I grew up very close to Disney World. Visits punctuated my childhood like sledding or apple picking may have in other regions. When I was a kid, it was magical. When I was a preteen, my visits were a chance to be free from chaperones and maybe even to get into a little mischief with my friends. In college, I was completely disdainful. I ruthlessly picked apart the themes of each ride. The sexism and overly sanitized views of history destroyed any fun I might have had during that very cynical time. I even considered writing my thesis on the Carousel of Progress. As a young parent, I was Disney-shy and had big questions about the consumeristic messages, princess culture and general bombardment of the senses.Now, as a somewhat seasoned parent, we simply go to Disney World and have a fun time. My kids like it alright, but are not huge fans. What I have done recently to occupy myself while riding the monorail or more likely, waiting in line, is to watch the other visitors trying desperately to have a good time. The money a family must spend for a week at Disney is outrageous. The expectations for intense memory making and magic slam right against the sliding glass door of reality. High prices, long lines, hot weather, and whiny kids make this place a real challenge for many families.