About the Column

Congratulations! You're going to Disney World, the Happiest Place on Earth! Now what? Do you have a plan? Do you know what to expect? Are you determined to 'see it all' - or die trying? Lesley Sawhook has been there, done that so many times that in her sleep she counts marching Mickeys, not leaping sheep. Her years of experience as a Disney mom, a Disney planner, and now a Disney Certified Travel Agent uniquely qualify her to dispense the Happiest Tips on Earth. Learn from Lesley how to have the Happiest Time at the Happiest Place on Earth.

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FROM: Happiest Tips on Earth Published Fridays

A Tale of Two Misters

So you expected Lesley Sawhook? Well, she's at Disney World, and while she's there, I'm in residence here, providing my own version of the happiest tips on earth, such as this sweet little tale of the squally kid who had to have a personal mister fan.

I've always thought 'personal mister fans' provide too little relief from theme park heat to justify the inconvenience of having to carry them around with you or the unpleasantness of having to hang them by their lanyards around your neck.

But I've seen many folks at Disney World, especially kids, doing just that.

An ugly scenario often arises.

Your kid sees someone else's kid luxuriates in the slight breeze of a mister fan, reveling in the frequent squirts of tepid water, and then they see a cart heaped with those fans.

"Hey, Mom! Hey, Dad!! Hey!!! Buy me one of them fans."

Sure, the parents think, how much can they cost?

Once at the cart, they see that they can cost quite a bit: nearly 20 bucks!

For that, you get a large plastic bottle attached to a lanyard and a foamy fan powered by a pair of AA batteries. A wind tunnel, it ain't.

I bought one of these fans not long ago for my daughter when we stood outside the Hall of Presidents on a sweltering day. She saw two other little girls having the time of their lives with Disney mister fans, and she just had to have one of her own.

I could've taken this opportunity for a lesson in fiscal prudence.

"Young lady," I could have said, "if I put this twenty bucks into a savings account, it will grow while you sleep, though probably not as fast as Disney keeps raising its prices."

I didn't do that. I'm one of those dads who does ridiculous things like blow twenty bucks on a plastic mister. It worked pretty well, I admit, and it kept the little brat quiet for a few minutes...

Anyway, upon our return from Disney World, I happened to be in Wal-Mart organizing an employee union, er, shopping for good deals on paper products, and there in front of me I saw shelves full of personal mister fans, slightly smaller than the Disney fan but dirt cheap at five bucks. They're called O2 Cool Squeeze Breeze Water Misting Fans.

I bought one. When I got home, I turned them both on. The Disney fan has a slightly more powerful motor, which means its fan revolves a bit faster, and it squirts more water, with greater velocity, than the Wal-Mart fan. But it's not fifteen bucks better.

If you're planning a trip to Disney World during the hotter months of the Florida year, and if you think your kids will die unless they get their own personal mister fans (which - good news! - you'll eventually have to carry for them!), then stock up at Wal-Mart and write Mickey on each one in permanent marker.

I bet they'll never know the difference.

Lesley's vacation continues next week. She'll resume authorship of her column on July 8.

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The Happiest Tips on Earth can only get you partway to the Happiest Place on Earth. For the rest, you need Destination Magic. Drop Lesley a line and see what magic she can make for you when you're planning your next Disney trip!

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