The Highs and Lows of a Disney Vacation

| July 9, 2013 | 3 Replies

No matter the length of your Disney vacation there will be moments throughout where your emotions will swing.  There will be euphoric high moments and moments when you wish you could have a “do over” or moments you would just soon forget or leave behind.  In most cases our Disney vacations are like sound waves with occasional ups and downs in emotions.  There are points of amazing highs and points when it seems like even Mickey Mouse himself is against you.  Let’s take a look at some of the most common high points and low points of a Disney vacation and see if you agree.

High Point – The Arrival


Whether you’ve been to Disney World once or 100 times there’s nothing like the day you arrive and your entire vacation is in front of you.  It’s the moment when you make first contact with your resort hotel lobby and the automatic double doors slide open.  The smell, the scenery, and the atmosphere grab you right away.  The lobby is bustling with excitement with other guests checking in or out.  The gift shop and restaurants look amazing.  Your resort is in tip top shape and you can’t wait to get checked-in and begin your vacation.

Low Point – The Temper Tantrums


Do you hear that child crying and screaming from afar?  It probably means they’ve hit the proverbial wall.  It may be hot, or the child may be hungry and tired.  Whatever the reason it’s going to make the parents unhappy.  They’re going to have to make a choice they may not want to make; leave the theme park or try and ride out the tantrum in front of a lot of spectators.  Either way it’s not going to turn out well for the entire family.  It’s a place you’d never thought you would find yourself, but here you are right in the middle of a theme park with a situation you can’t seem to control.

High Point – Disney Magic


There comes a time during every Disney vacation when a family, couple, or individual gets hit with it.  It’s a time when you realize something special has happened.  It’s what we affectionately call Disney Magic and it can occur when you least expect it.

In most cases it happens when you run into a Cast Member who bestows something very positive to you and your co-travelers.  It can be something as simple as a Mickey Mouse sticker for your child or something as awesome as a free Mickey ice cream bar.  Just remember, at Disney’s theme parks anything can happen when you least expect it.

Low Point – Afternoon Wait Times


You may have experienced it before.  You roll out of bed around 9:00AM, enjoy a nice breakfast or a cup of coffee on your hotel balcony.  Your family eventually gets itself together and you head for the theme parks.  After a lengthy wait at the bus depot and ride to the theme park it’s now Noon.  You can’t wait to get to your first attraction.  A very popular one at that and then BAM!!!  There’s a 90 minute wait time.  Quick!  Let’s get Fastpasses!  Oh gawrsh!  They’re all gone.  Well, we don’t want to wait 90 minutes to ride so let’s try again later.  The problem is later may produce similar or worse wait times.  You quickly realize you failed to plan your day and some of the attractions you so badly wanted to experience may not happen, at least for today.

High Point – Your First Character Interaction


It’s been a long time since your last visit to the Disney theme parks.  So long you’ve almost forgotten that Mickey Mouse has a mate named Minnie or that Donald Duck’s bill is yellow.  Just as important as riding your first attraction is the first time you lay eyes on Mickey Mouse.  It’s one of the reasons why you came from so far to visit Central Florida.  When you see your favorite character you can’t wait to say hello, pass along a high five, and grab a vacation photo with him or her.  Whether it’s a character breakfast or just simply visiting them in the theme parks that first visit with a character never gets old.

Low Point – Your Last Vacation Day


This may be the lowest of the lows.  It’s hard to express your feelings about your last Disney theme park vacation day other than it stinks….plain and simple.  You don’t want to leave, but you know you have to get back home and return to reality.  You sort of wish you had another day to visit the parks, but that’s only delaying the inevitable.  You’ll have to go home eventually.  About the only way to reduce the disappointment of departure day is to have another vacation in the future already booked.  Happy planning!


A Disney theme parks vacation can be exhausting.  I’ve often told myself when returning home “I need a vacation from my vacation.”  What seems to make it even more exhausting are all the emotional changes you go through during a week inside the theme parks.  There’s happiness, disappointment, excitement, and frustration at every level.  Give Disney credit.  They try very hard to remove the disappointment and frustration emotions out of your vacation as much as possible.  Unfortunately, they are not miracle workers and can only do so much to make us as happy and excited as possible about our vacation.

Are you vacationing at the theme parks anytime soon?  Just remember you are going to have some high points and low points.  The real trick to a successful Disney vacation is creating more highs than lows.  That takes planning and in some cases keeping your emotions at bay.  As ‘Crush’ from Disney Pixar’s ‘Finding Nemo’ would say “Dude!  Just go with the flow!”

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Category: Disney World

  • Kate Harris

    My hubby and I just had our first Disney World vacation together a couple of weeks ago. Everything was wonderful-mainly high points. The low point is that you forget how much you walk and by 3/4 of the day our feet and hips hurt. People have said that you walk an average of 8-10 miles a day at a Disney park. This is not so great for the aches and pains, but FABULOUS for the exercise that allows you to eat more Mickey Mouse ice cream bars- DEFINITELY HIGH POINT!

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  • Jodi Pontius Strock

    I think that planning the vacation is the best part. Sometimes those low points make me want to not go again, but then I hit that last day & decide that I want to try to perfect it more/again. I always tell people that are going to try to remember to enjoy because they will have those lows. Just remain flexible & it will all work out despite all the theories & plans available out there! They don’t work the way they look on paper.