I am knee deep in the planning for our upcoming 8 day trip to Walt Disney World! We go every year, but we haven’t done a full week in a long time and I am OVER THE MOON excited.
I think many people think, gee, do kids still WANT to go to Disney when they’re older? Answer: if you pay for it, yes, yes they do.
There are MANY great planning sites you can use to put you on the right track for your amazing vacation (my friend, Shannon, has WDW Prep School and I love Touring Plans and Mousesavers) so I won’t go into all that (well, you can read a post I did about a trip a few years ago here) but I would like to focus on a few things that Scott and I will be enjoying this trip that would have NEVER been possible when they were little.
long, fancy meals
We love dining at Disney and with so many amazing options, we make dinner an affair almost every night. When they were little, they would inhale their food and then Scott and I would sit there praying they wouldn’t implode on us, or worse, we ate nothing but the fastest of meals and rushed through each one, usually one of us taking at least one child outside to, um, explain the situation. Now? They really enjoy our leisurely meals and I truly look forward to each and every one. I get time with my older kids that we rarely have at home and it’s a lovely daily ritual that truly makes me feel like I’m on vacation.
nobody has to do anything
Let me explain. When they’re little, and somebody gets cranky, and you threaten to take them back to the room for a nap and then they take you up on your offer, an adult actually has to go with your kid back to the hotel (Disney frowns upon putting 8 year olds on transportation alone. I know because I asked one year. I may or may not be kidding.) Now? You’re not happy? Fine! Go find your own happy! Get on a bus for another park! Go back to the resort! Take a nap! Find your Disney North Star, Buddy, I’m not your Mama! (oh, wait, actually I am but they are now all old enough to figure out how to get where they want to be should it not be where Scott and I are).
drinking and riding
I now have 2 licensed drivers that are not of drinking age (one of the 16 year olds is dragging his feet on this whole license thing but that’s another post). This means that if Scott or I want to have an adult beverage or two and we have taken our car (we’re driving this time) we can do the mature thing (and model this behavior by the way) by having them drive us back to the resort. I don’t want you to get a picture that our kids are driving while we’re singing The Wild Irish Rose in the back seat with lamp shades on our head. We don’t get DRUNK. But even one drink is one too many for me so it’s nice to have a driver or two.
We have one whole day planned where some people are going to water parks, others will most likely just hang out at the resort pool, and the mama is going to the spa. And then we’re meeting up for dinner. WHAT?!?! I know. If I wasn’t me, I’d hate me, too.
To conclude, Walt Disney World is awesome with kids of any age. And although I do miss the wide eyed magic of those early years, I also truly enjoy our family time together, and our family time not so much together. Older kids are awesome. I just hope they’ll keep coming with us. As long as we keep agreeing to pay, I feel like they will.