Help-rescue a not so hot trip

bjs1228

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 19, 2013
Just returned from a 7 day trip with my 14, 12 & 9 year old. Let me tell you, I'm 43 and I ran circles around my oldest 2! They just wanted to sleep. Next trip, I will not plan any early mornings! I went from early morning until late at night, but not those two. I really identify with you and hope you can have a good trip. My 14 year old does enjoy the World Showcase. Have you tried that with her?
 

alicia080979

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 11, 2009
Oh how I can sympathize with you and know how disappointing/frustrating it can be. We are foster parents and had booked our big trip for this fall like every year and last year welcomed a 16yr old boy into our hearts and home. He was supposed to leave in June so we kept our Sept. plans. Then after we paid in full (rented points so no refund) found out he would be staying with us for good. Knowing they would never let him miss school, we decided to book a June trip for him that included 4 nights/5 days at Disney then 4 nights/5 days at the beach so he could experience a family vacation. He said he wanted to do every park, I pulled out a little info about what he wanted to do, where he wanted to eat, etc. and planned as best as I could. For lack of a better word...he acted like a jerk the entire trip. Totally uninterested in everything and a total killjoy. By our last day (Epcot) he said he wanted to sleep in (even after I had told him what rope drop meant if that was okay with him) and I was so upset bc we had already paid for his ticket. We decided to go anyways and left him in the room. We told him how to use his MB to get lunch and went about our day. We ended up having a nice, relaxing day because he was back at the room and we didn't have to worry about his attitude. I think he was glad to have some space too. That night, we had dinner, went to the boardwalk and honestly, him watching the street performers was the happiest we had seen him the entire trip. That made me realize that my idea of a perfect trip (i.e. hitting all the "big stuff") was not his idea of a perfect trip. He didn't know what to expect and I planned way too much.

Now if you ask him, he will tell you he had a great time and loved Magic Kingdom :confused3. He says he wants to go back and stay longer :confused3 :confused3
We may attempt another trip if he wants to next year when school gets out but would only do a few days again and this time...we will sleep in more, let him actually plan the days and try to make it more relaxed. Teenagers are hard...they could be totally pumped about something, then totally uninterested and then love it after the fact. It kinda reminds me of the Universal commercial of the family where the girl is on her cell phone the entire trip and dad is bummed then at the end they realize she has been posting pics of the best trip ever. That's a teenager for you!

I bet your daughter is having a better time than she is letting on but agree with lots of others...see if you can get her to plan some stuff and interested. If not...see if she wants some down time alone and go enjoy your time too!
 

TwoMisfits

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
I 2nd/3rd/4th the end of the early wake ups...teens tend to enjoy late nights over early mornings.

Each night, I'd also encourage you to ask what the one thing she'd like to do the next day is and then letting her know what the one thing you'd really like to do is...(or 2 or 3 things). Since there are only 2 of you, you can probably make the top goal(s) of both of you happen. So, for example, if she wants to spend 2 hours by the pool tanning and you want to see the parade and wishes...sleep in late, grab your bathing suits, figure out a brunch, and hang by the pool for a few hours. Go back to your room around 3, get showered and dressed, and hit the park around 5pm. Yes, it seems like a waste of money, but really isn't being miserable using a ticket for a full day a bigger waste than just using part of it?

It is a tough age, so I do wish you more happiness this vacation!
 

leebee

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 14, 1999
OP, were you talking about having a scooter for this trip? If so, there might be special places from which you can watch both the parade and the fireworks. I'm sorry this isn't turning out to be the dream trip you'd hoped, but you have been putting a LOT of pressure on yourself to make this a perfect trip for you and your DD. Try to relax your schedule and just let things happen as they come.

I agree with what others have said; try sleeping in. Reorganize your days so you can take full advantage of late night in the parks. I tell you, there's nothing as sweet as being the ONLY people walking through Liberty Square and FrontierLand as you go from HM to Splash Mountain at 2am! DD and I have traveled this way since she started high school; sleep in, go to the park by 11am if it's only open until 8, later if it's a late night park. We've been known to sleep in, spend the day at the pool, hit MK around 4pm and stay until 3am. It's really amazing how much cooler it is in the evenings and at night, and how much you can get done once people clear out after midnight!
 

MPB82

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Man DIS should be sponsored by Trojan. If I thought my child would not be 98% into disney I would force thm to watch CSPAN
 

Carrie in AZ

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 18, 2003
I am really sorry this trip is not all that you dreamed it would be. :( I can fully sympathize with you. As the Mom of a 14yo DD, we have had some "issues" on recent vacations also......It's the absolute pits and soooooo disappointing. And maddening. You are NOT alone, trust me.

The first thing that popped into my mind is to go to a water park. Some others have mentioned that also. I think it would be a good call.

