10 Biggest Lies You’ve Been Told About Disney World

Even if you’ve never been to Disney World yourself, chances are very high that you know multiple people who have been there. But as you might imagine, not everything you hear about the happiest place on earth is true. In fact, you’ve probably heard some lies about Disney World — lies that may paint the attraction in a slightly rosier light than it might deserve.

Below, check out the biggest lies you’ve been told about Disney World.

10. Plan ahead and you can skip all the lines

People stand in line at the Test Track ride at Walt Disney's Epcot Center

Sorry, but this aspect of Disney World is one you’ll just have to deal with. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • The truth: You can’t skip all the lines.

Let’s start with one of the most disappointing lies about Disney World: that smart planning means skipping all the lines. Unfortunately, that’s just not true. You can learn plenty of insider tips and tricks for avoiding the worst of the waiting. But TripSavvy reports that “no matter how much planning you do, you’re bound to end up waiting in at least a few (if not many) lines.” The only way to really skip all the lines is to pay hundreds of dollars — per hour — for VIP Tour Services. It costs $425 to $625 per hour, and you have to book a minimum of 7 hours. So a tour could cost you as much as $4,375 — on top of theme park admission.

Next: Don’t assume that you can do this without consequences. 

9. You should post all your vacation videos online

actor John O'Hurley poses with Pluto and three Disney-dressed dogs at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

Even the famous John O’Hurley may get in trouble for his vacation pics. | David Roark/Disney Parks via Getty Images

  • The truth: Disney could go after you for sharing your photos.

Once you’ve gone through the trouble to take photos or videos on vacation, you probably want to share them with everybody — which means posting them online. But as AOL notes, Disney’s lawyers could go after you for sharing your footage online because, technically, you’re violating Disney’s intellectual property rights. “You could theoretically get sued for posting a video of your daughter’s first ride on Peter Pan’s Flight and sharing it with everyone you know,” AOL explains. The parks don’t have a policy saying that you can’t share your photos of footage from your vacation. But they also don’t have a policy saying that you can.

Next: People assume that this is true — but it isn’t. 

8. Disney is the best theme park in the country

Disney park celebrating 40 years

There are plenty of awesome theme parks out there. | Ron Riccio/Disney Parks via Getty Images

  • The truth: There’s no evidence that Disney’s parks are really the best.

Disney World (and Disneyland) draw huge crowds of tourists, many of whom believe that a Disney park is the best theme park in the country. And the company definitely won’t correct that assumption. But there’s no evidence that Disney World or Disneyland really is the best theme park for you to visit with your family. There are plenty of other theme parks across the country — including plenty suitable for little kids and big kids alike. Many are smaller, regional parks that not only won’t have the lines you’d see at Disney, but also won’t cost you as much to visit and may be closer to where you live.

Next: Don’t buy into this lie, no matter how much you’d like to believe it.

7. You’ll see nothing but magic at Disney

General views of the Magic Kingdom with a crowd watching fireworks over the castle

Not all of life’s problems disappear once you enter Disney’s gates. | Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

  • The truth: The real world doesn’t stop at Disney’s gates.

Disney markets its theme parks as magical places where you won’t experience anything but happiness. But you can’t totally leave the real world behind when you enter the gates. Your children or grandchildren can still get tired and throw temper tantrums, even if you’re only at the park for them. (In fact, many parents hate Disney World.) You have to wait in lines for everything. Plus, people who are less-than-considerate outside the parks will only get worse when you add the heat and stress of the park. People push and shove as they make their way around the park, they subject each other to racist micro-aggressions, and they abuse accommodations made for people with disabilities. Not exactly magical.

Next: Similarly, you’ll realize that this is one of the biggest lies as soon as you set foot in the park. 

6. Nothing bad ever happens at Disney

Mickey Mouse at Disney World

There have been some very unusual crimes committed at Disney World. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • The truth: People commit crimes at Disney all the time.

Similarly, people forget that nightmares, as well as dreams, can come true at Disney parks. In fact, people commit crimes at Disney parks all the time — and not just petty theft of those overpriced souvenirs. Visitors to the parks have committed some pretty bizarre crimes over the years, ranging from taking hostages to abusing their children to attacking employees. Disney does an impressive job of keeping its parks secure. But you can’t assume that just because you’re at Disney, nothing bad can happen.

