Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Operation: Spousal Disney Affinity

It's a day that a Disney fanatic like myself can only dream about. The day when you realize your significant other really likes Disney.

Maybe not as much as you do, but enough so that if you go out to dinner one night, you can discuss trip plans and have your spouse understand exactly what you're talking about. Or where you can be chatting about your day, mentioning some sort of Disney news that just got released that day and have a discussion on the matter. It sounds like the perfect relationship, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, some never achieve this goal...but what happens when you actually do?

I am thankfully in the category of someone who has a husband who I can talk incessantly about Disney with and for the most part, he isn't bored. He even has insightful comments of his own, which trust me, has lead to some heated discussions. (I can recall one night being in the car, discussing the virtues and problems with Captain EO being brought back to Epcot...and getting into this "fight" about the situation, having to put the discussion on hold due to the fact that we'd just arrived at TGI Friday's and had to eat dinner with our non-Disney loving friends--another topic for another day, I assure you...and more than likely soon.)

So, for the most part, this is a good thing, right? I have someone, in my actual life, that I can discuss things like this with and, for the most part, have the conversation be intelligent and stimulating.

However, there is one tiny downside to having a Disney-Loving (although loving is probably too strong of a word for my hubby...he likes it, but doesn't love it...Disney-Understanding is probably better) spouse.

That comes when it's actually time to take our trips.

What do I mean?

Well, let's take a look back in time--to 5 years ago exactly.

5 years ago, Brian and I were on our first ever Disney vacation together. Me, having the most knowledge (although not nearly what I do now) and being the most obsessed, took on the reins as Trip Planner. Which meant that we could do what I wanted, when I wanted, for the most part. He had no real clue what was good here and what wasn't. Taking him was like taking a blank slate that I could mold to my whims. (I sound really evil here...*evil laughter*)

Fastforward to 5 years later, and now Brian has the knowledge of 7 trips under his belt. (Holy frijoles! Never counted that up before! And I have more than him in the past 5 years!) What this means is he now has an opinion of what he wants to do. Which can be good...but it can be problematic.

Good in the fact that now he can help guide me in certain aspects of trip planning--like what he wants to eat while we're there. When we were on Free Dining last year, we sat down, took a look at the Unofficial Guide (ding) and mapped out which restaurants we thought we would both like. It was the first year that we both had input on where we decided to eat. In previous years, I chose myself. Choosing together was great because we got to bond over dinners, talking about the virtues of each and every restaurant, coming up with a solid list of both new and old places we had to make sure to make ADRS for. And honestly, it was one of my favorite planning moments from that trip.

It's also good (but sometimes can be bad, if I disagree) because he can tell me what attractions he thinks are worth going on and which ones he'd rather skip.

However, the sticking point comes up in the fact that now he knows what stuff he really wants to do. So what happens if I don't really care for what his intentions are.

See, I've discovered that Brian and I vacation a little differently, at least at WDW. At Disney, I'm a sleep in a bit in the morning kinda person, but once I'm awake, it's go-go-go. He, however, likes to tour a little different. He would enjoy giving up a day, or in some instances, multiple days, to relaxing around the pool. This has been a tough issues we've had to face.

The main thing we've learned to do is to compromise. It may not be what I want to do, and it was (and still is) super hard to know I'm giving up valuable park time to sit here and lay by the pool, something I can do at home. For him, it's relaxing. For me, it still drives me a bit crazy. But I know it's important to him, so I relax, just for a bit, and then "drag" him along to the park with me later. Or, I'll give him a day to do what he wants and we'll split up and I'll go do what I want for the afternoon. (Usually it's our Animal Kingdom day...he hates that park.)

It is difficult to take his approach with a Disney vacation, but I think after the last trip, I understand more of what he wants, and with a little effort on my part, I think I can deliver.

So, you see, it's not always roses when your significant other cares about Disney. There are always going to be ups and downs....but as I am learning, you need to work around them. Otherwise neither one of you are having fun. And no one wants that on vacation.


Unknown said...

I really like where my husband & I are right now. He really likes WDW but says I can plan where we go & all the ADR's. It's all up to me and that's great!

