It’s true, Walt Disney World and Disneyland and the most magical places on earth. Each and every trip to Disney is unique, special, and jam packed with magical memories to last a lifetime. But sometimes, the odds are against you and you may have a disappointing Disney vacation moment. So what are these disastrous deeds and how do you handle them? Well, I’m glad you asked!
1.) Weather – you can plan your trip until your face is blue and your eyes are red, but no amount of good planning can account for the whims of Mother Nature. The fact is that it rains a lot in Florida, although California is known for it’s sunshine, you may get some dark clouds over your day. So what do you do when it starts to pour? Head to the parks of course! Rain tends to scare away the more timid guests and the Disney Parks will be much less crowded during a downpour. Pack a poncho, throw on some weather proof shoes, and head outside! It’s just a little water after all! I can guarantee that if you make the best out of a rainy day and head into the parks, it just may be your best day at Disney.
2.) Popped Balloon or Dropped Ice Cream – mistakes happen! Balloons get popped, ice cream gets dropped, and souvenir toys break. But don’t let these minor setbacks throw off your whole day. Just have them replaced! Now, I’m not suggesting that you are made of money or that you should plan an extra emergency fund for your trip. Disney will actually replace the item for free. If your balloon pops, find the nearest balloon seller and let them know. They will hand you a new balloon free of charge. And it’s no use crying over spilled milk(shake). Just head back into the ice cream parlor and you’ll be eating a new sundae within minutes. Disney wants its guests to be happy, so don’t let a little clumsy mistake ruin your whole day.
3.) Attraction is Closed – okay, I’m not going to lie, this is a really disappointing Disney vacation moment! My favorite attraction is Space Mountain and it’s never fun when the ride breaks down or is closed for refurbishment. But just look around you! There is so much to see and do at Disney that one or two closed attractions isn’t going to ruin your day. Acknowledge the disappointment (to yourself or to your kids), and then move on. Yes, it really is a bummer that Splash Mountain is closed right now, but hey, look over there – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is up and running, why not check that out?
4.) Long Lines – let’s face it, the lines can get very long at Disney. With a little research and planning, you can travel during the off-season to avoid the larger crowds, but there will always be some kind of line at Disney. There is no getting around it. So, if you can’t avoid it, enjoy it! On my last trip to Walt Disney World, I was traveling with my six year old niece and 4 year old nephew. Knowing that they would get antsy in line, I planned ahead! In my park bag I had a simple card game called “Disney Would You Rather.” Basically, it was just scraps of paper with questions that I would ask them in lines. For example: would you rather fly with Aladdin on his magic carpet, or sail the seven seas with Jack Sparrow. Would you rather have Raja as a pet or Zazu. I also asked them to explain their answers to make the game a little longer and more engaging. This was a great way to spend some quality time with my niece and nephew, and it kept them occupied and entertained while we waited. Games like this, or even I Spy are perfect ways to pass the time.
5.) Height Requirement – it’s rough when you are a kid. Do you remember that anxiety as you stepped up to the height requirements bar to see if you were tall enough to ride? Seriously, that ‘s panic inducing pressure! On my last trip, my nephew was not tall enough for a couple of the bigger attractions, while his sister was. Of course he was disappointed, and of course there were some tears. All you can do is make the best of it. I took my niece on the rollercoasters while my sister took him on a smaller ride. We tried to position it as “special alone time.” He didn’t buy it. Yes, he cried. Yes, he yelled it wasn’t fair. But at the end of the day, the height requirements are there to keep riders safe and have to be respected. To avoid a meltdown, check out the height requirements before you go and just avoid even approaching the rides that you know aren’t going to cut it.
Disney is a magical place where children of all ages can have fun. But not every single moment is going to be filled with pixie dust. Just remember to plan ahead, take a deep breath, and do your best when it comes to disappointing Disney vacation moments. When life hands you lemons – trade them in for a Dole Whip!