “Well we are starting off in Los Angeles and then going to Las Vegas we should probably stop at Disneyland while we are there because it’s kind of on the way.” I agreed because I was getting 4 days at Universal Orlando and didn’t think I should push my luck on monopolising this trip anymore. 

So fast forward to about 14 months later and after 3 nights in Los Angeles we hailed a cab and made outlets way down the highway to Anaheim. 

We arrived at the Fairfield Inn at maybe about 3pm, dropped off our bags and went to pick up our 2 day park hoppers to be used for the next two days. 

I’d done very little research before coming but knew there were 2 parks and a shopping district. Given we weren’t heading into the parks that day is said to my now fiancĂ© “Lets go check out these couple of shops then go back to the room”. 

I wasn’t even prepared for Downtown Disney. 

First of all, World of Disney blew my mind. A store this huge just for Disney merchandise? This is insane! 

We made our way through and we’re fascinated by the Lego store, yet another thing we didn’t have in Australia at the time, and finally made it down to Rainforest Cafe. 

Now I know Rainforest Cafe isn’t fine dining but in Australia we don’t have themed dining like that. This was everything I loved about Movie World in a restaurant. I was excited to say the least. 

So I went back to the room after dinner, my belly full of Chicken Fried Chicken and we went to sleep excited for the day ahead. 

The next day I found my Nirvana. I stepped foot on main street and was in awe. 

“Wait these buildings look real? They don’t look like theme park buildings”

“It’s so clean! Look! That person is using a feather duster in a hedge!”

But the moment I will never forget is when it happened. When I was hooked. Peter Pan’s Flight. 

The moment that I flew over London I could t believe my eyes. The attention to detail, the charm, the whimsy. I was in heaven and I never wanted to leave. 

Those two days were the two best days of my life up to that point and still only surpassed by my wedding day. 

Universal was a disappointment compared to Disney. The attention to detail wasn’t there and it just felt sterile. 

From the moment I got home from the trip and even during the trip. I was distraught that I wasn’t going to get back to Disney again. 

That was 2013. It is now 2017 and I have been back to Disneyland this year and to Walt Disney World in 2015 and in the time in between I have educated myself on all things Disney and love everything about the company. 

I will share with you how I cope with being so detached from Disney, my thoughts on new Disney offerings and news and just my love for all things Disney. 

I am a Disney nut. 

But sadly, I am Disney Detached.