Need some advice

Ok, so I took my wife and kids to Disney in November this past year. I have 2 six year old girls. They had an absolute blast, as did both my wife and I. It was my girls first time. When I planned the trip, I originally planned to “go all out”, I didn’t want the expense to stop us from doing something. We stayed in a room on site. We got the dining plan and ate at several table service meals. I had made the statement that Disney was not a once every couple of years trip, but I was mainly thinking about the cost. We spent quite a bit of money. My wife said that even though she had fun, Disney is not a relaxing vacation. She wanted to go on a relaxing vacation. I asked her about a cruise. I looked into a Disney cruise, and I just can’t bring myself to pay that much difference over a Carnival Cruise. I know I would have more fun, but that extra amount could almost pay for a 7 day trip to Disney. Almost anyway.

Well, as I was looking for a Carnival Cruise (reluctantly I might add) I figured I could get 7 day tickets with no park hopper and no meal plan it wouldn’t be that bad. I have access to a time share so our room would be paid for. All I would have to do would be to pay for the tickets (around $1700), gas and food. If that was the case, a 7 day trip to Disney would be cheaper than a 4 day cruise. I tried explaining that. She is resistant and doesn’t want to go back so soon. I even asked my daughters if they could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be, and their answer was Disney World.

What can I say to try to convince her? She had a good time, and I think she is worried about the expense. Disney isn’t cheap, but given the route I have now, it’s a pretty good bit cheaper than several alternatives. And we would have more fun at Disney.

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Throw in a couple of resort days and book her at the spa. Take your littles and do something fun while she relaxes :smile:


I hadn’t thought of the spa idea. That’s all she ever wants for Christmas or her birthday, so that just might work!

I’m not a spa kind of guy, so what are the best spa locations and options? I usually just get her gift certificates and let her choose. I’m bad, I know, but it’s what she prefers.

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Say that you and the kids would really like to go back. And if she liked it but not the fast-pace of it, ask what she would like to do while there or how to spend your time. If she could get in the spa time (as suggested above) and maybe have a more leisurely touring plan, she’d be happier. Seems that you’ve been married long enough to know “happy wife, happy life”. So find out how to compromise so everyone gets at least some of what they want. I think your money-saving ideas should have already taken care of the expense argument.

Having said that, maybe a cruise would be a good idea just to try something different and be able to compare the two. I’m a huge Disney freak, so I’d vote for the Disney Cruise over another line, even though it costs more. I can tell you that a cruise is WAY more leisurely than Disney World. You pretty much don’t have a choice but to be leisurely. Anything to be done off-ship costs extra anyway, so in the money-saving mode, you’ll be more likely to stay on the ship and just relax.

Just talk it out with her, and you’ll come up with something that works.


I think the grand Floridian has one and shades of green has one. I bet there are a few more i just don’t know for sure. If you are staying offsite you might find a really nice offsite one.

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Oh, and the Disney Cruise has the HUGE added benefit of free child-care! Will give you and the wife a chance to “date” and relax together while on board. To me, that’s worth the expense of Disney cruise. My kids had so much fun in the kid areas that that hated when we came to get them!

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So if you are trying to convince her, I would definitely bring up the spa as an option. I know my DH perked up when I promised him half days of golf.

I can completely understand how Disney is not a vacation for everyone. It can be quite the sensory overload. That being said, having just visited, you may not feel the pressure to fit as much activity in. Perhaps this time you don’t try to see everything. You can focus on the things you really loved and then maybe spend more time at a water park or at disney springs. Maybe you even get a sitter for one night and take her to dinner at the Grand Floridian. I think Disney may be much more relaxing without the pressure of a “once in a lifetime trip”.

That being said, something to consider with your girls: I went four times growing up (7, 13, 15, 18), and each time was absolutely magical. I went once with the whole family, once with my mom, and once with dad and aunt. Then I even went once with a school theatre trip. I went to Disney while in Paris during my 20s, and now I’m getting ready to go to WDW again in my 30s with my husband (intentionally before my niece is old enough to go in a few years). My point is that my trips were spaced out, and I do think that was part of why the magic never faded even a little bit for me. I get to see how much its grown, the changes . . . And you know the whole “distance makes the heart grow fonder” saying.

I do have friends and cousins with kids who go nearly every year. It hasn’t completely lost the magic (Disney never could), but I think I might actually be more excited about my trip than my 7 and 11 year old cousins are simply because they have been almost every year since kindergarten.

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Clearly you have the Disney bug. Welcome to the club.

WDW has so much for everyone. What, if anything in particular, did your girls enjoy the most?

If it was rides, you can’t beat the World itself. If it was princesses, can I suggest that a Disney cruise is the best of both worlds? It’s relaxation, there’s a spa, there are kids’ clubs and there are princesses! There’s even a bibitty bobbity boutique (but that costs extra). They have their own private island and most Caribbean and Bahamas cruises stop there for a day. Imagine seeing Mickey or Minnie on the beach? Or maybe Goofy? Oh, and unlike all other cruise lines, there’s no casino that your girls might have to walk around or through.

So, yes, a Disney cruise is more than Carnival and more than WDW, but there is so much for families that is uniquely Disney.

You don’t have to do a 7 day cruise, by the way, how about 3 days at WDW and 4 days on the Disney Dream, for example.

