Five Tips for a Trouble Free Trip: Avoiding Disappointment With Your Disney Trips - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
       LINKS
       ARTICLES
WDW Planning Articles
A Treat for the Senses
A Year at Walt Disney World
Arrival Day at Walt Disney World
Baby Steps
Budget Disney World Lodging
Budget Disney World Souvenirs
Budget Disney World Tickets
Budget Disney World Transportation
Budget Your Disney Trip
Counting Down to Disney (Part 1)
Counting Down to Disney (Part 2)
Disney + Disabilities = Magic!
Disney Dreaming
Disney Dreaming With Kids
Disney Tech Primer - Part 1
Disney World 101 Quiz - Part 1
Disney World 101 Quiz - Part 2
Dreaming of Disney World
Emergencies While at Walt Disney World
Enjoying the Peace at Disney
Finding Answers
Finding Relaxation at Walt Disney World
Five Tips for a Trouble Free Trip
Getting There is Half the Fun
Greener Walt Disney World
Helping Plan A First Trip to Disney
How to Catch a Deal at Disney
Last Minute Planning
Lessons Learned
Making the Most of Walt Disney World
Mickey Mouse as Motivation
Mickey Mouse's Masterpieces
My Disney Mistakes - Part 3
Packing for Winter Weather at Walt Disney World
Planning Makes the Magic Happen
Planning Your First Trip to a New Park
Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation
Pregnant At The Mouse House
Pregnant at Walt Disney World
Preparing Your Child For a Walt Disney World Vacation
Pros and Cons of the Magic Your Way Premium Plan
Safe Disney Travels with Kids
Saving Money for Disney
Season Survival Guide
Taking a Toddler To Walt Disney World
Taking a Toddler To Walt Disney World
Taking Kids Out of School For a Disney Trip
Taking the Grandkids
Taking Toddlers to Walt Disney World
Taming the Beast
The Art of Packing
The Disney Rumor Round-Up
The FASTPASS System
The Kids Are In Charge
The Magic of Slowing Down
The More, The Mickey-er
The Never Land Club
The Reluctant Mouseketeer
There's an App For That - Part 1
There's an App for That - Part 3
Tips for a Disney 'Newbie'
Tips for Traveling
Toddlers to Teenagers
Using Technology to Plan Your Disney Trips
Walt Disney World for Veteran Visitors
Walt Disney World With Teens? Absolutely!
What - No Parks?
What Keeps Us Coming Back to Disney?

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles

WDW Touring Articles

WDW Dining Articles

WDW Making Magic Articles

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
PassPorter's
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
Read Comments on This Article

Five Tips for a Trouble Free Trip: Avoiding Disappointment With Your Disney Trips

Walt Disney World photo
by Justine Fellows, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 10/22/2009
  

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!


Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Planning  

A recent discussion with a close friend led me to start thinking about the role of vacation responsibilities and expectations in trip planning.


After this friend booked her Disney trip, she immersed herself in planning. Dining reservations? Check. Park plans? Check. She had a great time creating little surprises for her daughters, reading tips and tricks online, getting outfits and swim suits ready, making sure everything was as perfect as she could make it before they left. I was excited right along with her. This was their first big family trip!

When she arrived home, I couldn't wait to see how it had gone. I ran up to her office only to see a rather disappointed face. She looked exhausted. Now, don't get me wrong, Walt Disney World can be tiring, especially without a good plan and lots of time to relax built in to the schedule. But my friend's exhaustion looked more like disappointment. What went wrong? She was so prepared.

This got me thinking about how a great plan can go wrong… and after some conversations with previous Walt Disney World travelers and a lot of my own experience I've come up with five tips that will hopefully help everyone to come back refreshed and satisfied.

My first tip: Change Your Expectations. "Are you kidding me? I spent big bucks, I've planned every detail, I'm staying at a freaking deluxe hotel. How dare you tell me to lower my expectations! I've been dreaming of the moment my little princess sees the castle since before she was conceived, not to mention that wrap-around hug she will enjoy with Mickey." OK, folks, hate to burst your expectation bubble BUT the reality is this. The second you walk through the dreamlike gates of the Magic Kingdom after a bus ride, security check, and some trouble with your finger print working at the turnstile - you reach the moment you have been dreaming about, waiting for. There she is, your little princess, her eyes about to look down Main Street and yelp with delight and… what, are you kidding me, she has to go potty, now? Then to top it off she sticks herself to the back of your sweaty leg at the sight of Mickey, only to reappear when that large-headed mouse is safely tucked behind the scenes. Does this always happen? Absolutely not, there are going to be dozens of magical moments, but the reality is that they most likely aren't going to be the ones that you expected. Some of my favorites: The joy my ten-year-old took in watching an opossum trained at Animal Kingdom, my youngest learning to dive under water to gather a sinking toy, enjoying a Dole Whip Float while people-watching, a great conversation on the bus ride to our hotel, and watching my daughters belly dance in Epcot. Changing my expectations has taking some real mental training for me. Instead of expecting my bags to be waiting in the room, I now plan on a six hour delay. I'm delighted when they arrive any earlier. Changing expectations is like tricking yourself into being happy!



Napping at ALL STAR Vacation Homes photo
Napping at ALL STAR Vacation Homes

Alexander takes a nap after swimming at our ALL STAR Vacation Home. The bedroom he was staying in was Mickey Mouse themed. What I love about this picture is that he's smiling in his sleep! - photo by Jennifer Marx

The next tip - and this is a big one - dole out the responsibilities! Here's what I have seen over and over, "You planned it, you booked it, you took care of the packing, details, transportation and now you are in charge when we get there! I'll hang back and relax. Since you did all of that work, obviously you like the planning and prefer me to have a perfect, relaxing trip. Thanks for watching the kids, thanks for knowing where we are supposed to be and when. I'm going to take a wee little nap while you talk to the front desk about transportation. No problem, you review those maps while I take a swim." OH MY GOSH!! This drives me crazy! So, beware… you may love to plan, you may be the Type A personality that wants to be in control, but you most definitely want a vacation! So, here is what you need to do. First, involve everyone in the planning. Lay out maps and books to interest them in the trip, review the rides and shows at each park, ask for their opinions for dining options, discuss the hotel and how the days are planned. Next, dole out the responsibilities! In our family, I take care of dealing with check in, organizing paperwork, packing and unpacking, as well as dining times. My husband is the coffee/drink fetcher, sunscreen applier, stroller organizer, FASTPASS guru, and transportation figure-outer. Both of my girls have a calendar with pictures that they can check to know what's going on each day. They are in charge of their personal items such as pins and money. They also help with basics such as keeping the hotel room clean and putting their clothes away. Speak up, if your spouse doesn't know your expectations, my guess is that they will be happy to relax and leave you to the vacation work.

The next trip-saving tip is to make time for you. We often stay near Epcot and my getaway is to shop in the World Showcase stores by myself. I like to start with a champagne drink in France and then meander through the shops at a turtle-like pace. This usually takes me a few hours. My husband on the other hand likes naps. I try to give him at least an afternoon or two off to take a long midday nap. My kids need a break too! Their break is usually a pirate cruise or cooking lesson and a trip to the hotel gift shop to shop alone. We are a family that travels well together, but trust me, everyone needs some alone time.

So my second-to-last tip is you need to overcome the, "Oh my gosh, I can't take a nap! There is something awesome to ride, see, buy, drink, eat…" syndrome. It happens to me every time. I lay my head down for a quick cat nap and BING, my eyes open wide. "I bet we could walk to Epcot and ride Test Track and then get fast passes to Maelstrom if I head in right now before our dinner reservations in 3 hours." DON'T DO IT. Fight the urge. Trust me. You will not be happy when you have to deal with a screaming, tired child during dinner. You will be more likely to enjoy the fireworks with your eyes open. Rest, rest, rest. It's not a waste of money, it's an investment in your sanity!

And my final advice is this; expect delays and occasional disappointments. Have you ever read one trip review or heard one travel story that didn't involve a few mishaps? If all was perfect the story would never be half as interesting. Disappointments certainly spice things up. Expect them to happen. I once missed our bus stop only to be stuck with two sleeping children, a stroller, and a missing husband who got off at the right stop. He was not near me in the crowded bus! Turns out this is one of our favorite stories as the bus driver announced, "Would the lady with the two sleeping kids get off the bus" after a frantic call from another bus driver prompted by my husband. Some of the seemingly annoying moments can really turn out to be pretty funny if you know how to change your attitude.

So let's recap:

1) Change your expectations. Don't lower your standards, but know that amazing moments are not always the ones you create in your mind.

2) Dole out the responsibilities; this is your vacation too!

3) Make time for you.

4) There's ALWAYS something going on, it's okay to take a nap.

5) Expect delays and occasional disappointments, there what stories are made of!



About the Author:
About the Author: Justine, the author of PassPorter's Disney Speed Planner: The Easy Ten-Step Program, works in education in Connecticut. She is also the host of Travel Girl's(TM) Tips for Disney World podcasts.


Related Links:
 
Disney + Disabilities = Magic! - Enjoying Disney World with Disabilities last updated 11/07/2008
Saving Money for Disney - Tips and Tricks last updated 2/25/2011
Baby Steps - Six Sanity Savers For Baby's First Trip to Walt Disney World last updated 3/7/2011
Disney Dreaming - Book Excerpt from PassPorter's Walt Disney World last updated 1/16/2009
Walt Disney World for Veteran Visitors - Finding New Things To Do last updated 1/16/2009




Reader Comments:


View all comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 10/22/2009 - Article #305 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 

RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - 13,14,15,16,17,18
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discussion forums about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel provided by PassPorter Travel Press, the ultimate Disney travel guide and book series.


Discounts on Disney Vera Bradley!
by HollyH
25 Nov 2014 at 7:34am
Disneystore.com is having a sale on Disney Veras now until Wednesday. 10%-20% off (have to buy 3 Vera items to get 20%). Code VERALOVE There was...
(click title above to view replies)

Terrific Disney Stickers At Target
by Her Dotness
14 Nov 2014 at 2:00pm
I'm lazy when it comes to making Mousekeeper envelopes and just buy a bunch of Disney stickers to decorate them. Target has some really nice...
(click title above to view replies)

Key West to Disney World
by Moms Money
8 Nov 2014 at 10:54pm
First timers to Disney but we are flying in to Key West and then we want to make it to Disney World, I understand the drive is 6 hours but wonder...
(click title above to view replies)




Total Visits: 11849


PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.