As more and more families struggle with finding quality time to spend together, the Disney Time survey, which was conducted by research firm Kelton, revealed that vacations are a top way to get that bonding time.
On the home front, busy lives make quality time hard to come by. Out of the 52 weeks in each year, most parents said they only had 15 "free," with no plans. Thirteen percent said they had no free weekends at all.
There's a big desire to spend time with the kids. Seventy-one percent of the parents surveyed said they wished they could spend up to nine hours more each week with their children. Ninety-six percent of the survey parents were willing to cut out things like favorite TV shows/sports/games, internet use, shopping, sleeping in, favorite hobbies, and even coffee to make more family time.
The survey showed the importance of vacations in giving families quality time together. Almost one out of every two parents surveyed said that, at most, only half the time they spend with their kids qualifies as "quality." However, that number soars to 82 percent when the family is on vacation.
Dinner time is traditionally viewed as family time, and parents reported eating an average 10 meals at home with their kids during a normal week. That number soars up to 19 during a seven-day trip, and 61 percent of parents say they eat three meals every day of vacation (21 meals) with their family.
Does all that time together really result in bonding? The answer appears to be "yes," as the survey showed that 97 percent of parents felt their kids got to know them better during family trips. That included 86 percent saying their kids learned things about their parents' childhoods and 74 percent saying they learned facts about other family members.
Obviously, vacations are an extremely important break from a hectic lifestyle, and the survey shows that people recognize this fact. Over 82 percent of respondents who had taken family vacations in the past planned to take at least the same amount over the next five years, and often more. Ninety-four percent of parents acknowledged the important of regular family vacations.
Walt Disney World is widely known as a top family vacation spot, and Orlando was highlighted in the survey by parents as a top destination. Other places cited include Hawaii and California. Theme parks were the top choice for places to have the best time on a trip, followed by beaches, cruises, and camping.
"We know vacations are important, but to have parents validate how important vacation time is to their families was insightful," said Leslie Ferraro, executive vice president of global marketing for Disney Parks.
"As we've learned from families who participated in the survey, those moments of quality family time can feel fleeting in our everyday home lives. At Disney parks, families enter a different kind of time, where the entire family can relax and be a kid: Disney Time."
How does Walt Disney World fit in as a complete family destination? Continue on to part two of this article for some ideas.