Schadenfreud -what the heck does that mean anyway?

Trip Start Sep 12, 2009
1
14
Trip End Sep 19, 2009


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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Germans have a word which has no equivalent in the English dictionary…Schadenfreude… which means to be happy at others misfortune.

We don’t practice that … because we’re not like that … but we took a cue from the leaders of industry and policy around the world and decided that this is the time to change our course … because we’re like that.

We decided that if we wanted to take advantage of other people's misfortunes and have a great vacation that we normally couldn't afford - this is the time. 

Taking advantage of people is wrong...but they are practically begging us to do so...so why shouldn't we?

We knew our kids must have the right-of-passage and go to Disney's Evil Empire of Happy Endings otherwise their childhood will simply not be complete (at least this is what we were subliminally told by the Mouse Overlord) and the daunting bills of psychiatrists trying to justify the kids’ misery loomed over our heads like a magicians cap and animated brooms.

Because we’re good parents we wanted to take our four (AND A HALF!!!)  year-old daughter to visit the Empire before the magic disappeared…because she still believes in princesses...and because we're good that way…because she has us wrapped around her little finger (but don’t tell her that). 

An added bonus is that our son (2) will be able to run around, play and see his favorite characters in bigger than life customs reigning terror and autographs wherever they may wish…

Scaring little kids into submission, who would do such a thing?

When we usually go on vacations we go in the style of "planned spontaneity"…because we like to plan...yet be spontaneous at the same time. 

Some say planned-spontaneity doesn’t work, but it has worked wonders in all our vacations…except the ones that didn’t…which are most of them.

This vacation had to be planned…because of all the stuff to do…because the Evil Empire doesn’t want you to leave once you are in their grasp.  Becoming an Imperial slave seemed like a daunting the mission the more we looked into it…because there is so much stuff to do...  which is why this time we had to plan.

Let the research begin….

We scoured websites(Disboards.com, allEars.net, MouseSavers.com, etc.) bought a book (Fodor's Disney with Kids 2009), asked friends, co-workers and family. 

We got lots of great tips.

First, we needed a time frame.

We figured on beginning or mid September...because most kids are at school...and we don't like kids...that's not true we like kids...just not 80,000 kids in a square mile.

We also might get a deal and we like deals...because we're cheap that way.

Hurdle number one has been passed – we got a time frame (in your face Evil Empire), now we needed to figure out where to stay…because we like a roof over our heads…because even Imperial slaves are human beings...not animals.

Thanks to Uncle Sam’s generous tax refund...
-----
"we took more money than we should have.
Here it is without the interest. 
What? 
No thank you?"
-----
...we settled on the Animal Kingdom Lodge...because we're not human beings, we're animals...because we are Imperial slaves.

You can say whatever you want about the Mouse Overlord, but  he sure knows how to make you smile while willingly handing over a stack of dead presidents...damn him and his wonderful magician's cap...not to mention his broom-wiseguys.

The lodge seemed extremely expensive, which bulked us…because there are certain things we refuse to pay for...like parking, clothes, food and shelter.

But the Grand Poobah Pumbaa had a benevolent moment and has earned our eternal gratitude by throwing in free dining plan as well as park tickets (more then $2K worth of "not spending")…because he’s an animal too...and maybe a slave to King Simba...who recently overthrew his uncle from the throne...they even made a movie about it.

The hilarity began when we checked Tripadvisor for reviews of the lodge... because we wanted to make sure we're getting a bang for our buck...because we're cheap that way. 

Needless to say we read the bad reviews first...because that's the kind of people we are.  As it turned out, some Imperial slaves managed to get away from the grasps of Goofy the Guard Dog and had nasty words to say about the Empire which ranged from the valid (cleanliness) to the absurd (too many children screaming).

What?

You are going to a Disney resort and complaining about...children?

No one ever brought it to your attention that maybe...just maybe... a Disney resort is more then likely to have a ton of kids running around (luxury or not)?

What's next - Florida's too hot in the summer?

We take our parental responsibility seriously…because we’re good parents…and our kids expect us to…we filtered between the all-too-valid reviews and the "I paid a ton of money and didn't feel I got pampered enough" reviews to the "we've had better".

After finishing our exercise in futility we felt as if we mined diamonds the whole day... we started in a screeching rendition of "Hi ho, hi ho" until we got angry looks from Mrs. DeVil across the street...who was saying "hi" back…you make the connection…because you’re smart that way.

Finally we were satisfied that this hotel, at least for us..the humble Imperial slaves..the Animal Kingdom Lodge would be the height of luxury …because this is our only chance to stay at a luxury lodge for the near future and the kids can complain all they want...not that they will...because they don’t know the difference anyway.

If the room is clean, has a hot shower, AC and a bed we're happy...just like the dwarf...because we also like to whistle while we work in a hot, dark, claustrophobic diamond mine the whole day…because the Empire insists on all it’s slaves being happy

As first rate Disney amateurs we contacted Small World Vacations where we were guided into the trusted hands of the Fairy Travel Agent Deanna..who is a real person...because she exists. 
She assured us she would take care of everything - all we needed was to tell her where we want to be and on what day.

This is where the real fun began....
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