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3happydancers
01-23-2010, 12:27 PM
I need some input from my knowledgeable friends on the board. My 12 year old daughter wants to bring a friend to Disney this year. She is an only child so she does not have siblings to share the fun. I was thinking this is a good age but I would like to hear from those of you who have experienced this idea. Your input is greatly appreciated!!!:dance3:

okeydokey
01-23-2010, 02:54 PM
If you can afford the extra expense and the girl and your DD will get along for the whole trip then I think it's a great idea. She will probably enjoy it more with a friend.

Baylorwhite1
01-23-2010, 03:28 PM
We took a friend of mine when I was 13 (my sister is about three years younger than me) and we had a great time...needs to be a close friend!!!

CrAzY4DL
01-23-2010, 04:31 PM
When DD10 was 6 we took her and her 6 year old cousin to Disneyland for 3 days. NOT good times (two totally different personalities plus DD was sick and cranky). When she turned 10 in August, we took one of her best friends for 4 days (3 days in park) and it. was. amazing. Like, AMAZING. What do you need to know beforehand?
1. How well do you know this kid? Is the dynamic between your DD and her friend a good one or is there often drama?
2. What kind of personality does the friend have? What kind of personality does your DD have?

For example, DD's friend, lets call her J, had spent the night at our house a few times and I also volunteer in their class once a week and eat lunch with them that day as well so I felt we knew J very well. J is VERY relaxed and laid back and not very loud, and DD10 is not so relaxed and was very nervous on some rides (liked the rides but was nervous before getting on them). J was completely go with the flow which worked for DD AND had been to DL before and she wasn't afraid of any of the rides. On the other hand, DD has been to DL tooooo many times to count and is afraid of Tower of Terror and Screamin', but J was just all, whatever. LOL. J helped to keep DD calm(ish!) and then when they wanted to ride Splash 4 times in a row, we were able to just let them go on their own and wait at the exit (absolutely no line 10 minutes before park closing, LOL). So, I highly recommend it but it might not have worked with a different friend. Also, J never once got homesick or crying that she missed her mom, so you might want to take that into consideration.

DW2010
01-23-2010, 05:51 PM
My Dh was able to bring a friend along when he was 14, and he had a great time! I say go for it if you can afford it and if the friend is a close friend you trust :).

3happydancers
01-23-2010, 11:02 PM
Thanks for the replies!!! Keep them coming, the more imput the better. I have considered personalities. The person we were considering happens to live across the street from us and we have known the family for several years. The kids are in the same grade, go to the same school, and spend lots of time together. This childs family and I have a great trust for each other. We share watching each others children. As far as my daughter's friend getting home sick, I believe this would not be an issue. Her friend is very use to traveling without parents for weeks at a time to the Ukraine to visit cousins. Her friend is well behaved, extremely polite, and abides by rules.

I was thinking of the cost factor. We have a DVC so the room is already paid for and my husband and I would consider paying for either the childs airfare or meals. When we speak to my daughter's friends parents we were thinking of asking them to provide the park ticket and either the airfare OR the meals. I do know this would create an expense for the family but I would also let them know that if this was not an option that we would in no way be offended. At this time, I do not think I can afford to pay for everything for the child.

Is it appropriate to invite someone but then ask them to pay for part of the trip or should I be prepare to pay in full because I am doing the inviting?

littlbugmom
01-23-2010, 11:18 PM
It sounds like taking this friend would work out well. :thumbsup2


We took my niece with us the first time. Different situation because she's family, I know......but I could not have asked my sister if we could take her daughter with us and then ask her to pay for part of the trip. I just couldn't do it. We invite, we pay. That's how I see it.

wdwmom0f3
01-23-2010, 11:25 PM
We have done this twice and both times I spoke to the parents before talking to the child, because of the expense. I know that there are people who pay all expenses, but with three children of my own, it's not in the budget. :laughing: We always paid for the rooms and some meals. Once we went on the dining plan and I paid 1/2 of it for her, because I saved with a discount code on the rooms. The other time we went el cheapo and her mom sent her money for everything. I did pay for the meals coming & going to Fl. Each time they had to buy thier own park ticket but I wish that I could have, but at the time I couldn't.

