Anyone ever had a less than magical trip to WDW and felt a bit lost afterwards?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by MinnieGirlNE, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. MinnieGirlNE

    MinnieGirlNE Earning My Ears

    May 16, 2013
    Anyone ever been to WDW and had enough not so good experiences that made them sort of temporarily question the world being their happy place?

    I have loved WDW for as long as I can remember. Most of my non-Disney friends make fun of me because I love it so much- even my family thinks I'm kooky when I order custom made mouse ears, or special designed t-shirts from Etsy. My husband and daughters humor me and watch Youtube videos of attractions and vloggers trips and WDW updates. Others opinions of this part of my identity has never really bothered me all that much because I was always so content in my own enjoyment of the World. I've been 9 times and don't truly regret any of my trips- except for maybe this last one? On this trip I had a moment where I got it- I saw the way those that can hate going to WDW see it and it scared me a bit.

    We just got back from WDW last Wednesday after a pretty long trip- we left right when school got out (for me I'm a teacher and had to work an extra day) for a full 7 nights at Old Key West and 3 day road trip there and 3 days drive back home again- so gone 13+ days - that may be a big part of my "loss of magic." It may be that we ended up at the parks during memorial day weekend, or the opening of Pandora. There are a lot of possibilities, but it just felt... like a lot of "forced happiness" somehow. We were prepped and I planned out things really well- we just ran into a lot of moments that were less than magical. I've gone many times and never had a trip not live up to my magical expectation before- anyone been in this "place" before? Does it mean I'm less of a Disnerd now? Why is it I can't get excited about scrapbooking the trip or even sending photos in to get printed?

    Crowds, heat, long waits, negative people around us, cranky kids and one day a sick kid - everything sort of added up to be exhausting and rubbed off a bit of the magic of the place.

    Luckily the kids and the hubby said it was one of the best trips we've ever been on- so I'll pat myself on the back that I planned well for a great trip for all of them and they have only the best feelings of the trip. But why isn't it that way for me? Usually just seeing them all be happy would work- but honestly most of the trip they all seemed kinda miserable to be there and now have the rose-tinted glasses that only recall magic moments. Don't get me wrong we made some magical memories- seeing Happily Ever After in person was amazing, we LOVED our room at OKW and as always my youngest daughter had so many encounters with characters that were unforgettable. Not to mention I can think of more cast members on this trip that went out of their way to make special moments for us than any other trip.

    I figure if anyone would understand this sort of confusion my fellow Disney fans would. So what do you all think? So much of this place has always been happy and relaxing for me and it feels a bit different right now- does this pass? I feel like I'm in a Peter Pan version of ilfe and it's as though I accidentally grew up and ran out of pixie dust! Help.
    lifesavacation likes this.
  2. Mokat76

    Mokat76 DisKat

    Jan 25, 2006
    Maybe you've put too much pressure on yourself to make each trip more "magical" than the ones before. That becomes awfully tough to live up to.
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  4. MinnieGirlNE

    MinnieGirlNE Earning My Ears

    May 16, 2013
    Mokat76 (love your cat by the way- gorgeous!) I think I most certainly do that- I'm a bit of a perfectionist in some ways and always have really high expectations for myself. I definitely think you're on to something.
    Mokat76 likes this.
  5. Allison

    Allison DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2005
    Maybe it's just time to not go to Disney and do something else. My family isn't interested anymore but they are open to other adventures.
  6. lifesavacation

    lifesavacation DIS Veteran

    Jan 24, 2016
    Mimics my feelings about our trip last month at Disneyland. We got terrible food poisoning in the airport on the way there and stayed sick for nearly the whole time. One of us has gone on to develop severe hepatitis :( She is unbelievably sick right now and has been in and out of the hospital for the last 2 weeks. She's 20 lbs down and still can't eat. No disney magic experienced on our trip and I won't go back for a very long time. It's not Disney's fault, but man, what a terrible experience.
  7. MinnieGirlNE

    MinnieGirlNE Earning My Ears

    May 16, 2013
    Perhaps you are right but that also makes me feel sad- so there must be some DisneyLove left inside? I do love me some Las Vegas time!

    OMG- I'm so sorry that happened for you on your trip. We didn't have anything that bad happen. Even the sickly one was just out for one day and a little reserved about rides the rest of the time we were there, which was fine as the youngest doesn't do many. I've had food poisoning before that is horrible! I truly hope that your friend/family member gets to feeling better and again- so very sorry that happened for you all. Yes, not Disney's fault but it marks the trip with a bad feeling doesn't it?
  8. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

    Nov 29, 2015
    I recommend that you:
    1. Wait a while longer (whatever that means for your family) until the next WDW trip,
    2. Fly in if at all possible, so you aren't worn out upon arrival & dreading the drive home upon departure. (Driving 3 days each way would be a deal-breaker for me, personally. I'd rather stay home.)
    3. I think one key is variety. You won't get the same sense of wonder from the same repeated experience.
    4. Therefore, try new things, instead of straight theme park touring: do the water parks as well (they are gems), stay at a new resort, eat at new resturants, play mini-golf, or do a special tour, or go horseback riding at Fort Wilderness, or drive a mini-boat around Bay Lake, or go to Hoop Dee Doo Revue dinner show. Make your trip multi-layered.
    If this doesn't sound like something you're interested in trying, it might be time to vacation somewhere else. If you want different yet Disney, you might want to try a Disney cruise.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  9. Southernmiss

    Southernmiss I am hazed everyday

    Aug 27, 2011
    We don't get to Disney that often. 7 years between last 2 trips. There's always something new to see and do. Last year's trip was Friday to Wednesday at Disney, then Wednesday to Saturday at Universal. Plenty to see, do and keep us busy, but enough time to say we've done most all of our must dos without burning out.

    We do not go with touring plans and go to parks based on extra magic hours- we enjoy them, not avoid them. Crowds were busier than we expected last trip, but we just slowed down and changed our plans or expectations. We were simply glad to be at Disney together.
    MinnieGirlNE likes this.
  10. KayKayJS

    KayKayJS Mouseketeer

    Jul 3, 2013
    I think this just happens sometimes. It happened recently to us on our 12 day Vancouver trip/Disney alaskan cruise.

    We were so very sick with sinus infections the whole time. I have chronic allergies but it was the worst I've had in years. I couldn't hear out of my left ear the whole trip. I had to see a doctor out of pocket in Canada, our home AC broke down- we had to handle emergency weekend services to get it fixed while 2600 miles away, my fianc├ęs grandmother died and we found this out while on an excursion in Skagway, he developed another medical issue and I hurt my hip, and to top it off his iPhone reset itself and he had no phone service and lost all his photos from the trip.

    Saying all that, we had a great time, but it put a huge damper on a very expensive trip and needless to say my expectations of what the trip would be like and what the trip actually turned out to be were very different. It's dissapointing, because I think our Disney cruises to the Caribbean were more magical and amazing, (at 1/4 the price) but that's life.

    I'd brush it off and try to pinpoint the things you didn't like and adjust your trip to avoid those.

    We've decided we're done traveling in the spring as that is prime time for my allergies and our house seems to act up around then too. :)

    whats helped me is trying to focus on the good memories and remember that not every trip can be the most magical.
    MinnieGirlNE likes this.
  11. Jillpie

    Jillpie Can you package some Main St. music and send it to

    Apr 30, 2002
    I second the idea of trying a Disney cruise next. Have you gone on one yet? After having brought our kids to DW for 7 years, we finally tried one back in 2005. We loved it so much, we did a 7 day the next year. Cruising for parents, is AWESOME. I mean that. I love my kids, but you never see them LOL! Seriously, it is so relaxing for Mom and Dad, and you get to enjoy the adult parts of the ship. Just a whole different ball game from the parks. Your kids would LOVE it.
  12. KimBean

    KimBean DIS Veteran

    Oct 28, 2012
    I don't know how often you have been going but we need 2 years minimum in between trips. We went once back to back and when I saw the castle it was like, yep there's the castle. We have had three years now and I'm really looking forward to it.

    The magic gets lost for me in over familiarity. I know that isn't that the case for everyone but I probably would never be an AP unless I lived super close and then how I did disney would completely change.
    MinnieGirlNE and msb578 like this.
  13. Neesy228

    Neesy228 DIS Veteran

    Apr 9, 2008
    We had a trip like that several years ago. I am such a Disney lover that I just didn't realize that my family really needed a Disney break. My children were old enough (and had been often enough) that they were just tired of it.

    My DS actually melted down on Main Street and told me he was "SO bored and just wanted to go back to the hotel and swim" which didn't go over too well with me...and I marched him to the bus and back to the hotel for the rest of the afternoon. Not our finest moment by far. :sad2: Then DD got some kind of stomach virus, which required two days in the hotel near a bathroom. Then she was just worn out the rest of the trip.

    I think we had two, maybe three good days during that trip -- and they were either at the hotel pool or at Disney Springs. Parks were hot and humid, I actually witnessed a physical altercation between a guest and a cast member that just floored me, my kids were grumpy, my DH was not being helpful...It was miserable.

    Like you, my kids enjoyed that trip. I think children just float above all the chaos and remember the things they enjoyed the most. However, we haven't been back to Disney as a family since that trip (I go alone, or will take one child at a time, or with my DH for food and wine.) and it seems to work better for us. We are a family of 5 and sometimes it's just hard to keep everyone happy and juggle everyone's preferences.

    That was a long and winding story to tell you that I think you probably just need a little distance before you can look back and see the positives from this past trip - and forget the negatives. The magic is still there, but it is very easy to get lost in the planning, the crowds and the expectations.

    Speaking from worn out and defeated as you feel right now, that will fade and you'll start to think, "We haven't been to Disney in so long and I really miss it!" I think you probably used up most of your pixie dust planning a great trip for everyone (isn't that what we do as Moms?), so you just need some time to replenish your supply! :hug:
    MinnieGirlNE and gemini2727 like this.
  14. QueenIsabella

    QueenIsabella DIS Veteran

    Jan 17, 2016
    I agree with others that a break might be a good idea, if you're not feeling the love. You can find some solace in the fact that your family had a nice time, and also know that Disney will always be there, whether you return next year or the year after or in 10 years. Three days of driving would also kill it for me. I don't know if you could fly in next time.

    We had a similar type of not-so-magical vacation. We went to Jamaica for a week--all-inclusive resort with a private nanny for the kids. Well, it was over an hour from the airport, and on the ride there, we were next to a family with a sick kid. 2 of my 3 caught it, resulting in high fevers, and my youngest (17m at the time) lost consciousness. It really drove home the idea of being in a third-world country, even a gorgeous one--here I was with a passed-out kid on a Friday night, Lord knows how far from a hospital. We haven't been back to Jamaica since--it's nice and all, but that trip wasn't what I'd hoped for.

    For you, I'd recommend putting the Disney stuff away for a while--don't even think about it for 6 months to a year. Then come back to it, and see how you feel. Maybe you'll need more time to become nostalgic, maybe it will be like greeting an old friend. I agree with the idea of considering a different style of Disney trip--cruise? Disneyland? Trip to NYC with a visit to the HUGE Disney store there, coupled with a Disney on Broadway play? I think you just need a little time and space to get your Disney mojo back.
    MinnieGirlNE and Shanti like this.
  15. ZephyrHawk

    ZephyrHawk Confirmed Disneyphile

    Feb 15, 2007
    Not yet, but I assume it will happen someday. You can't have a great vacation every time, and if you keep going back to one place over and over, you're bound to have a less than perfect experience eventually.

    By contrast, I have yet to have really enjoyed any trip I've ever taken to Las Vegas. I mean, the one time I just stayed there overnight was okay, I guess, but every other time I've visited has been awful for one reason or another.
    MinnieGirlNE and Shanti like this.
  16. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

    Feb 20, 2006
    DH and I contacted hepatitis A at WDW decades ago. I missed work for a month, DH 6 weeks, and man were we skinny! Hope she feels better, and get everyone vaccinated.
  17. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Dec 15, 2003
    We made our first trip to WDW last week (June 4-9) after dozens of trips to Disneyland. Rained everyday but the last.
    I think all of my disappointments were actually just not being familiar with the Florida parks.

    I think the biggest one is that everything at WDW opens later, and closes earlier than DL. For example today Disneyland is open 8 am to Midnight, while the Magic Kingdom is open 9 to 11. That's 2 less hours of park time a day.
    I'm still mad that Disneyland isn't open until 1 am like is used to be. With Magic Mornings, many of our trips there started at 630 am and ended at 1 am in years past. The World displays at Epcot don't even open until 11 am!

    Second was we needed to be better organized and find a way to get the FPs we wanted and the dinner reservations in the same park for the day. Between dinner reservations, and FP for things like Pandora, we spent a lot of time traveling between parks. That was ALL our fault.

    Third. We were caught off guard by every bus/monorail/ride operator ending their safety talk (keep your arms and legs inside, etc) with "parents please control your children". We found out why, because I have never seen more out of control children. DW and I both think we will pay closer attention on our next Disneyland trip to see if this is a national trend or just an east coast issue.
    Shanti likes this.
  18. sunshinehighway

    sunshinehighway DIS Veteran

    Mar 11, 2010
    Oh it's just an east coast thing. Every person in Disney world besides you was an east coast person. We all let our children be out of control. :sad2:

    The only bad to I've had to recent memory was last September. It just wasn't what I was expecting. It was way too hot and poured every night. It was really crowded too. I didn't have a bad time. It just was less fun than I was expecting. I went back on a short trip a few month later and it was great.
  19. wgeo

    wgeo DIS Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    Perhaps it is due to over planning? We can get that way on the DIS where we almost know too much? We've read enough trip reports, we know all the advice and so we have a vision in our head of the "perfect" trip. And of course when the trip ends up being normal good, but not perfect good, we feel a little let down. The kids and husband never had a vision of "perfect good" in their head, so when they had a normal good time they thought overall the trip was great, but the planner is left thinking, "well sure - but it could have been - better"

    I catch myself on trips sometimes so carefully watching everyone to make sure they are having fun and that everything is "going like it should" that I forget to just live in the moment and enjoy the time together.
    MinnieGirlNE and WebmasterMaryJo like this.
  20. ronandannette

    ronandannette I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!

    May 4, 2006
    I think this may be life's way of telling you it's time to vacation somewhere else. You mentioned that the rest of your family basically just goes along for the ride - why not have them put their heads together and decide where your next trip will be? The idea of going back to WDW over and over and having each trip be more spectacular than the last is just NOT sustainable. And like others, I'm curious why you drove instead of flying; 6 days on the road couldn't have been much of a cost saving.
  21. cabanafrau

    cabanafrau DIS Veteran

    May 10, 2006
    Didn't feel lost afterwards, just frustrated and determined not to return. We weren't yearly visitors anyway because we like to experience a lot of other things. But at this point it's been four years and we're convinced WDW no longer offers what we loved about our trips.

    Out of control kids an east coast issue? We've visited DLR. No difference from what we witnessed.
    cruiser21 likes this.

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