Good news, bad news. The good news is you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World! The bad news? Your partner hates Disney. While they have (begrudgingly) agreed to go, you’re worried that you’ll need more than pixie dust to get them to have a good time. Don’t sweat it. Perfecting the Magic has you covered with the tips you’ll need to enjoy Walt Disney World, even if your partner hates it.
Let’s jump into our best advice!
If this is your partner’s first trip to Walt Disney World, and it’s an option, we recommend that you start small. Consider booking a shorter trip, or if possible, start with Disneyland over Walt Disney World.
Disneyland is much smaller than Walt Disney World—51 Disneyland parks could fit inside WDW—and the Orlando humidity can be oppressive! Starting with a smaller scale trip is a safe way to test the Disney waters, and it’s something we highly recommend if you can manage it.
Involve Them in Planning
Planning is part of any Walt Disney World vacation. For some, it’s part of the fun. For others, it’s part of the anxiety. But no matter what group you fall into, solid WDW plans begin at home. If your partner is hesitant to commit to a Walt Disney World vacation, consider having them watch on-ride POVs, dining reviews, and vlogs. Knowledge is power, and sometimes seeing others enjoy themselves can add to anticipatory excitement.
We can’t tell you how many videos we’ve seen where a partner thought they’d hate Disney but fell in love while dining around EPCOT, because there are too many to count. Involve your partner in your Walt Disney World planning, and they’ll likely feel much more invested in the trip overall.
If they’re not planners and seem disinterested, ask them for a couple of can’t-miss experiences they’d like, and be sure to include them in your plans. Start with the newest Disney World treats and work back from there if all else fails. Is tempting your partner with sugar stacking the deck a bit? Sure. But, it’s fun to get excited about limited edition snacks!
Book a Resort with a Ton of Amenities
Walt Disney World is home to amazing hotels and resorts. There’s truly something for everyone. If your partner isn’t into Disney, we recommend keeping your distance from Walt Disney World resorts with heavy Disney theming like Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Instead, choose a hotel that stands alone in its amenities and atmosphere. Disney’s Rivera Resort, Grand Floridian, and the Four Seasons Orlando are perfect choices for resort stays that feel indulgent without screaming Disney.
If possible, book a cabana if they’re into lounging poolside, or consider booking a spa day. Walt Disney World resorts offer so much more than proximity to the theme parks, and we can’t imagine anyone having a bad time lounging poolside with a cocktail in hand.
Choose Your WDW Parks Wisely
Walt Disney World is more than Magic Kingdom. With four parks to choose from, there really is something for everyone. Our best advice is to book the Park Hopper option. That way, if your partner is having a miserable time you can shift to a park they might enjoy more.
Of course, it’s essential to consider yourself and what you love, but if your partner is having a hard time with the pixie dust, flexibility and an openness to changing plans can be a real trip-saver.
Consider Skipping the Parks
We know this sounds a little crazy, but consider having them skip your park days if your partner hates Walt Disney World. If they’ll be miserable in the park magic, limit your reservations and let them hang back at the hotel and meet them for lunch. Sometimes scaling back your park visits makes for memorable experiences, and you’ll save a ton on ticket prices too!
Communication is key, and we highly recommend showing your partner a walkthrough of each park you’re considering. Once they get a feel for what to expect, let them decide if they’d like to visit the parks with you or chill out at the hotel for a couple of days while you visit solo.
Book Amazing Dining Experiences
Walt Disney World is filled with exceptional dining experiences that stand-alone outside of their being in a Disney park. WDW dining is destination-worthy in its own right. With careful selections and pre-planning, you can scatter fantastic dining experiences throughout your stay so that you make memories outside of the parks.
We highly recommend Jiko, Topolino’s Terrace, California Grill, and The Boathouse for special romantic occasions. If you’re looking for a more low-key lunch, consider Steakhouse 71, Sanaa, and the Tambu Lounge. These picks are outside of Walt Disney World theme parks and offer fantastic dining opportunities to connect with your loved one after (or during!) a busy day.
Enter the Parks Early and Stay Late
Sometimes people think they dislike Walt Disney World after a negative experience with crowds and wait times in scorching heat. You can mitigate these experiences using early park entry by staying at select hotels within the WDW bubble, and we highly recommend it. The heat is more manageable during these times, and the UV index is less extreme.
If you’re managing moods, avoiding the parks midday is a great way to ensure that spirits stay up and you don’t get burnt out. Focus your plans around early morning and evening, and consider the afternoon open for resort dining, swimming, lounging by the pool, and relaxing. You’ll have a much better time planning your day this way if your partner thinks they hate Walt Disney World. After all, it’s easy for anyone, including Disney fans, to get prickly with an overpacked schedule.
Book a Trip Centered on Them
Relationships are so often about compromise. If your partner hates Disney but is happy to try the trip anyway, consider booking your next trip centered around their interests, no matter what they are. Seriously! If your partner is a foodie, book a trip to a major foodie city; if they love nature, book a trip to a national park; if they’re into spa days, book a trip focused on mud baths. You get it.
Whatever their magic is, find it and embrace it. Showing your partner that you care about their interests is essential and, best-case scenario, you both love the trips equally!
Keep Individual Needs in Focus
We hope that our tips have helped you plan a trip that will be enjoyable for both you and your partner, even if they’re wary of a Walt Disney World vacation. The most important thing to remember is to consider your individual needs and keep them in focus during your planning and throughout your trip.
You’ll have a much better time if you do, and you’ll increase your chances of turning your partner into a Walt Disney World fan!
Respect Their Choices
Ultimately, the best option is to respect their choices. If someone isn’t happy on vacation, trying to force them to enjoy it isn’t going to end well. It’s best to respect your partner’s choice if they say they hate visiting Disney. Forcing the trip won’t lead to a good experience for either of you and in the end, you may risk damaging your relationship.
If your partner is thoroughly against the trip and our tips haven’t swayed them, it’s likely best that they skip the trip and you focus on planning something you both will enjoy.
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