Friday, June 25, 2010

Why do you need all that stuff?

I'm taking a break from being angry on Fridays... somewhat. I still have the capacity to complain though. Let's discuss hauling stuff around Disney theme parks.

When I was young my family would make a yearly trip to Disneyland. Aside from it being a blast (though occasionally stifling) it was pleasant and relaxing. Our cargo for the day? Nothing at all. This includes my parents. My dad brought his wallet which was all we needed.

These days I'm a less of a casual visitor to the parks and now find myself among the masses of tourists. Living out of a suitcase forces many people to want to take a portion of their belongings with them. Water, wallets, sunglasses, cameras, portable DVD players, buckets of chicken and two liter bottles of Shasta don't carry themselves. There are various ways to strap these items to yourself.

Backpacks are great in that they will hold everything you'd want to bring with you to the park. My wife and I pack one up ourselves. I've stopped complaining. The only real purpose it serves for us is a method of bringing sweatshirts/jackets, a few bottles of water, and a change of shoes for Jill. We immediately shove it in a locker and forget about the contents until it's time to leave. Some people lug them around all day and I can't for the life of me figure out why. They're heavy and they make your back sweat. The fact that people don't know how to queue in this country also makes them even more pleasant. People forget that they have an extra foot of mass hanging off their back and bump everybody over and over.

Purses are another option for those not wanting to be an obnoxious backpack wearer. Some people call them messenger bags, cross body bags, or baggallinis. They're purses. Like the backpack, the purse is a lot of empty space to lug around unless you must have the kitchen sink with you at all times. Leave it in the locker with your backpack.

Compartment vests are stupid. Are you on a fishing trip? No. You look stupid. Knock it off. Nice safari hat. It looks almost as stupid as your vest. You know what? It looks stupider. The fact that you entire family is copying your ensemble makes it even worse. Are those Crocs???

Fanny packs are my wife's preferred way to carry all the comforts of home with her. She can cram an entire pharmacy, a pack of Kleenex, her camera, her phone, her sunglasses, and a partridge in a pear tree inside that little thing. It's pretty small and not that noticeable. I've grown indifferent. I'm almost 32 and I've realized that I tend not to notice what skinny people wear. I'm not about to wear one but I don't really care anymore. They're small enough to ignore.

Cargo pants/shorts are how I roll. I'll admit that I don't carry a whole lot with me. I'm a pretty spartan traveler as is so it's more of a question of what can I leave behind rather than what I can strap to myself. I've recently discovered the magic of cargo pants that can become shorts!!! The legs unzip and become a pair of shorts. The cargo compartments are big enough for the legs to be stored in but I usually have a small package of Kleenex in one of them so they go to the locker as soon as possible. If I carried more stuff with me I'd probably look pretty dumb but since I don't I think I've got a look that is pretty stealth. I don't need to be admired and who would admire me anyway.

I carry my wallet, phone, and a small pack of Kleenex. I'm switching over to transition lenses in the next month so I won't have to fuss with separate sunglasses anymore. As far as a water bottle goes I'll be using those handy water bottle straps. I'll probably have to check out Bass Pro or Scheel's since I think Disneyland has decided to stop selling those nifty straps.

All in all we do what we're comfortable doing. Some of us reduce the load as much as possible while others find ways to take it all with them. There's no wrong way to do it. In the end it's what you're least embarrassed doing. Enjoy yourself unless you're wearing that damned compartment vest and stupid hat. I'm going to point and laugh at you. I don't care if you are from Germany. You still look dumb.


  1. Here's a link to some photos of those LOVELY vests -

    Gotta love those crazy DISers!

  2. He unzips it partially to make him feel cool.