By Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess.
Not everyone stays in a Deluxe Disney Resort, because not everyone can afford or even justify it. My family pulled up to an inexpensive hotel in Orlando several years ago to groans and cries from my kids, “We can’t be staying here!” While I was not planning to spend a lot of time in the hotel room, I still didn’t take this accommodations mutiny very well. “You’re on vacation, and lots of people are not. Just be glad you’re here,” I growled, wondering what sort of ingrates I was raising.
It goes beyond how some people are not going on vacation to Orlando now, because some people have never been on vacation to Disney, and some never will. Disney vacations are fabulously memorable and incredibly pricey, and there are life skills you can teach your kids before and during your vacation.
Today’s life lesson with a Disney spin is to be appreciative.
I teach 250 different public high school students each year, and when I ask them to raise their hand if they have ever been to Disney World or Disneyland, the total is about 5% of the class. It is certainly not my imagination that there is a look of envy toward those kids who have. When I ask my 11 and 13-year-old sons how many of their friends ever mention going to Disney, the answer through the years has been a small handful.
Teach your kids to appreciate where you stay, the food you eat, the view you have, even if it’s not really the one you wanted deep down. We can’t all stay in Deluxe Resorts, eating character meals twice a day, toting our Disney Dooney & Bourke handbags over for our reservation at Le Cellier. Some of us had better be glad we made it to Disney at all. Encourage your children to appreciate the Disney magic for what it is… an amazing opportunity that not every child gets.
The fine art of appreciation starts at home, way before the Magical Express pulls up to the resort doors. Talk with your kids about how they can’t have it all, and that sometimes, they have to settle for less. If you stay off property in an inexpensive hotel or a Disney Value Resort, maybe you can afford to step up to more expensive accommodations on the next trip, but then again, maybe not? Kids, enjoy where you are when you are there.
Bought your souvenirs at the Wal-mart in Kissimmee? At least you have the t-shirt. Ordered your trading pins off eBay, and these aren’t as adorable or shiny as the pins in the gift shops? This is just motivation to trade the cheap pins more often. Ate a sandwich on a bench for lunch? Now you may have enough money for a nice sit-down meal for dinner. There is indeed a bright side. You are at Disney, which makes all the simple things seem all the more magical. Have to wait in long lines? At least there is a ride at the end of the line. Have to wait for the next monorail? At least there is another just 5 minutes behind that one.
Teach your children how to be grateful for what they have. Simply saying, “We’re so lucky to be here. We’re so lucky to be able to do this” is a great way to show your kids you appreciate what you have. Teach them by example. Adults, enjoy where you are when you are there. The ability to appreciate what we have before us, as opposed to constantly wishing for more, is a valuable life skill.
Look around and take in the Disney beauty, the architecture, the magic, and whisper a word of appreciation for the simple fact that you are standing on Disney soil. Appreciate what you have, and you’ll have a whole lot more fun on vacation. That’s a life lesson your kids can take from the Disney theme parks and into their adult lives.
Life lessons with a Disney spin.