Friday, May 4, 2012

I Confess


I have a confession to make. 

To anyone who has been reading this blog for a few years this will not surprise you, but to those of you that are fairly new to this blog I must confess something. 

I confess...

when I am told that I must do something that immediately makes me opposed to it.

I confess...

that when I am told that I can't do something I will then prove that I can.

That being said, I can easily tell when I am being manipulated.  So, trying to use this knowledge to your advantage doesn't work on me.  "I bet you can't make me the BEST sandwich ever!"  Nice try. 

Where am I going with these confessions?  Well, it brings me to one more confession.

I confess...

I don't want to take my kids to Disney World.

Whew!  I said it.  It is like a weight has been lifted.  I don't want to go to Disney World!  I said it again!  Wow.  That feels good.

The hubby and I have been planning on taking the kids to Disney World this summer.  Yes, in summer.  We didn't want to go during peak time at spring break so that really just left summertime, and since we actually like stifling heat (and it is cheaper) we thought this summer would work.  But, the more I look into it the crazier it makes me.  It is just so expensive!  And for one week!  As a family of six the lodging alone is INSANE.  And the thing is, I never went when I was a kid.  And I didn't miss it.  I never felt like I was missing out.  And when I finally did go (I paid for it myself) when I was a teenager I was disappointed.  I thought, "This is it?"  Todd went when he was almost five years old and the part he loved the most was riding in his uncle's sports car when they got to Florida.  So, clearly, Disney World was not a big deal to him either. 

Still, Todd and I figured we would take our family ONCE.  We would try and pick a time when the kids would all still be young enough for it to seem magical but hopefully old enough to remember it.  But in doing that, and going this summer, most of the kids are too little to ride the really cool rides (which is what they will want to do, not all the shops and tours and stuff).  And let's be honest, Grace and Ben are probably still too young to be able to remember much of the trip yet.   

I don't know.  Every way I look at it it just doesn't seem worth it.  My kids are so easily amused and thrilled.  Just staying in a hotel overnight is enough to blow their minds.  When we went to Wisconsin Dells and stayed at an indoor waterpark hotel they thought they were in heaven.  Am I a bad parent for not wanting to spend all that money on something that won't seem any more special than a waterpark (to them)?  I'd rather take them on a bunch of small trips (camping, Six Flags, Wisconsin Dells, the zoo, start an annual tradition of visiting a handful of different states each year so that eventually they'll have been to all 50) that would be just as memorable to them. 

I don't want to take my kids to Disney just because everyone says I should or everyone else is doing it.  As I said above, that immediately makes me NOT want to do it.  Sometimes Disney just feels like a big, commercial suckhole that sucks you into going and taking all your money because you are a big enough sucker to believe the hype.  But then I hear these stories of families going and having an AMAZING time. And I don't want my kids to miss out on something that they would remember forever just because I'm being bucky.  But I also know there are more than just ONE WAY to give your kids amazing memories.

So, lay it on me, readers.  Do I have to do Disney?  Is it a must do in your mind?  Have you taken your kids?  Was it worth the money?  Was it all you hoped it would be and then some, or was it overwhelming and tiring and exhausting and not quite as magical as you wanted?  Should you ever do something just to say you did it, or is that really stupid?  What do you think?

To Disney, or Not to Disney?

**Check the comments for my conclusion!**


Cyndy Bush said...

You have to do Disney because I live nearby and you and I could meet up.
There, I hope you feel better now that it's settled.
;-) IS horribly expensive. I think your kids will be fine without the Disney experience, and maybe in a couple of years you'll feel differently about it.

Riahli said...

