Share your stories of being *That* family

Rory607

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 10, 2016
I’m curious if you (or the others who have shared their stories) stay in the park all day. Even with breaks it’s tiring for our kids (6,4) so we get to the park at opening and stay till 1 then head back to the hotel for naps for our 4yo. We may go back to a park for dinner but never stay out past bedtime. We maintain the same schedule at home as we do on vacation and it’s worked for us so far.
Depends on the day for us. If we have an ADR we will try to power through for that, but we try not to ever make those too late. Otherwise, we play it by ear. Sometimes a break to sit and drink a cold drink or eat a snack resets everyone. One time my H just made everyone sit in a bench at HS for 15 minutes in silence, lol. But they were good to go after that.
 

Spunky946

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
We’ve been that family more then once. Our kids are four years apart and boy girl and the fight over everything. Who sits next to me, who walks in front of the other, what ride, what to eat, the list is endless. We always seem to have meltdowns in world showcase in Epcot. It seems like it’s just not a good fit for our family.

I often joke that our first trip, when they were 4 and 8 months was the easiest trip. My 4 year old was pretty easy going, the baby wasn’t crawling yet, so she was content in the stroller and there was only 1 child to negotiate with.

we are going again over spring break and they will be 15 and 11. Hopefully we can hold it together on this short trip.
 

tinkerjo

Crazy Disney nut
Joined
Nov 25, 2005
Only had trouble with my DIL at Disney ( complained nonstop) BUT when youngest DS was about 4 he ran from me at Sea World. He thought I was putting him on a roller coaster. so we were walking past it, not to go on it but his little head thought we were and he turned and bolted. It took me forever to catch up to him. Also one year at Myrtle Beach my 13 year old son was just so mean and whiny throwing temper tantrums in public because he wanted to go fishing( so out of character for him) a few weeks later was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, so I guess he had an excuse. Poor kid’s sugar was probably sky high. Luckily most of our Disney trips have been drama free. It was the one and only place they got along when they were little.
 
  • serenitynow

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2005
    This is comforting to read. My kids fight a lot at home if all 3 of them are together. I have 2 that get super grumpy the second they get too hungry, one of those that hates to drink but will get headaches from being dehydrated or getting too much sun, 1 that is generally never happy with what she gets and always wants more and a DH with very little patience. Our trip isn't for a few weeks and although I would love for things to go smoothly, they won't. I'm trying to lower my expectations for behavior so maybe they will do better than I expect.
    Just keep telling yourself what a funny story this trip will be later. Also, in our family anyway, it’s the disasters we remember.
     

    thingwithwings

    Hello there!
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2016
    Heck, I've had meltdowns at Disney. Mix heat with exhaustion and overstimulation and everyone's going to end up a little on edge.

    OS had us fit to be tied a couple of times his first trip (totally expected for a two-year-old, even if he was closer to three by that point). The worst was our Animal Kingdom day when he absolutely melted down when we went to Tiffin's for dinner. He was fortunately not being violent, but he was still a two-year-old, head plonked face-down on the table in this fancy restaurant, sobbing and screaming from exhaustion. On the plus side, though, this gave our server a real chance to shine--he gave us a light up Buzz for OS' drink before even taking our order, and it was just enough to get OS to stop crying and calm down so that our orders could be heard above the din.

    This next trip should be fun, what with two-year-old twins, one of whom has autism. We'll definitely be verging on that family once or twice, I know it.
     

    Lumpy1106

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2010
    How many kids/what age? We have 2 older kids who fought with each other over everything - until we had a third kid 9 years after the second. Now, maybe it's just the third kid, or maybe it's the 9 years of additional experience, but we have had -zero- of "those" episodes since the 3'rd kid came along. Seems like we just know what all 3 of them need a lot more than we did before, and really THAT knowledge is what has stemmed the outbursts and kept us all a lot more even-keeled.

