Why I'm done with WDW

Something happened during or after my most recent trip to Orlando. A switch switched. Maybe a lightbulb came on.

I’m not planning any more trips to Orlando for a number of years. And here’s why: I’ve realised it’s just not healthy for me. I’ve realised my addiction is damaging.

My whole life was focused on the next trip (ha!). All my free time was devoted to planning it. And I resented my non-free time. Even my job — which I used to love — became an irritation. I derived no joy from it. All I cared about was the next trip.

In the 18 months from October 2021 to March 2022 I took six trips. On average Orlando trips cost me around $5,000 each, though some have been close to double that, and my most recent trip was about half. That’s almost ruinously expensive. And why?

I think I’ve been chasing that first trip, back in August 2017. It blew my mind. I had never had a vacation like it. I had genuinely believed it would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Yet almost immediately after returning I wanted to go back. And I did, in June 2018. The cravings were so strong that I couldn’t wait another year. I went back in December 2018. Then June and December the following year. For 2020 I had June and October booked. COVID put a stop to that: WDW was open, but we were banned from flying to the US from the UK. So in October 2021 I took a trip to Canada, specifically to get access to the US and take my sixth trip. Then February 2022. The next trip was only a month later, in March. Then June. Then December — wow how those six months dragged while I waited to go back.

My last trip was March this year. By any reasonable standard it was a dream trip. I did all the things. No complaints. One of my best. But no trip has been as good as the first.

I need to step away. For the sake of my mental health. And for the sake of my finances.

The funny thing is, something has broken the spell because this doesn’t feel remotely difficult to do. I’ve already moved on. I’ve started enjoying my day-to-day life again. I’ve started loving my work again.

And I’ve found other things to look forward to and plan. Cheaper things. Less high-stakes things. Things I enjoy a lot, but don’t obsess about.

I am keeping my reservation for DLP this summer, though I’ve cut it from three nights to two. There’s less planning required at DLP, though I’m a little worried I’ll become a victim of FOMO and panic if I don’t make the trip perfect.

After that I’m done with Disney parks full stop. Not forever. But for some years. I’m looking forward now to re-exploring European cities. I plan to take cheap flights and travel light and stay for two or three nights at a time. I’m all about museums and galleries and cathedrals and views from tall buildings. And spontaneous lunches in unexpected restaurants.

Aside from any other reason, I need to stay away long enough to really miss the place. The next time I come back to Orlando I will still be chasing that initial high. I think I need to have stayed away for so long that I’ve almost forgotten what the place is like. And let it change to something different with new areas and attractions.

There is talk of a trip to the West Coast and DLR, and maybe Japan, too. That may well come before the return to Orlando. But even that is some years away.

Should I have quit sooner? Maybe. But I quit on a high.


Definitely see and do other things that are closer to you. I’m sure you’ll plan something fun but please report back here. Don’t go away from us.


Maybe I have a compromise.

You are so well spoken and you have such a gift for both banter and storytelling, maybe you could consider a travel blog?

It could provide additional income for you and give you another sense of community to bond with.

A Snooty-Foodie Adventure Blog that I would be the first to sign up for!! Wasn’t it @Dreamer that was saying her friend was just able to do the Four Seasons Private Adventures through her blog?


That’s a great suggestion. He is well spoken and detailed in his writings.

My friend has been a travel writer for years (she started back in the days when magazines were popular). She did that trip when she worked for T&L I think.


I’m glad you’re at peace with your decision. Enjoy your life!

You’ve got some nice theme parks over there with Eftling, Phantasialand and Europa. If you need a fix of theming and rides, should be easier and much cheaper to pop over there.


Epic Universe 2025 :partying_face::partying_face:


It’s funny how you talk about Disney as chasing a high. The immersion into a place where you could be like a kid in a candy store is an awesome feeling. People go to Vegas for the same thing. It reminds me of something I heard a psychologist say, that people who follow true crime love it because it is a completely immersive experience and escape from reality. (He also said that anyone who loves true crime shouldn’t try cocaine, because they are the most likely group to become addicted. I wonder if that hold true for WDW fans. :thinking:)

It’s hard when the spell is broken and WDW becomes, well, just a really nice resort and amusement park with fun rides and tasty food.


