Urgent advice desperately needed!

Sorry for starting another thread, but I need advice!

I’ve suffered from depression my whole life and I’m going through a particularly dark period at the moment.

The thought occurred to me that I could book a trip to WDW to cheer myself up. Something to look forward to and plan. Yes, I’ve got one coming up in July next year, but to me that may as well be in ten years time. This morning I struggled to get out of bed until just before 1pm. I’m in that much of a funk.

So I started fantasy planning a trip. And I’ve found a combination of dates and prices that is actually workable.

Arrive 21st December. Depart 26th December. Four full days at Christmas. At DisneyWorld. One day in each park (I guess?) Flying economy (to keep costs down), staying at ASSp (to keep costs down). No dining plan. Total cost: comfortably under two thousand pounds.

One of my friends says she’s happy to look after Calvin, my dog.

So I could actually book this.

I’ve looked at restaurant availability and so on. There’s still the occasional table here and there. Who knows what FPPs I’ll get this close to the time? But then surely it’s about just enjoying being there.

I want to book it. I really do.

But is this in some way an obviously bad idea? What’s WDW at Christmas like? Cold, crowded, nightmarish? Utterly magical?

I’ll be on my own at Christmas — well, I usually am, but I usually have Calvin with me.

I’m kinda trying to buy myself some happiness. Buy myself out of this funk I’m in. If I book now, the next 28 days will be full of WDW planning and excitement. Then the trip itself. And when I get back, I’ll have Calvin to get back to. And my July trip will be that much closer!

I feel very lost in my life at the moment. I feel like I need to get away. Should I just tough it out and wait for the depression to go away? Or is life too short? Seize the day!

What’s holding me back? Cost? Not really. I can afford it. Guilt at leaving my dog? Sure. Always. (Yet, maybe our relationship will improve because — honestly — sometimes he drives me mad because he’s always there, always needing looking after. And then I feel guilty about thinking that when he’s so small and innocent.)

Can someone wise give me some help here? And fast! My [book now] finger is getting real itchy.


I mean, if you can afford it, why not? Calvin will be totally ok without you for four days, and I am fully in support of doing things that make you feel better. If this counts as self-care, I vote go!

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@profmatt, isn’t one of the symptoms of depression impulsive acts/impulsive spending? I know it is difficult when you have that ‘itch’, but maybe try and hold back for 7 days and see how you feel then? I hope you start to recover soon .

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This isn’t really the kind of thing you can delay acting on for a week!

You can…at least don’t book tonight. July really isn’t that far away. Count down the weeks. The urgent planning may ‘momentarily’ distract you but the underlying depression will still be there. Christmas on your own at WDW may be a lonelier experience than being at home with Calvin. And what about the further 'down ’ you may experience when the trip is over. I am so sorry you are going through a difficult time, but you know that the cycle will come to an end.


How do you think you’ll feel being alone at Christmas literally surrounded by happy excited families? Maybe the answer is “Great” and if so, and if you can afford it, fair enough. But if you are going to end up feeling even more depressed because you’re alone, and then realise you’ve spent a lot of money to cheer yourself up and still ended up miserable, maybe it’s not a good idea.

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I also know it will come back. I have — so far as I’ve been able to establish over the last thirty years — incurable depression. This may be a temporary fillip but sometimes that’s what you have to do. One month at a time, until the sweet release of death.

Right now I’m more worried about practicalities. Can you actually plan a Christmas trip to WDW at less than thirty days notice?

Of course you can. You book it, you’ve only got one park per day so not much planning to do there, book an ADR each day, book FPs, pack your case and go.

This isn’t an endorsement of your plan - but it can be done if you choose to go ahead.

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I am so sorry to hear you are experiencing a rough patch right now. I can sympathize with your desire to bring a bit of joy and magic into your life by going to Disney World. I absolutely love being at Disney during the holiday season. I think I could listen to the Voices of Liberty in Dickens’ attire all day long and not get bored. I won’t voice an opinion on whether you should go or not, but will say that my wish for you is to not regret your decision, whichever one you make. Once you decide to go or not go, don’t look back! Look forward!


Of course you can…you are a Cambridge graduate!:slight_smile:

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This time of year is particularly hard for people who suffer from depression. I learned years ago when helping my son manage his that Equinox (both in Fall and Spring) can be difficult times. So, first of all, congratulations on recognizing that you are suffering.
My advice is - it is your body and your money so do what is the best for your health. WDW or therapy, either one will cost you a lot of money and what happens with your health if you don’t take action today?

PS you got me through a rough bout of depression by sharing your planning process before your last trip. I know that non-Liners may not understand but it is absolutely true.:blush:


I don’t know. I can imagine crying a lot — if I go to the Candellight Processional, for example. I imagine it’s a real tearjerker.

