Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The state of America as seen at Walt Disney World

We just returned from our second adventure to Disney. I know I said after the last trip we wouldn't be going for a few years, but the opportunity arose and I couldn't pass it by! So my mom, M and I traveled up from South Florida and this time we stayed 3 days on property and visited 3 parks.

There are many things that have changed in the 30 years I have been visiting Disney World (about 100 visits, and 6 months of working there in those 30 years). Rides are updated constantly due to technological advances. There are new movies, which means new characters, new merchandise, etc. There are new parks and the old ones are constantly growing and changing. And in the last 30 years strollers have taken over the parks.

When I was young we never used a stroller. I went to Disney for the first time when I was 3, and my brother almost 2, and we ran around the park until we passed out, and then were carried by a parent. When I worked there I actually worked in the stroller department a few times, and while many were rented, the sheer amount of strollers in the park today is out of control.

Now my gripe isn't with the majority of parents pushing their kids in strollers. We had our Uppa Vista for M, and followed the rules and parked it in the designated "Stroller Parking" areas like the law abiders that we are.

Here is who my gripe is with: the totally lazy parents who are pushing around their 4+ year old kids, who 9 times out of 10 are totally overweight, and taking up the stroller space that should be used for kids with 2 and under kids. And this is just the root of my problem...

America is fat. America's children are fat and out of shape.

Ok, not saying that all children are fat and out of shape, but a lot of them are...and a lot of the kids at Disney were lazy fat kids being pushed in strollers by lazier fat parents. And it really grinds my gears to see this!!!

Listen up lazy parents!! Your kids can walk. They do not take naps. Your kids need the exercise. Make them stand up and walk. Make them use their legs!!

Having to have a stroller in Disney is a total pain in the ass. You have to find stroller parking, which is not necessarily outside the ride you are on. You have to unload your stroller for fear someone will steal your diaper bag. You have to navigate the walk ways and stores very carefully as it is stroller madness! I cannot wait until the days when I don't have to take a stroller places. Now I make M walk whenever she can, and leave the stroller in the car most places we go. I wouldn't even have brought it in the park if she didn't have to have somewhere to nap for 2 hours straight.

But in all seriousness America is getting fatter and fatter, and all I need to do is look in the mirror or at the photos of me from this last trip to Disney to see the proof.

Yes, I am pregnant, but I went into this pregnancy about 15 pounds heavier than I was with the last one. I actually lost those 15 pounds at the beginning of 2011 and looked great. Then I hurt my foot (plantar fasciitis) and couldn't work out for 6 months. Then I got lazy. Then I started fertility treatments and was so tired I didn't work out when I could. And then I started eating everything I wanted...and then came the 15 pounds back. I look at the photos of me from last week and cringe because my body has never looked so bad, and this baby is just going to hurt it even more. I keep telling my husband that in 3 years, when both kids are in school I will be in the best shape of my life, but until then, he is stuck with my jiggly self.

Back to my point...fat people with fat kids, pushing them around in giant strollers when they are old enough to walk, really grinds my gears.

These are the parents I witnessed buying their kids multiple muffins with icing and pastries, with chocolate milk for breakfast. Now, you can't go blaming Disney for serving them either. I am amazed at the healthy choices at every food location in every park. There are salads, and veggie wraps, and hummus and vegetables, fresh fruit and low calorie options everywhere. Does anyone choose to eat them? I sure as hell didn't, but I can't fault Disney as 10 years ago it was chicken fingers and burgers everywhere. You are actually pretty hard pressed to find a burger at the parks now! But the fatties seem to still sniff them out of course...

I know, this is a mean post, but I just can't get this image out of my head: a very obese woman, with her overweight husband have a stroller in front of them while riding the boat from the Yacht Club to Hollywood Studios. I can see the arm of a child but can't see the actual child from where I am sitting. When we all get up to disembark the boat I see that the stroller is for a young girl - who is about 8 years old and obese herself. Are you kidding me? The girl ran out of the boat just fine, but 30 seconds later she wanted to be pushed in the stroller...LAZINESS ALL AROUND. Granted there could have been something wrong with her, but I saw her run and skip, and from what I saw she seemed healthy except for the 50 extra pounds she was carrying around.

And that wasn't the only case - all around were heavy kids, who barely fit into the strollers in the first place, being pushed around by their fat parents.

Don't even get me started about the obese adults who rent wheelchairs or scooters because they are too fat to walk!! If you walked you wouldn't be so fat!!!

I am going to shut up and go eat a cupcake. What? I am pregnant! (at least that is my excuse now, what was my excuse 4 months ago!!)

That is all I have to say.


  1. I had the same thought a couple of years ago when I took H to the Bronx zoo for the first time. I was SHOCKED by the number of kids in the 5 - 8 range being pushed around in strollers. If your kid can't fit in an umbrella stroller without turning sideways and crossing their legs, it's time to start walking!
    The thing is, I can understand the temptation if your doing something like running though the mall for a couple of things and you're pressed for time. But places like Disneyland and the zoo? Aren't you there for your kids? Can't you take the time to go through at their pace?

  2. I know it is my thing to say let's take it easy on other parents, because you don't know what they are going through and life is hard enough...but I can't say I disagree about the older kids in strollers. I have seen that even here in Boston - when they had the Tall Ships a few years ago, I spotted many an old kid in a stroller, with their little knees bumping their chins. At the time, I figured it was just so the parents could keep track of their kids - it was awfully crowded. I guess we are so used to strapping our kids into cars, into high chairs/booster seats, into everything else, that maybe it just seems natural to strap the kids into a stroller. But yes, it does seem very sad and unnecessary.

  3. Oh my! Horrific scene as I was imagining it. Sorry for saying, I will feel the same way too...I will be disgusted for sure. We rent strollers when visiting Disney but the kids only use it when they are really tired and want to take a nap or when we are in a crowd as we want to keep them safe. We never tolerate them to just sit on the strollers the whole time.

  4. I am planning to spend my vacation in Disney with my kids and I have a second thought of bringing strollers along. Someone suggested to try Disney World stroller rentals I guess it'll be helpful for moms like me :)

  5. Agree. Parents should teach their children to be active, not stay in strollers most of the time. This is one way of fighting obesity which is one major health issue of the country.

  6. How can the kids enjoy their stay if they are strapped in strollers all the time? It should be a fun time for them.

  7. Some parents are abusing the use of strollers. If the child can already walk, there's no need to put them in strollers. A little strategic planning will help your trip to be stroller-free.

  8. I just came back from my 7th Disney visit, and I thought it was my imagination!! So many fat kids and ADULTS in strollers (or Scooters). What is this world coming to??? My family feels like we are being invaded by hippo shaped humanoids. One rather young woman (around 30ish) was even complaining about how some moronic walking person almost walked right into her scooter??? I felt like saying to her, maybe she should try walking the parks are completely different when you are up on your legs, the way we were meant to be. Just out of sheer laziness. My daughters took a picture of one of the displays of snacks, the donuts and cookies were meant for an entire family, not an individual. I have never seen a donut, muffin or cookie that size here, but then I don't see the rampant obesity in adults and rapidly expanding kidlets either. A very sad situation. Some even need oxygen, but they are not too sick to indulge in large mickey icecreams etc.