Insights into Teens: Episode 3 “The Happiest Place on Earth”

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Joe and Madison are on location at Disney’s Polynesian Resort for this look at all things Disney World. We discuss some of the great family memories from over 12 years and 18 trips to Disney World. Madison discusses her favorite parks, rides, places to eat and fondest memories of a place she’s technically been visiting longer than she’s been breathing air. It’s a whimsical and nostalgic look at The Happiest Place on Earth from the point of view of a soon to be teen.

Insights Into Teens

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:10Welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth, your hosts, or Joseph and Madison, Waylon, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.

Speaker 2:0:39Welcome to insights into teens, episode three, the happiest place on earth. Today we’re on location in Walk Disney World in Orlando, Florida. We are actually recording from the pollination a hotel and resort. I am Joseph on your host and my cohost, Madison Wayland. So today’s podcast, because of our venue, will be dedicated to Disney world. Disney world has been a frequent family destination for us, for vacations in the past. How many times have you been here? Let me ask you that.

Speaker 3:1:20So I’ve been here 18,

Speaker 2:1:2210 times, and I’ve been here one more time than you so far. So I’ve been here 19 times. Disney world has a lot to offer. I think you’ll agree that every time we’re down here we see or do something that we haven’t done before. And now we’ve been here so many times. So let’s talk about your experiences with coming to Disney world a 18 times a lot. Most kids are lucky if they get to go to Disney world once in their lifetime. Why do you keep coming back?

Speaker 3:1:59Well, we are DBC members and this is. We’ve had a year of annual pass holders, which means we could go to the park whenever we want it to, so we would come back for that. We’ve done that for three trips now. This will probably be our last trip of doing it.

Speaker 2:2:19So explain to me what a DVC member is.

Speaker 3:2:22I’m a navy seal, stands for Disney vacation club member.

Speaker 2:2:27It’s kind of a sophisticated thing for, for teens that basically. I know you said that

Speaker 3:2:33something about like when you guys got ’em, so land on Disney property.

Speaker 2:2:40Well what it really is is the equivalent of a timeshare timeshare is when you buy into a property and you’re entitled to a certain amount of time that you can spend at that property each year. Disney works a little bit differently in that they use point instead of days and so forth. So you can spend the points as though it’s currency, but basically you buy into it. You are effectively a part owner of that property. We pay taxes in Florida, for instance, on the timeshare, but basically it allows us to have a place to go for vacation. It’s not just Disney world. We’ve used it at Disneyland in California. Uh, you kind of apply your points to the cruise, the Disney cruise, and there’s a whole selection of other vacations that you’re going to do. So we keep going back because we are annual pass holders, meaning we can go basically to the parks when Colin Gayle was due. Please during that time. Correct. And we’re vacation club members. Is that really the only reason that you want to come back to busy?

Speaker 3:3:48No, we liked it coming to the parks. Okay. We like to buy stuff out. We can only get here and not anywhere else.

Speaker 2:3:58So Disney exclusives. Well, if you like coming to the park, Disney world has for theme parks, it has to water parks. There’s miniature golf, there’s golf courses, there’s a lot to do down here. So let’s talk parks. What is your favorite theme parks at Walt Disney World?

Speaker 3:4:26I’d have to say the magic kingdom.

Speaker 2:4:28What, why is that?

Speaker 3:4:29Well, because there were a lot of writers I like that I like over there and a whole bunch of different things. It’s basically there are good restaurants like that we go to eat there and most of them and mostly mean eventually go to are there as well.

Speaker 2:4:47Okay. Of course. Smallest part that is true. It is the smallest part on property.

Speaker 3:4:53The district is to just have the most drugs

Speaker 2:4:55and I think because the rides are so close together they can have more rights. Like for instance, you look at fantasy land, you’re going to literally get off and walk across the pathway and get on another ride, but you look at other parks like epcot and you have to walk a long way to get to the next ride. Um, you mentioned restaurants. What is your favorite restaurant that you had at Disney world? Magic Kingdom. I’d have to send that one by the haunted mansion. I can’t remember its name. Is that the type of tavern? Columbia Harbour House?

Speaker 3:5:26No, it’s like the one where like you would walk in or like also to mention. So I would normally sit down at one of the benches and then you guys would go in the line and get the food and then bring it there.

Speaker 2:5:40Liberty tree tavern.

Speaker 3:5:41Yeah, that’s what I meant. I know it was a type of tavern

Speaker 2:5:44that was family style. So they serve you everything at once and you basically take what you want for that. Yeah, pretty much. What is your favorite ride and magic kingdom?

Speaker 3:5:59I definitely know that one of them is splash mountain.

Speaker 2:6:02Splash mountain is a good one, especially now that convinced me to actually go on with us

Speaker 3:6:08is another one.