I'm wishing you all the best for the rest of your trip and will be thinking about you. Hoping tomorrow is a brighter day for you!:thumbsup2 Come here and vent again if you need to. We totally understand and know what you are feeling.
 

ladyjubilee

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Planned ten days in the world with my 15yr old DD. Thought it would be a great bonding time but she's been pretty moody everday,it hasn't been all that I had hoped. We took a day off today and that was her favorite day! It makes me sick to think about all the money I spent.

My nephew had fully evolved into a teen on our last trip. Moody, wow, did it spice to our trip. I really thought he was having the worst time ever. By the end of the first night I handed him my credit card and said to get a taxi, go to the airport, buy a ticket and go home.... or get over it. He adjusted the attitude as much as he could. I thought he endured the rest of the trip.

But when we got home, he wanted to know when we were going again, and if we could add SeaWorld this trip.... and told everyone else how great the trip was and how wonderful all the things he grumbled about while on the trip were. He is really bummed that he can't come this trip (a decision he helped make.)

I finally gad to put his behavior in context.... or 'accidentally' push him of a ride (tough choice some days). It is a developmental stage.... and at some point the laid back agreeable person I adore will return.
 

Paigesmom2013

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
I wonder (for next time) if there's a point where some kids outgrow WDW? I could see some teenagers liking a beach vacation where you get up whenever and lounge around all day. I sympathize with the sleeping in thing. My hubby still hadn't outgrown it.
 

glocon

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
We brought a friend with us for our last two trips to WDW and everyone was happier. Granted we spent less time with DS, but the time we did spend with him was of higher quality (more smiles, conversation and better attitude). But that is not going to rescue a trip that you are on right now.

So, for this trip I am assuming that you go FPs for rides you know she enjoyed in the past. Between the scheduled rides, l would let her choose what to do.... shop, snacks, where to have meals.... even if there are ADRs made, let her choose whether to keep those ADRs or to go elsewhere. At that age, kids want a little more control over choices. And if you sleep in and miss FPs, can't you reschedule for new rides? Let her help you choose which rides to reschedule to- that will give the added benefit of her seeing what she is missing our on by sleeping in, especially if you miss out on a great ride and only have meh rides to choose from in replacement.

We had the same problem when DS was 14, and our solution is to bring a friend, at least for a few years until he matures some.

And part of it might be that she wants to enjoy WDW but feels like she should not because it is "for little kids" not teens. Maybe a few years away from the World to somewhere else would make her appreciate WDW more, even though that may be hard for you.
 

SuzieN

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Wow! I could've written this myself after my February trip with my 12 year old daughter..... All she wanted to do was go back to the resort and facetime her friends on her ipod. Ironically enough, all she talks about since we got back is how much she loves WDW and how soon can we go back?! You have my sympathies.......
 

MickeyOCD

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 1, 2009
It's a tough age, some teens feel the Disney is too young for their oh so grown up selves. I'm sorry you're having to deal with teenage angst while in WDW. Let you schedule go for today & tell her that this is her day to do whatever she wants in MK. Let her set the schedule. If you have to wait in line, play a game (the headbands type game on a smartphone app is a fun game) together. Go shopping an pick out funny hats for each other. Take fun/funny photos around the park. Good luck, hopefully you can break thru her mood.
 

MartDM

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 21, 2000
Planned ten days in the world with my 15yr old DD. Thought it would be a great bonding time but she's been pretty moody everday,it hasn't been all that I had hoped. We took a day off today and that was her favorite day! It makes me sick to think about all the money I spent. Tomorrow MKis open til 1am. We have not seen any nighttime shows. I love wishes. So we are using early morning FPs to do the mountains then back to the hotel to rest for the evening. Can someone just tell me where I can see the parade and Wishes without waiting for an hour? Also, is the park mobbed late at night?

Did DD15 want to take this trip? Was she enthused before you left? Was she involved in the planning? I'm left wondering if this trip wasn't a little one sided in your direction.

I agree with the suggestions to let her take the reins and do what she might like to do, even if it's not what you planned or what you think is the best use of your time. Her interests may be completely contrary to what you envisioned. If the idea is to make the trip enjoyable for her as well, you may have to change your mindset a bit (teenagers are a fickle bunch!)
 

pachelbel9

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
My brother and I (now in our 30s) were complete brats on one trip during our teen years. My parents threatened to cut the trip short, so we shaped up. We ended up going to EMH alone that trip, and that was the turning point. We did the same on several latter trips as well...lose the parents, go ride everything. We aren't terribly close now, so those EMH times are some of my fondest memories of us together.

I'm not saying threats are the way to go, but that certainly straightened us out.
 

