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To take my children to EuroDisney

(30 Posts)
DreamingOfADifferentMe Mon 29-Feb-16 09:20:17

OK, so in a nutshell:

I have three children, two with my husband, one with my ex-husband. Things are brilliant between ex-h and I, we've been apart for close to 10 years and we co-parent together really well. We've worked bloody hard at it and we're in a really good place where we all, all four parents/step parents, work together as a team to benefit our son, who's now a teenager.

In short, we've booked to take our three kids to EuroDisney at Easter. We've wanted to do this for a long time - DS has already been as a youngster and found it magical and we've wanted to do this for the younger two. It's also a great opportunity for DS to regress a little and enjoy being a big kid rather than a cooler-than-cool teen.

However, ex-h has said he doesn't want him to go. He feels Paris is still too dangerous and after a man was caught going into one of the Disney hotels in Jan with guns, it's too much of a target.

I disagree. We did a lot of research after the Charlie Hebdo and Paris attacks, and having consulted a travel risk/insurance expert I know, I asked whether Disney was somewhere that I should avoid, I was told no, it was safer there than ever before, and security had already been tight - now it's heightened, you're likely to be safer there than anywhere else. The incident in Jan proves that the hotel security works, and it's just as tight in the park, but now they have added security measures.

So, the dilemma - I've explained this to Ex-h, along with the argument that of course, I'd never take any of my children somewhere I thought they'd be i danger. Last year we were booked to go to Turkey on a holiday we'd saved for and researched tonnes. He said he didn't want us to take DS, so we changed our plans and forked out a lot more cash and had a distinctly average time. We did this willingly as, yes, we were a little concerned about Turkey's safety too. However, this does feel different.

So AIBU to still want to go, and to want to take my DS? Or is he doing the right thing in voicing his concern? As a slight aside, one of the reasons we split was that I struggled with him being a little controlling and at times like this, it does flag up a few old issues. As I say, things are really, really good and I'm very fond of him and would never do anything with our son that he wasn't happy about or in support of, but this does feel a little like a step too far.

Thoughts anyone? Is there anything, on either side, that I'm not thinking of?

drinkingtea Mon 29-Feb-16 09:32:15

That's tricky - would you get to veto something he wanted to do with your mutual child if you were the one worried not wholly rationally? For example if your ex wanted your DS to start playing rugby at his beloved rugby club and you had a particular personal unease about this particular sport, perhaps due to knowing somebody badly injured playing rugby, or wanted to to do a sport like rock climbing or sea kayaking with him, taking all sensible precautions but which you thought was still unnecessarily dangerous?

How does your son actually feel about the trip? I hated Florida Disney at 13 with younger siblings - absolutely the worst age for it, I felt like baggage on a trip aimed at younger siblings and everything was boring and embarrassing, because I was 13... I imagine we kept to the parts of the park suited to the younger children, which won't have helped, as I believe there things to appeal to older ages there... Is your ex thinking you will be letting your DS go off on his own as he won't want to spend all day at the younger kids attractions?

Terribleknitter Mon 29-Feb-16 09:42:30

Has Ex been himself? When we went 4 years ago there were armed police everywhere and a lot of security checkpoints & bag searches that all appeared to be normal procedure for the park without any major security scares!
Would knowing that make him feel any easier about it? Personally I'd still go, we're hoping to get back next year ourselves.

DreamingOfADifferentMe Mon 29-Feb-16 09:44:44

Knitter, yes, he's been but not for 12 years (we took our DS when he was very little).

Thanks Tea, well, in answer, he does take DS on stuff that I’d worry about rather than veto, such as potholing, caving, kayaking, etc, but I trust his decision to assess safety and make a decision based on that. I can’t imagine a situation he’d suggest that I’d say an absolute no on. 

