Disney Disappointments

Most (if not all) of us have had Disney disappointments since March, but what about pre-Covid-19 disappointments.

What are some of your Disney disappointments?

Here are my top 5 in chronological order. The memory of each of these is so vivid it seems like yesterday.

(1) December 1980 - My brother woke up with a fever the morning we were supposed to leave for Disney World. My first Disney visit. My parents rescheduled the trip for March (we made that trip and I was hooked).

(2) July 1985 - I got sick with a fever while staying at CR with my family. I stayed in the room for 2 days while my family toured the parks. My Mom offered to stay with me, but I insisted she go and have fun.

(3) January 2003 - A trip to WDW with a newish gf. Our first ride was BTMR. After the ride she had motion sickness and insisted we head back to the resort (All Star Sports). Spent the rest of the day reading at the pool. She was cranky the rest of the trip. Later in our relationship, we had an opportunity to go to WDW again. I said I didn’t want to go. She said “why not? It is your favorite place.” I said “Because I would have to go with you.” Ouch. The relationship didn’t last much longer.

(4) November 2009 - First trip to WDW since 2003. Where is Alien Encounter??? Not being a liner at the time, I didn’t know it was gone until I walked through Tomorrowland.

(5) October 2019 - DD5 was finally tall enough for a roller coaster (7DMT). I was excited for the opportunity to ride a coaster at Disney with DD5, but I insisted that DW go first. I got my magic band scanned for child swap so I could ride with DD5 next. DW went with on with DD5 while I stayed with DS3. DD5 got off the ride and said … “It was fun, but I don’t want to go on it again.” Nooooooo.


For me it was:

  1. The first trip with my parents and my Dad got sick the last day turns out it was a month long saga where he almost died multiple times…all starting with a kidney stone that they say might have dislodged due to all the roller coasters he rode!
  2. the year we were supposed to do “the big family trip”. My mom’s 70th. I did all the planning. 3 nights at the Polynesian through MVT (my Dad always wanted to stay there), 8 of us going, 3 ADR’s carefully planned with the Chef’s due to my nephews multiple food allergies, Christmas Party, matching shirts for each day, 2 weeks before we left my Dad had a stroke (which he and my mom hid from us b/c they didn’t want to ruin Halloween and my Dad hates the hospital so by the time we got him to the hospital it was too late to do much but wait). Thankfully he did well but needed 3 weeks of inpatient rehab. They insisted we go which was just weird but it was my nephews first trip and they didn’t want them disappointed. (They assumed they would like it as much as my daughter and we would have another trip). We go and it was really fun except for missing them (they wore the matching shirts with us each day). My youngest nephew didnt want to go on most of the rides so the other two took turns getting extra rides, then there we are at the Christmas Party and I couldn’t wait to do all the rides and everyone decides they want to leave BEFORE the Fireworks! And no one wanted to ride SM with me! They gave me the option to stay but we didn’t have adjoining rooms so I headed back with them! We watched the fireworks from the beach which was amazing.
    They liked the trip but are in no hurry to go back. We squeezed in one more trip with my parents and had a great time. Had an amazing one booked for last March to do some of my Dad’s favorite things with some new surprises but then COVID. His Disney Days are over. His body is just not cooperative! We were supposed to do a big family trip for their 50th but instead of Disney it will probably be renting a house on the water within driving distance of home. We will have a blast. So thankful I got the Disney obsession when my daughter was young enough to do multiple trips with her Papa!!! He likes to think of himself as a tough guy and there he is riding Small World multiple times and loving it as much as my kid!

I think it was 5 years ago that DD came home from school and showed me her first two chicken pox spots two days before we were supposed to leave for Disneyland Paris for a Christmas trip.

We’ve still never done Disney at Christmas :frowning:

As an aside, it was shocking the number of people who said that we should just have gone anyway - I assume these are the people who are now spreading covid :roll_eyes:

And yes, we missed our July trip to Florida this year :frowning::frowning:

  1. Last trip in March 2019, my whole family got sick. It’s the only time I’ve been sick in the last 3-4 years (knock on wood).
  2. Spring 2017 trip on our last day, my husband lost his phone and was convinced someone stole it, so we spent the next few hours panicking and trying to protect our accounts that were accessible on his phone (he had deleted the passcode so he could open his phone faster on the trip—we’ll never do that again :sweat_smile:). Turns out it had fallen out of his pocket, and a CM had just picked it up immediately and turned it off. It was at lost and found later in the day. Luckily DH had decided to check just in case.