NO, NO, NO! I could hardly finish the post because I wanted to type a NO so badly!!! I hate the idea of Disney World/Land. Hate it. And I don't use that word lightly, my kids will never go {even if it was free}. I went to Disney Land and Disney World as a kid and really didn't think much of it, I remember waiting in line for way too long in the heat just to get on some ride that was over way too fast. A local country fair is more fun then that, rides and much, much more! And cheaper. :) I think that your other ideas are sooooooo much more meaningful and I LOVE them! Do those. If your kids feel cheated out of Disney World {which I don't think they will} then they can have fun introducing their own kids to it. :) I have the same personally though, don't want to do what you want me to do, and if you think I can't I will. :) So maybe that's also why I feel so strongly about this. Truly though I think the every day little fun traditions that you do with your kids, the special things that most other families don't do, those are the things that mean the most to kids. Those are the things they think fondly about. Do that. :) I love the 50 states idea, wish we were in the position to afford that, if you can do that I think that is money well spend and a memory to last a life time!!! We have been saving as a family {with a change jar for the kids to help with} for over a year now so that we can go to Montana. My kids talk about it all the time and when that trip is over I am absolutely sure they will treasure it because they helped make it happen. :) They put every single bit of money that they get or find into that Montana jar. Of course mommy and daddy are saving as well but we are letting them think that the change jar is the most important thing. :)
Don't do it, especially if everyone else thinks you should... ;)

Tonya said...

We have taken our 4 kids. We had a great time and are planning on going again. We stayed in the All Star Resort which sleeps 6 and we got the meal plans which ended up being free while we were there (Sept). With that being said I went when I was 12 and didn't really remember much of it but going back with the kids and seeing their faces light up at the characters during the parades and different shows was just great. Your kids should be able to go on most rides. It is a really kid friendly place. That is just my two cents. Do what you want but we had a GREAT experience and can't wait to go back. And we just took a trip to Texas which was fun too but Disney does everything for you which is nice.

Mom24 said...

Of course you're not a bad mother, and of course you don't have to take your kids.

That being said, we've gone twice, once when Jason went with marching band and we took Rebekah to watch him and to have fun (I had never been and if my kid was going I was finally going to go--I had dreamed forever about going.) We went a second time when Rebekah was in marching band and took Jacob and Julianna.

Both times we went their most expensive/most crowded week of the year, the week between Christmas and New Year's. Holy Crud was it espensive! Insane, seriously. That being said, yes, for us, it was worth every penny and I would do it again in a heartbeat, if vacations like that are ever a possibility for us again.

For us, it truly was magical.

besomom said...

I have been reading your blog for a long time (since before Grace was born), but I've never commented before. You've finally made me come out of the woodwork!

My children are 14 and 12. We have never taken them to Disney. They are perfectly fine with that. They don't feel like they missed out, even though ALL of their friends have been there. Our vacations are similar to yours. Trips up north (on Lake Michigan, but on the other side of the lake from where you live). Trips to indoor water parks. Trips to Yellowstone. Trips to cool cities like Toronto and Montreal and Quebec City. They love going where their friends haven't been. When my daughter was 4 her best friend went to Disney and had the Princess breakfast, and my daughter begged and begged to go, but we didn't. Now she can't even remember that she ever wanted to go!

My parents took me to Disney World twice, when I was 10 and 12. It was fun, and I'm not sorry we went, but I remember seeing all the little kids there and thinking "man, this is wasted on them."

And now my confession time: My daughter has been desperate to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, so we took her for her 12th birthday over spring break just last month. It was our first family foray to an amusement park. We did the whole nine yards, staying at the attached resort hotel. It was hot and crowded, and EXPENSIVE. I wouldn't say it was the best vacation ever, but we did have fun.

If you go to Disney, you will have fun. You really will. But your children's childhoods will be complete without it. Honestly. I think if you are going to do it, you should wait until the young ones are a little older and can ride all the rides. My son at 14 didn't feel "too old" for Universal, and I'll bet he would have been fine at Disney as a teenager, too. I know plenty of people who make return trips to Disney with their teens and the kids enjoy it just as much as when they were smaller. So if you put it off for a few years, it won't be too late, and may even be a better time to go.

Good luck making your decision. I really think that whatever you decide will be the right decision for you!

Unknown said...

We went to Disneyland back when I was 12 and it was only because we were already in California to visit old friends (I was born there) and we figured we'd go one day. I had a great time at that age and was able to ride everything. I say if the kids want to go WAIT. Until they are older and can really appreciate it more and it's less of a hassle.

We did perform as a choir at Disney World when the summer after my Junior year in H.S. and it was SO much to go at age 17 also.

But even if you do not go, I do not think it is that big of a deal...

chrissy said...