Suzie said...

I'm blessed as well to have a hubby who shares my obsessive love for Disney. It's so much fun to have a lengthy conversation solely about Disney, and he totally be ok with it.

But, like you Rikki, we do differ just slightly in our way we take on the "World". I do like to, some days, just sleep in and hit the parks around lunch. He doesn't like this approach at all. He is a morning person by nature, so sleeping in would be a waste to him. But we do compromise on coming back and napping or at least chill at the resort in the afternoon. So, there is still room for compromise even with a spouse who adores the Mouse as
much as you :)

Sarah said...

My boyfriend and I are preparing for our first trip to Disney together this winter - his first trip ever (he's 26). As an avid fan and WDW veteran (20 + trips) I'm terrified that he's not going to love it as much as me. I keep trying to get him to help with planning, but he's fine just letting me do what I want. I'm excited to share this post with him so maybe he'll understand where I'm coming from a bit better. THANKS!

Unknown said...

Sarah, so glad I could help and I hope that you guys have a magical trip together! That first trip is always special. :)

Jessica @ Wanting Adventure said...

My husband and I have a similar touring pattern but I can't wait until we go completely by ourselves with no extended family so we can see exactly how we like to vacation!

Becca said...

Rikki, when we met, our boys discussed this a little, didn't they - how strange it is for them to be massive Disney freaks compared to everyone they know, except for their significant other!

Patrick's natural sense of direction means that he is able to take over touring logistics, while my obsession with Tour Guide Mike means that I focus on the whys and wherefores - I say "let's do this!" he says "why"; I explain the logic - he says "ok!". Win-win.

I get to be overly sentimental on the dark rides of Fantasyland, while he gets a rest out of the sun. :D I get to be a kid at character breakfasts, while he enjoys all-you-can-eat bacon! Ok, I enjoy the bacon, too...

In real life, Patrick is the early riser while I'm happy to sleep in until lunch, but in Orlando I'm up at the 6 o'clock alarm bell (I have an alarm sound that I only ever use at WDW) and ready to go! Thankfully because we have to mess with our body clocks so much anyway (coming from the UK), getting up early doesn't hurt so much.

While I know he'd sometimes rather have a bit of a lie-in on holiday, logic does prevail - better to see 10 attractions in the morning then take an afternoon nap than to lie-in and see 5 attractions in the afternoon! Ok, I admit, I wasn't happy with the nap to start with - I wanted to be out *all day*, but if it means I get to stay in Epcot until the last of the flames burn out with a happy fella and a Grey Goose Citron Lemon Slushie, it's all good.

I think we're just really lucky to have other halves who are prepared to indulge in our *freakishness* at all :D It's really taught me that one of the most important things to look for in a partner is their ability to just let go and be a kid!

Sarah - hope you both have an amazing time! The number one thing to remember with taking a 26-year-old man to Disney for the first time is to try and limit his exposure to kids who have eaten too much sugar. On Patrick's first trip, we were checking in at Pop as lots of young families were checking out (read: long queues and tired children) and you could see it in his eyes - "dear God, what have I agreed to?". By the end of the trip, we were DVC members.

Early mornings and late evenings in the parks are the best times, and use the middle of the day to chill by having a slow lunch or hanging out at the resort. Also (sorry boys, this sounds so patronising!) keep him well-fed. The power of a giant turkey leg or funnel cake is immense when your beloved needs to be distracted from the crowds or heat.

Enjoy! xx

Sarah said...

Thanks so much for everyone's encouragement and extra tips!

Unknown said...

Becca...somehow I missed responding to you...

you are so right. We are both so lucky to have significant others who allow for our "freakiness". So, if we have to compromise a's worth it. Better that than the other option of someone who despises the place. :)

Ken B. said...

I must be in a huge minority here!! I'm the hubby (and the resident fanatic) and DW is really coming around. She didn't even shake her head or roll her eyes when I laid out plans for all of our trips between now and 2017 when we will celebrate our 40th at the Grand Floridian!!


Unknown said...

Yay Ken! That's so great! Hopefully you can plan out some amazing trips in that time period and especially for your 40th! :)