But then I am where I am. I’m not suddenly not going to be alone at Christmas. It’s either Calvin and I on our own in a hotel, or me on my own at WDW.

The existing plan is two nights in a local hotel. It’s quite nice, in a tragic kind of a way. But it doesn’t feel like a real break. A five night stay at WDW, plus a night at the airport and a night on the plane, is a big break from my life at home. A life which currently comprises an awful lot of sleeping. And fantasising about my own death. To be honest.

Being surrounded by happy Christmassy people is not going to particularly upset me. My strategy in previous years has been to ignore Christmas as much as possible and pretend it’s not there. If I go to WDW I’m embracing it full-on. But that might be nice. I want to see enormous Christmas trees in hotel lobbies. And gingerbread houses.

Before Calvin was born I spent one Christmas in Hong Kong on my own. Including a trip to Disneyland HK. That was kinda fun.


So is this the question?

Or this?

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I’m worried about you, my friend. Can we help?


Ok so you’ve already had that experience and it wasn’t an issue, that’s good. I just worried that being there would make you feel worse.

What’s holding me back? Really, I mean?

There’s a financial and emotional (Calvin) cost to deciding to go. There is (I guess) an emotional cost to deciding not to go.

What is Christmas at WDW really like? I guess I can survive the economy flight (though the horrors of it are on my mind). I guess I can survive the horrors of ASSp (by avoiding being in the room except for sleeping).

Is it cold and rainy like Britain? Warm and sunny like Britain in the summer? Is it so crowded that even rubbish rides have hour-long queues. By now will I only be able to get FPPs for rubbish rides like Primeval Whirl and the Nemo thing at Epcot?

Or will this actually be a really chilled-out trip because my “real” trip is in July and this is all about wandering aimlessly around the parks, drinking it in? A magical journey as I explore the hotels and their decorations?

The weather can be cold or it can be warm - there are no guarantees either way.

As to planning with 30 days? I did WDW at Christmas Week day by day when I got stranded there because of the blizzard in the northeast. Had a great time. But then I tend to like Christmas.

Given your previously stated disdain for Christianity, I would avoid the Candlelight Processional as it is the story of the birth of Christ - definitely something that someone who actively dislikes Christianity should avoid.

And again, I know I’m only one person (and one who doesn’t have to be surrounded by frills to be happy or comfortable), but I did not find Sports “full or horrors”. It’s perfectly fine. I’ve stayed in WAY more horrific places before - Sports doesn’t come close.


But to answer your question, it will be insanely busy and, yes, even rubbish rides will have lines. You’ll need to focus on a couple of things you want to do each day and the rest would be icing. The crowds will be crushing, and while not probably rainy the weather will likely be cool. You’ll definitely need to manage your expectations.

At the same time, I have found the more I go the more I can relax while there. Feeling less pressure to do stuff, and focusing on the “something special” that the trip is about. Being more able to enjoy the details and meander and just be. And smile. A lot.


This question is like the “Marmite? Love it or hate it?” question.

I loved it. It really was an amazing trip, and my family all agree we want to back at that time again for our next trip (2 years away though).

But … You are a planner, obsessively so I think you would agree. You have to adjust your expectations. I’d did that by using TPS for the first time, and managed to adjust not only mine but my family’s too. So much so that we were surprised how much we managed to do. But we have a much more relaxed style than you.

I can’t help but worry though. If you don’t love it, you could end up feeling even worse.

Whatever you decide, I’m sending you some virtual hugs. I know what it’s like to live with someone with depression, even though I don’t know what it feels like personally.

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I’ve been fantasising about my own death since I was a teenager. This is nothing new. I mean, I’m in a particularly bad funk at the moment, but I’ve been here before. For sure, part of it is seasonal — both in the SAD sense, and in the festive season sense.

I have a very strong superego that causes me to worry endlessly about being sensible and doing the right thing. On the one hand I fantasise about dying before I’m 60. On the other hand I worry about living in poverty when I’m 80.

I think about booking this trip and then I look to my left where Calvin is sleeping with his head on my leg and I think I’m a monster for plotting to leave him at Christmas. Yet, I’ve been snappy with him recently because, well, I’m miserable. Maybe I need another break from him. Respite.

If I don’t book this trip, I just see long months of working and sleeping ahead of me. Nothing to look forward to. Well, yeah, July next year. But that’s forever.

I’m not even looking forward to my 50th birthday in April. The hotel I’m staying at got snippy with me when I changed the reservation and it’s like I don’t want to go there any more because it’s my actual 50th birthday and they’re privileged to have me and I shouldn’t go somewhere where they’ve told me off.

Hell, if I take this Christmas trip I might cancel the birthday one altogether. There are many ways I can justify the cost of this trip, by cancelling other things. So it’s not really about money. I mean, it is a bit. But not really.

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