Disney Vacation Emotions

Waiting for Toy Story Midway ManiaThis post is for true blue Disney fans.  If you don’t like Disney vacations or If you don’t understand the thrill and allure of Disney parks and resorts, feel free to click away now.  You won’t understand this post and it will most certainly not be of interest or assistance to you in any way.  Come back another time and perhaps you’ll see something more suitable for your reading pleasure.

Still here?  Excellent!  Let’s talk Disney Vacation Emotions!

As you read this, I’ll be on my way to Walt Disney World as I’ve done many times since my first visit in 1990.  I love a Disney vacation!  It’s not all fun and games and great food and experiences though.  I’m emotionally involved from the time I leave home until the time I return.  After all this time, I’ve come to realize that my emotional ebbs and flows are pretty consistent on each Walt Disney World visit and they follow a general pattern that looks like this…THE Disney EarHat for ME!

Day One:  Worry and excitement in equal measures.  I worry that I didn’t pack all the right necessities while at the same time I’m overflowing with child-like excitement about all the wonderful and beloved sights, sounds, smells, and details I’m about to experience.  Disney's-Magical-Express-ViewThe Magical Express trip from the airport is too slow, but builds anticipation at the same time.  When I walk down Main Street USA and see Cinderella Castle, I’m going to get choked up.  Don’t talk to me.RM-Cinderella-Castle

Days Two Through the Second-to-Last-Day.  BOOM BABY!  I’m in the zone.  I’m feeling ecstatic and proud!  I’m a seasoned Disney veteran (as are the other members of my family) and we know what we’re about.  FastPasses, dining reservations, thrills, new experiences and family favorites…singing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, waiting for our stretch limo, boarding a service elevator, meeting Belle, cruising in a Doom Buggy or Clam Mobile, asking Crush a question…it’s all so wonderful and evokes such joy!STUDIO_ROCKNRCOASTERRIDE_7071496091

The Day Before the Last Day (aka: Second-to-Last-Day):  Panic sets in.  Oh, NO!  It’s almost over!  Stay in the moment…pay attention.  Squeeze all the joy out of these last two days.  What were we thinking? We should have planned to stay longer!  Where has the time gone?  I don’t want to leave.  I can sense the real world creeping back in, but manage to push it away.In line at Disney

The Last Day:  I know I have to go home, but one more day means making the most of every opportunity.  I’m not going to waste a minute!  My grandmother used to say, “Quit while you still want more” and those are excellent words to remember on this day.  I’ll admit it…I’m tired.  My feet hurt.  I miss Junior (the Wonder Dog) and know he misses me.  By lunch, I’m resigned to packing up and saying so long, but will squeeze in all the fun I can until the last possible minute.Magical-Express-Bus

Going Home:  I’m exhausted and sad.  I looked forward to this for so long and now it’s over.  How could so many months of anticipation end up like this…as if time sped up and POOF!  It’s in the past.  Oh, but the memories!  Those will sustain me until…hmmmm…I’m feeling another Disney vacation coming on!  Let’s pick some dates and start planning!

Any of this sound familiar?  What are your Disney vacation emotions?

Disney Cruise Line With Teens

Disney Cruise Line / Classic ShipTeens!  Can’t live with ’em,….pass the beer nuts. (super enormous bonus points if anyone besides Raymond can get the 80’s TV reference there).  They were such adorable little kids once.  They looked up to you.  They liked spending time with you because you were smart and funny.  One day you wake up and everything has changed!  Suddenly you’re stupid and embarrassing.  The eye roll becomes a primary mode of communication.  You literally find yourself succumbing to bribery to get a couple of confrontation-free hours in your child’s company.  What the heck just happened?

You’re not alone!  The teen years can be such a challenge, but can also be pretty rewarding. Disney Cruise Line with Teen Boys The hard part is that one minute, your offspring want to be treated (and act) like little kids – two seconds later, they’ll insist they’re old enough to make their own decisions, go it alone, need space, yadda, yadda…..oy!  Every moment seems fraught with potential hostility – yours and theirs.  This is a difficult time – I considered every day we made it through alive and unscathed a blessing – finding a way to vacation harmoniously is pretty darned tricky.

Disney Cruise Line in Alaska with TeensIf you’ve ever considered taking a vacation aboard Disney Cruise Line and you have teens, you’ve reached the perfect time!  A Disney cruise is not just for families with small children.  The teen programs, spaces, and activities on Disney cruise ships are outstanding.  Plan in advance how much family time you want to spend together…and also allow plenty of time for your teen to stretch their independence muscles.  There are plenty of adults-only things onboard for you to enjoy on your own, too!  If you’re traveling with teen boys, all the food they can eat is included in the price of the cruise – that alone makes a Disney Cruise an excellent vacation choice!

I’ve survived enjoyed five Disney cruises with teens (my own and sometimes more!) and we – all of us, individually and as a family, had an absolutely wonderful time on each and every Dancing with Goofy on a Disney Cruiseadventure.  I tried to involve everyone in the planning phase – so limits would be clear on when we would be together as a family and when we could do our own thing (adults go one way and teens another).  This worked well for us – expectations outlined ahead of time seemed to minimize the possibility of disagreements while traveling.  While our teens were off in the teen club participating in fun activities, we were in the spa getting a couple’s massage or enjoying brunch in Palo (one of Disney Cruise Line’s adults-only restaurants).

Every Disney Cruise Line ship has a designated area just for teens (ages 13-17) with Formal Night on Disney Cruise Linecounselors trained to deal with all kinds of teens from all over the world.  There are teen-only excursions in many ports of call and if your ship stops at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, there’s even a dedicated teen beach.  You know your child better than anyone and how much independence they can handle, so my advice?  Just plan accordingly and plan to have a great time – together and apart!

What’s been your favorite vacation during the teen years?