I’m back from a week of “Mom & Me” time at Disney World. Last week I took my 14 year old son to Florida and we had a grand time, just the two of us. I know it sounds crazy to be doing these trips with each child who is still living at home, but let me tell you….it was worth every bit of the cost, both in time and money.
This particular son is very, very quiet. So quiet in fact, that I couldn’t tell if he was enjoying himself a lot of the time. I’d say, “How did you like that ride?” or “How was your dinner?” to which he would reply the same thing every time, “Great!” But he never offered his thoughts on anything, so I just accepted that he must be having fun.
Thankfully, I had made a promise to myself not to nag or pressure the kids on these trips, so I didn’t complain about it or try to make him talk. This time together is for the purpose of relationship building and not teaching. I really wanted him to feel heard and respected and I didn’t want to dampen that with Mom-type comments. (I did make a few mental notes of things to work on later though)
He made all of the plans a few weeks before, like what parks we would go to on which days and all of our fast passes. Thanks to a special Disney deal that gave you 4 parks in 4 days for about the same price as a 2-day park hopper, we got to go to all 4 parks. We left our motel each morning by 7:30 and ran, ran, ran until night. Mama was plumb wore out.
Each day I carried a NingXia Nitro with me and peppermint oil. I’d get them out and use them around 3:00 when I started to wilt. After that I’d be ready to keep on going at a 14 year old’s pace. Or at least a 30-something year old’s pace.
While I really enjoyed our time together, the best part for me was the day after we got home. He kept referencing funny things that happened on the trip and talking to me about things he remembered. I could tell that he actually loved it all and it definitely added a new level to our relationship.
In case you’re wondering, I want to give you a cost breakdown of each trip. We could have done individual trips that are more affordable, for sure. But since I have an annual pass to Disney this year we wanted to take advantage of it.
Here’s what we spent:
- Travel (we drove) $140
- Lodging $238
- Park passes $279
- Food (we took most of our own food) $50
- Extras (drinks, smashed pennies, etc) $25
Grand total: $732
Considering $300 of it was covered by his Christmas and birthday budget, that means it cost $432 as an additional budget item. We are finding ways to save on groceries and extra expenses this year to cover these costs. You’d be surprised what you can save when you pay attention!
If I didn’t have an annual pass it would have cost an additional $279 for my park tickets.
I want to give a recommendation for the Ramada Inn Gateway in Kissimmee. I’ve stayed there twice and it’s been clean and safe. It’s pretty bare bones, but it has everything you need for a budget vacation. It’s only about 6 minutes from the parks and there are a ton of places to eat and shop nearby.
Be sure you’re following me on Instagram for lots of vacay pics!