So, farewell then, Orlando — and 2022. What's next?

As previously announced, my days of flying from England to Florida are over. I had a good run, but I’m done.

I’m not finding it particularly hard. I’ve unsubscribed from all the WDW- and UOR-related YouTube channels. I’ve unfollowed all the Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and Instagram feeds. It’s like Disney and Universal never existed. Except for the epic amounts of merch covering every surface of my house.

(Stuart, sadly, has only just begun his journey and is constantly talking about wanting to go back.)

But what now? I’ve obsessed about trips to Orlando for over five and a half years, when you people sucked me into your enablers cult.

With 2022 nearly gone, too, my mind is naturally turning to the future and what I plan to do. Here are my thoughts.

My plan to win a £2.5 million house has not worked out and I need to make my peace with the fact that I have two and a half years on my current lease and I should (re)make it my home. So Mission #1 is to give my apartment some love. Paul is coming over on Saturday to start the process with a huge clear-out. (I love throwing stuff out. It’s so cathartic.)

A Big Decision I need to make is whether or not to re-open the study; I used it for in-person teaching, but closed it last year when I finally admitted to myself that those days were gone. It’s now a bare room, filled with junk that keeps the rest of the apartment tidier. Because of the layout, and this weird thing I started doing when I moved here of propping all the doors all the rooms fully open, closing off the study has made the place feel a bit claustrophobic. But it’s also saved money on heating: it’s a whole room that I don’t heat at all. I still haven’t decided whether to start teaching in person again. I reckon I have COVID PTSD and I’ve become fearful of being around other people. Getting sick during my June trip and after my December trip (one COVID, one RSV) hasn’t made me any more inclined to let diseased children into my home. But I also worry about the mental health implications of spending days and days where I never talk to another human being in person.

The primary reason for stopping my trips to Orlando is money. The economy in the UK is the worst I’ve known it in my adult lifetime. I’m also somewhat aware that Calvin is 12 years old and his life-expectancy is, erm, 12 years and I’m not sure I want to be spending time away from him. So I need to figure out a whole new way to relax and vacation.

What to do with my day-to-day free time that used to be spent planning my WDW schedule in military detail? The answer, I think, came to me last night when I started watching a series of YouTube videos about exoplanets. I need to remind myself of the things I really enjoy doing. And then do them. Like learning about exoplanets. @JJT recently tweeted about the B&N hardback book sale, and I joked about wanting to rush out to buy loads more books to add to my beautiful pile of unread ones. No, I’m not going to suddenly start reading them. (Quite the opposite, actually. I’m going to stack at least some of them up and donate them to the local library.) Rather, it reminded me that I often do nothing because doing the thing I want to do is blocked by guilt at not doing the thing I think I should be doing. There’s a reason I haven’t read those books. I don’t want to. I thought I did. But I don’t. (I say the same to my students when I recommend reading to them. It’s fine if you don’t do it. But realise that this means that you’re just not into that subject. So don’t pretend to yourself that you are and apply to college to major in it.)

So doing more stuff that I like. And less stuff that I don’t. I have specifically in mind the consumption of news. This is actually something I’ve already started. I realised that my apparent addiction to news was really bad for my mental health. It made me angry and fearful and gave me, I think, a distorted view of reality. I justified it sometimes by persuading myself that I needed to be well-informed. But why? The harsh reality is that there’s almost nothing I can do (or am willing to do) about almost all of it. We have the government we have. I can try to vote it out of office in two years. In the meantime, there’s no use in getting angry at it. Putin is a monster, but I am powerless to defeat him. Best leave him under the bed and forget about him.

2022 saw a resurgence in the quality of a number of my friendships. These need to be worked on and maintained. Stuart and Anthony live 15 miles away. We don’t need to plan a trip to Orlando for two years just to meet up. We could do it more often. Paul lives just over a mile away. We’ve been good at hanging out. We should do it more.

If I do decide to go away on holiday without Calvin, it is Paris that’s calling me. Yes, DLP is a thing and I probably want to go back. but the city itself has so much to offer. I want to spend a day — maybe two? — in the Louvre. I’ve never visited it properly. It’s enormous. I so enjoyed my visit to the Royal Ontario Museum 2021. And the Louvre is three times bigger. Then there’s the d’Orsay and . . .

What are your plans / goals / ideas for 2023?


I’m not ready to quit my Disney addiction just yet but I am taking a break from WDW. We are not planning to visit in 2023.