    My advice - have another kid - what could go wrong? 😉
    Responding to my own message because I just remembered a good one; We went to WDW when the third kid was about 6 months old. We took a red-eye, dropped off our bags, then headed to MK. Honestly, did OK, but called it early to head to DS for dinner at an Italian place - don't remember the name and it doesn't matter. We're feeling cocky - nothing has blown up, dinner is done, we are waiting for the waitress to bring back the CC so we can leave. My wife take the baby to be changed, leaving me with the two older kids. Well, that didn't last - next thing I know, the two older kids are arguing to the point of throwing glasses of water at each other. About the time it is out of their system, the waitress returns with the CC. I calmly sign the bill (with a generous tip of course), and hand it back to her. It was then that my wife comes back with the baby. She looks at me, shocked at the horror that must have occurred while she was gone. I'm doubled over laughing - what else can you do? We clean up as best we can and leave.

    What I've learned the hard way, in my now 17 years of parenting is that my yelling and getting upset about the kids' blow-ups does NO good - none. It just adds more fuel to the flames. So I don't get involved - not at home, not in public. I'm like a referee at a hockey game when a fight breaks out. I make sure they are not harming each other and not affecting strangers (too much) but then let it play out. At least for us, that has worked. They fight to get attention - if they don't get it, the fights stop. You do what works for you though - I am certainly not here to judge.
     
  • Snowysmom

    <font color=darkorchid>If they say "That's interes
    Joined
    May 11, 2003
    If we aren't that family at least once during the trip then we are not having fun. LOL! Usually it is DH and one or both adult sons going at it for wanting to be in charge. I just pretend I don't know them and move on.
     

    rosiebean

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2005
    When we were at AK last February, a mom was very angrily telling her young one "I paid a lot for this vacation, and you are going to enjoy it!" as she stomped by pushing the kid's stroller. I truly felt for her, because my kids' first trip (ages 7 and 9), our first full day they did nothing but complain. Too much walking. Too hot. Boring. Lame. They hated the rides. I am positive I told them they were the ones who wanted to go to WDW, and after all the planning I did and money spent, they were going to enjoy it! We ended up spending a lot of time that first day in Carousel of Progress (it had A/C, and the kids, for some reason, enjoyed the heck out of it).

    I'm happy to say they got much better that night and enjoyed the rest of the trip, though their table manners were sometimes a bit embarrassing. We spent down time at the SAB, which they loved (and is probably why they were melting so much the first day, the swam there the night before and wanted to go back), and took a lot of breaks in the parks. No issues their next trip three years later.

    We're heading back this August. Longer trip, lots of downtime planned. My kids are not park commandos and are really happy when we take a relaxed approach to WDW.
     

    musika

    Everybody wants to be a cat.
    Joined
    Oct 30, 2017
    Can I just say the amount of replies makes me feel better, already! Ha! Going back to read everyones' replies. Age four is hard!

    We likely did push them too hard. But TBH, they were so frigging grumpy even on our quiet days that I'm not sure it would have helped much to break longer than we did. My kid is a holy terror right now.
     

    tguz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2018
    Last Summer while in line for Kali River Rapids, the teenager ahead of us kept pestering his Mom and I could see her getting more and more aggravated. Finally, her sprayed her in the face with a misting fan and she lost it and punched him in the stomach so hard he went to his knee doubled over. I was like...."wow".
     
  • musika

    Everybody wants to be a cat.
    Joined
    Oct 30, 2017
    My advice - have another kid - what could go wrong? 😉
    Uhhh. No. LOL

    Yes, we have been there! Despite our best planning and intentions, both of my kids have had meltdowns in the parks. The worst is when you're in a restaurant and just want to leave but can't because your meal isn't over (and you know half the reason they're upset is because they are hungry!) ...
    This happened to us at Tusker House. DS was just DONE with sitting and we hadn't met Donald yet.... Donald was quite sweet about coaxing him over for a photo, but it definitely wasn't our best character meet ever. And such a bummer when it feels like you're paying a million dollars to be there.

    Just to add, I think a hard part about parenting in a Disney Park is that there often isn't a convenient quiet place available to "pull over" as a family and try to chill a situation out. And leaving is often tricky, because it takes a darn long time to leave a park, and many folks are dealing only with Disney transportation. Who wants to deal with a tantrum on a bus or a meltdown on the monorail---not me!!
    This is so very true. It's good in theory to take a mid-day break but getting in and out of the parks can sometimes be more pain than it's worth. I very quickly became a bench spotting expert this trip!

