What To Do When You Love Disney And Your Family Doesn’t

It’s ok, there are plenty of us geeks out there and there is no shame in admitting it.  Actually, we all might feel better if we use the politically correct term “Disney World enthusiast”, but at heart we know we are geeks.

Being a Disney World geek on your own is fine.  But what happens when the picture gets more complicated?  What happens when you have a family that may or may not share your obsession?  What happens when your spouse rolls his or her eyes at the suggestion of another trip to Mickey’s home?  Or when your teenagers just don’t feel the magic anymore?

Margie Binder wrote an interesting article on the USA Today site (Source) with some good ideas.  We will share them here, with our own twists and thoughts.

Smart Moves

Here are some smart moves on how to make the best of your situation.  You can use these techniques carefully and appropriately to help you get your Disney fix.

Make Your Interests Known

If you are a diehard Disney fan, make sure that you make your hobby known early.  If you are dating, bring it up early in your relationship at dinner – and appropriately often.  Mention that you would love a long vacation at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.  Get this out in the open right away.  It’s only fair that everyone know where everyone else stands on these issues.  If your Disney interest is just forming, share it with your family and see how they react.

Plan For Your Family’s Interest

If you are fortunate enough to get agreement with your family that you will make a trip to Disney World, make plans that your non-Disney fans will enjoy too.  If your husband is a big fan of golf, check out some of the world-class golf courses on Disney property and schedule a tee-time for him.  If your wife enjoys fancy meals, splurge and make a reservation at Victoria and Albert’s (but sure to pack nice clothes and a small pile of money to pay for the elegant and delicious but expensive experience).  If your kids are into video games, plan to spend some time at DisneyQuest.

There are pleny of alternatives to spending time with mice.  Make plans on Disney property that the rest of your family will enjoy too.
There are pleny of alternatives to spending time with mice.  Make plans on Disney property that the rest of your family will enjoy too.

While it will seem like an abomination to you, make plans to other vacation destinations to satisfy your family.  It isn’t fair that you drag them, kicking and screaming, to Disney World every year. Make sure that they get a chance to visit places they find interesting.  It might be a surprise to you, but there are other places to check out – from the Grand Canyon to New York City, from London to Beijing.  (And who knows, maybe you will visit a location like Paris, Hong Kong, or Shanghai that have their own Disney Parks that you can visit for a day?  Just sayin’.)

Go To Disney On Your Own

Sometimes we geeks, er enthusiasts, just need our Disney fix.  Discuss with your family the idea of going to Disney World alone or with just a subset of your family.  Mom loves Disney but Dad isn’t so interested?  Maybe she can take the kids on her own while he can enjoy some downtime to work on his own hobbies in peace and quiet.

Be Thankful

Perhaps most importantly be sure to be thankful for whatever Disney World time you do get.  Once you have your Disney World tickets in hand and your schedule worked out, tell everyone how much you appreciate their support, enjoy your time to the max, and be sure to come home in a great mood.  Avoid those sometimes-common post-Disney “ugh I have to go back to reality now” letdown feelings.

Avoid These

Some of us jump to the negative and try to use ineffective techniques to get our way.  Don’t go there.  As much as you might ache to get to Disney, don’t employ these tricks.

Don’t Use Guilt And Frequent Coercion

Saying things like “I sure would like to see Cinderella Castle one more time before I die” probably won’t endear you to your family.  Leaving subtle hints like a Mickey shaped drawing in icing on a cupcake probably isn’t a good idea either.  Be up front and above board in your dealings.  Your family will appreciate it, and you will feel better about life too.

Making cracks about how much you love the Castle won't endear you to your family.
Making cracks about how much you love the Castle won’t endear you to your family.

Don’t Make It An Olympic Event

If you do make it to Disney World, don’t drag your can from attraction to attraction, and from park to park – trying to squeeze in every bit of Disney fun possible.  Remember it is a vacation and many people like to actually relax on their vacation.  Take it easy on your troops and avoid the Disney Death March – trying to do too much.

Don’t Forget Yourself

As mentioned above, if you got to Disney World it is important to plan Disney activities that others will enjoy.  However, don’t forget to do some things you enjoy too.  The worst outcome is that you get to go to Disney World but come home disappointed because you weren’t able to experience your must-do events.  Balance some fun things that you want to see and do with things that the rest of your family will enjoy.

Don’t Try To Convert Everyone Else

Finally, don’t try to convert everyone else to become Disney geeks too.  A love of all things Disney World may be inborn or it may be acquired, but realize that not everyone will get the bug.  Accept the fact that your significant others may not share your feelings, and follow the tips above to make the most of the situation for everyone.