April 2023: Disneyland
Summer 2023: Brazil, Pantanal to see the jaguar :leopard:

Jan/Feb 2024: Run Disney (I don’t run, but there is a whole year to prepare)
Summer 2024: Disneyland Paris and London

I hope you continue to renew your TP subscription and stay in touch with everyone here.


No plans to phase you people out.


I’m working on plans to go there in May/June 2023!! Also ALL the museums we can cram into 7 days!!


I think we’ll miss each other. I’m bound by school holidays.

Can I argue against that?

Do some museums. But do them really well. Don’t Disney it and rush around like a crazy person, taking frantic selfies in front of obvious things and failing to stop and take it all in.


Liner meet in Paris first week of June! I think you’ll love Paris @sanstitre_has_left_the_building, it’s just like the France pavilion at EP, but somehow more immersive. Louvre and D’Orsay and Sainte Chappelle and Sacre Couer and and and - so many amazing sites!

Have you thought about non-Disney parks? I’m going to Europa in June and it looks great, and I’ve heard that Phantasialand (Germany) and Efteling(Netherlands) are fun too.

I never intended to stick around here as long as I have. My Disney trip was intended to be one and done, and it likely will be that way for a few years at least. We now have family about an hour and half away from Orlando, so popping in to ride Tron is on the table, but UOR is higher on the list. So I guess I’ll keep an eye on you people to keep on top of things.

We have trips planned out into 2024, some big, most small, but all requiring some planning so I don’t have to find anything to fill in that time, but I do need to find things and ways to be more productive in my home life. I think I will finally paint the trim on the garage this spring….

Like Matt, I’ve limited my consumption of news, with a focus on less doom and gloom fear mongering and more straight facts. Sadly, this is a monumental task these days, but it’s great for overall mental health.


Darn, and I never got to meet up with you in FL. :frowning: May/June is when DD is out of school so I get that.

We do have London on the list for someday!

Oh yeah this is how we roll, I was just being dramatic :grin:


This is my big dilemma - we’re hitting Paris as a day trip. DW and I have been previously, but the kids are Paris obsessed and demand to see the Eiffel Tower, and firing out what else to do in a day is daunting. I’m thinking Sainte Chappelle, D’Orsay and maybe a boat cruise.


We were going to do Paris and London in the same trip but decided there was too much to see in Paris so we are staying there for around 10 days! (about 3 of which will be at DLP)


We did London and Paris for five nights each. With 8 days you have plenty of options and plenty time to take it slow and see loads of stuff. Have you looked at anything outside of the city? You can get so many places in about two hours by train!

We did a Bike tour of Versailles and it was a highlight of the trip.

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Yes, working on it now Versailles is top of the list. The bike ride sounds amazing!


In 2023, we are taking a few trips to celebrate shitty 2022 ending.

Trip 1- 11 day trip to Paris. Mostly the city plus Versailles and 1 day at DLP. This is a legit dream come true trip for me.

Trip 2- Toronto and Niagara Falls for an extended weekend at the start of summer.

Trip 3- HHI South Carolina- beach and family time (MIL and FIL live here)

Trip 4- Annual boat trip in Kentucky

Trip 5- Smoky mountains for a long weekend. DH’s offers free accommodations so this trip will basically free

Trip 6- ??? Maybe WDW at Christmas- Not sure about this one yet


This is my predicament. I’m working on it, but it’s tough.

it IS really bad for one’s mental health. I’ve been practicing the abstention of news for over a year, and it makes such a difference in my life.

This is so wonderful to hear!

I totally agree. There is something magical about Paris and it’s so close to you!

We are fixing up our house to make it more us.


Paris in early / mid-June with now possible Liner meetup :joy:. We have a week in the city and four days at DLP before heading home. I’ve been with my husband before kids (we followed the Tour De France around France during Lance Armstrong’s 7th tour!) and am excited to return. Paris felt like home to me and I cried in the airport on the return back.

I have a quick trip to WDW scheduled in mid-February with a friend. Four days, four parks with two After Hours parties. I found super cheap flights and we are staying at Pop. She hasn’t been to Disney since she was an adult and I am excited to go with her.

A friend’s (third) wedding in Oregon. She asked me to be a bridesmaid. Not thrilled about her choice of husband. Also flights are looking to be $800-1000. :nauseated_face:

Vegas in October to see p!nk with some girl friends.