Belle5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 10, 1999
You have my sympathies! What cured my once difficult teen of his attitude toward our Disney vacation was when we started leaving him at home (that's what he wanted) and he would see all the pics of the rest of us having great food and lots of fun! Along those lines, you might want to try leaving her at the pool while you go off and have a GREAT time (take lots of selfies showing your self eating and shopping or anything else you know she might be shocked that you did without her). Who knows? She might be more interested to go with you tomorrow to see what surprises are in store! Or...more likely, she will want another day alone at the pool!
 

ols386

I want to live at Disney World!!
Joined
Jan 29, 2008
If the 15 year old is moody and not wanting to do much, she's old enough to stay in the room/at the resort by herself, and you could go to the parks by yourself, and still have some fun (know you want her to be with you in the parks too, but you can have some enjoyment by yourself too).

Teenagers can be very moody. :upsidedow
 

clutter

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
If the 15 year old is moody and not wanting to do much, she's old enough to stay in the room/at the resort by herself, and you could go to the parks by yourself, and still have some fun (know you want her to be with you in the parks too, but you can have some enjoyment by yourself too).

Teenagers can be very moody. :upsidedow

:lmao:

I did two weeks in CA two years ago with my 15 year old. 17 is MUCH better! :lmao: It was the best :lovestruc and worst :sad2: trip ever at 15. We started at DLR with some friends, and my dd was horrible to be with. We did some touring and needed to spend a night in LA again, and she asked to go back. So there is hope! While it was never the great bonding experience, it was an (somewhat) enjoyable trip.

I agree with all the advice you've been given. Start later. Leave her at the resort while you do what you want, letting her know you'd love for her to join you whenever she is ready. Do some things other than the parks, maybe. Can you rent a car for a day and drive somewhere different, a beach maybe?

It will get better, but you simply cannot force it at 15.
 

Eastern

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
I would not do rope drop in this case. It's just not worth it. Let her sleep, make your FP+ for later in the day. If you don't get to ride, oh well.

She may want to lounge by the pool more than go on rides :eek: but if you want to bond, you may have to see her side.

This age is more about relaxing than commando touring. It's a different kind of vacation, but it's still worthwhile.
 

maxiesmom

The Mean Squinty Eye Works
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
I'm sorry, but there is no way I would spend a lot of time and money re-arranging a trip to suit a sulky teenager. I agree, she is old enough to leave in the room and you can meet up later. But there is no way I would spend money on a rental car if I hadn't planned on one. She is old enough too to know to cut the attitude.

I agree too to find things at WDW that she would like to do. Let her pick rides and a few meals if possible. Some retail therapy may help too. ;)


But then my family is well aware that a trip to WDW is not meant for sleeping in late. We can sleep in when we are home.
 

mmccan

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
I just returned from an 8 night trip with my DS 15. I asked him if he wanted to take a mom/son only trip several months ago, and was shocked to hear him say yes. He was very active/excited in the early stages of planning, but when it got close to time to go, he started acting like he didn't want to go. He realized he would miss time "hanging out" with his friends. (We had also just taken a 2 week family trip with all 5 of us at the beginning of the summer) I told him he was going since we had already purchased non refundable airfare. I knew he would have fun once we get there, since he always does. The first couple of days, I too was getting frustrated with him, because he just wanted to hang out at the resort and sleep in. I quickly realized that he has been to DW enough times to know what he is missing, so I decided to let him sleep in most mornings, and we would either go to the parks a little later, or I would go somewhere in the morning alone and he would join me later. That was great because I got to enjoy my favorite things with no one complaining. Several evenings I also went to Epcot and wandered around while he stayed at the resort and swam, where he usually would meet other people his age to hang out with. We ended up having a wonderful time, had a great bonding experience, and I learned that he really likes Frozen. In fact he said it is his favorite Disney movie. So as a result we spent more time than ever in HS than we have in the past. He really wanted to try ice skating, so we went on our second day, and then had to go back 5 more times. It was worth the $10 for each session just to see him so happy and having so much fun. On our last day, he hugged me and thanked me for taking him on the trip, and said he wished we could stay longer. That alone made any frustration of dealing with a moody teenage boy worth it.
 

ponyboy

baseball, baseball, baseball
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
I know that as parents we spend a ton of time planning ADRs and FP+ for our trips. so please don't flame me when I suggest this.

Let her plan the next day. I know it's hard to do WDW on a whim with no plans, but maybe letting her take the lead on the day's activities might be an idea. :confused3


Yep. My teens love DW because I let them do what they want to go do. We normally plan two parks per day and I make ADR's but nothing is set in stone as long as everybody shows up for dinner.

There's two older ones and they can go do whatever they want, sometimes they're even in a different park than I am if I'm off with the little ones.

Mostly, I'll just do whatever everybody else wants to do most of the time and squeeze in the stuff I want in between and everybody stays happy because they aren't being herded around doing what's planned for them to do.
 











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