Speaker 2:6:09Now the roller coasters,

Speaker 3:6:11of course I get scared every time and I kind of feel nervous going on it, but because I normally go on it alone because neither of you guys would come on the rollercoaster.

Speaker 2:6:21That’s correct. Mommy and daddy are not rollercoaster people by any stretch,

Speaker 3:6:25but you did go with me.

Speaker 2:6:27I did. And that he does not fit very well on barnstormer.

Speaker 3:6:31Well, that’s part of the reason why you didn’t go on it and we’re trying to persuade Miami this year to go and barnstormer saying it’s not that bad. It’s very short and it’s like five minutes

Speaker 2:6:41and I think we’re very close to convincing or this year.

Speaker 3:6:44Yeah, she’s really close. I just hope she goes on.

Speaker 2:6:53You’ve been coming here for how many years now? How would you believe me if I told you you’ve been coming here 13 years.

Speaker 3:7:02Well, yeah, I would believe you because remember you guys saying the first time we ever came here you were in my stomach?

Speaker 2:7:09Yep. You were. Mom was carrying you on her belly. The first time that you came here, you basically been coming to Disney all your life. You’ve been here 18 times, which means you come to Disney more than once a year on average. What is your favorite Disney world memory? There’s A. There’s a lot of over 18

Speaker 3:7:33drips. I definitely like when you first went on splash mountain and when mommy had already went on at once and when we realized we were in the first two rows while he was like, no, five out.

Speaker 2:7:47Yes. That was funny. We got up to the front two rows and the attendant, the attendant told Mama to get in the front row and mom just decided at that point in time she wasn’t ready to go back on splash mountain and then we went on. There was a memory that I have that I wanted to share that I don’t know if you were a member, you were young. You were probably two or three of the time we were in epcot and we went to the Disney visa photo opportunity where you can get a free photo if you’re Disney music card holder and we were the first ones in line. They started taking pictures and the camera and Oh, I remember that. And instead of them basically canceling a session, they had us wait there while they went to get another camera and this was about 15 minutes or so. It took to get a newer camera. And while we were waiting the cap, the cap, the characters out there and they played duck, duck goose and hide and seek with you for 15 minutes. It was the greatest thing ever. It really was.

Speaker 3:8:54Yeah, I remember that.

Speaker 2:8:56And, and you were just beside yourself having so much fun playing with the character as mommy and Daddy. Absolutely. Love that one experience.

Speaker 3:9:04Yeah, I can remember that. I didn’t, I didn’t think that the camera actually broke each other.

Speaker 2:9:09Well, I don’t know if the camera broke or ran out of batteries either way. They had to replace the camera and it took a little bit of time there.

Speaker 3:9:15Yeah, I just thought they were, they just wanted to protect the goose. Really think there was a problem with the camera.

Speaker 2:9:21Well, and no one was taking pictures except mommy and I with our phones at the time.

Speaker 3:9:31So let’s talk resorts.

Speaker 2:9:34So you’ve been here 18 times, I have to assume you stayed at the same place all 18 times.

Speaker 3:9:41Yeah. So you get kind of worn it would,

Speaker 2:9:45you’ve said it a lot of places. Of all the places you’ve stayed at, what is your favorite resort?

Speaker 3:9:50Um, is it okay if I share three favorites? Because I have three favorites. Absolutely not including this right now, but this might be included as well. That’s fine. So one of them is, there was what we stayed at last time we came, which was art of animation. Okay. That’s one of the newer ones. And after I tell you everyone, I’ll tell you why I. I also liked old key west.

Speaker 2:10:20Oh, qs is a nice one. We were actually an old to us last night.

Speaker 3:10:23Yep. And I also like pop century pop centra care. That’s one of the um, so tell me why you like those three. Well, I like art of animation because when you go in it’s pretty cool because there are like there are drawings on the wall or painted drawings and as you walk by you see how they get colored in and more sophisticated and stuff like that. And I really thought that was cool. They also had really, um, they had really nice statues, which I like. The Little Mermaid one which we stayed at was a really nice resort. It, I really liked the chairs because there were seashells and I liked like having them plastic because I don’t know why am

Speaker 2:11:12does a very good job saving their resource.

Speaker 3:11:15Yeah, I like that and I am. I like the fact that when we were trying to walk the big pool, even though we didn’t actually go swimming in there, they had all sorts of the cool statues and my favorite one was from the lion king and it was the elephant graveyard warm. Oh yeah. That was very cool. Yeah. They also had one with Mu Fossa on pride rock and I’m sober tomorrow and Puma. I’m walking along and that one scene where simple stern role, that was very cool.

Speaker 2:11:49Life Life. Which is really mean is you feel like you’re literally through the movies themselves.

