How To Convince Someone To Visit Disney

Convincing someone who doesn’t like Disney to go to Walt Disney World or Disneyland is no easy task. Many people have negative preconceptions about Disney, had a bad experience at some point, or have some other reason for disliking Disney. I think any Disney fan will tell you that they receive comments on a regular basis along the lines of, “Why do you like that place so much, it’s so [insert pretty much any negative attribute here].”

These negatives run the gamut from expensive to commercialized to fake and more. In fact, if you run a Google search on “hate Disney,” you’ll come across an incredible number of results presenting laundry lists of reasons why Disney theme parks are awful places. Many of these articles are from journalists and academics (the top professions predisposed to disliking Disney based on our highly unscientific research–lesson for Disney fans: never date a journalist or academic), not just online trolls spewing vitriol.

The good news is that if you search “love Disney,” you’ll come across even more articles extolling the virtues of the Disney theme parks. Moreover, these pieces are written by a range of individuals, from students to moms to world travelers to highly intelligent professionals. Despite what naysayers may have you believe, people from all walks of life do like Disney theme parks. They aren’t just places where parents reluctantly take their children as a rite of passage, or places frequented by unrefined adults who are too dense to comprehend that they’re being “duped.”

Point being, regardless of the background of the person you’re trying to convince, it is possible to convince them to go and (more importantly) for them to have a good time. You have to know how to approach the trip and convince them to go in with an open mind. Although this is (fortunately) not a problem Sarah and I have had since we share a passion for Disney, we have encountered many people with what we call “the problem of the reluctant spouse.”

Here are some of our tips for convincing your spouse, or anyone else, to take a Disney vacation.

Pick The Right Location

Disneyland Swan Topiaries & Sleeping Beauty Castle.

In many cases, a person’s dislike for Disney might be so deep that getting them to come around and take a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland is going to be a long road. Fortunately, Disney is ubiquitous. Find the “Disney destination” that you think is most likely to break their preconceptions about Disney and go there.

Many of you are probably approaching this post from the perspective of convincing someone to visit Walt Disney World, and that’s fine. Walt Disney World alone is so vast that there’s truly something for everyone. However, if a person loves Yellowstone National Park, maybe your hook is the Adventures by Disney “Winter in Wyoming” trip, rather than staying at Wilderness Lodge and doing dinner at Artist Point. If your spouse is really into European history and culture, spending extra time in World Showcase might convince them, but your odds are probably a lot better if you take an actual trip to Europe with a couple of days at Disneyland Paris.

Working to optimize your chances of success are the name of the game here. Obviously, budget is going to be a factor, too (an Adventures by Disney trip or a vacation to Europe aren’t quite the same cost as visiting Walt Disney World), so adjust accordingly. The important thing is that you compromise enough to increase your chances of making converts out of them.

No stay at Disney's Polynesian Resort is complete without a meal at 'Ohana.Read our 'Ohana Review to learn why!

Here, compromise doesn’t just mean doing enough persuading to elicit a “yes” to a trip. It means planning so that the trip has things you’re both likely to enjoy, even if you’ve already gotten a yes. A reluctant yes isn’t the same as an enthusiastic one, and if your goal is to get them to actually like Disney, you’re far better off with the enthusiastic yes, even if it means further compromising even after you’ve secured the yes to exactly what you want to do.

Regardless of where you end up, Disney guest service and attention to detail is (more or less) the same all over. That winter Adventures by Disney trip may be worlds away from your ideal of sitting on the beach of the Polynesian relaxing under the rays of the Florida sun, but a positive experience on that winter trip may break down some of their preconceptions about Disney and make an enthusiastic “yes” for a Walt Disney World trip much more likely. In other words, that one winter trip to Wyoming might lead to years of relaxing on the beach of the Polynesian. When you look at it that way, the sacrifice isn’t that great, is it?

Plan Around Their Hesitations

Let’s say you’ve convinced your significant other, and gotten a “yes” for a Walt Disney World vacation. Now you need to figure out why they don’t like Disney and minimize all of those things to the greatest extent that you can.