So far, I’ve not mentioned it to DS. He loves theme parks and we’ve already agreed that he and DH would hit the thrill rides while I stick with the faintly nauseating younger stuff, as well as doing stuff together. In all honesty, I don’t think it would break his heart not to go, but I also feel it’s important that we do stuff together a few times a year (he’s doing plenty of his own independent stuff at weekends and in the holidays) as it creates memories and all of that malarky. The family that holidays and eats hot dogs together, stays together, or something along those lines…

drinkingtea Mon 29-Feb-16 09:57:47

There is your answer I guess - if you worry about him potholing and caving with your ex, but bite your tongue and let him go, then your ex really is obliged to do the same with the Eurodisney trip. Similar levels of rationality around the safety anxieties, similar bonding and fun based justification. I imagine your ex doesn't know your feelings on the potholing, caving and kayaking - have a rational calm conversation in which you draw the parallel.

Glad you have a plan to cater for the different ages of the kids on the trip grin

DreamingOfADifferentMe Mon 29-Feb-16 14:15:27

Thanks Tea, I agree as I think they're similar scenarios, each with an element of risk, but I know ex-h won't so I do need to steel myself for a bit of a scrap on this one. I genuinely don't think I'm putting any of us in danger by going, and I suspect their approach may well be that I'm planning on taking us all to a war-torn country.

If he really doesn't want DS to go - do we as a family still go, leaving DS behind? That makes me feel like the worst parent ever...

TestingTestingWonTooFree Mon 29-Feb-16 14:24:44

I don't think I'd go without DS unless that's what he wanted. I don't think it's fair to have him in the middle of you and exH. Tough one. I'd try and talk him around but sounds like it might be difficult. Obviously you don't think DS would be at risk as you're willing to take him, you other children and yourself.

BartholinsSister Mon 29-Feb-16 14:36:53

Alternatively you could go to one of the many (often better) European theme parks. Efteling, Europa Park etc.

ComeonSummer1 Mon 29-Feb-16 14:37:29

If your ds is 15 or over surely he had a Say now? He's not a child.

What does your ex partner think?

Could you call a meeting including your ds and thrash it out.

My guess is he's secretly insecure that your dh and his son will be bonding together.

If push comes to shove tell him then no more pot holing etc as you arnt comfortable with that.

Show some ballast and he might cave. No pun intended.

NynaevesSister Mon 29-Feb-16 14:38:09

Well I think that if Ex H really digs his heels in then you should go with the younger two. As you say, DS went at that age and it isn't fair on the younger two to miss out on something that DS got. There is only a little bit of time when it has that special child magic for them.

But this is something both you and your ex will need to tell him and talk over with him first.

ComeonSummer1 Mon 29-Feb-16 14:38:12

Sorry what does your exes new partner think?

ComeonSummer1 Mon 29-Feb-16 14:39:11

Oh goodness I wouldn't go without your ds unless he didn't want to go in the first place.

That would be very nasty.

TurnOffTheTv Mon 29-Feb-16 14:41:27

I've just come back this week. Security in Disney is always shit hot, full body scanners and X Ray machines as you enter the park. My husband had a small can of beer in a bag left over from the train and it was taken straight off him.
The guy with the gun was actually stopped so security works.
It's miles away from Paris as well!

TheCrimsonPleb Mon 29-Feb-16 14:51:01

My son is actually in EuroDisney today as part of a school trip to Paris. Originally the trip was to take in Central Paris, Louvre, Notre Dame etc but the school decided to focus on activities outside the city and this included a day at EuroDisney where the security is second to none and will now be much higher following the recent incident.

My personal view is the risk is small. The school felt the same and they were taking advice from the F&CO on this issue.

Purplepicnic Mon 29-Feb-16 14:54:58

I've said this before but everyone in that park has passed through security, metal detectors etc. so in my mind, it's safer than walking down Oxford Street, where they haven't.

DreamingOfADifferentMe Mon 29-Feb-16 14:59:54

Thank you all for your views - they're really helpful.

OK, to answer a few questions: DS is 14, and yes, absolutely has a mind of his own. We've not mentioned it to him yet (his dad's issue with it, rather than going) and I know it wouldn't really bother him badly, but it WOULD bother me, DH and our DDs. They adore their brother, and we're a five, not a four.