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I agree. There were several things we couldn’t do because of their age i.e. Rock N’ Roller Coaster - even though I did it once in single rider line, Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest, Thunder Mountain, etc. and things we were only able to do once. I know we are going back probably in about 4-6 years, but I would like to take them again for a “mini trip.” We can absolutely do a more “relaxed” vacation and not have to get everything in. Actually, that’s kind of what I’m looking for.

I promised her a resort day or a day at Disney Springs. Neither of us have ever been to Disney Springs. I’d like to do that. Or go to some of the other resorts and see what they are like.

I just know that at the end of my trip, what made it worth it was seeing the looks on my girls faces. That made it worth every penny. And I just want to see that again, while they are still young enough for Disney to be “magical”. I don’t want to wait too long so that they outgrow that.

For perspective, I am wanting to go in summer of 2018 or 2019, so it’s not like it’s that quick of a turnaround. There’s already several new things since I went. Rivers of Light, Pandora, Star Wars. We never got to see any of that.

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This can actually be quite fun! If you tie in a meal or treat at each resort, that can make it more worth the trip.

You find it magical still, right? They will too! There is no wrong age for Disney World. Just a different level of experience. (Plus, the older you are, the more you’re remember it, but still, it’s great in the moment)

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I looked for a 4 day cruise and it was around $4200. For comparison, I can get tickets to WDW for 7 days without park hopper for around $1700.

When we went, we did the meal plan and had table service at CRT, Akershus, Tusker House, H&V, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, and BOG. We saw every princess. We rode a lot of rides and saw a lot of shows. One of my daughters is still talking about the 7DMT. That was her favorite ride. The other liked the teacups the best, but it wasn’t just one thing. For me: Well, it was watching them do BBB followed by dinner at CRT.

I’d suggest to work the, “let’s do it for the girls while they are at the perfect age” angle.
It’s only going to get more expensive as the years go by. I’m in the,“let’s go twice, and be done with it forever” camp, myself. Your next trip should be more relaxing since you’ll know what to avoid. No need to spend so much on the character meals, although, if it’s a priority, go for it. The kids might be done with it after the next time as well, and hopefully you can move onto a new (cheaper) vacation plan.

Good call. Maybe I phrased it wrong. I think I am wanting to see them enjoy it while they are still younger. Personally, I don’t think I’ll get as much out of it when they are older. I know that’s selfish, but it’s true.

It might be sad to say, but one of the happiest times of my life, outside of getting married and the day my daughters were born, was driving and seeing the sign “Where Dreams Come True” as we drove in. My daughters can’t read (very well and not that script. They don’t know what it said and they didn’t really know what awaited them. They just knew it was going to be a lot of fun. And it was.

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I’m in the camp of “Let’s just go to have fun and do it as cheaply as we can” right now. The last trip we did was a "We probably aren’t going back for 5-7 years and I don’t want us to miss something because of a bill. I didn’t want to miss out on character meals. We did that.

This time, I don’t want to do character meals. We’ve done that. I just want to go and watch them ride Peter Pan and It’s a Small World. But let’s only do Small World once. :slight_smile:

I can tell you from experience, that never stops being exciting! :smiley: (With or without kids)

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Check to see if the timeshare resort has a spa. The one we own at - Sheraton Vistana - has a really nice one, and the cost is far less than the Disney spas.

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This is the key statement here - it was fun for her, but not relaxing. Even if you add in some spa time or other “relaxing” activities, you are still stuck with the fact that the overall vacation in and of itself will not be relaxing for her.

My advice would be to forget about a return trip in the short term, and work on agreeing to return when the girls are older. The selling point here would be the fact that your girls would be able to do all the things that they could not do the first time, and that they will be more independent so that it will be more relaxing in general. Probably not the advice you want to hear, but I think that it would be a winning strategy overall.


Well, the positive is that I know we are going back… in about 4-6 more years. I fear you are correct, but at least I can try. :slight_smile:

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I agree with @brklinck Here is the rub. WDW is not relaxing - sure on the commercials they show people enjoying drinks by the pools - but those are paid actors!!! Lets face it my friend you and your wife are on different wavelengths when it comes to WDW. There are support groups - this is one of them.

Even with you starting to plan things you wanted 7 days etc she didn’t. The days you spend relaxing YOU will be thinking DISNEY DISNEY DISNEY - the days at Disney - she will be thinking RELAX RELAX RELAX. It won’t work - tried it - been there.

Also as much as I like the cruise ships and are also NOT RELAXING. They are great - but not relaxing. Especially the new ships they have crammed so many people on the decks that it is really not relaxing - just my 2 cents.

My suggestion is put WDW on the back burner and go and do something else somewhere else. Do something SHE fully wants to do and is excited to do the same way you are with WDW. My only suggestion is go back when the kids are still charged as kids and not as adults and perhaps do fewer days at the parks so your wife enjoys it as well. I know every time we plan I get the same thing. Although next time it will be for my 50th

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The Grand Floridian and I believe Wilderness Lodge have Senses spas, and there is one at the Dolphin as well. My DD16 and I are going to the Senses at GF this summer for pedicures halfway through our trip as a treat to our feet. There are quite a few packages that you can get, and you could look online and see what it is that is offered and pre-pay for the entire thing, so she just has to show up and be pampered while you and the girls can do park stuff!

I also suggest planning a couple of resort days- to demonstrate how serious you are about it, consider only purchasing 5 day tickets with a 7 night stay. It’ll actually FORCE the resort days for you and the girls, and reassure your wife that you are taking her need to relax into consideration.

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