About 4 years ago, my husband planned our first trip to Disney with the kids. In truth, we had no real expectations. Neither of us had been to Disney since we were teenagers ourselves (we are much older than that now), so it was sort of like going for the first time. He put in months and months of planning, hours on the phone with Disney, and way too much time on Facebook groups geared towards optimizing your Disney experience. (side note: Disney offers excellent military discounts, and the MWR concierge personnel are incredibly helpful in case there are any military families reading this. You can find info on those discounts here). Anyway, after all his hard work, our vacation was finally here! We spent a (pardon the cliche’ pun) MAGICAL week riding ALL the rides, hugging ALL the princesses, and eating ALL the turkey legs we could dream of. And just like that, the trip was over.
Do you want to go again?
As we packed up to head home, kids clinging tight to their Mickey Mouse Bubble Makers, we discussed how much fun we all had. The kids recounted all their favorite moments, and then we got onto 1-75 to start the drive home. Somewhere around Tallahassee, as the kids napped, my husband asked “So I know we literally just left, but do you want to go again?” I looked at him and laughed because I honestly thought he was joking. It took him staring at me straight-faced for several seconds before I said “Oh, you were serious?!” He went on to explain how happy it made him to see all of us so happy. He loved watching the kids have the time of their lives, and me….well he loved seeing me relaxed.
I don’t do chill…oops
It’s true, relaxation is HARD for me. I am not good at sitting still, and my brain….well, that’s like an information superhighway that is ALWAYS on. I’m also the primary decision maker for our household (Household Six as the term goes in the military). I make most of the boring day-to-day decisions. What to make for dinner, what to pack the kids for lunch, which dentist should we use, what vitamins do the kids need, how old is too old to help your toddler wipe his butt? The list of seemingly mundane decisions goes on, and on, and on. Mix in a little bit of anxiety and well, I’m in all-out decision fatigue most of the time. But with Disney, I had ZERO decisions to make….ZERO.
My Very Own Prince Charming
My husband has become our Disney planner extraordinaire, We have been 4 more times since that first trip. (Fun fact, we are en route to Disney as I write this article…haha). He has planned some of our best, and most memorable experiences as a family in Disney. He seems to outdo himself every time we go. My husband puts so much thought and love into each trip, it’s almost like he works for Disney. #retirementgoals I love all of that about these trips. But what I love the most is the fact that all I have to do is pack and show up. His taking sole responsibility for every decision, and allowing my mind to take a week’s long hiatus is quite possibly the best gift he has ever given me.
I don’t plan meals, outfits, schedules, anything. I plan nothing! I don’t even make decisions on what merchandise the kids can buy. He handles EVERYTHING! Pretty spectacular, right?! I sure think so. And that my friends is why Disney has become my favorite vacation ever. It is why I will continue going multiple times a year until my husband or kids decide they no longer find joy in it. And the truth is, I love seeing my husband’s pride in a trip well planned. I love the fact that he gets so much joy out of our happiness, knowing that he planned every detail with all our individual desires in mind. Oh, and the pineapple dole whip isn’t bad either!
Lagniappe: My Husband’s Personal Disney Recs
BEST DINING EXPERIENCES: In no set order
-Be Our Guest at The Beast’s Castle in Magic Kingdom,
-The Spirit of Aloha Dinner at the Polynesian (Themed with Polynesia Dancers/Performers)
-The Storybook dining at Wilderness Lodge (Character)
-Liberty Tavern in Magic Kingdom (Prefixed meal and price, served family-style)
-‘Ohana Breakfast at Polynesian (Character)
-Peter Pan float in Fantasy Land at Magic Kingdom
-Turkey leg in Magic Kingdom
-Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich at Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom
-Mickey’s Kitchen Sink Sundae at Beaches & Cream on the Boardwalk
-Avocado Margarita at the Tequila Bar in Mexico
BEST BONUS EXPERIENCES:
-Oga’s Cantina in Hollywood Studios
-Bowling Alley at Disney Springs for days off of parks
-Disney in late November and anytime in December for the decorations