That’s it besides having to cancel our 2020 trip!


In the 20 years I have been a parent I have never known a kid to get chicken pox. I can’t believe your DD had it AND the timing was so hideous. That’s awful!!


Probably our first Disney disappointment was DH’s and my first visit to WDW or MK which in 1974 were synonymous. The kids had been a couple of times with a great aunt and were already converts. I have two memories of that January visit: hands swelling from the unaccustomed heat; and standing in the walkway trying to make sense of the park map while one kid jumped up and down in excitement for Haunted Mansion and another kid kept up a steady stream of I want to go on small world, in the best whiny voice. After about 20 minutes - I’m positive I’m not exaggerating at all - I realized I had the map upside down. It would be 4 years before we would return.

Illness at Disney seems to be a given. So much so, it’s not really a disappointment any more. :smirk:

One minor disappointment was a major cold spell the same day we were to eat at Concourse Steakhouse. I mostly remember dreading hearing the whoosh of an arriving monorail. Heralding yet another blast of frigid 40-something degree air (I know. I know. Frigid and 40 degrees don’t really coincide.) (Unless you’re stationary and trying to cut steak. Fairly certain I kept my gloves on). We never even took our coats off. Overall that trip was great. A disappointing day at Disney is [usually] better than any non Disney day. :grin:

What I thought was going to be a massive disaster trip was the first week of September 2019 big birthday bash. My grandniece had been asking for a big trip on her 15th birthday for years. So we were obliging her. Lots of family members - some staying all week, some leaving early, some arriving late, some newbies. My ultra smart sister used her time share points for 3 three-br villas just minutes from DS. Many of our plans were centered around few EMH days and low crowds. In May Disney announced the opening of Star Wars Land, early EMHs at nearly every park (we’re off property). Insane crowds expected. No person on the planet had any inkling of what to expect, really. By July I realized, just plan as usual. And then in late August Hurricane Dorian began his approach. Airlines began moving, canceling and reinstating flights; so much so, many people simply canceled or postponed their Disney trips rather than deal with the uncertainties. Never been so thankful that we usually drive. We were to leave Saturday, arrive Sunday, and by Thursday it looked as tho Dorian was joining us on arrival day. We were stocking up on batteries, lanterns, non perishable foods, gallons of water, games and puzzles. Reviews for our villas said the decor was dated: meaning to say, undamaged from hurricanes for a number of years. By Friday Dorian was obviously arriving after we were, so Saturday we departed. Sunday afternoon we had the southbound lanes of the Turnpike nearly to ourselves, with intermittent showers. Only utility trucks and semis were sharing the road with us while the northbound lanes were packed. Tolls were suspended! I was more and more hopeful that we were going to have a great birthday bash. And we did. Crowds were low. Dorian shut most parks down Tuesday afternoon and evening - we missed only Fantasyland.
I’m quite sure we will eventually have a really sad Disney trip, as we keep visiting and aging. Over the last 40+ years, most disappointments have been slight and most trips have been mostly smile producing. And always different . . . :sunglasses:


Didn’t realize you were part of the Dorian-Dance of 2019.

For me the only Disney Disappointments have been cold weather related let downs. When you live in NY you expect FL to be warm and sunny. Highs of 40F are sucky on vacay.


Absolutely. Only good thing is that we usually have the winter gear since we drove. And, really, the cold spells haven’t yet lasted more than a day or two.

We were at Epcot the morning of Dorian’s arrival. CMs were wrapping lanterns in layers of plastic wrap and otherwise battening down. Very interesting.

The flip side, now that I think of it, is having home be warmer than Disney, which has happened. That’s a real disappointment.

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This was me at Universal with the Pternon flyers. Adults aren’t allowed on without a child. We let DD pick who to ride with every time. She picked DH and decided that it wasn’t worth another 40 minute wait. Nooooooo.


For us last November, the weather forecast changed after we’d arrived. I’d planned for a few chilly days, not 9! :’(


2000: standing at Ariel’s Grotto, remembering submarines. :broken_heart:


One year (probably Christmas 2000 as the millennum village was still up) we all met down at WDW for Christmas - my sister was a CM, my parents were flying from Nashville, I was flying from Raleigh. We were staying off-property. I had Dolphins in Depth planned for the 27th.

