We’ve all been there. We all know what it’s like to spend thousands of dollars, months of planning, nights dreaming, and years building the anticipation for a Disney vacation. Only to have a speed bump or two happen once we arrive at our Destination. You miss your ADR. Peter Pan’s Flight ran out of Fast Passes. There are WAY more people than you thought would be here in February. The list of unplanned for issues or inconveniences are vast when you have so many Guests, in so many parks, operating for so many hours of the day. And usually as is the case even with the most Saint like person there is literally only so much one person can take before all of those subtle disappointments boil over and guess what, You’re Grumpy.
I’ve been there. But, guess what your spouse, traveling partners, etc. they usually are going through the same issues and add in heat, crowds, and sleep deprivation and you have the perfect brew for an argument.
Again, I’ve been there. It’s not a topic a lot of people like to think about when planning vacation, is it? I can count the number of times I’ve thought “I’ll be in Disney, why would be I upset.” Only to get down there and things not go as planned totally and I reach a point where yes, I get grumpy and snippy. Or my kids get tired and whiny. Even the most open and honest family can get worn out and argumentative and if you look around you realize you aren’t the only ones feeling it.
So how do you get over it when an argument happens? I’ve broken down my way of dealing. Not saying this is the perfect solution for everyone, but since I do have two young children and one with special needs I usually have to reign it in a bit. The more I dramatize a situation or over emphasize a problem it can potentially escalate my youngest into stemming and lead him to meltdown. So my husband and I have gotten pretty good at dealing with stresses in a quieter fashion, more direct and putting them behind us faster. Keeps things from snow balling into our kids attitudes and behaviors later.
First, be honest with yourself. Are you tired, stressed, are you down because things aren’t going the way you planned? That’s the bane of being a Mom at Disney sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes. Moms are the planners (usually) when it comes to planning Disney vacations. And usually we are victims of our own hype. We fantasize about those hugging Mickey moments, the perfect outfits for our darling children, being able to walk on rides with little to no wait. And the reality is great and Magical moments happen. They do at Disney, but yes there are lines, and if you go in the Summer there is heat, and if you pack custom clothing and ask your child to change 4 times a day for photo ops they are going to get tired of it. Eventually. So be honest about those emotions you are feeling, don’t slap a smile on your face and pretend. Just clearly state, “I think I overdid this, or I thought this would be different.” Now you can work on solving it.
Solving It – If it’s another person’s attitude or actions that are mucking up what you anticipated would be a glorious vacation deal with them directly. But in an emotionally fair manner. A phrase that is fair may be: “When we planned the trip I lined out how we needed to be at our ADR at 8:00, you agreed, but now it’s 9:00 and we missed it. This really sets us back for the day, can you go ahead and get ready if I call and reschedule?” Be flexible, don’t jump up and down yelling that you missed your ADR, it happens. But, it also gives a subtle hey, you agreed to this come on we had a deal to your voice. I’ve been very direct with my husband before. “I’m just disappointed that I spent all these months planning meals only to have to reschedule now we’re here.” Again, you’re just lining out how you feel, nothing at all wrong with that. You aren’t name calling, just stating a fact. I feel disappointed, I feel upset by, I am stressed because. You aren’t nagging but simply lining out how actions of others are making their eventual consequences in your emotions present. Oncce the other person knows. They can help solve the problem with you. And as often is the case if you state how you feel as fact, they are more inclined to work with you. If you go on the attack the human response is to defend and then it just takes longer to get back around to this point. Choose your words carefully.
Breathe – You would be amazed at how breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth can calm you down. We do a breathing exercise with our boys before we fly, if we are in tense situations (lines, travel, transitioning) and it helps your brain with a supply of oxygen literally function better. Take a few breaths, deep breaths, step back think (always think before you speak) but think about the situation in a clear manner. And I usually ask myself the following: “Is it as big of a deal as I am making it?” “How could the other members of my family be viewing this trip, situation, etc.?” This usually helps me look at the problem in a more fair less persecuted way.
Compromise – That’s a hard pill to swallow when you really feel angry and wronged isn’t it? The last thing you feel like doing is compromising any more at that moment. But, I am going to tell you that is the best thing you can do to come up with an exit strategy. Usually after I have said “I’m disappointed, stressed, upset because…” my husband will respond with a “Sorry. Um, what can I do to make you feel…?” Which usually makes it better in some ways, it’s not resolved but it’s better. Then we usually come up with a plan. Last time we were at Disney he wanted to stay in the room on our last night, needless to say I didn’t. So I took the kids and went to the Magic Kingdom while he stayed in the room and rested up. The boys and I had a wonderful time, he rested everybody won. Would I have liked for him to come with us? Sure. But, I knew he was plain wore out after a week at the parks and wanted to rest a bit before our flight the next morning. So I guess that leads me to my last point, know your family’s limits!
Oh and stay hydrated. If you work on keeping your body cool you are likely to be more rational. If you get hot literally, you also get hot figuratively. Oxygen, H2O, and Compromise. Be honest but never attack. And hug it out!
What are some ways you get over disappointments or arguments when touring the Disney Parks?