Kriner and I have very little in common. He is vegan; I love meat. He is an exercise fanatic; I sit on the couch and use the remote. I love musical theater, he would rather go to the dentist. I’m loud; he’s quiet. He’s a planner, I’m spontaneous. He gives 100%; I clock in around 60. He’s concerned with the state of the environment; I’m concerned with the state of entertainment. Kriner hates being embarrassed, and unfortunately for him, that is where I live.
There is one thing however, we have in common which will surprise many. We both have an undying love for Disneyworld. I’m completely and utterly serious. We love Disney and all things Disney. For all its consumerism, marketing, plastic and fakery, we “buy in” big.
Disney has the ability to melt my cynicism and snark and leave me in a puddle of tears when walking down Mainstreet USA, listening to the constant orchestrated soundtrack and watching the faces of children. (They actually release doves when the park opens.) For Kriner, it is a place of amazing rides, education and culture. (Disney really does sneak in a lot of cultural and environmental education under the guise of “fun.”) We really love it.
When we go to Disneyworld, I leave everything up to my husband. Kriner is all about the planning. Disney has four parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios) and he has researched them to the hilt. He knows the short cuts, the good food, and the trouble spots. He knows where to go and what to avoid. He knows what parks open early; he knows what parks are open late. He knows where the parades are going to be, and most importantly he knows how to manage the lines. We have been there 3 times, and we have never, NEVER waited more than 13 minutes in a line for a ride, and even that is a rarity. I am completely serious. And these aren’t dumb insignificant rides like Goofy’s Barnstormer, and the lame tram in Tomorrowland; these are big, impressive rides like Space Mountain, Dumbo, Peter Pan’s Flight, Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain. He has a system and it works, but it comes at a cost.
In order to make it work, we need to strictly adhere to the system. We take our vacations pretty seriously, and no one ever returns from a Woodworth/Kriner vacation feeling relaxed and well-rested. We have things to do and Disney characters to see. Kriner is the captain and Em and I his crew and we do what he says, no matter how taxing it may be. It almost becomes a bit of a religion with its own dogma and practices. He even has Commandments…
1. There shall be no sleeping in. All wise and good men and their families shall be up before the sun so they can cleanse and feed their bodies in order to make pilgrimage to the chosen park of the blessed day. All feeding during the breaking of dawn shall happen in the holy hotel room, as it saves consecrated time and blessed money.
2. A wise man and will be waiting in line before the park opens. When the park opens in the sacred time of the early morning, there shall be no dilly dallying, and all rides in close proximity shall be shunned, for they are evil and can tempt a man into a hellish line. The wise man will move to the back of the park and work his way back to the front, moving against the tide of the unwise who are sinful line-waiters. It is then that his good and chaste wife will travel with haste to the other most desired and deserved rides and obtain the righteous and holy fast-pass.
3. The fast-pass is a thing of glory and shall never be mocked or taken in vain. It must be heeded at all costs. There shall be no stopping for ice cream or photos with park characters if it means missing a fast-pass. It is the way and the law.
4. A man must not be afraid to run verily in the park in order to avoid the temptation of the hellish line. If the good wife is hesitant to do this, she must repeat the mantra “It’s OK, no one knows us here.”
5. At the holy hour of 2:00 pm, a wise man and his family will go back to the holy hotel room for a time of replenishing. This is the blessed time of swimming, napping and snacking.
A wise man and his family will then return back to the sacred Disney fully refreshed at 6:00 pm for dinner and again, he shall go into the park against the tide of the unwise, exhausted and often sunburned man who is leaving at this time. The wise man is refreshed and jubilant going in. The unwise man is spent and cranky going out.
6. After the 6:00 dinner, the family members will then have time to be “open to what they want to do” and no plan need be followed. This is the most special time of reward for the man who had planned, as the wise man knows. This is a time of low attendance in the park and hellish lines can be avoided. However, this special evening time may not coincide with special evening parades, for then the purpose is lost and he may again be tempted down the path of the hellish lines, as the unwise man seeks out the parades, the wise man avoids them.
7. Midday meal will be planned and shall not be eaten with sloth or vanity. It is sustenance only and if possible, should be eaten while walking. The only meal of the day that can be eaten with enjoyment and abundance is the evening meal. Reservations for all evening meals must be made in advance at least 30 days prior to the pilgrimage. This is done to avoid the hellish lines.
8. If a wise man’s mother-in-law is with him on his pilgrimage, a wheelchair must be procured for her, even if she is perfectly capable of walking. Without it, she will be slow and weak. The divine wheelchair will also help with avoiding the temptation of the hellish line, as on certain glorious rides, the mother-in-law will be able to move to the front of the hellish line and her family can also be permitted into the glorious gates of “handicapped access entrance.”
Also, if a child is under the age of 6, a stroller will be procured for the child. The good and wise wife will push the child even if the child is perfectly capable to walk. This also makes sure that all young and old people do not stray from “the way” and get diverted into the temptation of the t-shirt shop or the evil pin seller.
9. There shall be no pilgrimage to the consecrated Disneyworld Parks during Christmas, Easter, or Halloween. Those are times of the most evil temptation and the hellish lines cannot be avoided even by the best of wise and good men. March, May and June are blessed times for the hallowed passage and the wise and good man will be rewarded.
10. There shall be no staying on park property. It is wasteful and mocks the holy Priceline and the blessed Orbitz. A wise man and his family will get a hotel in the glorious city of Orlando and rent a car to travel to and fro. (Also, a wise man will use his AAA status to get the glorious green parking pass to get sanctified “rock star” parking.) This wise man might be tempted to get a midsize or larger car, but that is not the way. The car shall be economy and the mother-in-law or child can be cramped in the divine back seat for that very short distance. They shall be rewarded in the park afterwards for their suffering.