I feel the same way! Especially living in the midwest, the cost to get there plus lodging plus activities plus food- ugh. I just don't think I would even be able to enjoy it without seeing dollar signs everywhere we look. I would much rather do a national park or a beach condo- something that *I* would actually enjoy along with them. Also: Florida? In the summer? I would have to be constantly immersed in water for that to happen. No thanks.

historygirl said...

I'd eventually take them to Disney, but I think they may be too young. We went when I was in 5th grade, and my sister was in Kindergarten, and she says she doesn't remember a darn thing. But for me, it was still magical and wonderful and Disneyish.

Wouldn't you want to go when they have the opportunity to really live up the theme park? If they can't ride the rides or take in all the attractions, it's a waste. do what you will, but I'd wait a few more years. Live up the dells your cottage for a few more summers and wait a few more years until all kids can enjoy it. if they are older, less needing naps and down time, then you can enjoy it more too.

But that's my two cents....whatever this summer brings you, have fun! :)

Lynn said...

you are not horrible for not wanting to go. I took my daughter when she was about 7 (Uhm, that was 19 years ago) and it cost $800 for a 4night/3day stay inside the DisneyWorld park.'s crazy the cost. Would love for my son to have that experience but it's not worth the cost and honestly, he doesn't care. It would be more for MY benefit than his. I truly think that kids are happy doing anything...just having fun.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Of course you should go!
Just kidding.

We've taken all five and gone three times. We go after school is back IN session just after Labor Day. It's still hot and you can catch a rain shower or two a day (which is nice because it cools things off).
I think teen years are too old to go for the first time because you're too clever by then to get caught up in the "magic", and if you time it when crowds are low, the little ones won't remember DW as the place where they stood in line all day.
It is expensive :( We've done it after lots of research for the best deals- we could never go full price :(

The best place for a family of six is the cabins. If you have a car, you can shop for groceries and save on food by doing light meals in the cabin. My kids LOVE the Fort Wilderness area, the hubby runs on the running paths and Miss Ky enjoyed the pony rides.

With all that said...
You do a lot of really cool family trips with your kids, so no, you don't have to go to Disney!

Amy said...

Of course you don't HAVE to do Disney if you really don't want to, but in my opinion I would say YES. Honestly, it is just a matter of opinion. I first went to Disney the summer after I graduated high school. My Mom and I took a road trip from Missouri to Ca. I loved it, and I thought it was magical even though I was 18. After I got married we were stationed in San Diego for 6 years, and we went to Disneyland several times a year sometimes just my husband and I, and later with our son. Every time I got that "happiest place on earth" feeling. I just love it. I think my love has helped my son to love it. Now, that is just Disneyland. I know Disneyworld is much bigger, and a different story. I'd LOVE to go there someday. I also don't have a family of 6.

Honestly, they might not miss what they never know. I do know that I always wanted to go as a child. Also, I would seriously wait until they are older. You do want them to remember it, and I really think it would be best if you wait until they can ride all the rides. That way you can really get the most bang for your buck, and you can get the full experience. Instead of going this summer maybe use the money for a different type of vacation something you know you will enjoy. I'm not sure Disney would be enjoyable if you go into it feeling negative about it (not that that is a bad thing) Are you using a travel agent?

I read this blog, and let me tell you this girl knows Disneyworld inside and out. She works for them, and she can give you a free travel quote, and she can help you plan your trip for FREE. I'm pretty sure she knows the ins and outs of how to save some money too. She'd be a great person to ask. Check out here blog.

Good luck with your decision!

Amy said...

Here is her Facebook page too.

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

I'm soooo with you! I went when we were little...all the cousins went. Then once in HS (Drill team trip)....I don't want to take my kiddos, either. I just don't want to.

Of course, the grandparents want to take them! said...

i havent taken the girls and more than likely wont. they arent getting anything special. i agree with you do something special each year instead of disney.

Karen Deborah said...

