What's With All You Adult Couples Who Vacation at Disney World?
Dear "That Couple":
While scrolling through my social media pages at 11:46pm during a bout of it’s-too-late-for-that-third-glass-of-wine-on-a-Wednesday, I grew deeply perturbed by how many of you there are -- “you” being that couple in your late 20s (or 30s!) opting to use a week’s worth of precious vacation days for a "romantic getaway"... to Walt Disney World.
I’m not here to judge (well...) I’m just asking you to help me understand your peculiar choice of destination for an amorous getaway. I have so many questions.
First of all, girls: why do you do this to your men? Why do you put them in this terrible position in which the only way to make you happy is by wearing matching Mickey Mouse ears in an awkward prom photo? Is that Instagram picture hashtagged #themickeytomyminnie really worth his manhood to you? You’re supposed to look out for the man you love, but now all his buddies are roasting him during Rangers game commercial breaks.
That’s your fault.
Mature people, theoretically like you, are supposed to do mature-people things.
And guys, vacationing to Disney World with your ladylove is like going on a date to a bridge-and-tunnel bar: both are filled with young people and tourists. The same way kids are supposed to love Goofy and Muppet*Vision 3D, millennials are supposed to love dancing at McFadden’s and sloppily making out with commuters waiting for the 1:56am train home. But mature people, theoretically like you, are supposed to do mature-people things like sip IPA and spend quality time with their significant others. NEITHER OF WHICH should be done at McFadden’s or the Magic Kingdom. Expressing the inimitably adult feeling of romantic love in such an adolescent world is creepy. The same way you’re hopefully not yearning to have passionate sex with bae in your childhood bedroom beneath that Pamela Anderson poster still taped to your wall. What is it about the forcefield of Dumbo the Flying Elephant that makes you feel so close to her right now? What am I missing?
Here’s what I picture as a romance-dripping moment with my boyfriend: a summer road trip with a solid playlist, hiking up a mountain to take in the panoramic view at the top hand-in-hand, good conversation over a bottle of cabernet. Here’s what I definitely don’t picture: screaming children sticky with funnel cake, $15 food court slop served on Styrofoam, sweating like hogs in 99% humidity... the list goes on and on, kind of like the lines for literally every damn thing in the park.
But the biggest romantic buzzkill of all? Life-size puppetry. You and your sweetheart are gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes, and that’s when Donald Duck waddles up behind you and begins theatrically flapping his wing-hands. Everywhere else in the world, a stranger approaching you from behind with no pants on is deemed sexual misconduct.
You assert that you both desired a warm-weather vacation. That part I totally get. Perhaps sunshine is truly all you need, so to you, buying $400 plane tickets to inland Florida for the opportunity to shake hands with Aladdin is so worth it. But FYI, sunshine isn’t indigenous to just Orlando. If it’s romance you’re after, take her to Charleston, South Carolina, because I have two words for you: The Notebook. If you think Cinderella’s Castle will leave her starry-eyed, imagine kissing her beneath the very canopy of Spanish moss where King Ryan Gosling filmed the most passionate love scene of his career. That’s like comparing Olive Garden to Sicily.
Everywhere else in the world, a stranger approaching you from behind with no pants on is deemed sexual misconduct.
And don’t do that. Don’t cover for your girlfriend and insist you’re there for the roller coasters -- that’s a lie bigger than the guy who ran over your foot with his motor scooter by the Dippin’ Dots stand. I’m a front-row Kingda Ka veteran; and if you two are true adrenaline junkies, Space Mountain and Runaway Train won’t cut it because they don’t go upside down. You’re better off thrill-seeking at a Six Flags in New Jersey. These are facts.
This is your traveling prime time! You’re both young and spritely enough to actively explore new places, yet mature enough to appreciate their uniqueness (especially since you now have the money to do so -- sort of). Your hangovers aren’t too vicious yet, so a day of cultural sightseeing is still doable after a night of moderate-to-heavy imbibing. Essentially, you’re in the process of adulting, but you’re not full-on grown-ups whose 5-year-old twins in matching footsy pajamas are screeching, “WE WANNA SEE MICKEY!!” You’ll have that, a pair of Tevas, and a midlife crisis to look forward to 10 years from now.
Until then, round-trip flights to Charleston are down to $260 on Kayak -- no Mickey Mouse ears required. You’re welcome.
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Brooke Sager is a contributing writer for Thrillist who had the time of her life at Disney World... when she was 8. Follow her mostly mature adventures that didn’t happen in Orlando on Instagram and Twitter: @HIHEELZbrooke.