We really enjoyed taking another child with us to Disney. With three children, it just evened everything out, just like it would for you. :)

ireland_nicole
01-23-2010, 11:30 PM
I think as long as you talk to the parents privately, before getting the girls excited, and am clear that you would love for her to come with you, and could contribute the cost of hotel, meals, etc. but would need them to cover xyz, etc. it would be fine. There needs to be clear communication at the beginning, but it can work well. I would advise to ask them to cover fixed expenses, not meals, because you can't really know for sure in advance what that will cost, and you don't want them (or her) worrying about it during the trip.

tlh0726
01-23-2010, 11:51 PM
Is it appropriate to invite someone but then ask them to pay for part of the trip or should I be prepare to pay in full because I am doing the inviting?

This has been discussed on quite a few time. Majority of the posters responses were if you do the inviting then you should be prepared to pay in full. If the other parents offer to pay for something than you can accept their offer. So if you cannot afford to pay don't ask the other child to go.

LauraAnn630
01-24-2010, 12:03 AM
My best friends family took me to DL with them. They paid for everything. We had an amazing time! It was very generous of them. I think of that trip at least once a week! I dont know if they even understand how much it really meant to me they took me with them. This was 25 years ago. I lost contact with this friend but I know where her dad lives and Im going to stop by and tell him how much I appreciate them taking me with them and get her phone number!

3happydancers
01-24-2010, 11:13 AM
This has been discussed on quite a few time. Majority of the posters responses were if you do the inviting then you should be prepared to pay in full. If the other parents offer to pay for something than you can accept their offer. So if you cannot afford to pay don't ask the other child to go.

Thanks. I know that I have read in the past where some of the expenses had been shared but I wasn't sure what was truely acceptable.

I was thinking about asking the child's parents to pay for the park ticket, but now I am not so sure. The room is covered, we are DVC members, airfare is reasonable, about 200.00 RT which we can swing, and we haven't decided what to do for meals. We usually take the meal plan which is 42.99 a day. We could scale down and take the QS meal plan which I think is about 32.00 a day. Our room does have a kitchen but I prefer not to cook on my vacation. I would just stock cold cereal an maybe some muffins or bagels for breakfast but eat out during the day.

Any additional advise is greatly appreciated!!!:dance3:

Zookeeperof4
01-24-2010, 12:00 PM
I am considering this myself. We stayed at the POR last trip. This time we might consider All star Family Suite though. I have three kids my son is the oldest and often was the odd man for the rides. Daddy just agreed to take a return trip so I have not approached him with my thoughts yet. There is only one kid who I would consider taking with us and his family is a bit like us...sheltering..LOL
I did price it just to see what the costs would be. Its actually not that much more. Last trip my son was 9 so he was considered the kid...his meals and park passes were cheaper. Even with adding an extra night, his raised costs as he will be 12 when we travel and a 6th kid who is also considered the adult pass as he will be 15....it only added 500$ in costs. So not terribly excessive.
My issue would be the transporation....we drive. and I have a sedan. So unless we buy a 7 seater within the next year (which I would LOVE!!!!) dont know how it would work.

Things I would ask them to cover.....his own spending money for soulveniers. WE would get the plan with the TS and QS....we found it offered plenty the last trip. We would cover any extra snack he wanted...as we found we didnt have to spend to much OOP with that plan..of course we shared drinks and I would not expect him to drink off my straw..LOL But a bottled drink wasnt that bad in cost so no biggie.

I may consider buying him pins to do pin trading. My son enjoyed that last trip. As far as rides..he has been to WDW a few times and is going this year. However he has never stayed onsite and they have never done character meals...so for him it might be that awesome experience to remember.

