Traveling with Your Parents

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Traveling with Your Parents

I know that there are several grown ups on the board that still do Disney with their parents. I think this is fantastic and I hope that I still get to do Disney with my kids after they "leave the nest". I'm curious though, who's in charge? Was it easy to make that transition from being "the kid" to being adults traveling together? Do you have any advice for people with kids that are almost adults on how to keep each trip special?

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While my family loves WDW, I'm the only true FANATIC, so its been a relatively easy transition to me making all of the plans. When planning I usually give everyone a few different choices and let the majority rule. For example, our upcoming trip in October its me, my parents, my brother, sister in-law, niece and nephew. I knew we wanted to stay at a moderate resort, so I printed out details and pictures of several different moderates and let the family vote. Fortunately everyone liked POFQ (which was secretly my first pick). Then with ADRs, I thought it would be fun if we each picked at table service restaurant. I chose Kona Cafe, my folks picked 50's Primetime Cafe, my brother and sister in-law wanted Wolfgang Pucks, and my niece and nephew wanted a character breakfast (ultimately we chose Tusker house). Even though I'm planning (i.e. picking what days at what parks), and putting a schedule together, I want everybody to feel like they have a say!

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When we go with my parents, since they go in April/May as well... they let us be in charge. We pick our ADR's, where we want to go for the parks, sometimes lunch (if were all together). I love my parents to be honest. Even as a kid, I got to be in charge of what we did.

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I took a trip with my mom a few years ago, and then a trip with my dad more recently. They were great trips. There were differences in our theme park touring, but you'll have that when traveling with anyone, unless your lucky and go with someone who has the exact same likes as you. I like long trips and to be at the parks for rope drop, stay a few hours, and then go back to our resort for a break, and then go back to the parks at night. And food is part of the trip for me.

When I went with my mom, we were fortunate enough to be able to go during Food and Wine, and Epcot is my mom's favorite park too, so we spent a lot of time there. And she liked trying the different restaurants. But she would rather sleep in, and go to the parks around lunch time and not bother with breaks. That wasn't really an issue though, since after the first couple of days, (this was a nice long 11 day trip,) I would just go to the parks for RD, tour solo, and we'd meet at lunch time, and we'd do more restful things in the afternoons, like the shows.

When I went with my dad, he was always up and ready for rope drop, as waking up at 7:00 AM is sleeping in for him. (He was actually shocked that I woke up at 7:00 AM every day since I like to sleep as late as possible when I can at home.) He however, was very go, go, go, the entire day, with no breaks or down time. He also didn't like to repeat attractions, and thought once was enough for everything. Where I could do certain things several times in one day. He also didn't want to waste park time eating, so it was all CS that trip, except for our AK day when I went to DTD alone one night, (since it's "just shopping" there,) and had a nice dinner at Fulton's. Actually one day of that trip I wanted to eat at Captain Cook's, and that drove him crazy cause I had us leave MK, to go take the monorail, and I went on about how the monorail was like an attraction, but he sees it only as a mode of transportation, and then he refused to even eat anything out of stubbornness. He also wanted to skip Epcot completely, but I insisted we had to spend one day there. My dad was also anti-park hopping, I rarely want to spend a full day in the same park with no breaks.

Then there was some drama with sharing a room. I don't live with either of my parents anymore. I think I was still living at home when I went with my mom, but I can't remember for sure, but my mom and I started having space and organizing issues. I think that was due in part to it being a longer trip, since we had more stuff. But at least we were mostly on the same sleep schedule. With my dad it was the opposite, space wasn't an issue, though he likes to go to bed early, so we'd get home from the parks, I'd go for a swim or something, and I'd come back and he'd be out. And that wasn't late night swims that was 8:00 or 9:00 in the evening, but I felt that I had to be extra quiet and couldn't even turn on the TV or anything. Plus with the counter space, I basically turn the sink area into a Bath and Body Works, not an issue with my mom, since she likes my stuff and I don't mind sharing, but my dad had to ask me at least once a day why I needed to bring my entire collection with me. (Which it wasn't, not by a long shot, he has obviously never seen my bathroom closet, lol!)

But as far as it being a parent - kid trip, and feeling like vacations I took when I was little, it didn't. I don't think either one of us was in charge exactly. I did all the planning and booking the resorts and stuff, but that was it.

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We are planning a trip for next March with my mother-in-law. I don't think either one of us will be "in charge." We are planning the restaurants and the resort because she wants to go where the grandkids will be happiest. She has COPD so she will tour the park much slower than we do, but that's fine we can take breaks in the afternoon and swim while she refills her oxygen tank and rests. She has had a lot of changes in the last year so we are just trying to bring a smile to her face and make her think of good things.