If they say that the crowds are bad and lines are always long, plan to go when the parks aren’t as crowded and focus on attractions that don’t have significant waits.

If they say everything is for kids, keep them away from Fantasyland and show them the more adult side of Disney. Do attractions like Hall of Presidents, American Adventure, and Impressions de France. Do tours like the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot or The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour. Take them to counter service Walt Disney World restaurants that serve food beyond burgers and fries, and table service restaurants that appeal to foodies.

If they think Walt Disney World is too commercialized, zoom through gift shops and don’t buy a single souvenir on the entire trip. Avoid places like The Emporium and Downtown Disney.

This just covers a couple of common complaints about the Disney theme parks, but you get the idea. Find out what they don’t like about Disney, and then go to the planning board. Highlight examples of things that fit the profile (regardless of how you feel about common Disney stereotypes, there is at least a kernel of truth in many of them, so you will be able to find things that fit the profile), and determine how you will avoid these things. Then, think of things that disprove these stereotypes, and add them to your plan.

Oh, and finally, regardless of whether they bring it up, go when the weather is most likely to be nice. Florida humidity makes everyone cranky, which only exacerbates other complaints and makes them less likely to have a good time. There are no guarantees, but January-February and October-November are generally good months in this regard and in terms of crowds (just plan around any holidays that include school breaks, as those spike crowds).

Your Version of Fun Isn’t Their Version

To make things easier on confused tourists, they should really rename Germany as

A common mistake Disney fans make when trying to convince others to share their perspective is keying in on the things that made them passionate about Disney.

Everyone has their own preferences, and just because you really like something doesn’t mean they will really like it. If that were the case, you wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place! There are justifiable reasons why people really like Disney, and there are justifiable reasons why people really dislike it.

Convincing someone who really dislikes Disney is not as simple as taking them to the parks and allowing them to suddenly see the light. In some cases, it will be that simple. A lot of people do arbitrarily dislike Disney and become converts once they let their guard down. However, this doesn’t describe everyone, or probably even the majority of people who dislike Disney.

Instead of just going to Walt Disney World and doing things your way because “how could anyone possibly dislike Walt Disney World once I’ve shown them the parks?!,” do things their way.

If they dislike thrill rides and the dark, skip Space Mountain. Even if it’s your favorite attraction and you don’t see how anyone could possibly dislike it. If they’re an outdoorsman who loves fishing, book a fishing excursion on Bay Lake. Even if you think fishing is gross and The Seas with Nemo and Friends is as close as you ever want to get to fish. If they love craft beer, do research and find out the best places serving craft beer on property, and take them to those spots.

Here is just a (very) partial list of things very different from “regular” Disney theme park offerings that appeal to targeted interests:

  • Richard Petty Driving Experience
  • Dolphins in Depth
  • Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian
  • Fishing Excursions on Bay Lake
  • Watersports (para-sailing, wakeboarding, water skiing, and more)
  • Miniature Golf
  • Golf
  • DiveQuest
  • Surfing Lessons
  • Segway Tours
  • Horseback Riding
  • DisneyQuest
  • Cirque du Soliel
  • Archery
  • Boating
  • Jogging/Running Trails
  • Private/Event Dining
  • Wild Africa Trek
  • Carriage Rides

Again, you get the idea here. The great thing about Walt Disney World is that it’s so vast that it features a form of entertainment that will appeal to virtually anyone. Whatever your significant other’s interests are, chances are there is some way to cater to those interests at Walt Disney World. Even if you don’t know it yet, it’s there’s a good chance it that at least something exists. To find out what, plug in “[interest] + Disney World” into Google. If it exists, chances are some dork like me has blogged about it! Do plenty of research, and put together an itinerary that they will enjoy.

Don’t Overdo It

If you’re a hardcore Disney fan who reads Disney blogs like this one on a daily basis (my apologies!), you may think there is no such thing as too much Disney. I agree with you. We are in the very small minority. Let that sink in. This much enthusiasm for Disney is not normal. (Then again, most people lack this much awesomeness, but I digress…)

Your idea of a perfect Disney vacation might involve 7 consecutive days in the park, going commando from park opening until the very end of Extra Magic Hours every single night. In 99.9% of situations where you’re bringing the reluctant spouse, this kind of touring will not do you any favors if you’re trying to get them to come around from the dark side.