And I’m also seeing p!nk in Houston the week before with another friend (the friends don’t like each other so two trips).

And probably three work trips. My company is 100% remote and global and we did our first offsite last year in the Dominican Republic. We will do another at some international location (too hard to get people to the USA). I’m managing two teams now and we are supposed to schedule a team meet ups in the spring. One team is US-only and they suggested New Orleans. The other is global, and since my team member in Denmark refused to fly to the offsite, I’m thinking we do the team meetup in Copenhagen.

And maybe a week in Portugal in the summer summer? I have a friend whose company wants her to work at their Portugal office for a month next summer. I’m threatening to join her at her AirBnB for a week and work from there. I have two colleagues in Portugal as well.

Personally, I’m trying to be nicer to myself, care less about what others think, and do more things that bring me joy, regardless of how silly they are.




Early May 2023, we’re doing 9 nights at Dockside Inn at Universal. Other than my 3rd son, who is electing to stay home to work to pay for school, the rest of the family is also coming down, so there will be 8 of us.


I feel this. You’re making a wise choice, especially feeling content with all you’ve done there in the last ~5 years. There are so many things you can do for less money closer to home and find joy in them.

I hear you. I will be working on this with you.

First goal is to set goals. :slightly_smiling_face:

No trips planned or even hinted at for 2023. I have to get to a mental place where I don’t feel like every dollar spent on an optional vacation is wasted money, while at the same time feeling like I desperately need vacations. This inner conflict has boiled over, and has to be solved before I go anywhere again. And it’s hard to know when kids will be able to go somewhere, and what they even like to do anymore. It’s always changing. Too hard to plan ahead in my family.

Goals will be more focused on improving relationships, being a kinder person to everyone, and managing my household and day to day life better. If an opportunity for a trip arises, great, but I won’t dwell on it.


I found this to be true for me and in 2020 went mostly news free. I’m not completely unaware of what is going on, but I can’t get so wrapped up in things that are beyond my control. I do vote and I do contribute to candidates and causes I believe in. I try to effect change through my own actions as much as possible. And mostly I just try to be happy. Or content. I hope you find that you are also more content as you phase out the news. It is freeing when you realize you don’t have to do the things you think you should do.

I’m so glad that your friendships have been strengthened with your three boys. I think that is something great that came out of this trip that exceeded at least my expectations. I loved seeing you hanging with your friends and looking happy and relaxed and like you’re just having a good time! More of that please, with or without Disney! (Please bring Stu back in a couple of years!)

As for me… I realized I need to cool my jets a bit on travel and start investing in my home. But I still will be taking lots of little trips! The bigger trip I’m hoping to take is to Tulum, Mexico. I love ruins and can’t wait to visit Chichen Itza. A few years ago, the girls and I went to Teotihuacan in Mexico. It was amazing!


My Disney addiction is just ramping up! :rofl:

I skimped on travel for the first 10 years of my marriage, with a trip to Disneyland being the farthest we went (pretty affordable thanks to a car and cheap hotel options and prior to huge ticket price increases).

But now I’m to the point in my career where I can splurge a little more, and my kids are the right ages to enjoy it to the fullest. We plan to go to WDW every other year at least, with a trip somewhere else in the alternate years, hitting Disneyland at least once a year as well.

May/June 2023: WDW / UOR
September 2023: Couple’s trip to DLR
October 2023: DCL - San Diego > Ensenada

We love HHI! My parents own Marriott VC there – enough for like 4-5 2BR units every couple of years. In 2024 we plan to go there for a “reunion” (likely paired with a few days in Orlando while we’re on the east coast) and then have a trip Hawaii with just my family in October.


Each year I pick a word to guide me. Or rather a word picks me - It’s a peculiar thing. My word for 2023 is Untamed and I’m over the moon excited about it. I’m going to deepen my understanding of myself, and leave behind the ish that doesn’t serve me. Like trying to be in or exert control over anything. And letting go of stress and pressure that’s not mine. I’m going to take time to be present, meditate, journal, create art and care for my body. I’ve had a lot of personal growth in 2022 and that’s giving me the foundation to boldly step into my power and expand in ways I previously thought impossible.
I still have 48 years on my DVC contract so Disney will continue to be a big part of my life. It is my happy place. We have a family trip booked for March and plans for 3 couple trips (June, Oct and Jan) but they’re not booked yet.