Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grumpy Mumblings - Disney Vacation "Must Sees!"

I always enjoy Disney's customized vacation planning correspondence. I don't necessarily enjoy it because it is useful or especially informative, I enjoy it because of the bizarre pleasure I get as a Disney blogger out of dissecting it.

I give Disney credit for going out of their way to "customize" these to your family. Seeing "The Trama Family" in my letter is always nice and makes me feel like Disney truly cares that I am planning to visit (or, as they often say and I like to paraphrase, "returning home.") Sometimes, however, Disney manages to brutally mess this up.

For instance, in October 2007 when I visited for the INTERCOT 10th Anniversary Party, I went with my good friend Lindsay. I put the reservation in my name, with my address, and my credit card but because Lindsay's last name comes before mine alphabetically, Disney ended up putting her as the primary on the account. Not a problem since we were traveling together and staying together. It's a little more annoying now when I still get stuff in the mail from them in her name. Especially considering we don't live together.

Even more annoying and perplexing are the occasional things I get addressed to "Mr. Trama Iii" or "The Iii Family." Why do I get such things? Because I officially list my name as "Neil Trama III" to differentiate (and in tribute to) my father "Neil C. Trama" and my grandfather "Neil Trama Sr." Disney does not always grasp the concept of a suffix.

So anyway, I got an e-mail earlier tonight (thankfully addressed to the proper "Trama Family") and couldn't help but chuckle at some of the lunacy contained therein.

It opens: "There are so many wonderful things to see and do, we thought you might like a few handy links, customized recommendations and helpful travel info to keep your vacation plans running right on track."

Not so bad. Until I notice that one of the "customized recommendations" is to "dive in" to Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park. This might seem innocuous to you and to average Joe Guest...except that Typhoon Lagoon will be closed through December for winter rehab. With my vacation smack dab in the middle of December, you can see why this might be a silly thing to put in an e-mail. Worse yet, the average person who doesn't scour the internet for information like water park hours might actually think going to Typhoon Lagoon is a good idea and buy a Water Park & More MYW option. Poor saps.

The water park ad, I should note, wasn't just a small typo. It was 1/3 of the whole e-mail.

Also included is a feature called "You've Gotta See This!" Disney thinks I "gotta" see the American Idol Experience. (Thanks Disney, but if I didn't need to review it for the blog I run then I'd be doing almost anything else.) Also Expedition Everest, Soarin, and Pirates of the Caribbean. OK, well 3 out of 4 ain't bad.

Disney also helpfully suggests that I (during the course of my whopping 3-day stay) do the following: Nighttime fireworks, Nightlife beyond the parks (WHAT nightlife!?! They closed Pleasure Island!), Great shopping (they don't suggest I do any bad shopping,) Watercraft rentals (I'm staying at the Pop,) and "Move It Shake It Celebrate It" Street Party (I had no idea this was still running...shouldn't they change it to the "Move It Shake It Volunteer It" Street Party?)

We also have links to the mom's panel, the vacation planning DVD, weather, and phone numbers.

Aside from a specialized December weather forecast (the helpful "average temperature 73") there was absolutely NOTHING tailored to my vacation here at all. They suggest rides that have been open for years, virtually non-existent nightlife, and a feature on a water park that won't even be open. GEE THANKS, Disney!

I don't know why they even bother doing this sort of thing if they're only going to insert your name into the same e-mail that goes to every single person with an upcoming reservation. Anyway, don't mind me. Those are just my grumpy mumblings of the day.


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