When you first start a relationship, you tend to measure compatibility based on the elements directly surrounding you. Does he like Mexican food? Will she go to every Tool concert with me? Are we late-night or early-morning people? It’s hard to think much further down the track than that. So what happens once you’ve already fallen in love, only to find out that one of your favorite vacation spots in the whole world sounds about as exciting as a trip to the bank for your new partner?
For most of us Disney fans, the parks are in our blood, something we grew up with and never thought we would need to compromise on visiting in the future. I love traveling all over the world; my vacations are not limited to Disney, nor given the majority share of time; however, I’ve never once left a park, even contemplating that I might never be back.
I’m lucky that my husband is hugely supportive of my Dis-love. While he isn’t keen on spending too much time there himself, he has no issues with my frequent returns. Furthermore, I’m lucky to have had two kids who inherited the Disney gene, and now they are my companions when we visit. But it does occur to me that in relationships like these, many people out there don’t have a significant (friendly) other to designate as a travel buddy. How do you compromise so that everyone gets a bit of what they love?
Lucky for us, most Disney sites are located in major cities where there is much more to do than ride attractions all day. My first tip would be to change up the parks you want to visit. For some more reluctant to enjoy Disney theme parks, a change of scenery might be all they need to share some of their vacation time entertaining your passion. Start by looking at parks overseas or a bit further away than your usual go-to.
Once you’ve found a new destination, research other activities you can enjoy together nearby. If you are away for a week and plan two days for Disney, your partner might be more inclined to join you if there are a few days of golf or scuba diving (insert their favorite activity) for them as well. There are two distinct ways you can approach this part. Either you join the other and enjoy each activity together, or save time and split up, enjoying your activities for those two days uninhibited and then spending the rest of your trip enjoying mutually satisfying interests.
If your travel partner spends your Disney time with you, try mixing it up from how you usually do things. Embark on new culinary experiences together and try a show or attraction you’ve never done before. In my experience, most of the partners that become frustrated with Disney plans do so due to the repetitious nature of the parks. Many Disney fans, like myself, are creatures of habit, and we often have a unique way of doing things we don’t like to mess with. For your other half, this is predictable and makes an already less-than-inspiring experience even more lackluster. Crazy, I know, but some people don’t like it.
I like to switch gears on my family’s perspective, starting with my own. Instead of looking for things to do while planning out your Disney vacation, flip the script and find ways to get your Disney magic while enjoying your exploration adventure. Disney theme parks might need to take a back seat to the bigger travel picture, but if it gets you there more often, you’ll still come out in front.
Is your family all on board for your Disney-focused travel planning? If not, how do you get around the subject and please everyone along the way? Do you travel separately or try to fit everyone’s interests into one trip? Leave your sage advice in the comments below.