web analytics

Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down on Disney World – All in the Same Day!

There is absolutely no doubt – I love me some Disney World.  Some of my most magical moments and favorite memories were made in Disney parks.

My cousin Margaret is in Walt Disney World right now, and the entire first day of her vacation has been a stressful, tear-filled disaster.  Through no fault of Disney’s, her airline lost her luggage, claimed she never checked a bag, said Disney’s Magical Express team picked it up by accident, and ultimately found it this afternoon in Ft. Lauderdale.  In the suitcase were all of Margaret’s clothes, the princess dresses she bought for her two nieces, and other personal items – in other words, everything Margaret needed for her vacation was in that bag.

She spent hours on the phone with the airline, stressed over the girls’ having their dresses for their long awaited dinner in the castle, and worried about not having the allergy medicine she packed “just in case”.  But, like other plus sized girls, Margaret’s biggest concern was getting clothes that fit.

plus size princess

So, here’s what Disney did oh my gosh, so right.  They very generously offered Margaret a credit on her account to help her either replace her clothing or enjoy a meal or two without worrying about the extra expense of taking taxis to replace items at stores away from the resort area.  Again, this was in no way Disney’s responsibility, and this little bit of pixie dust is the midst of such stress was really the one bright spot over the two days of agony.

But here’s where I think Disney fails some of us sometimes.

It’s one thing if you lost your luggage and you were a regular sized person.  You can find virtually everything you need at Walt Disney World – underwear, shorts, bathing suits, dresses – both fancy and casual.  But when you’re a big girl, you are, for lack of a more appropriate term, screwed.

Up to a certain extent, you can probably find t-shirts or sweatshirts at Disney World if you are plus sized.  You may even find shorts or sweatpants.  But you’ll have to spend your trip pretending it’s panty-free Friday if you’re a plus sized gal in the House of Mouse.  There will be no underwear to be found.  Forget finding a bathing suit bigger than a 14 or 16.  Even if you settled for living in your bathing suit for the whole vacation (and just adding pearls to go to Victoria and Albert’s), you won’t find one in your size if you’re a bigger person in the pixie dusted domain.

Now, of course, you can take a taxi to the mall, the local outlets, even WalMart for essentials, but that adds an additional expense, takes you away from the parks and the vacation fun you are looking for, and when you’ve got kids in tow (Margaret is traveling with four of them), now you’re talking about a cab ride for the whole crew and keeping the kids corralled while you try to find the things you need in an unfamiliar mall.  Definitely not the way to start a vacation.

I’m not saying it’s on Disney to carry every article of clothing in every size.  It would be unrealistic to expect to lose your luggage and have options such as boxers or briefs (I have found men’s boxers, by the way); Michael Kors or Zac Posen; or every color of the rainbow.  But maybe just a few more items in a sistah’s size would go a long way to making a stressful start to a vacation a little bit easier to swallow.


Lost Luggage – Don’t Let it Be a Vacation Bummer

Jim and I flew to Vegas one year, with snow on the ground here in Philadelphia.  We arrived at the airport in Las Vegas only to find our bags were snow delayed somewhere in Chicago.  I was wearing stirrup pants (don’t judge – they were still in fashion) and a butt covering, thick wool sweater.  Did I mention it was 90 degrees in Vegas?  I sweat my ass off as we walked to the mall at Caesar’s, only to find out almost everything there was so far over my budget and under my size, I was certain I’d have to be naked the whole weekend.


There is nothing that can ruin a vacation faster than lost luggage.  Beyond what you need to do with the airline to help track down your bags, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re not devastated in that just in case moment.

1 – Be prepared with your carry-on bag.  Make sure any medications you’ll need are in there, along with money, credit cards, attraction tickets, and identification.  Beyond that, throw an extra pair of panties in there, along with some clean socks.  If you’re going somewhere where a bathing suit is needed, put it in your carry-on.  If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried on 4,298 suits, ordered from 184 different online vendors, and it’s unlikely you’re going to find one you’re comfortable in at the resort gift shop.  Going out for dinner your first night?  Pack a nice blouse – one that will work at virtually any location.

2 – Dress for your destination.  Had I just put on a t-shirt with a sweatshirt over it before I left Philly for Vegas, I would have been WAY more comfortable when I arrived by just taking off the sweatshirt.  Jeans are good just about anywhere, and can be rolled up into a capri pant (or an ankle pant) if your destination is warm.  Another good thing about jeans is that you really can wear them to just about any restaurant – dressed up with that nice blouse you have in your carry on bag.


3 – Talk to your hotel concierge or front desk.  Before you make that run to the local Walmart to replace your toiletries, check into your hotel.  Most hotels will have a pretty well stocked bathroom – soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion.  Some hotels, however, also keep a supply of toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs, disposable razors, and other small toiletries that might get you through at least your first night or two, at which point, your bags might actually arrive.

4 – Have a positive attitude.  Yes, this is inconvenient.  You might have to spend money you didn’t budget for – although hopefully, you’ll get money back from your airline.  But do your best to make it work.  If you’re vacationing for fun, put the worries on the back burner and have all the fun you intended to have.  If you’re traveling for work, use this to show people what a trooper you are – even without luggage, you’ve shown up on time and are raring to go.

If you let this ruin your trip, it will.  So don’t let it!