Im subbing to this thread...Id love to see other thoughts.

mjkacmom
01-24-2010, 12:37 PM
I might ask for money for the park tickets, but I would pay for the meal plan if I chose to go that route - if I'm inviting someone anywhere, I will feed them. I'm sure they don't spend $43 a day to feed him at home.

disneylovin24
01-24-2010, 12:53 PM
I need some input from my knowledgeable friends on the board. My 12 year old daughter wants to bring a friend to Disney this year. She is an only child so she does not have siblings to share the fun. I was thinking this is a good age but I would like to hear from those of you who have experienced this idea. Your input is greatly appreciated!!!:dance3:

As an only child my parents never let me bring friends with me to disney. We went on vacations to be a family, not for them to hang out and me to run off with a friend. Your daughter gets plenty of time a year to hang with her friends, this is the week that she should spend with her family:goodvibes

DCbride
01-24-2010, 01:02 PM
We have done this on 3 different trips. Each time I spoke with the parent and told them that we would enjoy having ___ join us on our family vacation but while Disney provides a lot of fun, it does cost quite a lot. Would you mind paying for ____ and I would be happy to cover ____? I have not had one parent say no. You are taking their child on a vacation that the child would not be going on, or if their whole family went it would cost 3x,4x, etc the amount. I basically ask the parent to cover air, tickets and send some money to cover a character meal or two. I paid for the room and all counter service. it worked out great. In fact one year both kids brought a friend and the trip was so much fun and the invted kids actually come home with money.

(Now, if we decide to do something extra last minute I covered it- like last fall we added a hopper)

MrsJones
01-24-2010, 01:14 PM
I am an only child and let me tell you how much it meant to me that my family invited other children to come along on our trips. I loved having someone my own age to talk to, to point things out to, to compare and just giggle with. It didn't take away from the time I spent with my family, but it was great for both of us. The things my mom or nana or grandpa didn't want to do, we could do and they could rest or have a snack and just sit in one spot while we did what we wanted to. Or they came on stuff too and we just took turns sitting with each other.

Now I have 5 kids, :confused3 and we don't have much room for others. I did just have my first grandbaby who will start traveling with us soon. I have made separate day trips for my 11 year old son to take a friend somewhere or my 8 year old daughter to take a friend ( the others are 22, 20 and 1 so they either don't come anymore or don't know they can ask to bring one, lol) and it's alot of fun for them. I don't feel like we feel left out at all.

I have never asked for money, but I haven't gone that long either. If someone invited one of my children on vacation I would NOT be insulted if they just asked for ticket price. Hopefully they offer. I am sure the girls would have a ball. I know I did !!!

Good luck, Tamara

3happydancers
01-24-2010, 02:08 PM
I am an only child and let me tell you how much it meant to me that my family invited other children to come along on our trips. I loved having someone my own age to talk to, to point things out to, to compare and just giggle with. It didn't take away from the time I spent with my family, but it was great for both of us. The things my mom or nana or grandpa didn't want to do, we could do and they could rest or have a snack and just sit in one spot while we did what we wanted to. Or they came on stuff too and we just took turns sitting with each other.

Now I have 5 kids, :confused3 and we don't have much room for others. I did just have my first grandbaby who will start traveling with us soon. I have made separate day trips for my 11 year old son to take a friend somewhere or my 8 year old daughter to take a friend ( the others are 22, 20 and 1 so they either don't come anymore or don't know they can ask to bring one, lol) and it's alot of fun for them. I don't feel like we feel left out at all.

I have never asked for money, but I haven't gone that long either. If someone invited one of my children on vacation I would NOT be insulted if they just asked for ticket price. Hopefully they offer. I am sure the girls would have a ball. I know I did !!!

Good luck, Tamara

Thanks for sharing how much it meant to you to be allowed to bring a friend with you on your trips. I do understand and respect those who believe that a family trip is for family only, not friends, but for us, my heart tells me otherwise. This does not mean I would allow our child and her friend to go off to do whatever. We would still do all things together. My husband and I are big kids at heart and we would not want to miss the fun. However, I do believe that my daughter needs to have someone her own age to converse with, laugh with, and to build memories with. We would not choose just any child to take. We have certain standards and the one my daughter is wanting to ask is someone we have known for several years. We are friends with the family, believe in the same values and the kids get along great. They are the best of friends.


Thanks for everyones input. My friends on the boards have been a great help guiding me!!!!! If anyone has something to add, Please Do!

luvmy3
01-24-2010, 06:25 PM
Thanks for sharing how much it meant to you to be allowed to bring a friend with you on your trips. I do understand and respect those who believe that a family trip is for family only, not friends, but for us, my heart tells me otherwise. This does not mean I would allow our child and her friend to go off to do whatever. We would still do all things together. My husband and I are big kids at heart and we would not want to miss the fun. However, I do believe that my daughter needs to have someone her own age to converse with, laugh with, and to build memories with. We would not choose just any child to take. We have certain standards and the one my daughter is wanting to ask is someone we have known for several years. We are friends with the family, believe in the same values and the kids get along great. They are the best of friends.


