Parenting

My Kids Drove Me to Take a Spite Vacation to Disney World—Without Them

I’ve been married for 15 years now and my husband and I haven’t been anywhere alone without children in a decade. We’ve decided that we can’t take it for one more second and we’re doing what any parents of three children and a large dog (who want to stay sane) would do by getting the hell out. And we’re not flying to Mexico to lie on a beach somewhere or taking an adult cruise. Oh no! We’re spiteful. We’re going to Disney World. (Cue the sound of small children weeping.)

That’s right! We decided that what we really want to do is experience the most magical place on earth for children…without any children! Last time we were there I was seven months pregnant and unable to ride anything faster than It’s a Small World. We spent most of our time sweating and shuffling our kids back to the hotel when they were too tired to keep going. As a result, we missed pretty much everything we really wanted to do.

So this time we are going to be footloose and fancy free and travel the world (at Epcot) one beer cart at a time. We’re going to stand in that extra-long line just for the sheer pleasure of not having to hear anyone whine, “How much longer do we have to wait?” And we’ll have the thrill of walking right past character meet and greets without feeling the anxiety of “will we get in or will the children be traumatized when told that Cinderella can’t see one more child?” We’re going to stay up late and see the show on the castle without maneuvering strollers and we’ll eat late dinners without having to put two chairs together for the one who passed out. And no character breakfasts! Can I get an “Amen”? We’re going to be the smug couple that smiles empathetically at all the parents struggling with a screaming child in Tomorrowland as we head for another round of Space Mountain, thanking God that’s not us.

I plan on sending my kids selfies of us on all their favorite rides for all the times they refused to PUT THEIR SHOES ON and made me late for something. For every time I had to say “Clean it up now or it goes to Goodwill!” or “You liked broccoli YESTERDAY!” and “I’m counting to three!” It will be the greatest punishment of all time. I will bring them t-shirts that say, “My Parents Went to Disney World and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt.” I have it all planned.

I’m not even sure we even want to go to Disney World, but ten years without a break from the constant demands of kids would make anyone a little vengeful. And so we’re going the happiest place on earth…out of spite. And I’m okay with that.

(And in the interest of also punishing The Mouse for the replacement of Americans with foreign workers, we will be staying and eating off property. Not even Disney World can escape our general bad mood.)