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“Why do we always fight on vacation?”

Admit it. You’ve said this at some point in your life.

Admit it. You’ve said this while at a Disney theme park.

Everyone feels that frustration from time to time. The Happiest Place on Earth is also one of the most intense vacation destinations for theme park tourists. So much is going on around you that the entire trip is an exercise is chaos theory. A single change in your surroundings, no matter how minor, can have dramatic repercussions on your party.

Even those of us who aren’t prone to emotional outburst will fall apart from time to time at Disney. Why is that? Unfortunately, lots of situations can lead to a shouting contest if things break the wrong way. Here are nine of the most likely reasons why you wind up yelling at the Happiest Place on Earth.

1. Racing against the clock

You know the trope from every action movie and episode of “24” ever. A ticking clock is counting down. If you don’t stop it in time, something apocalyptic transpires. At a Disney theme park, that only means that you miss a FastPass or a dinner reservation rather than having a building blow up. Even if you’re not Jack Bauer, you still feel that way several times a day. And it’s intense.

The way that Disney forces consumers to structure their park visits, a guest is always on the clock. You’re racing against time to insure that you don’t miss out on something that seemed like a great idea when you scheduled it a few months ago. Who are you to question Three Months Ago You?

Meeting these predetermined obligations is ceaselessly stressful. The worst ones are when you schedule a meal within hours of your flight’s arrival. Any delay whatsoever will lead to a tense setting where a couple winds up bickering over whose bright idea it was to plan something that far in advance. And there’s no red or blue wire to cut to save the day, only apologies to make and begging for latitude to save a tardy duo from missing their intended event. Nothing fragments a couple more quickly than conversations about blame.

2. It’s money that matters

The overwhelming majority of Disney theme park tourists are on a budget. That’s extremely difficult at a place where Disney strategists spend thousands of work-hours trying to deduce the best ways to empty a stranger’s pockets. A single day at a Disney theme park costs hundreds of dollars per person on average. The cost of theme park tickets, the food and snacks, and the souvenirs add up quickly. In the face of these challenges, you want to leave with enough money to pay the mortgage and car loan. Disney wants you to buy every single product you see. Worlds are colliding, and the battle line is drawn at the thirty dollar mouse ears.

The potential for couples combat is even higher due to many of the other aggravations listed here. What’s a proven cure for stress? Retail therapy! The catch is that the bills eventually come due, and the money person in the relationship inevitably starts thinking in terms of whether they can afford to eat for the rest of the month. Alas, rational thought and a fundamental understanding of economics only carries so far in a fight against HIGH LEVELS OF WANT!!!

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