Canceling your Disney World Vacation. What to Tell Your Kids.

With the closure of Disney World due to COVID-19, I’ve been reminded of when Disney World was closed in 2017 due to Hurricane Irma. This was obviously for very different reasons, and for a much shorter period of time, but in 2017 we had to cancel a much anticipated trip to Disney World. Which many families are experiencing right now. We had spent months planning for this vacation, with the kids help. So they were as excited for the trip as we were. When we realized our vacation had to be suspended one of the first things we thought was, what are we going to tell the kids.

The Truth. We expect our kids to be honest with us and therefore we have to be honest with them. We were upfront with our kids about why we couldn’t go to Disney World. We told them it was unsafe. It amazed us how okay they were with that information. If they have a reasonable explanation for something, they’re normally fine with it.

Disappointment. We talked about how disappointed we were, which gave them room to talk about how upset they were. We gave them room to feel and share. And this continued for a number of days.

Planning the next vacation. As soon as we cancelled our vacation we made plans for another Disney vacation. We didn’t use the money we got back for anything else, we immediately put it on a vacation a few months down the road. We talked about what else we could do by going down at a different time. We decided to focus on celebrating our eldest’s birthday and we opted to stay for a longer period of time to make up for the missed out vacation. By looking forward to the next trip, we were able to shift the focus from the current let down.

Mini-Vacay. With the BIG trip we cancelled, we decided to still take a small vacation. We knew if we didn’t head off to somewhere else right away that our special family time would be deferred until that next Disney vacation. We didn’t want to rob ourselves of that. So we looked around at local places that we could spend a few days together as a family. We decided to head to a Marriott resort in St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick. This Autograph Collection Hotel looks like an old castle, which fit the bill for our daughter. The pool had a waterslide, there was a beautiful playground nearby and we had a fun time exploring the town that the resort is located in. We could have so easily gone back into regular life after canceling our big Disney trip but I am still so thankful that we opted to still go and do something.

These situations are momentous occasions in our lives. We will look back and remember what we made of it. For more information on the cancelation policies and the specifics of our canceling experience, check out these previous posts:

Disney World Cancellation Policies

Our Disney World Cancellation Experience

Hurricane Irma and our Disney Vacation