Every now and then, I get some questions like, “Hey Steve, how do you afford to stay in all those fancy Disney hotels that you keep posting photos of?” And I hate to break it to the question-asker, but we don’t. We don’t actually stay in those high-priced hotels. Because we can’t afford to.
Okay, so we probably could afford to stay in one of them. But only if we went there once every 10 years or so. And if we saved heavily during those 10 years, like not turning on the heat in the winter. Or only using soap once every 5 days. And then only if we smuggled in bread and only drank water from the water fountains. Or something like that. Maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the picture.
So instead of actually staying there, we stay someplace much cheaper. And then we visit all of those fancy hotels. We walk around a bit and soak up the atmosphere. We shop in the hotel shops, sometimes even buying something. The cashier asks, “Would you like to have this sent to your room?” We just smile politely and say, “No, thanks. We can just carry it,” without ever mentioning that our room is a condo somewhere off property that they more than likely won’t deliver to.
We sometimes eat in the restaurants at these fancy hotels. Usually not the high-priced restaurants, but instead just the counter service places. The Gasparilla Grill at the Grand Floridian is an occasional stop, and Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian is one of our favorites. Although on this last trip we did splurge and go to the Spirit of Aloha dinner show at the Polynesian on our last night.
And then, after we have shopped and soaked up atmosphere and eaten, we get back in our car and leave, or get on the bus to head back to Disney Springs, where we have left our car. And we go to sleep that night thinking about how once you close your eyes and are asleep you can’t tell how much you did or didn’t pay to sleep in that bed.
I really don’t think they mind visits from those of us not staying there. Because we usually do end up spending a little money there, after all. And when we drive up and stop at the guard station, we just say we are there to shop and eat, and the guard waves us on through. Sometimes, he even tells us to have a nice day.
No, I’m not jealous of you if you actually stay at one of these hotels. And I don’t judge you negatively for it. It’s fine with me that you live your life however you want to. And who knows, maybe one of these days we will actually stay at one of those hotels, too.
But for now, we are content just to stop by for a visit.
Don’t love sleep, or you will become poor; open your eyes, and you’ll have enough to eat. - Proverbs 20:13
About the photo:
This is one of those photos that looked really, really bland before I started working on it. In the old days, I probably wouldn’t have posted it, because it looked so ordinary. But with just a little bit of processing, it looks completely different than it did before I did anything to it. Here’s the before-and-after look:
So don’t ever give up just because you think your photo looks to ordinary. Take a few steps to make it better.
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: June 7, 2016
Location: Grand Floridian Resort, Walt Disney World, Florida