Overall it was a very entertaining trip with the "land-cruise" combination being the ideal scenario since one week in the amusement parks would be overdoing it and one week on the cruise ship would cause some cabin fever I believe. In no particular order are my observations regarding the Disney experience:
- Luggage -- they really minimize how much you have to handle your luggage which of course is necessary since you are probably watching children, carry their equipment, etc.
- Customer Service -- excellent service on board the Disney Wonder cruise ship but the amusement park staff (primarily the food concessions) were not at the quality level that you would expect from Disney. I would that most of the restaurant staff be sent to the Disney Institute so they can learn the quality process -- http://www.disneyinstitute.com/
- Amusement Parks -- for adults I recommend visiting EPCOT Center and Animal Kingdom. The country exhibits (Italy, China, Norway, Mexico, United Kingdom, etc.) at EPCOT are a great way for Americans not interested in touring overseas to actually give a glimpse of other countries (although it is no substitute for the real thing) and the safari ride at Animal Kingdom was very entertaining and educational.
- Children -- the Dumbo ride is nothing more than a similar ride at your local carnival plus given the nearly 1 hour wait for the 2 minute ride is not a good ratio in terms of "time consumed versus fun produced" - my own formula :-)
- Staff -- the cruise ship meals allow you the opportunity to get to know the wait staff. Our head server was "Witt" from Thailand who was married with four children. He works for Disney for 6 months at a time and then had 2 months off to visit his family in Thailand. Witt stressed that the Disney job provided the economic opportunities he would not be able to have if he worked in Thailand.
- Obesity -- my only fear while touring Disney's parks was not crime of any kind but my fear of being run down by a motorized scooter or wheel chair used to transport very obese people around. Truly it was stunning how large people have grown and the prevalence of the obesity. I don't believe there is an "obesity epidemic" that requires government programs to be created to help people lose weight -- instead we need to reduce government programs such as subsidies paid to sugar producers. Ultimately we pay twice as tax payers -- 1.) sugar subsidies and 2.) health care expenses.
Our days at the Magic Kingdom are over as we fly back to reality.
Enjoy your travels,