Planning a Solo Trip - feeling guilty

I’m a huge Disney fan. Which most of you clearly are as well if you’re posting on TP forum. My wife isn’t as big of a fan, and would prefer that we spend our trip budgets on non Disney trips for a few years… it’s killing me. I travel quite a bit for work, and find myself in Florida once or twice a year. Never Orlando…but I’m thinking of taking a few days to go on a solo WDW trip before or after my next business trip to Florida. My issue is my kids love WDW as much as I do. I’m feeling incredibly guilty about this plan. Anyone else have a similar experience? How do you deal with it? Thanks!!

I’m a huge fan of solo trips to Disney but in this case I think it’s a bad idea…

I’m not a dad but when I was a kid, if I found out my dad was going to Disney without me… I’d be furious. Like “Your Honor, I have no idea how that shot gun went off, and then got reloaded…twice” furious… :slight_smile:

As much as it is painful, I wouldn’t go to Disney alone under these circumstances. It’s not worth the drama. That being said, I think your wife is being pretty unfair if she’s the only one not for a Disney trip. Isn’t the whole idea of a family vacation to be about relaxing and WHO you go with and not WHERE you go?

Sounds like you need to work out how to make a Disney trip worthwhile for your wife.

What is it she doesn’t like? The planning involved, the expense, the rushing around…? Whatever it is, you then need to work out how to mitigate it. You take on the planning, maybe stay offsite, investigate all the more relaxing things she can do.

Whether she likes golf, shopping, spas or just a more relaxed pace, try and make her see she can still enjoy herself. My DH loves being at Disney but is definitely not the planner, and rarely lasts more than 4 hours in a park at a time. I just need to plan for that. Luckily he is quite happy to head back to the resort on his own if the rest of us want to carry on.

Maybe your wife would like something similar, a few hours in the park and then head back to swim. Or an afternoon in the park with dinner and a show. She could meet you somewhere in the middle of the plan at 2pm.

But first, find out what she is thinking and why. Good luck!

I am planning a few days next June either preceding or following a convention I will be going to in Tampa. It’s the only way I foresee getting solo time in the World. I can’t imagine, at this stage of the game (DD13, DS9), using family vacation funds for a just-me trip.

I strongly disagree with this. IMO, kids need to understand that not everything is about them all the time and that we, as parents, are people and have interests too and need to do things just for us sometimes. It’s healthy for them to see. Last Sept DH and I went without kids. Were they disappointed they weren’t joining us? Sure. Was there drama? Not even a tiny bit. Did they get over being disappointed? Sure. If they didn’t, I assure you it would have been a looooooooooooooong time before we took them back, because failing to get over it quickly and without drama would be an indication that we had turned them into spoiled brats who didn’t deserve at trip.

I know, it sounds harsh but that’s how I feel.

For me it’s more of a budgetary issue.


I don’t have kids, but if it were me, I’d feel a little guilty at first, but not enough to not go on my own. If you have the funds to do it and your wife doesn’t mind, I say go for it! Then maybe keep the kids while she goes on a short trip of her own choosing by herself or with her friends. Not sure how old your kids are or how many times they’ve been to Disney or other places, but I also think that taking a different sort vacation with kids is best as well. I think the exposure to different experiences and places is part of great parenting. If money was no object I’d do both each year! :slight_smile:

You always have the option to not tell your kids that you are going, too, if you think it would be an issue, but I would not feel guilty. Many families don’t have the option for a parent to take a separate vacation for themselves plus a family vacation. If you can, enjoy it! Take the time for yourself and have a great time!

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Well first, it’s not the kids who are creating the aforementioned drama, it’s the wife. I’m guessing the wife will be disagreeing with this plan as well because it taps into resources that could be used elsewhere. Getting into an argument with her about going and then along with the kids’ disappointment still adds up to “not worth it” to me. If it was the parents who wanted to do a trip, I absolutely agree with you, but this is not that scenario. He’s risking alienating everyone in the family for a few days in Disney.

Second, I think the frequency of trips to Disney as a family plays a heavy roll in this. So I guess it colored my response a great deal. My family only ever went once, and I don’t think anyone would’ve considered me a spoiled brat for being perpetually furious if I found out that my dad was going to Disney while the rest of the family only ever got to go once. Though as that was a hypothetical scenario and considering OP is and probably will go every few years, I guess that doesn’t really apply at all. In truth, I was trying to be funny and I see it failed pretty miserably.

All things considered though I still wouldn’t do this. At least not without sitting down and discussing it with the rest of the family.

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But you reference the drama from the kids being upset over not going.

Yeah it was poorly written, but I was actually trying to link and reference the drama from everyone rather than just the kids. Obviously that wasn’t at all clear, and I apologize for that.

We’ve gone as a family every year for the last 6 years. My wife would just prefer to spend time away from WDW for a few years. The plan is to go back in 2019. I totally understand her reasoning. I don’t think she’s being difficult at all. Disney as we all know is incredibly expensive with a larger family. We’ve also been spoiled and done our last few trips at The Grand Floridian, and the Polly. Honestly if we could afford it - my wife would be happy to go to WDW and someplace else. Trying to convince her to stay Pop Century, after the GF is a tough sell. But that’s my only hope. The bottom line is I think I would miss my family if I did a solo trip. And feel guilty. Although I agree with OBNurseNH. As parents - we don’t always need to do everything with our kids. I just can’t picture going on the Jungle Cruise without my two little ones… Anyway I appreciate everyone’s perspectives on this.

