Long before I knew what it was called, I suggested a familymoon to my then-fiancé when we were planning our honeymoon. According to The Wedding Channel, a familymoon is a postnuptial getaway that includes the kids.
My husband’s son was a few months shy of his eleventh birthday when we married and he was as integral a part of our wedding as he is a part of our life. I was not just marrying his father; we were creating a family. A honeymoon is a time to celebrate the start of your new life as a couple but it seemed lacking for our new family. We also wanted to celebrate our new family and make sure our son knew I wasn’t just gaining a husband; I was blessed to have a son. We immediately knew a familymoon was the answer for us but where? The answer came quickly and was obvious. Walt Disney World. And so, the plans were set into motion. My husband and I chose a honeymoon location in Florida for logistical reasons. After a few wonderful days alone, we drove across the state and met our son at the Orlando International Airport for the start of our family vacation.
The next week was just about perfect. There were a few glitches. I will never live down lunch at Aunt Polly’s which was a complete fail for my husband and son. There were many successes. My son and husband’s love of the Fettuccine Alfredo at L’Originale Alfredo di Roma’s was born (they still mourn the closing of its doors). There was over planning (on my part). There are countless memories. My favorite is my poor son being so tired (in a good way), he almost fell asleep in his dinner on more than one night.
Why Disney is Perfect for a Familymoon
There is something for everyone. Blending families can be a delicate task and often not everyone has the same interests. Parents have to avoid the impression of favoring one family member’s preferences over another. By familymooning at Walt Disney World, everyone wins. Young or old, thrill seeker or ride wimp, active or not so much, every member of the family will find a lot to do.
Keep Busy. Sometimes families experience growing pains. You know how arguments can be started on a long road trip when people are stuck in a car together without much to do but talk? To me, new families risk that same danger with a more sedentary familymoon like a beach vacation. All the rides and activities at Disney World can help keep any tensions at bay; you can bond over attractions without a lot of talking if you so desire. If tensions flare up, the resort is so large it’s easy to split up for an hour or so and have a cooling off period while still having fun.
Make it Special. Most people remember their honeymoon even if they don’t remember a lot about other vacations. A familymoon should be no different. You don’t have to leave Disney property or spend a lot of money to create special experiences for your new family. Bond over the famous Kitchen Sink dessert at Beaches & Cream, be awed by IllumiNations in Epcot, or rent a surrey bicycle for the whole family at a resort. If your budget allows, spend an evening at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness or take the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage to watch Wishes.
One-on-One time. On our familymoon, my husband spent one-on-one time with his son every day to help reassure him that their relationship was just as strong even though we were married. Oftentimes it was as simple as a trip to the arcade but it was important time for the two of them. The variety of options at the Walt Disney World Resort makes it a breeze to carve out some parent-child time with activities such as miniature golf, a makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League, fishing at Port Orleans Riverside, or even an afternoon at DisneyQuest.
People wonder why I love Walt Disney World so much. There are many reasons, many which I have written about before, but there is no denying that one of them is because it is the place where treasured memories were made, bonds were permanently forged, and where my new life really began.
This article is dedicated to my son, a very special young man who will be twenty-one in a few short weeks and has made my life better in ways he’ll never know.
Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe. You can follow her on Twitter @DisneyExplorer or become a fan of Beyond the Attractions on Facebook.
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