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Before my father had his stroke and FIL became paralyzed we had a fantastic grand gathering trip in 2008. I think it's great that you got to go with your parents. Disney is for all ages.
Dee mickey

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Who's in charge?!! Me of course Tongue LOL

In all honesty though, I'm the planner and get input from them on what they want to do/join in with and plan around that. My parents are park lovers like us, whereas Hubby's parents like to spend more downtime, so we try to space the park days so they are getting a mixture rather than just all of their rest days together and all of their park days together.

I am the one on the disney fourms and the one 'in the know' with everything, so everyone is cool to leave me to plan as I will always try to get the most out of our trip.

We have the same stamina for our park days, we dont rush to get there for rope drop - it just wouldn't happen in our house! We go about 10/11am and stay till late. My mum is now wheelchair bound so she can keep going longer than anyone as she's just sitting down all day (this is what she says anyway!), I am worried for my dad on our next trip though (if they can come-fingers crossed) as he needs 2 new knees Sad they will be done on our return. He will need ot take it much easier, he isnt one for complaining though so it will take a lot before he will tell us that he's in pain, will try to plan lots of stops and rests around the parks.

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Scrappy and I are the only really true Disney Lovers in our families. The kids like Disney and we took them all two years ago. Scrappy planned everything, but we all had separate rooms and told everyone, if they wanted to do something else, have at it! Now our parents , well , they don't see the "Love for Disney" at all. So we just take our friends Tom & Del anytime they can come, because we infected them with the Disney addiction and they like to do what ever we do!

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My mom and I love Disney equally, so it's always a joint venture.

When you go with multi generations, do you split up, do different things, or try and stay together?

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The kids and I have been doing great on this trip. I'm trying to be more laid back and respect their ages rather than making all of the decisions on my own. My more "grown up" kids, Tori & Kirk (who are 17 & 19) have had the freedom to go do what they want.

Tori is a sweetie though and won't leave me alone because my fibromyalgia has been pretty bad on this trip so far. I'm absolutely falling into the disabled category this week and have needed much more care than I like to admit. She and I travel together pretty well. I think we have many fun trips in the future.

Katie is still an actual kid (12, almost 13) and I've given her some freedoms, but not a whole lot. She's driving me crazy and even told her brother that she's being difficult on purpose. I'm doing my best to be the laid back Mom. I think I've figured out which one that I can count on in my old age. LOL!

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For about 20 years we made family trips to Disney twice a year with all the kids and grandkids. We always went to Ft.Wilderness. As soon as the grand kids were old enough to Know their campsite address, to tell a bus driver, everybody was on their own. Everyone did what they wanted to do and go where they wanted to go. Disney, we found and believe, is a safe place. No ONE was ever in charge. Of course if the grandkids got hungry they better find their parent because the parent had the money. Never was any problems.
pix is all 3 of our family motor homes.
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subvetss wrote:
For about 20 years we made family trips to Disney twice a year with all the kids and grandkids. We always went to Ft.Wilderness. As soon as the grand kids were old enough to Know their campsite address, to tell a bus driver, everybody was on their own. Everyone did what they wanted to do and go where they wanted to go. Disney, we found and believe, is a safe place. No ONE was ever in charge. Of course if the grandkids got hungry they better find their parent because the parent had the money. Never was any problems.
pix is all 3 of our family motor homes.
Joe

What was the largest group you went with, people-wise, Joe?

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Brad wrote:
subvetss wrote:
For about 20 years we made family trips to Disney twice a year with all the kids and grandkids. We always went to Ft.Wilderness. As soon as the grand kids were old enough to Know their campsite address, to tell a bus driver, everybody was on their own. Everyone did what they wanted to do and go where they wanted to go. Disney, we found and believe, is a safe place. No ONE was ever in charge. Of course if the grandkids got hungry they better find their parent because the parent had the money. Never was any problems.
pix is all 3 of our family motor homes.
Joe

What was the largest group you went with, people-wise, Joe?

No Brad. In the early 90s we were leaders in a Scout group that went camping about twice a year at Ft. Wilderness group camping area. Even then everyone kind of did their own thing.
Joe

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I'm 24 and still travel to WDW with my parents and brother (age 20) and we enjoy every minute of it! Though my dad and I are the primary planners, we all get a say in the planning and we always make a point of doing something each person enjoys!

You've just gave me great inspiration for a blog post as this is something I get asked a lot, especially since I started my new job!

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We just re-discovered our love for Disney! We took our two boys (ages 20 & 14) in August before both headed back to school. We had the very best family trip EVER! muchlove We will be doing it again very soon! The boys like to do all the rides and we mapped out every thing. Hubby & I got back and decided we would like to go and do some of the more "boring, grown up stuff" at a slower pace during a cooler time of year. When we mentioned it to my Hubby's parents.........their eyes lite up!! So.....we will be taking our first "in-laws" trip to Disney in December.

