By Emily Honsa Hicks

It’s hard.

I’m just guessing—because you are obviously reading blogs, and likely surfing around other places getting your Disney ‘fix’—that you are the planner, the go-getter.

 I’m guessing your other half, if you’ve got one, isn’t.  Unless you are one of those clever people that arrange to travel with like-minded friends or on your own, you may be sharing that hotel bill with someone whose travel style may be more complementary to yours than it is similar.

I tend to try to schedule every moment, even our downtime. Why? Because then I can relax! I have a carefully plotted agenda that I can rely upon without thinking once I’m there. The planning is done, now I’m just executing the plan, and I trust the instructions. And my plans tend to be pretty active. I probably suffer from fear of missing out—I’m constantly worried that the one time I skip a ride, Disney will pull a Maelstrom and it will be gone before my next visit.

I made the mistake of leaving an itinerary behind on a recent trip with family and it was difficult getting everyone out the door—partially because people didn’t know when to be ready, and partially because we were then trying to make in the moment decisions about what to do, balancing the desires of a group including everyone from a 5-month-old baby to a 65-year-old musician.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still a blast (and hint: the Hoop De Doo was everyone’s favorite activity). But I was constantly trying to balance a whole host of interests, from community hall crafts for toddlers to beer tasting at the Wave.


Photo from

Contrast that with a surprise trip to the Disney Family Museum I was just fortunate enough to take. My husband planned and executed the trip in secret—I didn’t know where we were headed until right before we boarded our flight. It was fantastic to be out of the driver’s seat for once. He’d planned one activity, the museum, and we spent the rest of wandering around the city of San Francisco seeing what there is to see. Had it been up to me, we’d have had a list of destinations, checklists, maps…   

Obviously, I am in no position to advise on how to handle this, except that I find that all my travel partners tend to be the reverse of my style. Perhaps they gravitate towards someone who essentially acts as a travel agent—or perhaps I naturally find comfort in having less demanding companions than myself.  

You can find my Do’s and Don’ts here.

Most important is a willingness to listen, and a responsiveness to each other’s needs and desires. You’ll hear of people saying things like “I spent a lot of money to be here, I am doing exactly what I want”—and it is critical to remember that so did most everyone else in WDW. There is something for the doer and the relaxer at every resort and in every park.

 -Emily Honsa Hicks, at or on Twitter at @firstcomeswdw