25 years ago…15 years ago…even 3 years ago, our approach to a theme park vacation resembled a battle plan. We (whether there were 2, 3, 4, or 5 of us) were at the park gate by opening and we pushed ourselves all day. Our goal: to maximize time for rides, shows, and sometimes even parades until it was time to leave, often after the fireworks. Then I would usually carry whoever had fallen asleep from the shuttle bus back to our room. Sounds relaxing? Of course not. Even though we had a GREAT time, afterwards we needed a vacation to recover from our vacation.
Now the kids are 18, 15, and 11. And I’ve been making a conscious effort to slow down, to appreciate more & chase less. So when Mrs. DadKnowsBetter was invited to attend this year’s Disney Social Media Moms Conference at Disneyland, it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. The conference was set up to include a mix of participant activities, family activities, and free time. Our plan: Mrs. DKB would focus on all of the conference activities, and we would all be together for the family activities and for free time in the parks. While she was conferencing, I would manage the herd.
We still got to the gates more or less at opening each morning. But with 4 days to visit 2 parks, we tried a slower, more comfortable pace. For the first time ever, we even went to the room one afternoon for re-charge time before heading back to the park for the evening.
I am in no rush for my kids to get older–something upon which I am reflecting quite a lot with only a few months before our oldest heads off to college later this year–but that does not mean I can’t appreciate how much easier this trip to Disney was compared to travelling with younger kids. Maybe the kids aren’t the only ones who are growing up….
Note: I did not receive any compensation or consideration related to any part of this post. Mrs. DKB paid the standard registration fees to participate in the DisneySMMoms Conference; the rest of us accompanied her to Disneyland from April 10-14, 2014 at our own expense.