17 Ways Disney World Isn't So Magical For Parents

Flickr user Craig Brown

So I just got back from another trip to Walt Disney World, and as far as my kids are concerned, it was the most magical trip of their little lives. They had a blast! But between you, me, and my husband, we're much happier to be back at the real happiest place on earth: home.

See, when you are a parent, you do Disney for your children — and it's rough. Sure, there are folks there without kids having a grand ol' time, but if you are there with your kids, you are there for your kids. Period. Don't get me wrong — the joy and excitement that my children get from a few days at Disney is worth all the eye rolls, stepped-on toes, and bickering that goes on behind the scenes as parents. But I'm in Disney hangover mode, which means I'm still at the point of vowing to never, ever go back again (which is what I said last year, by the way).

Here are a few less-than-magical parts of Disney World for us parents.

You Will Spend a Small Fortune

There is no way around it: the happiest place on earth also feels like the priciest place on earth.

These Balloons Cost $20 Each

Like I said, you will spend a small fortune.

There Is Only 1 Starbucks

Speaking of lines, did you know there is only one Starbucks in the Magic Kingdom? Just one! And finding a to-go cup of coffee elsewhere is not as easy as it sounds. This means if you are an exhausted parent trying to getting pumped up for the long day ahead, you've got one shot to get your coffee on — but you better really want it, because that line is no joke.

The Stroller Wars

Oh dear lord. Not only do you need to score a spot to park your stroller, but you also need to find it when you get back from your ride (because 99 percent of the time, it will be relocated in your absence). And don't even get me started on the way some people use their strollers as battering rams while rushing through the happiest place on earth.

People Leave Their Manners at Home

You know how in most situations people will walk on the right side of a path, let others go first, hold doors for strangers, and give a little personal space? Yeah, at Disney World, not so much. It is every dreamer for himself as soon as you walk through those gates. We actually had a guy jump over one of our strollers to avoid going around us.

The Characters Take Breaks, Often

. . . And it's usually when you were next in line after already waiting for 40 minutes. Cue toddler meltdown.

You (and Your Small Children) Will Wait in Line For Everything

Literally everything. Bathrooms, monorails, any ride, guest services, buying something at the gift shop, dole whips, etc. You name it, you will wait in a line for it. Which is awesome, because most kids are superpatient, right?

There's Practically Nowhere to Sit

Someone dropped the ball when planning for seating around the parks, because unless you want to sit on the ground (which we always end up doing) or in the boiling-hot sun, you're pretty much SOL.

You Will Say "No" a Lot

Like, a lot. From toys to mouse ears to candy, the temptations for your children at Disney World are literally everywhere you turn. By the end of the day, when your kids start to ask you something, you'll probably just end up blurting out "no" before even hearing what they have to say.

Your Kids Will Eat This For Every Meal

I do appreciate the kid-friendly fare at every establishment (and the fact that Disney is absolutely ah-mazing with food allergies), but my kids face a harsh reality once we get home, because ice cream is no longer an option at breakfast.

You Convince Them to Ride Something, and Then They're Terrified

For my kids, it wasn't a ride; it was the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. We told them there was nothing scary about it at all — and totally forgot about the explosions, guns, and dead people everywhere. They were both terrified, and they cried the entire time. Fail.

The Whole "Is That the Real ______?" Predicament

My daughter spent a good majority of the time asking me if each character was, in fact, the real so-and-so. I didn't want to lie to her, but I also didn't want to spoil the magic, so the struggle was real. My answer, most of the time, was a simple question response: "Well, honey, do you think she's real?"

There Is Only 1 Way to Meet the Real Anna and Elsa

If your child wants to meet the Frozen sisters, then unless you somehow scored a Fast Pass online (which is pretty hard to do, by the way), you're going to need to wait in a very, very, very long line. I don't understand . . . Why doesn't Disney just add another set of sisters somewhere else in the park?

The Magic Bands Have Taken Over

I was pretty excited, as this was our first trip with Magic Bands, but let me tell you: I'm less excited now. Not only did we seem to have issues with ours every time we had to touch our bands to something, but also, my small children insisted on wearing theirs but were always dropping or misplacing them. And long gone are the days of just grabbing a Fast Pass when the line is too long — Fast Passes are now well calculated 60 days in advance online.

The Play Areas Are Completely Mobbed

So you might think, "Hey, let's let the kids run around a little bit and hit up a play area like the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure." And then you get there and it's more crowded than the park. It's more like "Honey, where the h*ll are the kids?" Every parent is looking for at least one child, and it's a total madhouse.

Someone Will Get Sick

I'm not saying who or where or why, but someone or, if you're lucky, all of you will get sick. Extra magic points if someone vomits while still at a park.

The Inevitable Exhaustion
Flickr user Matthew Juzenas

The Inevitable Exhaustion

Disney is exhausting for everyone. Kids tend to stay up later than they've ever stayed up in their whole entire lives, not to mention all the walking you will do during the day. You will all need a few days to recover — that's a guarantee.