As long as your wife doesn’t mind you doing this, then go for it. Don’t tell the kids.

All that said, my DH is so over Disney. But he never comes up with any better ideas, so we go to Disney and he sucks it up. Would I rather he was a Disney guy? Sure, but I’m just happy he drives us to the World and walks around with us without complaining, even that time when he had bronchitis.

I agree with others that you should find things DW likes to do, as well. She doesn’t have to trek through the parks with you and the kids. You take the kids and go, leaving her in the spa or by the pool with a good book. Also, book enough days that you can do non-Disney stuff one day, like the Mall or outlets or other touristy things. If you have a car available, you can even drive to the beach (an hour away) for the day.

Finally, just throwing this out there… have you checked out Disney cruises? You and the kids can get your Disney fix and your wife doesn’t have to trek from ride to ride. She can just relax.

Thanks Ariadne. Yes, we’ve done two Disney cruises. Honestly I’m not a huge fan of them. Mainly because I feel sea sick most of the time… But she did enjoy them. My wife only complains about Disney trips when we have to pay for them. She actually has fun when we’re there.


My $0.02. After going to Disney six straight years for a vacation, the wife wants to do something different for a year. I think that’s a reasonable suggestion, and part of the normal give-and-take of a relationship.

If it turned out you had a business trip to Orlando (not Florida in general) and had a chance to visit the parks during down time, you’d probably have a case. Any time or resources you spend solo at Disney ends up being time and resources not shared with the rest of your family. I’d tread very, very carefully there.

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Ah, well that’s different. I’m not a fan of the bills, either. :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t go without the family unless DW agrees. I know you work hard for your money, but you are part of a household, not single. If she says one ticket and a night or two at Pop is fine with her, then go. But still, don’t tell the kids.

So we went in November this past year. It was 11 years since my wife and I had been. It was my kids first time. They were 6 at the time. I wanted to go back next year and do a trip that wasn’t as expensive as ours was. We did the meal plan with the character meals, stayed onsite, MVMCP, BBB, the works. I’ll be the first to say, I can’t do that again. It was great for the time we did it. SO, I worked out how we could drastically cut costs. My kids would LOVE to go back. My wife’s plan was to go back in 5 more years. To be honest, that’s just too long for me. I was able to convince her to allow them to go back on the child’s ticket, so that’ll be in summer of 2020. We are going to surprise them the day they get out of 3rd grade and go the very next day.

We are going on a cruise next year. It’s not the Disney Cruise line, although that’s what I would prefer if prices were the same.

All that being said, I’m a Disney fanatic too. I used to not be that way, until I started planning for this most recent trip. I think what set me off was knowing I’d get to see my daughter’s reactions. I LOVED that. Getting to see my daughter on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin was priceless. It was the 2nd ride we went on and they could have kicked me out right then and there. Still worth it! Having them ride the teacups with me - they were laughing the whole time. Priceless. So going alone for me would be a no-go because I know I wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much. If it’s ok with the wife and you would still enjoy it, I say go for it. The kids don’t set the rules - you do. And they aren’t paying for it either. You are. So they can be upset. In the end, they’ll forgive you.

If you do feel guilty though, it’s easiest not to go.


My father traveled a few times a year when I was growing up + occasionally attended conferences in Disney World during the school year, when I couldn’t attend. While I would have liked to be there, I don’t recall this ever bothering me. He would bring back souvenirs and stories and things he saw behind the scenes that I loved to hear.

I’ve heard some other fun stories of parents who brought back other “souvenirs” for their kids, including one father (I think it was from Touring Plans) who recorded videos of different princesses saying hello to his child (or children?). Returning with video, pictures of favorite place, autographs, or something like that could just help build excitement for you family’s next trip. Most kids will like to hear how much Mickey and other characters they love are missing them!


I love Disney way more than either of my kids (DD15, DS13) and my DH pretty much despises it… that being said, I go to both DL and WDW quite a few more times per year than my kids, and am the only one in the family with an AP. My kids are not bothered at all by this. I go with girlfriends, and they are not interested in joining (they tried once). In the last 15 months I have been to WDW 4 times (2 with my kids, 2 without), and Disneyland 3 times (took each child once, and once with girlfriends). I am currently on a plane to DL right now with one child (the other is in Scotland) with plans for another DL trip in September and WDW in October (sans children). If you want a solo trip, go for it! My husband may think I am nuts for going so much, but he doesn’t mind. We take a big family vacation every year, plus several small ones as well. Solo trips are very inexpensove compared to taking the family, and if you are already in Florida I would go for it. Your wife and kids may completely support it, you won’t know until you ask. Good luck!


I agree that there is a huge cost difference between traveling solo and going with a larger family. I have traveled both with family and solo to many different places. I plan different trips for different types of travel (international and historical is more solo, kids more Disney/beach). I would encouraged you to try new places as a family (national parks, beaches, some big city destinations) as I have some great memories as a kid (and adult) of these. Also if larger family, consider off site for Disney since rental homes cost less than a couple deluxe rooms and have more space. Then you can switch it up and see other things in FL with family as well (beach, other parks).

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