It’s going to vary from reluctant person to reluctant person, but we think a good rule of thumb is doing one day of activities outside of the parks for every day in the parks. Whether this means a strict on, off schedule or a hybrid vacation that takes you to Walt Disney World for 5 days followed by 5 days exploring in the Everglades or Daytona Beach, is up to you.

For this same reason, staying in a non-Disney hotel (there are excellent luxury options on Disney property, and other options off-site) to give them some “Disney downtime” might be pragmatic. You know your significant other better than us, so only you know whether this is really necessary.

No matter what you do, our overarching advice is to compromise and not force it. While we firmly believe that anyone can enjoy a Disney vacation, we also firmly believe that not everyone will enjoy a Disney vacation. There are a variety of reasons why not, and even the best laid plans may not make a difference.

At the very least, gauging the situation and following this advice as applicable will put you in a better position for success. They may never end up sharing your love for Disney, but maybe they will see why it appeals to you so much. That in itself is a small victory!

For Walt Disney World trip planning tips and comprehensive advice, make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide and related articles.

For updates on Walt Disney World, the latest news, discount information, and tips, sign up for our free monthly newsletter!

Anything Else?

While we’ve listed a lot of things suggestions for those trying to convince someone else to visit Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or some other destination–BUT, we’ve never had this problem ourselves. If you have, we’d love to hear suggestions you might have to offer, or your own “Reluctant Spouse” anecdotes. Even if you have no personal experience but have ideas for what might work, we’d love to hear them! If you have other comments or questions, please leave them in the comments!

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38 Responses to “How To Convince Someone To Visit Disney”

  1. Jamie says:

    My husband was convinced that Disney was dumb and for kids. He knew how much I loved it, so I convinced him to go for a week a few years ago. I made sure we stayed at a quieter resort (we chose riverside). He grudgingly went with me to a few of the parks those first few days where I made sure we had nice dinner reservations (he loves Marrakesh and still talks
    about it). The real turning point was when on our “off” day I surprised him by taking him to DismeyQuest. He’s a huge gamer and had no idea of its existence. After discovering that there was a place that had all the old games “free to play” from when we were kids in one spot, his entire outlook on the entire place changed. He now looks forward to planning out trips and has even chimed in on future must dos (behind the seeds tour and the Africa trek!)
    Thank you for writing such a fun blog! It keeps me entertained during slow moments at work. :)

  2. Mitch says:

    I always tell people the reason we choose to use our vacation time at Disney is really quite simple: most everything you would want to do on a vacation can mostly be done on property. Fine dining, golf, spas, pools, hot tubs, horseback riding, unique shopping, shows and live entertainment like cirque du soliel, photography, water parks, etc. It’s all easily accessible at a place that’s very cheap to travel to and the weather is warm and the surroundings are beautiful. Certainly international travel is great but for most people they want a week to get away without the jet lag and the stress. I believe you can basically despise lines, rides, and anything to do with kids and still have an unbelievable vacation at WDW. There’s even going to be a four seasons on property this summer!

    It takes some extra effort to plan a disney vacation and you need to think outside the box but it’s well worth it.

    By the way Tom, have you ever heard comedian Jim Gaffigan rant about Disney? It encapsulates everything most “anti-disney” people feel. Hilarious though

  3. Gabby says:

    I love this post, Tom! When considering places to go on our honeymoon, I was surprised my now-husband was 100 percent game for a Disneymoon after I suggested it! I mean, he loves Disney as much as me but I didn’t think he’d want to spend our honeymoon there. I got lucky with that one, and we had the best time!

  4. Ryan Spruce says:

    Great article, as always. I have a reluctant spouse myself but he is coming around with each trip. He also gamely pretends to listen as I tell him the latest news from the blogs. Ha! I just love your quote above, “This much enthusiasm for Disney is not normal. (Then again, most people lack this much awesomeness, but I digress…)” Perfect!

  5. Paisley says:

    I just wanted to say that I have gone horseback riding at Fort Wilderness and it was not a good experience. Even as someone who had only rode horses a couple times, I was disappointed at how anticlimactic the whole thing was. It was an extremely slow trot through the woods that never picked up. I think anyone interested in horseback riding would be insulted by the experience. It has been a few years so possibly it has changed? But I just wanted to let anyone know who was looking into this.

    On an unrelated note, Tom, I love your blog (read it daily) I was just wondering if you have any go to blogs that you would reccomend because yours is the only that I’ve come across and I’m curious what disney blogs you read.

    • Jessica says:

      My husband and I did the trail rides at Fort Wilderness last August. It was his first time on a horse whereas I have been riding since I was young. We obviously have very different equestrian backgrounds, but we both enjoyed the trail ride. You are correct, it is a slow ride through the woods. They are obviously not going to let you go off at a gallop due to liability reasons. However, it was really peaceful and the guides were terrific. I spent almost the entire time chatting with one of the guides and she was incredibly nice. We also got to see some wildlife, including deer, which was nice and reminded me of my small home town in Western NY even though we were in Disney! Also, just getting to spend about an hour on a horse while at Disney World was a great experience. That being said, if you are an experienced rider and are looking for a more adventurous experience, this definitely is not for you. However, if you want to experience something a bit different from the stereotypical Disney day and you enjoy the outdoors, I would highly recommend it.

  6. Michelle C. says:

    When I first met my fiance he told me he would never step foot inside a Disney theme park. Fast forward to 3 years later when we have been on 3 Disney vacations (both to the World and the Land), and are now preparing for our “Disneymoon” in October. I think that most people don’t think they will like a Disney vacation because they don’t know much about it (except the negative things some people think about Disney), but if you can just get them to the parks one time I can almost assure they will have a great time and can’t wait to go back!

  7. Kevin says:

    I had gone to Disneyworld a handful of times growing up (and once to DL when I was too young to remember), but my wife had never been. I had also gone 3 times in college with the OSU marching band (3 trips to the Citrus Bowl). 1/2 day in the parks during the busiest week of the year hadn’t left me with favorable impressions.

    When we were planning out honeymoon she wanted to go to Disneyworld and I was quote hesitant and thought we should go somewhere else. As with many such things, we compromised and went to WDW. That rekindled my love for the place that I’d had as a child and we went back a few years later. Now with our own child, we’re regulars. (I knew I married a smart woman,)

  8. Spirit of 74 says:

    I don’t think it’s wise to convince anyone to go somewhere they seem predisposed to not like. That’s even when you are an expert on that place.

    Someone who doesn’t like crowds, kids and wretched humidity isn’t going to like WDW, even if say they love fireworks. Someone who doesn’t like making arrangements for meals six months in advance and booking rides from their sofa isn’t going to like WDW, even if they love Disney animation. Someone who doesn’t like seeing things working in advertising (from old pal Disco Yeti to new pal parade Dragon) only to arrive and not see those things working probably isn’t going to like WDW, even if they like turkey legs.

    Frankly, as someone who spent years extolling WDW’s many virtues, I can’t in good conscience advise people to spend their money on visiting.

    And even DLR and the international parks, I would only try and ‘convince’ someone if I truly felt Disney was right for them.

    As Disney lovers, some people don’t get that it simply isn’t appealing to a large number of people.

    Oh, and if someone wants to see Yellowstone, I’d never tell them to spend many thousands more on a Disney tour. I’m convinced that Adventures By Disney exists solely to attract people who are afraid of the real world and need Mickey with them wherever they go.

    • That pretty much nails it.
      I used to go every year for almost 2 weeks. As prices rose and the magic was cut drastically, I stopped going. It’s no longer worth it to me.

      Instead, I visited other places around the world, cities in the US and foreign countries, and had more fun than the “lather-rinse-repeat” WDW vacationer I’d been could have ever possibly imagined…at less than half the price.

    • Jessica says:

      Someone who doesn’t like crowds, kids and wretched humidity isn’t going to like WDW, even if say they love fireworks.

      I hate all of those things, and I adore Walt Disney World. It’s all about timing.

      • Jessica says:

        I should specify that I don’t hate fireworks. I meant the crowds, kids and wretched humidity. Although, you could hate fireworks and still enjoy Disney.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I disagree. And I think if this wasn’t an article about Disney, you might, too.

      Here’s another example: when we first met, my wife was not keen on camping.

      Camping is fairly important to me, and I wanted it to be something we both could enjoy, so I planned a trip that would show it to her in the best light.

      It worked, and she now likes camping, although not to the extent that she’ll go backpacking with me. We enjoy it together, and now go on a regular basis.

      It’s the same idea here. People who love one another and have an outside passion often want to share that passion with their partner. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Not everyone is going to like Disney, and I can respect if they don’t. But why not try to see if you can bring them around on it?

      As for you comment regarding Adventures by Disney, I am intrigued. I just used it as a throw-away example here. We’ve never done an Adventures by Disney trip, but I wouldn’t rule it out. The big stumbling block for me is the cost. It’s *insane*.

      Where I could see doing it is in places where travel is tough for outsiders. Egypt is a good example of this, as is Norway. Personally, I would never even consider doing it in the US, that was just an arbitrary example.

      That said, regardless of how I feel about it, I would never criticize someone for doing it, regardless of where. I view it sort of like weight loss. Yes, there are good and bad reasons for doing it, but the end result is a positive, so why criticize? If it takes Disney to get people out of their comfort zones, oh well…at least they’re out of their comfort zones. If these trips get someone to visit National Parks (who otherwise wouldn’t), I see that as a positive. Personally, I’d rather save the money and just go on my own schedule. But that’s just me.

      I’d love to hear from people who have done Adventures by Disney. I have a couple of friends who have, and they rave about it. In fairness, money is no issue to them.

  9. Mackenzie says:

    This post is absolutely perfect. My boyfriend is very hesitant about going to Disney for the first time, he thinks it is too childish, but this post is extremely helpful. I think I might just be able to get him to come with me and really enjoy it!

  10. David Loyd-Hearn says:

    Hmmmm. Not a bad article, but difficult to agree with. I had been a disney fan for at least 37 years clocking 100′s of trips to Disneyland, 6 weeks in WDW including a sublime honeymoon in 2000, and 57 trips to Disneyland Paris where we belonged to Marriott Vacation Club. But now I could care less about a Disney visit. It was all the cool stuff you mentioned that made me a disney geek, coupled with attention to detail and world class customer service. Sadly like an e ticket ride, something went terribly wrong. Sadly I have yet to see the happy ending. Disney has become what the critics from my childhood thought it was. Everything now has to synergised, and if it is linked to a toon, management will think that will sell. And sadly it does…4 hours to wait to see a couple of hot girls from Frozen? Bonkers. Where is the disney that created Pirates of the Caribbean just because it sounded cool? The disney that created or brought in new transportation systems for a world on the move with a vision for modernising public transport in the US (I am sure Walt would not be impressed with the sub standard transport system at WDW today) or the way disney brought us the original Epcot Center or the wonderful deluxe hotels like Wilderness and Animal Kingdom Lodges? Art of Animation is so tacky. Then there is the dropping of standards. Last time I went to WDW we stayed at AKL and the service was so disappointing and the maintenance had slipped at the resort that I thought Merlin had taken the place over. I was heart broken. Puy du Fou, Europa Park and Efteling all offer better experiences now. And it makes me angry. I want disney to be the best, and be innovative like it used to be. Instead DCA spent a fortune on a Carsland and tooning Paradise Pier, WDW spent a fortune on toon based fantasyland, Paris is spending on a Ratatouille ride after the debut of the horrid Toy Story Playland and Shanghai is synergy everywhere land. Add in how the dining plan has dumbed down the restaurants in Paris and Florida. And the Magic band is sucking out the opportunity for spontineity in WDW. Sorry. Not convinced. My kids don’t even want to go back to any of them. If we do disney, hkdl or Aulani appeal, or Tokyo Disney Sea as a part of a bigger adventure in Japan. But Iger has turned the company into what the haters feared it to be. Some may fall in love if they have preconceptions, but in my case, he managed to turn a die hard obsessive into someone who is mildly interested, but disappointed with many od their future developments.

    And as often, I am with Spirit, the Adventures products are designed for people who are either frightened and cannot be bothered to plan a trip, or are worried their children will not be entertained enough. Having been to 40 odd countries and taken my kids to 12, I feel it is far better to immerse one’s self, try to speak the language and get out there. That is a real adventure.

  11. Nita E. says:

    I did not have a ‘reluctant spouse’ per se but my husband was definitely not as much of a Disney fan. As we booked our honeymoon as a land & sea WDW/Cruise Lines – he was coming off of an awful experience traveling to Hawaii with his best man. It included missed flights, lost ticket and subsequent night in Minneapolis, lost luggage… the works.

    He was so enamored with the Magical Express, not picking up our luggage, using resort transportation on property, and a singular Key to the World to carry he was hooked. He felt so relaxed and at ease in comparison to the stress of dealing with his prior trip that he felt he actually had a vacation at Disney.

  12. Jessica says:

    My husband and I went to Disney World for our honeymoon back in 2010. It was his first trip and my fifth. We had considered other honeymoon options, but ended up choosing Disney. I wasn’t pushing Disney (and he wasn’t resisting it), so we could have easily ended up going somewhere else. It was lucky that we went to Disney though, because he fell in love with it instantly. Since then, we have been back once a year for an anniversary trip. He loves it just as much as I do, and I have grown to enjoy it even more by getting to experience it with him. Sappiness aside, I am glad that I don’t have to try to convince someone to take a vacation with me that they don’t want to take. Although, I don’t know if I ever could have married someone who doesn’t share the Disney nerd gene! All joking aside, I think that this is a great article with some helpful advice and I hope it helps folks convince their significant other to give Disney a try. Although my husband and I always say, ‘if you don’t get it, you don’t get it’…and we are kind of glad, because we don’t want any more people falling in love with Disney and crowding up “our” parks!

  13. Jennifer says:

    Once again you Brickers have hit the nail on the head!
    My husband HATED Disney when we met. He grew up in SoCal and was BORED with Disneyland. After the birth of our first child, I felt like it was time to renew my childhood tradition of WDW once a year. At the time, we lived in Mississippi and decided to keep cost down by sharing a condo off site with his family from Cali. It was awful, it was summer and I was super happy to be there, but the Californians weren’t. My mother-in-law almost fainted from the heat and humidity. They were unhappy about the rain showers, and to top it off no one really had the funds to eat on site. Needless to say, my husband gave me an I told you so and stormed off.

    Two years later, we went again sans in-laws. This time I was determined to make the trip magical for everyone. Since I am a type A Disney Fanatic I spent the better part of 3 months detailing every minute of our trip (my husband was annoyed). We stayed at pop and made reservations for Boma, Askershus (my personal favorite at the time) and had enough time for a park a day and to go back where we wanted on the last day. I hopped on Disney Tourist Blog, Mousesavers and Touring Plans, and I made maps and planned for every possible Central Florida Problem (mosquitos, humidity, blisters and rain). The main difference was I planned to Disney World in May, not in June. Planning for a Disney-non-believer is key!

    The trip was the best we have ever had! My husband still acts like he HATES Disney when we talk to friends and family, but I see that special gleam in his eye when we discuss going back to WDW. We have moved to SoCal and so it is a bit harder to get to WDW, and my husband is not too thrilled about our Annual Pass Payment for Disneyland. However the reason I even came to your site today, we are in the works for a MAJOR WDW trip next year and Disney Tourist Blog is ALWAYS my first stop when I plan.

    Thank you guys for all that you do!

  14. Bernadette says:

    Glad to see your “Don’t Overdo It” section: We took our first trip to WDW 8/12 (me, DH + 3 kids) and returned 9/13. I recently proposed another end-of-summer trip, to which DH responded that he didn’t know if he would survive it, lol. On both trips, we did *a lot* because I researched the heck out of which rides to do when, etc., but in retrospect I overdid it, as we were ready to drop by the end of both vacations. The kids go back to school very late in 2015 – my new plan is to let DH recover this year and take a relaxing, slower-paced early September trip next year.

  15. Giles says:

    From where I come from, the UK, going commando means not wearing any underwear!

    • Aly says:

      It has the same meaning in the US — I thought the same thing reading this post. Tom, you may want to reword that section! :)

      • Tom Bricker says:

        Disney commando style (Google it) has a different meaning than the one you two are referencing.

  16. Betsy says:

    My husband was not psyched about Disney bc as a kid his family visited in July, stayed off site, and stayed in the parks from open to close. He said all he remembers is standing in lines, being hot, and wanting to go to the pool. Ha. When we went for the first time, he had a great time. We went in March for our spring break when it wasn’t sweltering, stayed at the Beach Club, and took daily afternoon breaks for naps and poolside cocktails. Now that he has experienced Disney differently than he did as a child, he’s a fan! Like you said, know your audience and make it a positive experience for them.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I think your husband is probably a good example of a common type of person who dislikes Disney: they had a negative first-experience due to poor timing or planning, and now dislike it because they only saw the “ugly” side.

      That could have happened to any of us. If my first trip as an adult were painfully crowded and humid, that probably would have been my overriding memory of the parks, and who knows if I would’ve ever been back.

  17. Michelle Vicky says:

    I absolutely love Disney love love, I guess anyone who made the time to read this blog has strong opinions on it. I stayed for a week at Pop Century in 2012, loved it great service . Infact I met an American in the Disney Store at the Florida Mall, who told me this was his 5th trip, I thought to myself Five times why? before leaving my husband purchased the Timeshare for us ..(my insistence of course) we had 10 further days to change our mind after we returned home no pressure..ofcourse I didn’t
    Only when I landed in Trinidad did I understand why the gentleman visited five times.
    In 2013 took my mom to Saratoga Springs with us minus my hubby ..on this trip I experienced things we did not in 2012, I am one of those who wants the person I love to share my experiences so that we have a common history or bond , therefore I get the point of convincing someone else to go. Infact if it was up to me I would vacation there every year …but I was gently reminded by my loving husband there’s a whole world out there.I will be back for Avatar land in 2017/8 god willing. Oh btw in Caribbean going commando does mean Great blog

  18. Max says:

    Awesome website and really interesting topic! I do believe Disney management makes strange decisions sometimes, but always just when I start to give up on them, they do something truly magical, such as the animation in Princess & the Frog. My hubby will never be the crazy Disney nut I am, but the kids and I just mention going without him and that brings him right around. Nobody really wants to miss out on the fun!!

  19. LeeSandra says:

    Thankfully both my partner and I are avid Disney fans and love going! (67 days until our next trip! :D) However, the last time we went to Disneyworld with my sister’s family, her partner was not happy about going at all. She’s not a big rides person, and doesn’t do heat and kind of hates people–a recipe for disaster!
    We went during the second week of September and man were the parks empty. I think the longest we waited was 15 minutes to get on Toy Story Mania.
    She had a good time, loved the short waits, enjoyed Pirates, enjoyed sipping a cocktail by the pool and fell in love with Epcot. She left us after Day 2 and explored on her own, finding things that were good for her. We stayed at Old Key West, which isn’t my favorite resort but she liked it a lot. She is still not a huge Disney fan and never will be. She has valid points for not liking Disney and we will never try to force her to become a huge Disney fan. I am still shocked that she wasn’t a huge buzz-kill the entire trip. The fact that she is willing to go again just a year and a half later shows that there really is something for everyone.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      “Letting them do their own thing” seems to be sound advice from a number of commenters here. Glad she was able to find her own things to do!

  20. Sara says:

    Great read!!

    My S.O. is not necessarily anti-Disney, just not very pro-Disney. He is definitely anti-spending money, though. So when he actually offered to take my to Disneyland I knew that the best way to make sure he wasn’t scared off from future trips was to plan a very budget-oriented trip(with the one splurge of Blue Bayou which he actually suggested since I was saving him so much money anyway).

    I definitely agree that both parties desires need to be kept in mind, and maybe more so the other person’s in order to show them that Disney offers things for everyone. I think that is an important tip for trips in general, which is why I always try to get an idea of what everyone wants out of the trip whether it be a certain ride or show or restaurant. It really helps people appreciate the parks more I think.

    Now that we got Disneyland under our belts I’ll be using this article to get WDW in our future!!! :D

    • Tom Bricker says:

      “Anti-spending money” is basically anti-Disney! ;)

      I kid (sort of), but kudos for keeping this in mind and doing the trip on a budget to make him more likely to enjoy it. Disney trip budgets can quickly spiral out of control, so it can be tough!

  21. jennifer says:

    Im writing this from my Wilderness Lodge room while my family recovers from a nasty virus we picked up in the parks. We had to cancel our flights back to california and extend our stay till my daughters fever goes down. With the amount of money this trip has cost us compared to the other 9 trips over 15 years I would never convince anyone to come to any Disney park. We had a wonderful time while well,but have never delt with crowds like last week,even the locals said its crowded most of the time. We are certainly not getting the same value we did years ago and am thankful we are happy with three fast pass rides per day,but it is becoming less spontaneous and with magic bands dinner reservations you cant cancel at the last minute it makes you feel on a forced Disney march.The cast members all need a refresher on what it means to be a cast memeber of disney. It means you are part of a show and as good cast members know you are acting ,you may not feel like being kind and helpful but thats part of the job you were hired for.When I was younger I worked at Disneyland and that was the philosophy behind a cast role in the parks. With the prices you spend you expect curteous service with a smile. So will I come back yes but not with the same enthusiasm and never convince another to go, but would be happy to help anyone make the most of their plans. Both parks in ca and florida are slipping in areas from the past while other areas improve but bottom line,you can never know fo others what they feel the parks are worth, this trip will end up costing us close to 9 thousand dollars!

  22. Manny says:

    I just got back from a Disney World adventure with my family and it was everything you’d hope for when experiencing a Disney vacation.

    Case in point, here’s a little video I made:

  23. Kori says:

    This article is pretty awesome, but I need advice on how to get my guy to stay on property.

    My guy is the over-saturated type, so sick of going to Disney World. He has family in Florida and they usually do a family day at Disney at least twice a year. Because of this, he thinks its kinda boring and done.

    I, on the other hand, went for the first time in 15 years, stayed at a deluxe resort with four friends, and was completely absorbed by the Disney bubble.

    Now, while he’s cool with going to Disney World this winter, he thinks that the Disney resorts are a “rip off” and we should just drive down there and stay with his family. I am having the world’s worst time explaining to him how amazing it is to stay on property and not have to get into a car to go anywhere. But, no, Disney tricked me into thinking I had a great time to steal all my hard earned money the last time according to him lol.

    Has anyone ran into this problem before?

    • Kori says:

      I should say that right now, I’m planning to stay at a moderate resort for this trip (not deluxe-even though they’re pretty cool, they’re a ton of money!)

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I think your best option here would be to rent Disney Vacation Club points. If his primary hang-up is cost, you can show him there’s a way to get a great deal while still having a nice resort. Or, perhaps go during “Free Dining.” If that goes well, then you can ease into staying on property in general.

      Here are our tips for renting DVC points:

  24. FredK says:

    The idea of doing “other things” at Disney to “avoid Disney” does not make sense on a financial basis. Disney is already extremely expensive. While Disney offers these separate activities (horseback riding), they are not cheap. They cost significantly more than the off-site locations. Thus, I recommend they rent a car and take a day or two and visit off-site attractions.

    Let the Disney novice plan some activities. You know what they like or dislike. Let them decide on some attractions.

  25. JV says:

    Great article, Tom – it’s generally spot on. One minor thing: my fiance and I are heading to WDW in July for our honeymoon (my 7th trip his 4th). We both love all things Disney and . . . we’re both academics in the UK! I totally get your point – our colleagues think we’re nuts! But rest assured – not all academics think Disney is awful(!)

    By the way, great blog!

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