Thanks for everyones input. My friends on the boards have been a great help guiding me!!!!! If anyone has something to add, Please Do!

I think its great that you want to bring a friend for your dd to share her vacation with. I know that we consider dd's bff part of our family and she would always be welcome to come with us. I'm sure your dd and her friend will remember this trip forever.

Pixieflip
01-24-2010, 06:45 PM
As an only child, I too appreciated when my parents let me travel with a friend. I never had anyone to hang with, every single day of life at home I was only with adults. What a treasure it was to do something, even if only our local theme park, with a friend! :goodvibes

Now as a parent of 4 kids, I can't even imagine adding to the chaos, but it has been voiced as a request from my older ones. We'll see...

luvvseeyore
01-24-2010, 07:54 PM
DON'T....I have a only child, and we have brought friends on vacations before and then the vacation is not about your child, you're so busy trying to ensure the other child is having fun, you make your child sacrifice things they may not want to. We've done both, met other couples there and spent a week together, and brought a child with us. All turned out to be not as fun as we had anticipated. This year, we are so looking forward to it "just being us" and it's all about her!

Someone told me, one of the best thing you can do for your child is take them on vacation...don't spoil it for them. Let this be about her, what ever she wants, if she wants to go on a ride, great, if she doesn't then you don't have to feel bad for the other child that might want to.

If you do decide, (well, if my daughter was asked), I would not send her without paying for her myself. My daughter has gone with other people on vacation also (again, not as fun for her as she anticipated) and I always sent enough money with her to pay her own way. They would a couple of times pay her dinner, but mostly she would pay her own way, and also any attractions they went to, she had money to pay her ticket.

Good luck with your decision!:confused3

3happydancers
01-25-2010, 09:27 AM
I think its great that you want to bring a friend for your dd to share her vacation with. I know that we consider dd's bff part of our family and she would always be welcome to come with us. I'm sure your dd and her friend will remember this trip forever.

As an only child, I too appreciated when my parents let me travel with a friend. I never had anyone to hang with, every single day of life at home I was only with adults. What a treasure it was to do something, even if only our local theme park, with a friend! :goodvibes

Now as a parent of 4 kids, I can't even imagine adding to the chaos, but it has been voiced as a request from my older ones. We'll see...

Thanks for the words of encouragement!!! It is nice to hear how the other side feels, you know, the child's side, after the fact.

We have done Disney together, just my DH, DD and myself four times, so sharing the magic of Disney with my daughters best friend (who has never been there) I think will make our trip even more magical.

A few years back, we brought my mom with us. It was her first trip to Disney and we had a great time. My daughter loved sharing all the "firsts" with her grandmother and never seemed to mind taking a slower pace (my mom was disabled). We really did not forfeit anything we wanted to do, but we did have plenty of time to fit in all of our adventures. We are able to book vacations for approximately 14 days as is the case this year as well.

3happydancers
01-25-2010, 09:47 AM
DON'T....I have a only child, and we have brought friends on vacations before and then the vacation is not about your child, you're so busy trying to ensure the other child is having fun, you make your child sacrifice things they may not want to. We've done both, met other couples there and spent a week together, and brought a child with us. All turned out to be not as fun as we had anticipated. This year, we are so looking forward to it "just being us" and it's all about her!

Someone told me, one of the best thing you can do for your child is take them on vacation...don't spoil it for them. Let this be about her, what ever she wants, if she wants to go on a ride, great, if she doesn't then you don't have to feel bad for the other child that might want to.

If you do decide, (well, if my daughter was asked), I would not send her without paying for her myself. My daughter has gone with other people on vacation also (again, not as fun for her as she anticipated) and I always sent enough money with her to pay her own way. They would a couple of times pay her dinner, but mostly she would pay her own way, and also any attractions they went to, she had money to pay her ticket.

Good luck with your decision!:confused3

Thanks for your input. You have some valid points.

