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In February of 2022, we booked a last minute trip to Walt Disney World. We hadn’t planned on going that spring as my youngest was having surgery in February. My husband and I were not in a great headspace after a year and a half of worry and no sleep and my oldest was being affected by everything going on. We decided to take the trip because we thought, “hey she’ll be recovered from surgery, this is the break we all need.” We were wrong.

We went in March, big mistake. We thought we would be before the major Spring Break crowds, since New Jersey’s Spring Break wasn’t until mid-April. We did not realize that the majority of the country goes on Spring Break much earlier than us. We thought it would be pool weather but not unbearably hot. Back in 2020 we went in mid-February and the weather was perfect, we thought the second week of March would be similar, it was not. It was 90 plus degrees every day, except the day we went to Magic Kingdom, where it poured on us all day. On top of that, we did a short, for us, trip where we only got one day at Magic Kingdom, and again it rained on us all day.

This trip was by far our most stressful. While my youngest was “recovered” from surgery, she was still not back to herself. My oldest was really struggling with everything going on, and honestly feeling a touch neglected since all the focus had been on her sister. We didn’t get to do a lot of the things we wanted because of the weather and the crowds. It was probably the first time I really understood why people say that they wanted to wait until their children were older to take them to Walt Disney World.

It’s now one year later. My husband and I were talking last night and we both agreed on one thing; it was a tough trip, but we wouldn’t change it for the world. The heat and crowds meant we slowed down a bit and spent more time at the resort. Getting rained on in Magic Kingdom (and our bag getting soaked through) meant we bought the kids princess dresses at Sir Mickeys, which we had always said we wouldn’t do, but they loved it. While the characters were still socially distanced, it was their first time meeting most of the princesses. We had some wonderful family pictures taken in Hollywood Studios during our Capture Your Moment session. It also gave us some valuable practice in traveling when the kids were not at their best, and learning to go with the flow a little bit better to help them have a wonderful vacation.

Not all vacations are going to go as picture perfect as you imagine when you book them. It doesn’t matter if your kids are 8 months, 8 years, or 18 years, you may just travel on a week where everyone is off their game. There are certainly things you can do to mitigate that, and ways to turn bad situations around. At the end of the day, even the worst trip to Walt Disney World, is better than a week at home.

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