Speaker 3:11:55Yeah. And even it even seemed like you were walking through the pride lands because of her plants

Speaker 2:12:01and it was really hot. We were down too, so that helps. Okay. So that was our foundation. What did you like so much about pop century?

Speaker 3:12:09Well, kind of similar to already been rationed because I really liked the statues were staying in toy story and I liked the fact that the stairs leading up or like the stairs to our for our part was the army men bucket. Really funny. And I also liked the fact that there are four areas in one of them because in pop century there is the music area, the sports area and where we’ve stayed at the, um, movie area.

Speaker 2:12:47Well, no, that’s your all star resorts start. Pop Century is divided up into years.

Speaker 3:12:56Oh, I forgot I met all stars or sorry.

Speaker 2:13:00Well the all stars, resorts or frontier, like the pools, the pool at all. Star sports is like a baseball field, which is really neat. So yeah, they do a very good job of that. And what was the third one you said?

Speaker 3:13:14Third one was old key west. So what is so spectacular about old key west? Um, I liked the way the rooms were position. What do you mean by that? Well, I mean there’s like, it’s not one big thing. They’re all spread out randomly. Okay. And they were multiple rooms for each section and I also liked the fact that when we stayed there yesterday, um, we were able to stay in a next sweet. Yes we were, we stayed in a two bedroom suite. So it was basically like an apartment or house. Yes, it was huge.

Speaker 2:13:59Do you think you’ll ever get bored coming to Disney?

Speaker 3:14:02No. And why is that? Well, because whenever I’m able to go to the parks there’s always something I want to do and there’s like, there’s always something special, like a special reason why we go at that time, the special reasons, like in an activity or a birthday and, and, and each trip is unique in its own way. Like what kinds of activities? Like then we went to the Christmas party or the Halloween Party in California. Didn’t know how important Florida, even though I forgot it, I don’t really remember. But if I have a description overall, I remember well just the fact that you can go from magic kingdom and trick or treat I think is really cool. Yeah. That’s real cool. And you get to dress up so you really adults or above off that time.

Speaker 2:14:53So you like coming back because there’s always something new to do or some special occasion. Why are we here this time?

Speaker 3:15:00Because of,

Speaker 2:15:03uh, yes. Birthdays, we’ve done a lot of different things down there. We did for one very special birthday at Mommy’s. We did a cruise, a fireworks groups. Do you remember that? We picked up a pontoon boat with a driver over at the Grand Floridian. We cruised the seven seas lagoon and Bay Lake for a little bit. And then we um, parked out over in the seven seas lagoon right in front of the castle. And we watched the fireworks show in the boat. Even had the music on and everything. So it was really neat. Now you’ve experienced a lot of Disney. Is there anything about Disney that you don’t particularly like? And you can be perfectly honest. Not Everything is perfect so you can. Oh, there’s always room for improvement.

Speaker 3:16:01I can definitely tell you that every time I go away, that is nice.

Speaker 2:16:08And where do you typically have to wait?

Speaker 3:16:10Raj? I’m never able to go on anymore. Give me an example. Sometimes both. What year?

Speaker 2:16:18Sometimes. Supposedly. Well last time we were here.

Speaker 3:16:20I know like because of the Christmas party there weren’t a lot of people there and we actually went on. Oh yeah. Um, can I say another one of my favorite Disney moments. Another favorite Disney moment was when that happened last year.

Speaker 2:16:34And what was that one?

Speaker 3:16:35That one was when we were at the Christmas party and when the firework we’re about to go off with her by buzz lightyear and we just. And it was a five minute wait so we just went on and then it stopped a couple of times but. And then when we came off the fireworks we’re still going. So we went back in and then that time we stopped for a really long time. So we just kept shooting and shooting until we got the highest score. And then basically we weren’t even at the end of the Rod. We’re like at the very beginning. So he just like turned around and spawn because well we can really have anything else to do.

Speaker 2:17:11And that was broke down and we weren’t moving so where we were and had a lot of targets for us to shoot, which is captured in the targets.

Speaker 3:17:20And then when we got the high school we knew we were going to take a picture of it. So we did.

Speaker 2:17:26Yeah, that was a good one. So you don’t like waiting in lines and where do you typically read in lines? Just on Ronnie’s

Speaker 3:17:34mainly. I don’t know what else you would really need to win line like I know at restaurants, but yeah, restaurant waiting in mine are sometimes a pain because whenever we’re at an early reservation we always have to wait.

Speaker 2:17:49Yeah. So we tend to get the reservations early just as a precaution I think more than anything

Speaker 3:17:55also because that one time in that, in that one little bit in the other liberty restaurant, we were waiting for a really long time and like there was no seating so I was just standing somewhere. Yeah, I don’t really stand that much, but it’s Disney. You’re gonna find a Christian. You’re going to stand. Yeah. I remember the first time when you guys told me to that you wouldn’t put me in the stroller and that in that time we went, my legs were killing me.

