Rest easy, friends, because I think I’ve officially snagged the title of the meanest mom ever.
This year I think we’ve finally made the decision to take a hard pass on a family Disney vacation.
That’s right- we’re skipping Disney.
This decision may not make me popular among my mom friends who take their kids regularly. And with the friends who returned from Disney and shared that it was simply magical. And I agree, if we took my kids, they probably would love the experience.
1- It’s a merry land built on Disney imagination, but one that lacks context for my kids.
The movies they did enjoy from their preschool years (like Cars and Frozen) no longer hold the mystical pull they once had. And Star Wars? They weren’t fans.
2 – The price.
I know, it’s hard to place a price tag on a child’s happiness, but I just can’t stomach the amount of money it’ll take to get us through the happiest place on earth. I could take my kids anywhere in the continental US for less money, and potentially fill our days with more activities.
3 – The rides.
When I saw a performance at Disney World, it was a theatrical and aesthetic marvel. But theatre performances typically don’t pique the interest of my boys. And while they enjoy amusement park rides, they are content with the ones available at a state park for a discount.
4 – The alternatives.
We travel frequently with our kids, and we often ask the kids about their favorite aspects of a trip. Their answers?
- After visiting the Smoky Mountains, they said their favorite thing was sitting in a hot tub at our cabin in the mountains.
- When we visited the beaches in Florida and saw the ocean for the first time, they said they most appreciated ‘living with their friends’ in the beautiful beach house we shared with two other families.
- When we stayed in the Rocky Mountains? They laughed about the time they spent playing gaga ball with some other children.
- A spontaneous trip to St Louis? They loved trying to catch the balls from the Cardinals’ batting practice.
There is so much I want and need to share with my children, and so much of it comes with less travel hustle, fewer lines, and less congestion.
5 – The time.
Not to send y’all into a panic, but we have so very few summer breaks to spend with our children. My children are old enough now to remember our family vacations when they look back on them as adults, and there’s so much of the country and the world I want to share with them. When they most remember the time we’ve spent together and not where I’ve taken them or what we’ve done together, I really want to spend the time in a way that we all enjoy.
So, why do I feel guilty about skipping Disney?
I’m not immune to the marketing power of Disney. I feel the nostalgic pull when I click past Disney, Jr. and remember when they watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as toddlers. And we’ve all heard amazing stories of other family vacations to Disney. Those stories are truly filled with magic and awe, and despite my list of reasons, those testimonials make me waffle a bit on my decision to skip Disney with my kids.
Maybe someday I’ll change my mind. But until then, I’ve got alternative destinations to research.
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