Delta combined the non-full Christmas Day flights so my parents were going to be later getting in. Not a big deal, my sister picked me up and we got to go out to eat on the Amex Daddy had given her for emergencies.

The 26th started out fine. Breakfast at the hotel, headed to Epcot. Did Spaceship Earth and then Test Track, then headed to Ellen’s Energy Adventure. While we were waiting, I started feeling weird and seeing stars like before I throw up. Dashed towards the exit and at least made it to the trash can. A VERY nice CM gave me a peppermint (and asked if I’d just gotten off Body Wars - they were CLEARLY used to throwing up guests). I felt better and was able to rejoin my family. All was well until we started going into the Dino area. Started feeling sick again. Asked my sister if she had any plastic bags in her backpack and she started frantically whipping stuff out so I could at least use the backpack (she has never forgiven me for ruining her favorite backpack - but at least we prevented a protein spill ride shut down). When we got off, we went to get a new bag for her and some sprite for me. Decided to go to Epcot First Aid where I stayed for an hour or so while the fam went to do other things. They gave me some anti-nausea medicine and I was eventually able to keep some gatorade and crackers down. I got released - with some plastic bags just in case. We went into the Millennium Village and I got sick again when I smelled food. My sister left our parents in Epcot and drove me back to the hotel, then rejoined them. I spent the day going between the bed and the bathroom with a “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” marathon on the tv.

THANKFULLY I was eventually able to keep ginger ale and saltines down, and I was feeling well enough to manage being out the next day. BUT I had to cancel Dolphins because I wasn’t 24-hours clear.

We eventually figured out (after my dad got sick on their way home) that it was likely Noro and given to me by a kid in the church nursery on Christmas Eve (our usual workers were college students who were home, so I had to keep nursery). I didn’t think he was fussier than I’d seen him before, but his mom quipped “Oh, I hope he’s not getting sick.”

We all survived, but it was NOT fun!


This is such a weird thread. I feel like I can’t heart anything because I can’t bring myself to like anyone’s misery.


All of these tales of sickness reminds me that when DD26 was DD6 she was feverish and lethargic on our first park day so back to the hotel. Next day, right as rain.
What that was, nobody knows.
But flex the plan and everyone mount up!

Nowadays I guess with temp checks that’d be a vacation ender.

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@davej Number 3: Ouch.


This is really post-trip but 2-3 days after returning from DLR my son got a rash, huge fever, vomiting, yada, yada…I take him to the dr and he has a giant uvula the size and color of a maraschino cherry so big it’s resting on his tongue in his mouth. All the doctors and nurses have never seen anything like it in their lives and they all want to gape at this enormous colorful thing and take pictures. He has scarlet fever. Anti-biotic resistant scarlet fever. We went through 5 rounds of antibiotics, including intravenous ones, we went to the hospital multiple times as every round including steroids his white blood cell count only got higher and higher and higher. He was sick for 3 months and had his own personal infectious disease specialist and did immune disorder testing and finally, we took it all out surgically…so in addition to the adenoids and tonsils, he no longer has a uvula. This cured it. We later found out there was some similar version of this in Asia. and I’m pretty convinced DLR gave it to him since he touched every single bar in every single line and got sick in the perfect incubation period from that trip. Those three months with a sick kid were an ordeal that I’m not sure that trip was worth fun as it was.


#3 is definitely ouch but also hysterical (sorry).


I agree! I feel so bad :pensive: It does make me feel incredibly blessed that I’ve only had one issue ( if you can even call it that) A big fire in Southern California closed Amtrak and the 101 freeway the day before we were to check out of the Villas at the Grand Californian. They were booked solid at all 3 resorts so we couldn’t stay. After night of worrying what to do thankfully they reopened the 101 so we could go home.

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We have a family tradition of a kid puking on nearly every family vacation. Luckily, they tend to be one-time isolated events (no fever, no further signs of illness), but of course you don’t know that in the moment!

One memorable trip had MDS (I think 7 years old) throwing up in the middle of the night, turning to us between dry heaves and wailing “why is this happening to me?!?!?!?!”

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We’ve had many many changes and cancellations over the past two decades due to military orders being changed but the most disappointing one was 6 years ago when we finally had arranged for all 4 kids, their spouses, grandchildren to be at WDW for Christmas and my son got orders at the last minute that meant he couldn’t come. I was SO sad! It was too late to cancel the trip. He was the only one of my children not present. I still look at those pictures and miss seeing him in the pictures