Speaker 2:18:26Yeah. That’s a hard lesson learned in business is having to do all that walking.

Speaker 3:18:30Yeah. The only place where you do the most walking I think is upcott. Yes. That’s a big part of the biggest biggest is which one? You know, kingdom that will never go to and I’ve only really remembered the one time we went, which was, I don’t know, the hour, 16th time,

Speaker 2:18:50something like that. I have lost count.

Speaker 3:18:53Yeah, me too, but I forget. No, because. Well hopefully one day I’ll be able to go back.

Speaker 2:19:02Yeah. I don’t think you’re going to have too much of it.

Speaker 3:19:06Probably not. Why not? I won’t go back. I don’t know. I mean, you guys, ever since that day, we’ve said every time everyone that isn’t. After that day we were like, okay, we’re not going and looking at them. Okay, we’re not going to animal kingdom.

Speaker 2:19:20Well, we have annual passes. Was very pleased. There’s no reason not to go. If you want to go this way, you can ride through the dinosaur right again and keep your eyes closed all the time.

Speaker 3:19:30I’m not keeping my eyes closed.

Speaker 2:19:37Just is famous for its princesses. And when kids come to Disney you get to be a princess or a pirate or something like that all the time. So if you were a Disney princess, which Disney princess, would you be

Speaker 3:19:52fair enough,

Speaker 2:19:53Meredith from which movie?

Speaker 3:19:55Great.

Speaker 2:19:56And why is that?

Speaker 3:19:58Well, I’ll make because she’s very independent and basically the movie was about, she didn’t need a prince. She could do it all on her own. She didn’t need to pinch to rescue her. She didn’t need help from anyone. She just wanted her to live her life independently and yeah, stuff like that.

Speaker 2:20:17Okay. So, so despite the fact that that is a huge star wars fan, you sought marital chores over Princess Leia?

Speaker 3:20:30Yeah.

Speaker 2:20:36So we are down at the Polynesian now. We’re here for partially from Mommy’s birthday. Is there anything special that we’re going to be doing down here?

Speaker 3:20:48The one thing that Mommy said that we’re going to do on Tuesday was a party at magic kingdom.

Speaker 2:20:54Right. And that is a party for DVC members, so that will be on where we get to stay at the park late. What’s your favorite time of day? Do you like getting to the parks early? Do you like being there in the afternoon? Do you like being in there in the evening,

Speaker 3:21:13day in the afternoon, staying til night.

Speaker 2:21:15Okay. Why is that?

Speaker 3:21:17Well, in the morning you’re not really all awake and you need some time to get yourself fully up, so if you go in the afternoon, you applying a time to rest and then you can go and go the park and then they there all night.

Speaker 2:21:41Mommy is

Speaker 3:21:43like having to go at night because some of the lights are on and it’s pretty cool.

Speaker 2:21:49Yes. The part, especially at night I say mommy would disagree with the time of day. Mommy is very much a morning person. Would you agree? She loves to get there at rope drop when the park first opens and it’s neat. We’ve done it. We’ve been here for star wars weekends when they were doing them and when you would get here to a Hollywood studios at rope drop ticket booths where you would buy your tickets, the storm troopers would be up on the roof, put on little shows and stuff like that for the crowd that are waiting. So that was always kind of a neat little thing to get her early for. But I agree with you. I don’t. I prefer to get here in the afternoon, especially given the weather here because it does get a little hot.

Speaker 3:22:42Yes. And it’s winter now and I’m wearing shorts and a tee shirt.

Speaker 2:22:49Yeah. So it’s big. It’s pretty warm down here. It’s not too bad today. Bad typing in the seventies today. So, but in the summertime it gets pretty brutal down here,

Speaker 3:23:01which is why would never go into summer anymore. I remember the first time I went in August and we were trying to find shade and we had to actually go in the bathroom to keep because of air conditioning and all the shops to have air conditioning and we still do that in the winter and spring.

Speaker 2:23:17That is correct. One of the reasons for that is because if we come some time rather than summer, we have to pull you out of school. So anyway, um, I think that’s all the questions that I had for you today. Did you have any closing remarks for us about your trips or trips?

Speaker 3:23:39Just that I hope this trip is as good as the rest.

Speaker 2:23:43Okay. That’s going to do it for the podcast today. Uh, I did want to put out there, we do have our email set up now, so if anyone is listening and wants to send us some feedback, comments, questions, anything you’d like to see us discuss on the podcast, you can email to And I think that’s going to do it for the podcast today. Thank you Madison for being with us. Provide.