Bartholinssister, Yes, we could go to other parks, except that Disney is booked and paid for, and what (to me, at least) makes Disney special is the parades and all of that jazz, rather than the rides themselves. Plus if exH has an issue with EuroDisney, I can't help but think he'd have an issue with those too.

TurnofftheTV, thank you, those are my points exactly. It's not in the city centre, security is tight at all times, even more so now, and yes, the security they have in place clearly works, hence this guy getting caught.

ComeOn, ExH's wife is in agreement with him, I'd imagine. Apparently her son was meant to be going on a school trip to EuroDisney and Paris in July and they've cancelled due to security concerns, and I think that this has influenced their views.

I'm desperately trying to think of something that might swing ex-H's mindset, but I know him well enough to know that if he digs his heels in, that tends to be that.

DreamingOfADifferentMe Mon 29-Feb-16 15:01:35

Crimson and Purple (I like your theme), that's exactly my thoughts. Anyone could be walking anywhere - at least in the park they're scanned, checked, pass through a security pass point, whereas any old street in any old city you're more at risk.

Good thinking re the Foreign Office, I'll check with them too...

NNalreadyinuse Mon 29-Feb-16 15:09:49

I know someone who has just been. Security is shit hot at the moment. That said, your ex won't be there himself and it's hard to let your child go to a place that you perceive as risky but you wont be there with them iyswim. I think I wouldn't have booked this without clearing it with his dad first, but then I would expect his dad to clear 'risky' activities with me too. Agree that he cant have it both ways.

Try and stress the increase in security and that it is probably more safe now than it has ever been. I wouldn't go without ds1 unless he really wasnt bothered. I would prefer to cancel and go elsewhere. Realistically though, nowhere is completely safe and your exh needs to come to terms with that.

BillSykesDog Mon 29-Feb-16 15:15:57

I agree with you that Euro Disney is probably safe. I'd be more worried about how to get there though. I went through Calais last summer and it was a fucking nightmare, definitely wouldn't do that again.

I'd think flying then hire car would probably be safest. There was a train attack those U.S. soldiers stopped close to France, and trains and tubes are always a target. I think if someone wanted to attack people going to EuroDisney they'd probably attack the RER rather than risk being caught by security going into the park.

DreamingOfADifferentMe Mon 29-Feb-16 15:17:10

NN, absolutely I hear you. And yes, with hindsight, I should have cleared the destination with him before booking, but it didn't enter my head that he'd have a problem with it. My feelings are that of all places, EuroDisney will be among the safest we could go to and if we took them out for a day trip to London, we'd be more in danger. Mind you, we'd probably not be allowed to take him there either...

TurnOffTheTv Mon 29-Feb-16 15:21:52

We got the Eurostar as always, never any problems.

DreamingOfADifferentMe Mon 29-Feb-16 15:22:02

Bill, yes, you might be right. We're driving and using the EuroTunnel, popping out again at Calais. We did this twice last year and it was fine, and we plan to do the same again. Interestingly, he can't say he has an issue with that as he also took DS to Normandy, and plans to do the same later this year, I believe.

BillSykesDog Mon 29-Feb-16 15:35:21

It probably wouldn't be too bad with a teenager in April, especially if nothing kicks off.

We did it in June in a car with a 3 year old and it was an absolute nightmare. Boiling hot, couldn't open the windows or stretch our legs or stop and the delays were so long. It was pretty scary for a toddler too, being stuck with quite threatening people looking in the car just generally being menacing.

DreamingOfADifferentMe Mon 29-Feb-16 16:45:53

You are all amazing. I put together an email, setting out why I believed it was safe to take all three children, using some of the info above, and he's just replied, thanking me for the research I've done, for putting his mind at ease and he's happy for us to take DS.

Thank you all! Problem solved. And breathe...

Paintedhandprints Mon 29-Feb-16 17:21:27

Great result. Was going to mention the other argument of doing the terrorists job for them if you then become afraid of going anywhere....

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