    The worst of ours was in 2014 (DS was 4yo, no surprise!). He had been happily playing at the Boneyard in AK, while we waited for our Everest FP. To say that he was not ready to leave when it was time is the understatement of the year, lol! Luckily, it was one of the only trips that we brought a stroller, and we did finally manage (between DH and I both) to forcibly strap him into it. Over an hour of non-stop screaming, crying, kicking, flailing, etc. ensued. We thought he would settle after a few minutes of riding in the stroller, but we were wrong. I really didn't understand how he even had the stamina to go on for that long, with that level of intensity. And ohhhh, the looks we got!

    After about 20 minutes, DD (11yo at the time) got so upset about the whole situation that she started having her own meltdown. And then DH started having a meltdown too because he was so frustrated with both of them. By that time, I'd had it with all 3 of them, and stomped off on my own to go ride Everest, lol! They were all still going at it when I got done. It was a rough morning, to put it mildly.
    Mine did this in the car the other night. Took 20 minutes for him to calm down enough to enter the grocery store. We'll miss these days one day, right?

    I’m curious if you (or the others who have shared their stories) stay in the park all day. Even with breaks it’s tiring for our kids (6,4) so we get to the park at opening and stay till 1 then head back to the hotel for naps for our 4yo. We may go back to a park for dinner but never stay out past bedtime. We maintain the same schedule at home as we do on vacation and it’s worked for us so far.
    Sort of? My kid naps at daycare but not at home. We were also off by an hour from our regular schedule so pretty hard hard to keep to anything. We were attempting to not rope drop and go mid afternoon/evening to avoid early wakeups, but it kind of backfired on us.

    This is comforting to read. My kids fight a lot at home if all 3 of them are together. I have 2 that get super grumpy the second they get too hungry, one of those that hates to drink but will get headaches from being dehydrated or getting too much sun, 1 that is generally never happy with what she gets and always wants more and a DH with very little patience. Our trip isn't for a few weeks and although I would love for things to go smoothly, they won't. I'm trying to lower my expectations for behavior so maybe they will do better than I expect.
    Is that a 4 year old I see in your sig? Better get those expectations down to a subterranean level!! Honestly you will find pockets of happy but definitely keep the food and snacks going!

    When we were at AK last February, a mom was very angrily telling her young one "I paid a lot for this vacation, and you are going to enjoy it!" as she stomped by pushing the kid's stroller. I truly felt for her, because my kids' first trip (ages 7 and 9), our first full day they did nothing but complain. Too much walking. Too hot. Boring. Lame. They hated the rides. I am positive I told them they were the ones who wanted to go to WDW, and after all the planning I did and money spent, they were going to enjoy it! We ended up spending a lot of time that first day in Carousel of Progress (it had A/C, and the kids, for some reason, enjoyed the heck out of it).
    It's so hard not to have this attitude though, isn't it? Especially for those of us who enjoy the planning phase. And it IS expensive for us to go to Disney so it does colour your view when you've spend 10K for your kids to be tipping over ropes and pinching each other while yelling at the top of their little lungs. DH and I just kept looking at each other and repeating, ah, BEST DAY EVER! In our most sarcastic voices hahaha.
     

    Orionreplay

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2019
    When my 9 year old son was 5, during that trip he never wanted to leave the hotel room. There I was saying to a 5 year old, All you guys ever talk about is Walt Disney World and here we are! And you want to stay inside the room and make pillow forts!?!

    Yes, we're at Disney and he gets angry because all he wanted to do was take all those glorious pillows in the room and make forts with them. I have countless photos of him making pillow forts.

    His sister was getting mad because she's a ride-freak and wanted to get to them all at the ripe old age of 8.

    So sometimes we'd have to threaten we'd leave him behind... alone... in the room. He didn't like that. Not like we would have, but we couldn't dislodge him unless we did. So crazy.
     