But, I did not mention that we have been to Disney several times alone with my daughter, so she has had our undivided attention for past vacations and we do take other trips that involve just us. We have shared short trips with this same friend she wants to ask to come and it has never been an issue when it comes to doing things she may not want to or forfeiting something she may want to do. In a way, being an only child, taking her bff can teach tolerance of others, not to mention sharing and the fact that she can still feel special even if some attention is given to another child (lessons she does not get to learn at home on a day to day basis because she IS the only one).
Of course, anything can happen, and this whole thing could turn out to be a bad experience, but I won't know until we try it. We were very careful in deciding who my dd could ask, taking into consideration the childs daily behavior, how the two interact and of course knowing that the child's family and us have the same type of rules and values (we have been good friends for several years!)

When it comes to allowing my dd to go off with another family on any trip, like you, I always send her with money to cover her way for tickets, food and spend money.

I have read everyone's replies, and I take all of your advise seriously!!! Thanks a bunch!:dance3:

bedillamouse
01-25-2010, 10:59 AM
You've gotten a lot of good advice....just wanted to add...I'd love to see a trip report after you get back. It would be fun to hear about how your daughter and her friend had fun. Especially since it would be your DD's friends first time there. Hope it all works out great!

mjkacmom
01-25-2010, 11:47 AM
DON'T....I have a only child, and we have brought friends on vacations before and then the vacation is not about your child, you're so busy trying to ensure the other child is having fun, you make your child sacrifice things they may not want to. We've done both, met other couples there and spent a week together, and brought a child with us. All turned out to be not as fun as we had anticipated. This year, we are so looking forward to it "just being us" and it's all about her!

Someone told me, one of the best thing you can do for your child is take them on vacation...don't spoil it for them. Let this be about her, what ever she wants, if she wants to go on a ride, great, if she doesn't then you don't have to feel bad for the other child that might want to.
!:confused3

So, your dd would rather not bring a friend along to share in the excitement, because it wouldn't "be all about her," and she might not be able to do exactly what she wants, when she wants? :confused3 I guess my kids aren't used to having it "be all about them," because if I told them they were going with us alone, without their siblings, they'd be sad. They'd rather have the comrodry of other children, and make compromises, than be the center of attention. We met up with a bunch of other families at the Great Wolf Lodge a couple of weeks ago, and they were out of their minds with excitement, because we can never fit friends. Sure, there was a lot of "let's go here" "no, lets go here," but they always worked it out, and everyone was happy. :goodvibes

clutter
01-25-2010, 02:16 PM
Thanks. I know that I have read in the past where some of the expenses had been shared but I wasn't sure what was truely acceptable.

I was thinking about asking the child's parents to pay for the park ticket, but now I am not so sure. The room is covered, we are DVC members, airfare is reasonable, about 200.00 RT which we can swing, and we haven't decided what to do for meals. We usually take the meal plan which is 42.99 a day. We could scale down and take the QS meal plan which I think is about 32.00 a day. Our room does have a kitchen but I prefer not to cook on my vacation. I would just stock cold cereal an maybe some muffins or bagels for breakfast but eat out during the day.

Any additional advise is greatly appreciated!!!:dance3:


Are her eating habits compatible with yours?

We're planning to take dd12's friend (13 by then) this summer. We normally get the DDP, but her friend, although a very varied eater, eats next to nothing. So I'm debating whether to do TIW instead (although it usually doesn't work for just the two of us). I know her friend would enjoy all the restaurnants we love, but I wonder if we'd be better off splitting a few meals. OTOH, my dd has another friend that I've been dying to take along for years. She's SUCH a picky eater, we'd never do the dining plan for her. She eats small meals all day long, so I could buy her a kids' QS meal 4 or 5 times a day, so it's not worth DDP.

clutter
01-25-2010, 02:21 PM
DON'T....I have a only child, and we have brought friends on vacations before and then the vacation is not about your child, you're so busy trying to ensure the other child is having fun, you make your child sacrifice things they may not want to. We've done both, met other couples there and spent a week together, and brought a child with us. All turned out to be not as fun as we had anticipated. This year, we are so looking forward to it "just being us" and it's all about her!

Someone told me, one of the best thing you can do for your child is take them on vacation...don't spoil it for them. Let this be about her, what ever she wants, if she wants to go on a ride, great, if she doesn't then you don't have to feel bad for the other child that might want to.



