Unpopular Opinion: We Aren’t an Annual Disney Family

With summer fast approaching, I have a lot of friends who are planning their annual Disney World vacation. I love Disney World and am excited for my friends, but I won’t do the annual thing. My kids are 8 and 6 years old. My oldest has been twice, my youngest once. Last time we were there, we said we’d return when both were tall enough to ride most of the big rides.

It’s Not About the Money

We go on at least one vacation each year. We put a lot of planning and a nice chunk of change into all of our trips. We could go to Disney for close to the same amount we’ve spent on some other vacations. However, we choose not to. To us, if we’re going to spend the money, we’d prefer to change it up. Disney World is huge, but there is so much more to the actual world. We want to expose our kids to as much of this world as possible.

It’s About Culture

Everyone knows what to expect on a Disney vacation. And that can be wonderful. We expect magic and fireworks and impeccable customer service. That’s all very predictable, and there is a certain level of security that comes with that fact, but we like a change of pace. Our family enjoys stumbling upon hidden treasures of a national park or popping into a local diner for breakfast. In Disney World, you know you’re getting this “fabricated culture,” whereas we’d prefer to immerse ourselves in the actual culture of the areas in which we travel.

The Planning Is Exhausting

We’re not anti-Disney. We LOVE Disney. We just don’t love it every year. However, when do go, we go hard. We are the first in the park and the last to leave. No hotel naps for us! We make our dining reservations as soon as they become available. We book all the fast passes ahead of time. All that advance planning can be stressful; it almost feels mandatory because we don’t want to miss out on anything. Then, once we are there, the pressure is on to do all the things, and we do because if we’re going, we’re going. 

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Because we go infrequently, the Disney magic is truly magical for all of us. We don’t take the trip for granted because it’s not something we just do routinely. When we do go, there is always something new that we didn’t experience in years prior. It makes the trip more special.

I Draw the Line at the Lines

Disney does a great job of running efficiently. I don’t have a better idea. Still, I hate the lines. I’m not just talking about lines for rides. In fact, we go when kids are in school, so there are rarely lines anyway. But I’m talking more about the process. Leave the resort. Wait in line for the monorail. Wait in line for the park to open. Wait in line for the rides. Wait in line for the bathroom. Wait in line for food. Wait in line for the tram. It can be a lot of hurry up and wait, which tends to wear me out.

We love The Mouse, and we hope to see ya real soon, just not real often!

Disney world

Alyson Haggerty
Alyson lives in Metairie with her husband, Patrick, their two boys, and their Morkie, Beignet. After teaching for almost ten years, she left a career in education, earned her BSN, and now works as a pediatric emergency nurse. In her free time, Alyson enjoys flipping furniture, writing, dancing, and painting. She is always looking for a racquetball partner and loves streetcar rides and playing board games with her family. A good cook, she is constantly on a quest to answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” but has thus far been unsuccessful.



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