Giving in to Peer Pressure…or How I Decided to Take My Family to Disney

I’m old enough I should be immune. And in most respects I am. But not completely. So, when the opportunity finally arose we decided to take our kids to Disney. It seemed like a good idea at the time. And lucky me, I won’t be doing any Princess breakfasts or Character meet and greets! After all, my baby is 15! Maybe this timing isn’t so bad after all?

But as the vacation grows closer I get more and more anxious. Actually, annoyed might be a better word. You see, I’m thinking Disney is a racket! Yes, I said it. What every parent has thought at one time or another. I’m having a really hard time moving past the fact that I’m going to spend $500 to walk in the gate! For 1 day! Just one day for my family of 5. For 500 dollars! You know what else I could do for $500?

  • put 4 new tires on the old mini van
  • Pay 1/8 of a semester’s college tuition
  • buy groceries to last 2 1/2 weeks
  • buy a really nice new pair of shoes for every member of my family
  • Replace a couple of windows in my house
  • expand my wardrobe exponentially

I could go on, but you are getting bored and you get the idea. And that is just for 1 day! No one goes to Disney for just one day. That just wouldn’t be right.

So eventually, I may come to terms with that. But then they will want to eat while we are there. Cha-ching! $75 please, if you only want a lunch counter snack. Park? You want to park your car at Disney? Cha-ching! $25 please! You get the idea. And if you’ve been, you are painfully aware of how it all adds up.

As if that isn’t depressing enough, I can’t tell you how many people have warned me that going in March will mean the parks are all packed! Based on the warnings I’ve received, we will wait in line to get in the gate, wait for hours to ride the “best” rides, nearly starve to death waiting to pay an exorbitant price for lunch and need steel toed shoes for all the strollers that will roll obliviously over our feet. Paints quite the picture doesn’t it?

How could a parent not dream of providing this amazing experience for their dear offspring?

It’s all worth it though. Because everyone I talk to assures me that we will make memories that last a lifetime! (Do they realize they are just telling me what the brochure says? – Marketing genius Disney!) This may be one of our last vacations as a family so it is totally worth it! (Do they know something I don’t?)

I’m beside myself with anticipation and excitement! Or, I’m working on it at least. I have got to find my happy place soon! I refuse to spend this ridiculous amount of money and not enjoy absolutely every puking ride, every smashed toe, every hour spent waiting in a line! It will be awesome! I’m actually having a flashback to National Lampoon’s Vacation. I hope there is no moose out front to tell me the park’s closed. I might break into a Chevy Chase inspired rant about the fun we are going to have even if it kills us all!

So why are we going? Well, I’m pretty sure it was in the parenting handbook somewhere. I think we have to or they take away our parenting card. Right? Or did someone make that up?

So, to get into the parent-of-the-month club, I’m taking my kids to Disney. And I am sure we will make memories to last a lifetime just like we have on every family vacation so far. We will talk about it for years, good or bad. This trip really was my idea. (Is this what buyers remorse feels like?) If you have suggestions on how to survive this racket enhance this awesome family vacation, please share! I would be ever so grateful for the tips:).

P.S. I really do appreciate all the advice and “warnings” friends have given me. I’m hoping this has made me prepare for the worst so I’m pleasantly surprised when I get there:)!

P.P.S. Maybe the US Government should take over Disney! That would solve all the budget problems since that is apparently where the wealth of our country is being spent. Oops! Didn’t mean to go political – just a thought:).



Filed under Advice, Family, Legacy, Lifestyle, Money, Parenting, Travel

5 responses to “Giving in to Peer Pressure…or How I Decided to Take My Family to Disney

  1. If the Government took over Disney it would go bankrupt. I think Disney should take over our Government…it is being run by a bunch of characters anyway. 😉

    As for when you are there, don’t push so hard you are exhausted. Take it easy and mutually agree on what to see and when to see it. If you go into a park without a plan of action you’ll waste a lot of time trying to decide later. Eat breakfast and dinner out of Disney, unless you are there late. That will save you a lot of money.

    • So true Heidi! Working on a plan of attack now, but need more input from these boys who are buried in homework! We have a great plan for meals and the guys are all on board with that part. I was excited to discover today that I can leave and come back without having to pay for parking again. That will be my plan to not get exhausted – go back to the pool for a while:)!

  2. Nicole Long

    Disney is ALL about your attitude – if you tell yourself it’s going to be a fun vacation, then it will be! I’ve been 10+ times now because my parents are a little too into it. 🙂 And yes, we have memories to last a lifetime (my brother getting “lost” for 5 minutes in the Magic Kingdom, me throwing up a Mickey ears ice cream bar, etc. :). It is crazy expensive and pretty crowded. But there’s a reason the myth continues. They do a darn good job with the experience! I think you’re picking the perfect time to go with your kids. My dad always said Disney World should be adults only! You will get to enjoy doing what you want and watching them do what they want. It’s win-win. After an exhausting week there with the 3-year-old and little one on the way, I would still say we had fun. And that we’ll go back….in about 4 years. 🙂 ENJOY it!

    • Sounds a lot like life, Nicole – it’s all about your attitude:)! 10+ times! Holy Cow!
      I’m sure it will be fabulous – really! And I am glad the boys are old enough to manage on their own. If they get lost it will be because they want to:). I am a little excited to have the whole experience, I hear it is amazingly clean and they think of all the little details. I could use that!

  3. Maria

    YOU are doing Disney? Okay who are you and what did you do with the real Judy? I am laughing out loud! I think you will have fun………yes I hope you do. We did it years ago and had a blast but I had a firm plan of action and we went when there were NO crowds. When you come down from your Disney high, and are ready for another great park experience head to Ohio in early June – to Cedar Point. TONS of coasters if they are into that, waaaaay cheaper prices and so much fun! (We might go again in ’14, maybe we can meet up there??!!) Can’t wait to hear how it all goes. Take lots of pics and say HI to Mickey for me 🙂

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