Man Denies Dying Father-In-Law Trip to Disney With Grandchildren, Actually Wonders If He’s Wrong

mickey mouse and cinderella castle at disney world
Credit: Disney

That first trip to a Disney Park is a truly magical and unforgettable experience. Whether you are an adult or a family taking a young child, there are so many special memories to be made once you walk through those enchanted gates. Many people dream about what their trip will be like when they go with someone who has not been before. For one father, taking his children to a Disney Park for the first time was a memory that his family would cherish forever, but those plans saw a potential change that he was not a fan of.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Credit: Disney

The anonymous user took his story to the popular social media Reddit forum ‘Am I The A-Hole’. According to the user, his father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and, unfortunately, treatment was not working. The dying man accepted what was happening and said he wanted to make special memories while he still could. One of those memories was taking his grandchildren to Disney, but the children’s father wasn’t sure he wanted that because it would be very expensive for him and his wife to join them.

Tree of Life Awakenings

Credit: Disney

The man wanted to know if he was wrong for denying his father-in-law a dying wish. You can read his full account below.

My (M28) wife (F28) and I have two daughters, 6 & 5 years old, which is prime Disney age. They’re both super into princesses and all that. We’ve talked about taking them to Disney over the next few years as we know they’d love it. My wife has never been before, and I’ve only been once- when I was 10 years old. It was definitely a memorable trip for me as my family had to save up a while for it. We’ve always known that Disney would be our big trip with our girls.

In July, my FIL got diagnosed with prostate cancer. After a few rounds of chemo and some rather intense stays at the hospital, it’s only gotten worse. It’s spread across to other organs in his body, and rather than trying to suffer to fight it, he’s opted to just not do chemo and try to live with what time he has left. As a result, him and my MIL have decided to make more memories with family. One of these memories is to take our daughters to Disney & surprised them with the trip yesterday during Christmas.

At first, I thought my wife would be against it as well- we’ve always said we’ve wanted to get to experience taking them and seeing their faces. However, I found out that my MIL cleared it with my wife last month. My wife didn’t tell me because she thought I would be surprised and excited for our daughters. I sat through all of the rest of the night, but when we got home we had a serious discussion about it.

I told my wife that I didn’t want our daughters first trip to Disney to be without us. She suggested we go along, but the trip is in February, and booking flights+hotel+tickets for just my wife and I for the time they’re all going is still going to be almost $5000. I told my wife that we have to talk to her parents & decline the trip, but my wife is saying that I’m being selfish and heartless by robbing our daughters of this experience & robbing them of a core memory with my FIL before he passes. Am I being out of line here?

California Adventure

Credit: Disney

Many social media users were shocked that the man actually had to wonder if he was the a-hole, as it was so clear that he was. Many commented that he was being selfish in denying his dying father-in-law just so he could have the experience first.

YTA. Your wife is right. I understand your disappointment in not being the first to take your kids to Disney, but these are special circumstance. Their grandfather/your wife’s father is dying and wants to create memories with his grandchildren that will last once he is gone. It’s small minded and selfish to take that opportunity away from him and your children just so you can be the first to have the experience with them. Do you think if you do this your wife and daughter’s won’t resent you for what you are taking away from them to satisfy your own selfish need. If you do this remember someday your daughter’s will be adults and think about how they will look back on this and what they will think about you.

EPCOT Food and Wine Festival

Credit: Disney

Others pointed out that, while the trip would be expensive, any trip to Disney would be expensive. And, if he looked at it right, he would actually be saving money because his in-laws would be paying for his children to go. All he and his wife would have to pay for are themselves.

Yes, this baffled me about OP’s response. They actually are doing you a favor by making it cheaper with the daughters. He mentions high cost, but the cost will always be there for their family. Not only that, but a Disney vacation with your kids where mom and dad can ALSO get some alone time because the grandparents are there is a triple win.

The only reason OP would be obsessed with declining is because he wants to be the only hero in their story. It’s an immature approach to raising kids to be adults with healthy relationships and full lives – and I don’t think that’s an overreaction, considering OP is prioritizing his ego and this weird sense of being ‘first’ over a literal life or death situation.

Shanghai Disneyland

Credit: Disney

Readers overwhelmingly agreed that the Redditor was absolutely the a-hole, and we can’t say we disagree. The Redditor has not provided an update, so we do not know if he actually changed his mind and allowed his children to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip with their grandfather.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!