Who is in charge? Hubby & I but we all sat down and talked about meals (we are going during the free dining promotion) and came to an agreement on where we would like to go. We left a few places up in the air since we are early lunch & dinner diners. We all agreed that we didn't want to miss the Candlelight Processional so we arranged that day around Epcot. We are all very excited about the trip. clapping

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When in December are you going? I'm envious - I'd love to go then, but with family obligations, etc. it just isn't possible this year. Grown up trips are great!

Where will you be staying? Anything you are really looking forward to? Have you made any ADR's yet?

Oh, and welcome. welcome

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welcome NSCRGal5, so glad you joined us. you will love the time you spend here with us.

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NSCRGal5 wrote:
We just re-discovered our love for Disney! We took our two boys (ages 20 & 14) in August before both headed back to school. We had the very best family trip EVER! muchlove We will be doing it again very soon! The boys like to do all the rides and we mapped out every thing. Hubby & I got back and decided we would like to go and do some of the more "boring, grown up stuff" at a slower pace during a cooler time of year. When we mentioned it to my Hubby's parents.........their eyes lite up!! So.....we will be taking our first "in-laws" trip to Disney in December.

Who is in charge? Hubby & I but we all sat down and talked about meals (we are going during the free dining promotion) and came to an agreement on where we would like to go. We left a few places up in the air since we are early lunch & dinner diners. We all agreed that we didn't want to miss the Candlelight Processional so we arranged that day around Epcot. We are all very excited about the trip. clapping

Grown-up trips are great, but taking the in-laws, ..... your brave. gaah Just kidding! biggrin We take friends all the time and it's great. Just don't make rock solid rules, if the inlaws want to go venture on themselves, let them go. Never make plans set in stone, (except ADR's) Ha!

Oh and welcome to WDW For Grownups!

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stars Hello NSCRGal5! stars

Welcome to the forums, sounds like you have a fun trip planned! Where are you staying and which reastaurnats did you pick to eat at?

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welcome NSCRGal5 to the best Disney blog there is. Enjoy your "Grown-Up" Disney trip.

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We will be arriving on 12/10 and leaving very early on the 15th. We will be staying at the Pop Century this time around. We are taking advantage of the free dining plan -- although we upgraded it to the Disney Dining Plan. We were happy we could work this out during this time of the year!! yay

We have made ADR for each night but still trying to get into a couple places that didn't have availability in our desired time frames. We were able to get some in our preferred time frame closer to our trip this summer so we check on it every couple of days! Thanks for the warm welcome!!

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Thanks to all for the warm welcomes!!! mickey

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mrhub wrote:
NSCRGal5 wrote:
We just re-discovered our love for Disney! We took our two boys (ages 20 & 14) in August before both headed back to school. We had the very best family trip EVER! muchlove We will be doing it again very soon! The boys like to do all the rides and we mapped out every thing. Hubby & I got back and decided we would like to go and do some of the more "boring, grown up stuff" at a slower pace during a cooler time of year. When we mentioned it to my Hubby's parents.........their eyes lite up!! So.....we will be taking our first "in-laws" trip to Disney in December.

Who is in charge? Hubby & I but we all sat down and talked about meals (we are going during the free dining promotion) and came to an agreement on where we would like to go. We left a few places up in the air since we are early lunch & dinner diners. We all agreed that we didn't want to miss the Candlelight Processional so we arranged that day around Epcot. We are all very excited about the trip. clapping

Grown-up trips are great, but taking the in-laws, ..... your brave. gaah Just kidding! biggrin We take friends all the time and it's great. Just don't make rock solid rules, if the inlaws want to go venture on themselves, let them go. Never make plans set in stone, (except ADR's) Ha!

Oh and welcome to WDW For Grownups!

Totally agree! If they want to venture off on their own that is fine with us!

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Restaurants so far: Teppan Edo, Louzzina, Cape May Cafe and Les Chefs de France. We are hoping to get lunch at the new Be Our Guest!

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Welcome to the boards, NSCRGal5! We're happy to have you join us!

You've got some wonderful restaurants lined up, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that you get to experience the new Be Our Guest restaurant! I heard it's goegeous inside!!