Next: Don’t believe the company’s lies about this aspect of the parks. 

5. Disney is going green

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees at Disney World in Florida for Passing Academy at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

The parks aren’t actually doing very much to reduce their effect on the planet. | Handout/Getty Images

  • The truth: Disney thinks about the environment, but doesn’t do much to reduce its footprint.

While Disney will tell you that its parks have gone green, things aren’t always as they seem. The Guardian reports that “While Disney is taking the well-worn path to corporate environmentalism, its business model still depends on enticing visitors to fly halfway round the world to shake hands with Mickey Mouse and ride a rollercoaster or two.” The parks are reducing their water usage, cutting waste, and reducing emissions — even as the company continues to encourage fans from the United States and abroad to hop on planes to Orlando and undertake environmentally-unfriendly vacations.

Next: Our society wants you to believe lots of lies about Disney, but you don’t have to buy into them. 

4. You *have* to take your family there

Woman with Beauty and the Beast at Disney World

A trip to Disney can seriously add up. | Chloe Rice/Disney Parks via Getty Images

  • The truth: Being a good parent or grandparent doesn’t require a trip to a Disney park.

In many social circles across America, people regard a trip to Disney as a mandatory part of a great childhood. Whether you’re a parent or a grandparent, you may feel some pretty strong peer pressure to take a trip to Disney. But you shouldn’t let other people dictate how you spend your money — or your vacation time. Erin Odom, blogger at The Humbled Homemaker, writes, “Not only does our culture preach Disney as something every child should experience, but it also portrays a trip to Disney World as the ultimate childhood experience.” Many people love Disney’s parks as much as they love its movies. But you shouldn’t feel that a trip to Orlando is mandatory if you want to be a good parent or grandparent.

Next: There are lots of lies and misconceptions about what it’s like to visit the parks as an adult. 

3. It’s not just for kids

family at Disney World riding the log flume

The kids have fun — but so do the adults. | Todd Anderson/Disney Parks via Getty Images

  • The truth: You’re still vacationing at a family-friendly park.

Glamour reports that there are plenty of things for adults to do at Disney. You can book a spa day at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resor or tour Italy via Epcot. Plus, you can enjoy fine dining at the Grand Floridian, or sleep in an over-the-water bungalow at the Polynesian Village Resort. You can even take a nighttime safari through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve or have a nightcap at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Fantasyland. Those things are all true. But the idea that you can take a truly adults-only vacation at Disney is one of the biggest lies about the park. Even if you do fill your itinerary with activities meant for grownups, you’ll still be dodging strollers and hightailing it past screaming toddlers.

Next: This is one of the biggest lies about a trip to the park. 

2. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience

Belle and a prince dancing at Disney World

If you didn’t get to go this year, there’s always next year. | Matt Stroshane/Disney via Getty Images

  • The truth: Most people who visit Disney go more than once.

Disney has long advertised a trip to its parks as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But for many people who go, it turns out to be anything but. As The Huffington Post reports, Disney has achieved a 70% return rate among first-time guests. “It’s tough to overstate just how impressive that is, especially for a theme park. It’s loyalty on a whole other level,” the Post explains. You could say that that means that people who visit Disney World love it so much that they just have to come back. Or you could say that the whole experience is perfectly designed so that you’ll have to come back to see and do everything you wanted. It’s all a matter of perspective!

Next: Don’t believe the company’s lies about this.

1. Disney is the perfect vacation for a middle-class family

People stand in line to ride The Magic Carpets of Aladdin ride at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

You have to decide if the hefty expense is worth it. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • The truth: Disney has priced much of America out of its parks.

The Washington Post reports that theme parks have essentially left the middle class behind. And Disney World is just as guilty as any other park. The Post notes that when the park opened in 1971, you’d have to pay just $3.50 to get in. Since then, the gate price for the Magic Kingdom has gone up 41 times. In fact, the price has nearly doubled over the past decade. As the publication notes, the cost of a Disney vacation has priced out many Americans. “For America’s middle-income vacationers, the Mickey Mouse club, long promoted as ‘made for you and me,’ seems increasingly made for someone else.”

Read more: These Brutal Theme Park Accidents Make Us Never Want to Ride a Roller Coaster Again

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