Bob Sehlinger, founder of the Unofficial Guides Series, shares with us his sense of humor in every Unofficial Guide. Today, he delivers his latest installment of The Importance of Being Goofy, which has been a staple in The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World over the years.
You see, what really makes writing about Walt Disney World fun is that the Disney people take everything so seriously. Day to day, they debate momentous decisions with far-ranging consequences: Will Pluto look silly in a silver cape? Have we gone too far with The Little Mermaid’s cleavage? With the nation’s drug problem, a constant concern, should we have a dwarf named Dopey?
Unofficially, Bob thinks that having a sense of humor is important, and it’s probably necessary that you, too, pack a good dose of humor when visiting the parks, making sure you have the most fun possible at Walt Disney World. In this last installment of The Importance of Being Goofy, Bob looks at how intense trip planning can be. Keep in mind that this was written pre-COVID-19 when Fastpass+ reservations were a must.
Edgar and Francine are sitting at their kitchen table. Francine is swiping maniacally at her iPad as Edgar looks on befuddled, his head in his hands.
“Who knew planning a trip to Disney World was such a pain in the keister?” Edgar grouses to no one in particular. “And I thought signing up for health care was bad.”
“Now, now, Edgar, let’s think positive!” Francine commands. “OK, we know when we’re going—now we have to decide which Disney park to visit each day!”
“What if we don’t wanna go to a park every day?” Edgar pleads.
“Doesn’t matter! Gotta choose so we can reserve our FastPass+ times for specific attractions in the park we’re visiting! You can request a specific time, such as 1 p.m., or you can let the FastPass+ system give you its ‘first available’ reservation,” chirps Francine, sounding rather like a press release.
“OK, fine,” Edgar shrugs. “Monday at Epcot—let’s get FastPasses for Soarin’, Test Track, and Living with the Land. Those are the ones we’ve always gotten FastPasses for before.”
Francine, suddenly serious, clasps her husband’s hand meaningfully. “Edgar, everything has changed. Now we can only get a FastPass+ for one of those.”
“But you said we could reserve FastPasses for three rides—”
“That’s right—just not the three we want! We can also pick two from Journey into Imagination, Captain EO, or Spaceship Earth!”
“Now wait just a minute!” Edgar exclaims. “You can walk on those anytime without waiting! And what have you been smoking to think I’d wanna ride Journey into Imagination? I’d rather be forced to watch The Monkey’s Uncle on repeat!”
“Oh, calm down, Edgar, I didn’t make the rules! Now . . . if I don’t make any mistakes, I can get it all squared away on the Disney website in just eight steps!”
“Well, I guess that doesn’t sound too bad,” Edgar concedes. “Eight steps online and we’re done.”
Francine looks over her glasses. “Not so fast—I have to repeat the process for every park for each day we’re there. We also have to choose our restaurants and when we want to eat each day so we can make our Advance Reservations.”
“For the love of Pete, Francine! How am I supposed to know where I want to eat and when I want to eat it half a year from now? What if we’re too tired? What if we filled up on turkey legs and beer and we just wanna skip dinner?”
“Sorry! If we have an Advance Reservation—say, we want to meet Buell and Myrna for dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby on Thursday—we have to decide on Wednesday whether we need to cancel. If we wait till Thursday to back out, we have to pay a no-show charge for all four of us.”*
“This is insane!” Edgar sputters. “Next you’re gonna tell me we have to book the pool at the Polynesian!”
*Everything above the asterisk is true. Below . . . not so much.
“I was just getting to that—one thing at a time, please! Now, since we know we’re going to Epcot on Monday, we need to apply for visas to all the different countries in World Showcase, except for Mexico and Canada, of course.
“Oops, almost forgot: When would be a good time for you to work in a BM? Let’s say we eat dinner at the San Angel Inn on Monday—you know what Mexican does to your colon. If we go to the Magic Kingdom the next day, we could make you a PottyPass+ reservation for the Tangled restroom! Just remember they charge a ‘Crapper Camper’ fee if you stay in there more than 10 minutes—EDGAR, ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME???”