    Lumpy1106

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2010
    So sometimes we'd have to threaten we'd leave him behind... alone... in the room. He didn't like that. Not like we would have, but we couldn't dislodge him unless we did. So crazy.
    Oh yes, definitely! Our motto from our last trip that we've used almost every day since; "nothing motivates like abandonment". That rings even more true as they get to be teenagers and you really CAN leave them behind! No man left behind? Not when you are trying to make an FoP rope-drop!
     

    tinkerjo

    Crazy Disney nut
    Joined
    Nov 25, 2005
    When we were at AK last February, a mom was very angrily telling her young one "I paid a lot for this vacation, and you are going to enjoy it!" as she stomped by pushing the kid's stroller. I truly felt for her, because my kids' first trip (ages 7 and 9), our first full day they did nothing but complain. Too much walking. Too hot. Boring. Lame. They hated the rides. I am positive I told them they were the ones who wanted to go to WDW, and after all the planning I did and money spent, they were going to enjoy it! We ended up spending a lot of time that first day in Carousel of Progress (it had A/C, and the kids, for some reason, enjoyed the heck out of it).

    I'm happy to say they got much better that night and enjoyed the rest of the trip, though their table manners were sometimes a bit embarrassing. We spent down time at the SAB, which they loved (and is probably why they were melting so much the first day, the swam there the night before and wanted to go back), and took a lot of breaks in the parks. No issues their next trip three years later.

    We're heading back this August. Longer trip, lots of downtime planned. My kids are not park commandos and are really happy when we take a relaxed approach to WDW.
    This was me at HS 4 years ago yelling at my adult son and DIL. I told them to all shut up, I paid for the vacation, and they they were not going to ruin mine. I felt awful because I might have added a curse word in my anger. I think we have all been “ that family”
     

    Darcy03231

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2006
    We were that family once. Kids wouldn't stop bickering/fighting from the moment we set foot in the park. I hauled them all back to the hotel room and we spent the day there. No parks, no pool, limited tv. Told them they must be tired since they couldn't get along so they had to rest. After that all I had to say was "do we need to go back to the hotel for a rest" for unacceptable behavior to stop. I don't do commando touring and always take a mid-day pool/rest break and a down day in the middle of the trip so there was no good reason for their behavior.
     

    sullyfam

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    We've been that family, not just at Disney but at other places too. It happens! Mine are now 4, 10 and 12 but when my 10 year old was 3 (almost 4) we had some epic Disney moments. She has always been the "challenging" one.

    She was very overtired one evening and we were scheduled to do the Luau at the Poly. They bring you to this holding area of sorts before they walk you down to the stage/seating area. She was being so naughty, not listening, telling me "no" repeatedly and then started hitting me in the arm over and over. I remember there was this one woman in particular who kept looking at us. In that situation, there was really nothing I could have done, we were in extremely close quarters with other guests and if I reacted to my 3 year old the way I wanted to, it would have been a complete scene which I was trying to avoid. But this woman kept giving me the evil eye as if she couldn't believe I was letting my daughter act this way. I'll never forget it. Thinking back I wish I had said something to the woman but at the time, I just wanted the moment to pass. Anyways, we finally got to the table and after she filled her belly with food, she passed out in my lap and slept through the whole thing.

    Long story short, kids are kids and especially at Disney where they are out of their schedule, there is so much stimulation, they get hot, tired and overwhelmed easily, there are bound to be tantrums. It's all about how you react to them and trying to anticipate/see those moments coming when you can. We have learned over the years to follow the kid's lead. We make sure they are well fed and get the rest they need while we are there. We don't push them too far and we are a mid-day break family. You're never going to completely avoid bad kid behavior no matter how hard you try (sometimes it's for no reason at all), but I never do commando with my kids and if they say they don't want to do something at Disney, we don't force them. We go often so we know that the rides/shows/food and entertainment or whatever it may be will be there next time.

    We've all been there!
     

    Orionreplay

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2019
    We've been that family, not just at Disney but at other places too. It happens! Mine are now 4, 10 and 12 but when my 10 year old was 3 (almost 4) we had some epic Disney moments. She has always been the "challenging" one.

