If you are not a fan of the Disney parks I cannot express to you the difficulty of walking out of the Magic Kingdom, or any other Disney park, on your final day of your vacation. The ending of any vacation is difficult, but the ending of a Disney vacation feels as if someone is ripping you away from your home. A Disney parks vacation embodies escaping from real world responsibilities. Returning to those responsibilities after you have been avoiding them for a week or so is especially difficult. I’ve had to face the battle of walking away from the Disney parks many times in my life, so I wanted to share the ways I make walking away from Disney as easy as possible.
Remember to live in the moment as the the end of your vacation approaches! Don’t allow yourself to think about the fact that your vacation is coming to an end. Sit on a bench, breath it in, look around, and take it all in because these memories will last you a lifetime. Appreciate the little moments. Yes, Space Mountain and the Tower of Terror are fun, but the little moments are the ones that stick with us Disney fans the most. Remember the smile your kids make when they see the parade, or your significant other’s reaction to the fireworks. Whatever it may be, remember those moments.
It is so important to not count down the days until the end of your vacation. As hard as it might be, you cannot let the final few days be dampened by your own Disney-depression. As the end of your vacation approaches it can be hard not to think about the sad fact that the amazing journey is about to end. Enjoy every day as if it is the first day of your vacation. Try planning something special near the end of your vacation like a fancy dinner, or even a behind the scenes tour. Having something special to look forward near the end of your vacation might help keep you and your family in good spirits.
Whether or not you have a park hopping ticket, it is always best to save your favorite park for the last day of your vacation. For example, I always spend my last day in Walt Disney World in the Magic Kingdom. Let yourself indulge in as much magic while you still can. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by going to your least favorite park on the last day to make it “easier” to leave.
Don’t rush! Just because your vacation is coming to a close doesn’t mean you have to run around and try to do everything. Know your limitations, Disney parks are too big, and too detailed to do every little thing. You only have a few moments left so enjoy them at your own pace. Stressing yourself over not riding a particular ride, or eating at a particular restaurant will drive you insane. Enjoy what you can do, and don’t stress about the rest.
On the bright side, the ending of a Disney vacation means it is time to start planning to come back. Whether your next vacation is a month away, or five years, it is crucial to start planning how you can make your next Disney vacation extra special. Talking with other Disney park fans on forums like the disboards.com will help make your next Disney vacation go much smoother.
Stephen "Steve" Porter started going to the parks with his family in 1996. Since then he hasn't looked back! Steve was a cast member participating in the Disney College Program in 2013. Most recently he graduated from Penn State University!