Existential angst as a WDW fan?

Disneyfan

Well-known member
Here's why. There are two reasons.
Light bulb moment for me!
Just returned yesterday from short WDW trip. DD was with her high school band and I was with my extended family. Naturally, I was belly up 1-1.5 hours before open (no other way to do it - right?!?!). As she woke up and I entered the parks. I sent her moment by moment texts detailing my list of rides accomplished. After her not so magical day at MK, she sent me a text asking if we were returning this summer b/c she missed a strict schedule and wanted to ride rides. After all her moaning and groaning over the years about schedules, I was over joyed to be appreciated for my over zealous planning of the past. BTW she also had good "no plan" days in AK and Universal. But she ASKED me to PLAN a return trip. After experiencing all the new down sides of WDW (haven't been in a couple years), I told my sister that I was probably on my last visit for a long long time. This comment was made four days ago. The minute DD said she wanted to go back, I immediately started planning a trip despite the fact that I stretched the budget for this trip. Why??? Why would I have an "I told you so" attitude about DD not having a magical day at her favorite park?

Well, you answered that question for me.

BTW I am still crunching numbers today to plan a mother/daughter trip! After all, she will be a senior next year and will soon be on her own. I already miss her and think this would be a great memory for us. Crazy, right???
 

Disneyfan

Well-known member
Brian, thank you for all your advice over the years. I happened upon TGM in it's final days and then came here. My heart goes out to you. Life can be hard. The hard times helped me appreciate good things. My life turned upside down four years ago and I feel your pain. I am learning to enjoy my new normal and am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Things will get better for you one way or another. Along the rough journey, I was able to find little things to bring moments of joy (birds, breezes, sunshine, . . .). I listened to the Rodney Atkins song, "If You're Going Through Hell" really really loudly and that helped, too.:RpS_smile:
 

Anne

Well-known member
For what it's worth, my current situation is largely my own fault, so don't feel too bad for me.


I think it might be the opposite. I don't really feel like going back, and I'm wondering how much that's generic ennui and how much is "Yeah, I'm done with this for a while," because that close friend I mentioned really enjoyed it. I went through this with live sports in the Fall before I figured out that it was the depression talking and not "I don't like this anymore."
If you can, be kind to yourself. I've been there. It's not easy. I wish you the best at this difficult time.

As for taking another WDW trip vs not...it will likely be there for our lifetimes. And what you feel like doing this week or this month may not be how you will feel in 6 months. In the short term I'd go with my gut, if I felt like trying a trip I'd do a weekend. If not, I'd let it go and reasses in a few months or a year. If your close friend wants to go again and is looking for someone to go along, consider going to see WDW from fresh eyes. I know I personally wouldn't want to try a solo trip in this situation, it would be too hard for me not to be flooded with all the memories of family time at WDW. But everyone is different and that may be a positive thing for you. It sounds from your posts (and I could be totally off base-I apologize if I am) this has less to do with the changing value proposition at WDW and more about the changes going on for you personally. Again, I wish you the best and hope if you chose to hold off on WDW trips for a time you will still continue to make your presence known here. I have enjoyed your thoughts and comments in the time I've been reading and posting on this board.
 

kristenb

Member
We're not nearly as extensively traveled as your family, but we do go other places several times a year...and keep coming back to WDW as well. I, too, should think we'd be close to letting it go for a year or two (in favor of something else, especially as the kids are so much older now) but none of us are quite ready to let it go. We do have a tendency to like what we know and we know this about ourselves (see also the ski trip west every year to the same, very small town and the beach week every year in a very small town that became a 2nd home). Also like your situation, the expense isn't the issue - we can pair it down to fewer days, have done park days staying off-site, the kids are in public school, the house needs some "sprucing up" but having the latest and greatest isn't that important to us, the cars have 100K plus miles, etc. We work really hard and are limited by school and work schedules as to when we can vacation, so we generally spend top dollar to take a break from reality at peak times and don't mind doing it.

Having taken all kinds of trips - those planned to the hilt, booked 300 days in advance, every ADR in the right place for 7 nights with kids from toddlers to teens to a few fast four-day weekends booked two weeks in advance to single park days with zero FPs - I think we keep going back because it's just our collective happy place. We're not trying to relive the kids being 2 and 4 or even 10 and 12...the ships and their interests at those ages have sailed! And you never have exactly the same pixie dust (or lack thereof) twice...but we do find new/old/new to us aspects to each trip that make it worth returning to, in addition to the nostalgia/must-dos (like TTA and mid-day pool breaks, not multiple rides on the headliners) that make it "fun" for us. Family-wide enjoyment of the WDW resort/atmosphere as a whole in combination with the relative ease of planning to go somewhere you've reliably had a great time before keeps us on the hook, even though the value for the dollar isn't nearly what we'd expect/accept in other facets of our lives!

Personally, I wish you some peace during what is a very difficult time. I've always enjoyed your wit, wisdom and educated take on our big emotional purchases:RpS_wink:. Transitions and change are crap. Difficult to manage under the best of circumstances and the cosmic joke is that at mid-life we're not really built to transition or change easily/well. I have had several friends separate/divorce after 20+ years of marriage and will keep you in my thoughts.
 
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Emma

New member
I've been once a year for the last few years, so maybe I haven't reached total Disney saturation yet. I did miss out 2016 which helped me to enjoy 2017 so much more. idk, I think going 2-3 times a year like some of you probably would make me a bit sick of WDW.
 

evansmom

New member
Brian, we've never met, but you have offered several years of friendly advice to me on these forums. I sincerely hope for the best for you and your family and please know, you will be mentioned in my prayers.

To address your original thoughts...

We have not gone as often as most of year...I think this year will be trip maybe 10ish?? Honestly I've lost count. I thought we were done. Husband has had enough, youngest 2 and I went last year for a final good-bye and all agreed it was time...but oldest daughter is graduating HS and hasn't gone for a few years due to sports issues and she requested a Disney trip...so I'm planning...but not very excited. We all talk about things and smile and say "I really like...remember when..." but I'm not into it anymore. The IDEA of Disney still appeals to me, but I don't feel the magic is there anymore. Like Disney isn't trying as much as they used to...

I would say this is definitely last trip...but youngest daughter's band is going next year...so we will head down again. Have extended it in the past, but I'm thinking next year we may take off and go to the coast and stay on the beach somewhere...I just am done. And honestly, it make me very sad. Going to Disney was always my dream as a child and when we started on our honeymoon I was thrilled and couldn't wait to share with kids....makes me sad I no longer feel that joy about it.
 
First the practical:

I would try Universal Studios Orlando. I was doing three trips a summer to Cedar Point with a different grandchild in tow for each visit and fast becoming heartily sick of a park I have loved for over forty year. So I decided to try something different and take my eldest granddaughter, who was not a fan of Cedar Point anyway due to being afraid of the majority of rides, to Canada's Wonderland. This gave my granddaughter and I a whole new appreciation for Cedar Point. We weren't even out of the parking lot when she asked, 'We're going back to Cedar Point next year, right grandma?.

Sometimes, just a new perspective is needed.

Now the existential:

Sometimes it's hard to believe the magic when reality is busy grinding you down. Sometimes you see the corrupt face beneath the glitter and it destroys the magic. Sometimes you just outgrow the magic. And sometimes, if you are very lucky, it reappears. For me, it reappeared thru the eyes of my grandchildren.

Sometimes, just a new perspective is needed.

Good luck.
 

bnoble

he's right
So, I've decided to get back in touch with my adrenaline-fueled roots for now, foregoing the emotional manipulation and bacchanalia of a typical Disney trip. In connection with the "let's re-examine every single facet of my life" journey I'm on right now, I bought a 2018 Cedar Point Platinum Pass last Fall. You got one day's admission in 2017 if you bought one, and I needed a day at the Point. Plus it gets me into every Cedar Fair park in 2018, parking included, all for about $225 or so.

On Wednesday, I decided I needed a mental health weekend this weekend. Since August, I've dropped about 80 pounds and gone from a 40" waist (and that's being a little generous; 40s were tight) to a 32", so now I fit on everything again---I'd been avoiding Cedar Point and its ilk for a while, because I didn't want to face the fact that I was too overweight to ride half the coasters. So I poked around the Delta vacations site to see if there was a cheap trip to an open Cedar Fair park. $500 got me round trip flights plus two hotel nights in Charlotte, which meant a visit to Carowinds.

Carowinds happens to be the home of a surprisingly decent coaster collection. I hadn't really been paying attention during the "I can't really ride anymore" phase of my life, because again I was unwilling to face facts, and knowing that Cedar Fair has been building great coasters was part of that facing of facts. One of the rides in that collection is Fury 325, a B&M giga. It's sort of a twister combined with an out-and-back, and it is fierce, ranked #1 in a couple of different ranking lists. Having been on several others on those lists, Fury deserves it. Awesome ride. Intimidator isn't half bad either.
 

Disneyfan

Well-known member
Carowinds! I lived in North Carolina during early my childhood and my elementary years. Don't know if they still have that white line down the border of the two states. But we thought it was the best thing ever to stand on it like we were doing jumping jacks and be in two states at one time.

Sounds like a fun weekend!
 

mgarbowski

Well-known member
Glad you found your vacation niche for now. Also, congratulations on the weight loss. Best of luck on the next, and often oddly harder phase of keeping it off.
 
I am soooo jealous. In Oct 2016, I too got a free day by purchasing the Platinum Pass for the following year. With the free parking and four Cedar Fair park days already planned in 2017, I stood to save over a hundred dollars. But of course once had the pass, I wanted to use it for 'more'. After researching all the Cedar Fairs I have never been too, Carowinds was at the top of my 'want to try' list and I planned out a week long vacation involving that park, Kings Dominion and visits to a Great Wolf Lodge in the vicinity of each park. Unfortunately, unforeseen responsibilities prevented it. Glad you got to go and enjoyed it.

Have you been to Kings Island? If not, it's an easy 3 1/2 hour drive from Ann Arbor down the I-75 and there are a couple of reasonably priced hotels nearby (avoid Super8 Mason like the plague; even if they paid you to stay there, it would still be poor value) as well as the significant more expensive Great Wolf Lodge which is right next door and awesome! The Diamondback, Banshee and Invertigo are all great roller coasters and the Firehawk is amazing! You start out lying on your back and then they flip you over so you are hanging under the track to fly thru the air! If you have been to Kings Island, how does Carowinds compare?
 

bnoble

he's right
I have been to Kings Island, but not for probably ten years. I'm going to CoasterStock next month with my daughter.
https://www.visitkingsisland.com/play/events/coasterstock

Hard to make a comparison since my Carowinds experience is so much more recent. Back ten years ago, when I had visited both parks around the same time, I thought KI's lineup was better. But both parks have invested a lot since then. Will be interesting to see if that still holds. I haven't been on KI's Firehawk yet. But, I much prefer B&M flyers to the Vekoma Flying Dutchman. Carowinds' version has not aged well. #ouch
 

jillyb

unsure of the release date for the dumbo anniversa
Carowinds! I lived in North Carolina during early my childhood and my elementary years. Don't know if they still have that white line down the border of the two states. But we thought it was the best thing ever to stand on it like we were doing jumping jacks and be in two states at one time.

Sounds like a fun weekend!
Yes, the white line is still there.
 

jillyb

unsure of the release date for the dumbo anniversa
You were in my neck of the woods. I can't handle the coasters at Carowinds but my DD loves them, especially the Fury 325. That a big NOPE! for me lol
 

Denise25

Member
My DS17 is a coaster fan, and for his HS graduation in June I got him the Cedar Parks platinum pass! We live in Richmond so he goes to Kings Dominion all the time, loves the Intimidator. This past summer he went to Carowinds and loved Fury. The plan for the platinum pass, aside from going to KD, is a coaster adventure -- drive to Kings Island, then Cedar Point, then Dorney Park in PA. I should have him meet up with you! :)
 
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