    She was very overtired one evening and we were scheduled to do the Luau at the Poly. They bring you to this holding area of sorts before they walk you down to the stage/seating area. She was being so naughty, not listening, telling me "no" repeatedly and then started hitting me in the arm over and over. I remember there was this one woman in particular who kept looking at us. In that situation, there was really nothing I could have done, we were in extremely close quarters with other guests and if I reacted to my 3 year old the way I wanted to, it would have been a complete scene which I was trying to avoid. But this woman kept giving me the evil eye as if she couldn't believe I was letting my daughter act this way. I'll never forget it. Thinking back I wish I had said something to the woman but at the time, I just wanted the moment to pass. Anyways, we finally got to the table and after she filled her belly with food, she passed out in my lap and slept through the whole thing.

    Long story short, kids are kids and especially at Disney where they are out of their schedule, there is so much stimulation, they get hot, tired and overwhelmed easily, there are bound to be tantrums. It's all about how you react to them and trying to anticipate/see those moments coming when you can. We have learned over the years to follow the kid's lead. We make sure they are well fed and get the rest they need while we are there. We don't push them too far and we are a mid-day break family. You're never going to completely avoid bad kid behavior no matter how hard you try (sometimes it's for no reason at all), but I never do commando with my kids and if they say they don't want to do something at Disney, we don't force them. We go often so we know that the rides/shows/food and entertainment or whatever it may be will be there next time.

    We've all been there!
    When my 12yo daughter was 2, we have lovely smiling photos of her at Flametree BBQ eating her PB&J we had brought for her. She has her sippy cup and everything is smiles. There's a photo of my wife showing me her Flametree salad. Awh... what a delightful lunch.

    Suddenly as the same lunch came to a conclusion, she began to spin her head and lose it. We knew we had pushed too long for that day and she needed her nap. We put her in the stroller and all the way out of AK, she was lurching against her straps, screaming her mind out.

    Everyone made giant holes for us as we quickly ran through the walkways leading out of the Park. Once in the car, she immediately went to sleep and we drove back to off resort hotel. Upon inspection she had actually bruised herself against the straps of the stroller.

    It was crazy. We laugh about it today, but on that day we couldn't believe what we were seeing.
     

    mustinjourney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 8, 2016
    I find a good cure can be for each parent to take one kid and do different parks/rides separately for a few hours. Works wonders for everyone. DH/DW aren't having to second guess each other, and the kids aren't vying for attention. Plus if they're different ages, it allows each one to do what's more fun for them.

    DW and I have done this on every trip and it works wonders. Especially since she and my oldest DD are early wakers -- they'll go to MK and do stuff for a couple hours and me and youngest DD will hang out, get breakfast, and meet up with them around lunch time after we do a couple of rides. Kids seem to enjoy it as well b/c they get more 1 on 1 time. We'll then switch off kids another day.

    If in-laws are coming, you can do different versions of splitting up. We'll often send the kids with grandparents to watch a show, while DW and I go ride some bigger rides. For example, at DAK -- let the kids and GPs watch Nemo while you ride Everest 2 or 3 times via FP or single rider. This is really good if your kids aren't yet tall (or brave) enough to ride EE.
     

    Darcy03231

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2006
    I find a good cure can be for each parent to take one kid and do different parks/rides separately for a few hours. Works wonders for everyone. DH/DW aren't having to second guess each other, and the kids aren't vying for attention. Plus if they're different ages, it allows each one to do what's more fun for them.

    DW and I have done this on every trip and it works wonders. Especially since she and my oldest DD are early wakers -- they'll go to MK and do stuff for a couple hours and me and youngest DD will hang out, get breakfast, and meet up with them around lunch time after we do a couple of rides. Kids seem to enjoy it as well b/c they get more 1 on 1 time. We'll then switch off kids another day.

    If in-laws are coming, you can do different versions of splitting up. We'll often send the kids with grandparents to watch a show, while DW and I go ride some bigger rides. For example, at DAK -- let the kids and GPs watch Nemo while you ride Everest 2 or 3 times via FP or single rider. This is really good if your kids aren't yet tall (or brave) enough to ride EE.
    This probably works great if you have two adults and two kids. While my children are all now adults, at the time I had four kids and was the solo adult for most of our trips.
     



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