Since I have been here for a long time and your confessing then can I too? I can't think of anything more hellacious than standing in long lines sweating like a pig with hot cranky kids, not yours of course! I think I'd rather die. Your kids like camping and shooting they are such cool kids. Keep doing the things that make your family what it already is, loving and fun. The kids are actually really little for Disney World they would probably have more fun in a few years when they are bigger. Alot of rides you have to be a certain height. Grace is still so little and probably naps and she might not remember.
You'll do the right thing!an girl when it comes to being onery I got ya beat! Wanta have a contest?

Jeni said...

My kids are all three adults now and only one of them has been to Disney World -that would be my son, who spent three weeks in Florida at age 12, with his Godparents and the expenses -plane fare and to all the places they took him were all on them. (Don't we all wish we had Godparents like that though?) But my girls survived being deprived of lots of things (so did my son) because of expenses and such. Now, it's the Grandkids turn in that bucket. BTW, I went to Disneyland when I was 26 years old and loved it then and I paid my own way into the park. However, the trip west at that time, was paid for (round-trip) from D.C. to Phoenix through my employer and I arranged to have a jaunt to Los Angeles tacked on to my flight ticket and I paid the difference then of $44! Of course, that was in 1970 and fares were a whole lot cheaper then -as was most everything else too. But my point is that if your kids are happy and appreciate other places that won't break the bank at Monte Carlo, then go for those things.

lime said...

i applaud your confession. no, it is not a must do. however, if you do, wait until the kids are older. seriously. why spend all that money when they can't even ride half the rides? we have never taken our kids. yeah, call us bad parents. i don't care. even though we had inlaws who lived an hour south of orlando when the kids were small. we just saw no point in spending all that money when they couldn't do half the things/remember most of it.

i will say it's where we went for our honeymoon. honestly, call me a scrooge or whatever. i think the place is overrated.

there. that's my confession.

Anonymous said...

Wait. The magic still works when they're 12. It's not magical when they still need naps & diapers. Wait. Don't do it yet. Trust me.

Kat said...

THANK YOU ALL for your comments! They have seriously been a HUGE help. I think my biggest problem with calling it off was that we had mentioned it to the kids a number of times (the fact that we were planning to go this sumemr). I didn't want to get them all excited and then cancel it. But I did talk to them the other day and when I said I thought we should wait a few years until they are a bit older Joey said, "Who cares about Disney anyway?" It was a proud moment. ;) Not that they didn't care about Disney (cause I'm sure they really do) but that I have kids that are such good sports.

So my conclussion is that we won't go this summer. We will more likely than not go at some point when the kids are a bit older. Two of my four kids still take naps, Grace and Ben would be EXHAUSTED with all the walking. Three of the four kids wouldn't be able to ride the big rides and rollar coasters (which is what they want to do). And at all least half of them wouldn't even remember it. But, part of me does kind of want to experience all that Disney has with my kids eventually. So in a few years maybe we'll take another look at it. In the meantime we'll do Six Flags and Wisconsin Dells and camping and all that fun stuff.


Wisconsin Girl said...

I'm glad you came to your conclusion, because it was sounding like you weren't quite game to move forward with your plan right now:) Disney seems to be such a "peer pressure" thing. My kids aren't old enough yet, so I haven't given it much thought, except for how much we'd have to save to go and all of the other things we could do instead. Our kids just want to spend time with us...I don't think they have the expectations that we sometimes have. Creating traditions and having special family vacations that are significant to you is what is important. And it sure seems like you do a great job with that! We are taking our first long road trip this summer to visit family in Nebraska and Colorado. It should be interesting and memorable...and exhausting as well:)

lime said...

good for you. glad everyone is at peace with it too. :)

Unknown said...

I am in the middle of first-time Disney hell right now. I, too, would not be here - would never willingly be here - if not for my son's grandparents who have come to take us. Our son, of course, loves it. But he also loved it when we climbed the mountains of Guatemala. Or when we sailed the San Blas islands of Panama. Or scoped out monkeys in the rainforest. My point? This notion that a person's childhood is not complete without Disneyworld is BULLSHIT :) I absolutely hate it here and everything it stands for. Get me outta here!

Kat said...

Oh my word, Jacki! I love your comment so much I nearly spit out my coffee. Too hilarious. I don't know how I missed this comment for so long. Glad I went back to look at some of my old posts. :)

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson