Convincing the teen

So, we do a trip for our graduating senior each time. (Twice so far.). They get to decide where to go, etc., within reason.

So, in early 2020, my third son has his turn. We already planned a trip with two days at King’s Island and two days at Cedar Point.

But, we have been toying with the thought of replacing out 2019 Branson trip with a week long trip to Disney in May as a possible alternative to his trip. But, how do we convince him? We want him to want to go, but we can’t afford the extra Disney Trip if we don’t drop the other two trips, which combined work out to about the same (almost).

We have some reason other than just wanting to go. We realized that after 2020 only our youngest son will be able to go with us. No more long trips with our son and daughter as well. So, moving a Disney trip up to 2019 gives us one last hurrah with at least three of our kids.

What might you throw into such a trip as an incentive for a 17 year old? Note, this would be an off site stay.

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If it’s his trip to choose - as you’ve done twice over now - you don’t.


I’ll just say…my sister and I are both over 40, and we still do a family trip with Mom, Daddy, and us every other year or so.

Just because kids move out does not mean there will never be anymore family trips.

I agree with @OBNurseNH on this one - you let the other two pick their trips. It would not be cool to tell him that he really didn’t get to choose his.


I would present it to him exactly as you are on here, then leave it up to him. If he chooses the trip as it is planned now, then you would need to honor it. If he chooses the Disney trip, I would try to make a huge effort to make it special for him, so it doesn’t feel like his special trip got swallowed up by the “family” trip.


I should expound a bit. I am on my phone, so I was trying to be brief. I hate typing on a phone.

We have a family trip each year. And the trip is always about the family first. But for the graduating child, they get to help plan the trip. They don’t get to decide the trip. But we heavily their ideas. For my oldest, we did a trip to 5 amusement parks in 6 days. For our second it was a Disney trip. In both cases we had a budget and suggested ideas. We then added in special things for the benefit of the graduating child.

In this case, we original didn’t think a Disney trip would even be in the table, and so it never came up as an option. We have done Cedar Point and King’s Island trips in the past and he likes that idea.

We will suggest the idea of doing a longer Disney trip, but I was wondering if there were ideas people had to make it even more appealing that perhaps we aren’t thinking about.

If he doesn’t want to do it, we will keep things as originally planned.

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I can’t even imagine my 17 year old not wanting to go to Disney. Or my 27 year old or my 25 year old. Sorry, no ideas on how to make it more appealing than it already is…

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I wouldn’t say he doesn’t want to. He enjoys it. Just trying to see if we can make it something special for him. He still might prefer the King’s Island angle though. :slight_smile:


Does he like the big rollercoasters? Could he be tempted by the ones at Universal, Busch or Seaworld?

Don’t try to convince him, ask him and see what he thinks.


I get it that you aren’t trying to convince him but are looking for ideas to make it special for him as the graduate if you do go to Disney.
So wondering if he is into Star Wars? The Void is supposed to be very cool. I know you guys don’t do tons of ADRs but is there a special one he would really like to try and that could be his graduation dinner? If there is DAH offered when you go that would be really awesome to go to!


Ah see I misunderstood. I guess it was when you said “They get to decide where to go, etc., within reason.” that I understood it to be the graduate’s trip to choose.


Let this child choose as the others have. If you don’t allow him to, or manipulate him into doing what you want him to want to do, he will know it and it will hurt your relationship. WDW is not in any way shape or form that important. Eventually all of your children will be graduated and you won’t need to let any of them choose your trips anymore. But you started a tradition and while I understand that traditions change, I feel this one needs to be seen through.


Such blasphemy will not be countenanced. Your sin will find you out!


Yeah. I am now questioning my previous claim that @OBNurseNH is queen. But to suggest that WDW is not that important is not that different than suggesting, “Let them eat cake!”


Seriously, though, I appreciate the input. We will present the option to him, but take care not to make it come across like we are pressuring him. I think it is a valid concern.

Having said that, the idea of maybe adding in a day to Busch Gardens or something might be a draw. We have never been (Well, I have…but I was like nine!) But have thrown the idea around in the past.

Tell him 17 yr olds can drink at EPCOT and then blame others for giving you bad advice.


Would he be interested in a “behind the scenes” tour? Keys to the Kingdom, or one of the Ep ot ones (FW or WS), AK …

Or as you’re staying offsite, is it an option to bring a friend and let them go off to UOR on their own for a day.

But in general, I think this has to be his decision. If he’s already bought into the other trip then it will be hard not to make him feel like you’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t choose WDW.

Maybe a simple “I know we didn’t discuss Disney as an option. I think an offsite stay is within budget, if you wanted to go”. No pressure, no “it would be nice to have one last trip with you all”, just put in on the table, and whatever he decides is final.


I was thinking about starting like this:

“Mom and I thought it would be really horrible to not have an opportunity to go to Disney. In fact, the idea of going to King’s Island as you wanted really is kind of selfish, if you think about it, because we can do that anytime. But Disney? That’s for everyone. Especially us. Since we’re paying for it, we just think you should think about everyone else and they would feel not to go to Disney.”


No pressure at all in that, is there?

I will investigate the behind the scenes things. Not sure about simply because we’ve never looked at it as an option before!


We had a similar experience in the past, and one of the ones who needed convincing was a teen. However, it was that we were planning a trip to California. It was a graduation trip as well. We wanted to postpone California to the next year. When we told her we wanted to switch it because we wanted to go see Disney and the new Harry Potter land, she was all for it. No convincing was needed. Maybe if you add Universal to your trip, it will be more appealing.

It felt a little heavy handed.

Why not try, “if you really loved us, you’d agree to the Disney plan — if you don’t, we might get a divorce and it will be your fault”.


I’m afraid we would end up footing the bill for counseling if we did it that way…

The idea of including the VOID is a good one.

We did Universal this year. Not that we could afford to add that. Tickets for Disney alone comes to $2000. But I still think the possibility bof Busch Gardens might work.

We did think about keeping an abbreviated trip to Cedar Point for two days, staying overnight one night, so that he still would get part of his original plan. Maybe pay for him to get the season pass so he could go again in the summer.

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