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For the last few years, my WDW vacations have been adult only. Some of those have involved my parents who are in their 70's. They love WDW. Those trips, my sister and I are in charge. But we've had a basic itinerary beforehand since ADR's are something my dad looks forward to so much. The 4 of us enjoy each other's company and we always have some good laughs.
My upcoming trip it'll be just my sister and myself but my adult daughter may join us if she is still w/o a job. (recent college grad). My daughter loves Disney as much as me, her Aunt, and Grandparents. I'll always have a travel buddy muchlove

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I usually always do Disney with my parents, except for my upcoming Disneymoon trip. But other than that I love going with my parents. It's nice now because I am of drinking age and EPCOT has become our favorite park, except for my poor little sister who usually gets drug around there by us (she's 16). Usually my mother and I are in "charge". My dad, sister and fiance usually just go with the flow and my mom and I seem to know the most about Disney so we usually plan the ADRs and what parks we go to that day. Usually my mom picks what Disney resort we will be staying at. And for keeping the trip special, Disney is always special! Its nice to be able to do more adult things because Disney really does have something for everyone young and old and in between.

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I'll travel to Disney World with my mom & stepdad. Since I only went to Disneyland with my mom a couple of times when I was little there wasn't any transition. Both my mom & my stepdad recognize that I know more about Disney than they do & that I put a lot of time & effort in to making sure I'm as up to date as I can be & doing enough planning to insure that we have a great trip. I do involve them in the planning though starting about six or seven months before the trip I email them a monthly homework assignment. I do one park each month wanting to know what rides, shows etc. they want to see/do & where they would like to eat. I email them that month's homework at the beginning of the month & it's "due" at the beginning of the next month. To help them do their homework I make sure they have the current version of the Passporter. I use their completed homework to help me plan out our trip. I also make up one business card for each day that has easyWDW's park recommendations & the parks operating schedule on it for them. We also have a plan in place for if we get separated leaving the parks at night. The plan is that we head back to our rooms & will meet up there as it's too difficult to try & find each other in the crowds & since we're all adults we can handle getting back to the hotel & our room on our own. We traveled a lot when I was a kid so we're used to traveling together & now that we're all adults & friends we have a blast. My mom & I did a mother/daughter trip in January & had way too much fun. I'm lucky in that both my mom & stepdad recognize that planning & knowledge of your destination are important to having a good trip & are willing to admit that when it comes to Disney I'm the most knowledgeable of the three of us & willingly let me take control of the planning. They're definitely involved as we agree on dates & resort & they book their own hotel & airfare & buy their own park tickets as well as doing the homework I email them. However when it comes to planning which park on which day & creating a touring plan of any sort I'm the one in charge.

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LOL My kids seem to mooch a trip whenever we go. This next time we planned to go with friends who are in their late 60's but are really energetic. We booked about a month ago, and this past weekend our DS2 asked if he and his GF could come along. The first is that they are paying their own way.

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I went to the USA and Disney just with my mum, mainly because she wouldn't let me travel on my own and I had no one to go with. I planned everything so Mum just went along with what I had planned. She did get really scared waiting in line for Soarin because she had no idea what it was, and loved it afterwards. Most days once the attractions on my list were done I made sure I asked her if she would like to go on this ride or that one, and went on a few rides I thought she would like. We went at Flower and Garden Festival time so she absolutely loved Epcot with the topiaries and flowers. But I had no complaints travelling with my mum. Plus being my mum it's a given she won't whinge when I make her carry my bag of shopping and stuff.

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We're traveling with my parents for their first Disney trip in almost 25 years (leaving in 2 weeks!!). I'm so excited for this trip and I am definitely "in charge" because they have no idea what they're doing, but not knowing how they'll react to the environment, my planning has been very loose for this trip. The last time I went to WDW with them, we stayed in Kissimmee because there were only 3 resorts and they were booking at 18 months out. HS was only a year old and AK probably didn't even exist on paper yet! Oh and they were highly energetic 35-year-olds and neither had any health problems yet.

It's been easy for us to transition to vacationing together as adults. My parents treated me with the same respect that they would treat another adult from the time I was in my early teens. They've always allowed me to be as independent as I wanted to be and I've stayed very close to them as a result. Dad and I sometimes get under each other's skin, but that's just because we're a lot alike. My dad is a different person when he's on vacation, so I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with him. I have some close friends my age, but I'm more inclined to hang out with mom than any of my other friends. DH gets along splendidly with my parents, so I expect this trip to be a lot of fun.

I expect that we'll stick together. Both of my parents are nearly 60 and they've never been big "amusement park ride people", but even with my dad's heart condition and bad knees and my mom's epilepsy, there are very few rides that we can't do together at WDW. We're only skipping the mountains, ToT, RnR, Mission Space, Dinosaur, and probably Star Tours (Benn and I might sneak a quick ride). Mom will sit out the tea cups and possibly the Dumbo-like rides and we'll be taking nap breaks because spinning and lack of rest are two things that trigger symptoms for her. Everything else is tame enough that we shouldn't have any issues. We'll spend time enjoying the street entertainment, visiting the rose garden (if the hub construction hasn't disturbed it yet) and taking in the sights, smells, and tastes of the Food & Garden Festival.

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