Actually, my only child was the total opposite!!!

For the last two summers, we met another family we're friends with at Disney. She found that it was totally worth the 'sacrifice' to have a pal to hang out with! A few years ago, we went with another mom-and-kid family. The girl was nervous about every single ride, so my dd didn't get to ride some of her favorite things. She would totally do it again because she enjoyed her friend. (That's not happening, mom to totally too high-maintenance for me...)

robinb
01-25-2010, 02:29 PM
I was thinking of the cost factor. We have a DVC so the room is already paid for and my husband and I would consider paying for either the childs airfare or meals. When we speak to my daughter's friends parents we were thinking of asking them to provide the park ticket and either the airfare OR the meals. I do know this would create an expense for the family but I would also let them know that if this was not an option that we would in no way be offended. At this time, I do not think I can afford to pay for everything for the child.

Is it appropriate to invite someone but then ask them to pay for part of the trip or should I be prepare to pay in full because I am doing the inviting?I asked this same question a couple of weeks ago. I still have not decided myself. I would suggest that you speak to the parents before you speak to the girl. That way you don't get her hopes up if the parents can't afford for her to go.

Here is my thread:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2362490

3happydancers
01-25-2010, 07:20 PM
Are her eating habits compatible with yours?

We're planning to take dd12's friend (13 by then) this summer. We normally get the DDP, but her friend, although a very varied eater, eats next to nothing. So I'm debating whether to do TIW instead (although it usually doesn't work for just the two of us). I know her friend would enjoy all the restaurnants we love, but I wonder if we'd be better off splitting a few meals. OTOH, my dd has another friend that I've been dying to take along for years. She's SUCH a picky eater, we'd never do the dining plan for her. She eats small meals all day long, so I could buy her a kids' QS meal 4 or 5 times a day, so it's not worth DDP.

Exellent point! My daughter's 12 yr old friend is rather pickey and eats several little meals a day. So, maybe the DP is not the way to go. I do not know much about the TIW so I'd have to investigate. Do you know if you can use the TIW in places like the Crystal Palace, Tony's and Le Celliers?

3happydancers
01-25-2010, 08:10 PM
Just answered my own question, It seems you have a wide variety of dining that the TIW can be used with BUT...we did not purchase annual passes because we do not go often enough for us to get the value out of the tickets. That said, I am back to DP our pay as we go...hmmmm:confused3

shmatbert
01-26-2010, 10:55 AM
We have a six year old only child, and right now he really enjoys our company so our trips are without any friends along. However, I totally see us including a friend on some trips in a couple of years. It all depends on the temperment of both children, and I think it helps when the parents have established a strong relationship with the friend. We are already known as parents that are fun and silly who don't put up with bad behavior from our son or his friends in our home - my son's friends and their parents know this about us so they can use that information to make a decision about joining us.

I really can't see my selection of activities or dining changing too much based on a friend joining us. If that were the case, we probably wouldn't ask them to come along. I can see my son having a blast with his friends and I can see myself enjoying the whole spectacle.

3happydancers
01-26-2010, 07:52 PM
We have a six year old only child, and right now he really enjoys our company so our trips are without any friends along. However, I totally see us including a friend on some trips in a couple of years. It all depends on the temperment of both children, and I think it helps when the parents have established a strong relationship with the friend. We are already known as parents that are fun and silly who don't put up with bad behavior from our son or his friends in our home - my son's friends and their parents know this about us so they can use that information to make a decision about joining us.

I really can't see my selection of activities or dining changing too much based on a friend joining us. If that were the case, we probably wouldn't ask them to come along. I can see my son having a blast with his friends and I can see myself enjoying the whole spectacle.


Your input is never too late! I appreciate all responses. Listening to other parents have brought thoughts and ideas to mind that I may not have thought of on my own. It is nice to hear from a parent who is thinking about what they will do in the future for their child! We did finally speak to the parents of my daughter's friend and they are thrilled that we would consider their child but...we are faced with something we had not considered. We were absolutely sure the child would jump at the opportunity but the child is not so sure about being away from mom. We will not try to sway the child at all. If the child is not ready, then I am glad the child recognizes this. I will let you know how this works out!