The Super Bowl is being held in a cold weather city for the first time this year, but I chose to travel to its more traditional setting, Florida. Phil Simms had to win a Super Bowl to go to Disney World; I just had to have kids.
Home ownership and a better future for our children was the American Dream until risky credit and the pursuit of "stuff for me, right now" put middle-America in a toy-filled house that can't be paid off in a statistically realistic lifespan. Now the dream is a family pilgrimage to the "happiest place in Earth," where debts are less likely to be forgiven, but you will learn to appreciate the yoke of your mortgage for the week you're a captive of Orlando theme park prices. Then, like all dreams, you wake up and face the bills.
We visited Disney World years ago, but our youngest son has reached the optimum age for consumption of theme park-related Chinese merchandise--six. He also can't wait to get on an airplane and "see Australia" on the way. This is probably also the last time our early-teen boys will want to go with their parents, and my wife wants to escape a near-record-cold Toronto winter. For an anal retentive person like me, paradise is a place where it's clean enough to eat a stranger's food scraps off of the cafeteria floor after five seconds--if you could find any.
But my main motivation is more subtle. Football.
My favorite US professional football team, the Denver Broncos are contesting the Superbowl. There is nowhere better to watch the big game, if your supporter's pride has you in a roller coaster of emotions, than Disney. If the Broncos win, then I'm celebrating at Disney like a champion. If they lose, what better place to console myself than at the "happiest place on Earth." Everyone will be happy. My wife will enjoy the commercials, which you don't get on a Canadian feed. The kids will enjoy the game-time snacks and poking each other.
And Disney will enjoy collecting the proceeds.