I actually love this! I too feel like I’m slowly pulling out a bit. But I’m not full blown quit like you. But I do realize there is so much more out there I want to see and do and spend my disposable income on. I had this hard urge to do ABD Scotland because it’s somehow associated to Disney BUT I reached out to another tour company and their tour they’ve suggested blows Disney’s out of the water and is much more in depth, longer and not that much more expensive given the extra days. Why do I hold on to having to do all the Disney things? So I feel ya!

Also, I started on a new workout kick after the surgery and losing my brother threw me out of it and it’s given me more appreciation for the day to day including my career because like you all I did was plan trips. Now, I’m sorta over it and want someone else to do it for me which is :exploding_head: because I’ve always done my own thing and ready every guidebook and obsessed over every detail. I still want to travel but I don’t want to spend all my spare time planning it.


See I plan all trips to other places excessively too. I’m already thinking about next year’s vacations before this summer’s are done. I just have an unhealthy travel planning obsession.


Haha, same. I’m all about vacation - doesn’t matter where it is. Just happened to be a lot of Disney the last 3 years due to Covid. But I generally travel at least 3-5 times per year. I’m always looking forward to my next vacation.


I’ve got spreadsheets with planned trips thru 2026!!!
2023 - Japan
2024 - Scotland with the 'rents and Italy with DD
2025 - Antarctica (and probably Epic Universe in Dec to make sure it’s done and cuz heat in FL)
2026 - African Safari


I think there is some wisdom in your decision and your rationale. I feel the same irrational pull to go back again and again. And it certainly is expensive.

I’m not ready to give it up though. Maybe I’ll never be. But I commend you for thinking through what’s best for you and doing it.

As others have said, stick around on the forum.


I have outlines too. Glad I’m not alone. Cool places though - mine are all domestic (well Canada in there).


Disney got you through certain times in your life and I think it was OK to lean into that at the time just like I think it’s OK to move on to other things now. There are many less healthy ways to deal with life. We mix Disney trips in with other adventures to try to keep a balance. I hope you stick around and share your next adventures and your opinions with us.


I completely understand and am doing the same thing with Disney. (Yes…I’ve moved to Universal which is still in Orlando, but it’s not WDW!)

I have so many issues with Disney Parks atm that I wouldn’t be going back any time soon if I didn’t have a Disney Visa with thousands of dollars in points. I’m going to DLR in 2024, for my first ever visit, and I’m then done with them for a very long time.

I’ve found my “magic” elsewhere in the theme park world and I’m so happy about it.

You do what’s best for you and if you want to return to Disney then you know it’s not going anywhere. It’s not like it’s closing or anything. Enjoy your separation… I do!!


I absolutely get where you’re coming from, and I don’t blame you one bit. I felt the same about the music cruises I used to go on. Between 2006 and 2016 I went on 19 of them, only missing the OG Rock Boat one time in all those years.

Since 2012 or so, though, the company that does them has, shall we say, gotten a little big for their britches. They don’t value customer service at all, and the experience has suffered while the price has doubled. It was like you say though, chasing a high… always trying to get back to those good old times. I met most of my really good friends on those cruises, and I was one of the first to drift away. Since 2016 I’ve only gone on 4 of their cruises… 2 of those were heavily discounted, and 1 was at the very last minute when another friend had to cancel and couldn’t get a refund. I don’t even get much FOMO.

I’m not really to that point with WDW, but I am to the point where I recognize that I need to set aside my vacation time to do other things that I want to do. Unlike you, though, my sights are set on the faraway… I’ve got a bunch more continents to visit (after this next trip I’ll still have Asia, Australia, South America, and Antarctica… plus I’d like to see a bit more of Africa than just the bit of Morocco I saw as a teen before I check that one off) before my bucket list is even close to done.

Like I said, I don’t blame you for stepping back from WDW, but if you step back from here I will miss your brand of humor. You add a unique element to the mix.


I didn’t read the responses yet, but I wonder if some of this is your reaction to the pandemic. As in, taking less joy in things in your immediate surroundings b/c those things reminded you of the bad pandemic stuff, but far away things didn’t. I think this is a reaction many people have had to the pandemic, one of many reactions…perhaps being more comfortable at home now is being more healed from everything that happened? I don’t know, just guessing.


That’s me! I am not happy unless I am actively planning and there are several trips in the Q. Especially now that I’m getting older, and after losing two years of travel due to Covid, I feel the pressure to get it all in before it’s too late! (Africa, Italy, and Portugal this year . . . next winter is Australia/New Zealand.)


Enjoy DLP and wherever else your next adventures take you.


I agree. The first trip always hold that special feeling that can never be fully duplicated.