What IS it about Walt Disney World?

Trying on Hats at WDWIf you’re a fan of Disney vacations and you visit the Mouse as often as you can, you understand me.  You’ll also totally understand what it’s like to have friends and coworkers completely puzzled by this passion for Disney.  Yes, I’m talking about that most annoying of questions we Disney fans are constantly asked – “You’re going AGAIN?” – that query holds genuine puzzlement, usually with a sprinkling of scorn or worse, pity – as if we’re too immature or unsophisticated to know how and where to vacation properly.  “You do know that Disney World’s for little kids, right?”  Non-Disney fans ask me (and you, I’m sure) why we keep going to the same place for vacation over and over, year in, year out.  I save my answer for the ones I think really, genuinely want to know.  I’ve thought about my response a lot and I’ve had a lot of practice explaining what it is that makes Disney vacations so special to me.  I’ll tell Mother/Daughter Moment at WDWyou what it is and maybe you’ll leave me a comment and let me know why YOU love Disney vacations too.

What IS it about Walt Disney World?

Let me start with a couple of quotes – they’re basically the foundation of what Walt Disney World has meant to me over the years…

“Over at our place, we’re sure of just one thing: everybody in the world was once a child. So in planning a new picture, we don’t think of grown-ups, and we don’t think of children, but just of that fine, clean, unspoiled spot down deep in every one of us that maybe the world has made us forget and that maybe our pictures can help recall.”- Walt Disney

Waiting for Toy Story Midway Mania“Too many people grow up. That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don’t remember what it’s like to be 12 years old.” – Walt Disney

For me, that’s the major draw of Walt Disney World – remembering.  When I was a child, I couldn’t wait to grow up.  I dreamed of going to college, getting a good job, getting married one day…maybe having a couple of children of my own.  Over time, though, I think the pressures and responsibilities of becoming an adult and focusing on achieving your dreams can cause you to lose a part of yourself – that “original” person you once were before all that life happened to you.  When I’m at Walt Disney World, I rediscover that person – the first me.  The me that was more carefree, less full of the sense of responsibility that comes with being a grown-up.

I’m more patient, more interested in little details, more relaxed, and certainly…lighter, for Having fun at Old Key Westlack of a better word, when I’m on a Disney vacation.  I also think it gives my family a chance to get to know the original me a little bit more than they can at home when I’m worried about getting supper on the table, or whether washing whites or darks will have the biggest benefit for the immediate future.  At Walt Disney World, I totally let go of life’s troubles for a while – I’m not worried about how Joseph manages to make so many holes in his socks or how I’m going to help Megan pick out a new dress on my lunch hour and still make it back to the office to make a presentation on time.  We just have fun.  Together as a family, we are completely ourselves, being together, enjoying a wonderful, magical place.

In line at Disney“Dreams, ideas and plans not only are an escape, they give me purpose, a reason to hang on.” – Walt Disney

After every Disney vacation, we start planning the next one.  It may be far into the future, but we will be planning a way to return to the place that makes us so happy and holds some of our best memories.  We’ve got countdown calendars and when we’re having a bad day (bad week, heck – sometimes just a bad month), we use that future vacation as a reason to keep moving forward, solving problems, supporting each other, getting on with conquering whatever challenges come our way.

It’s become kind of rare for the four of us to be at home for supper these days, but when we have an evening together, we almost always do the same thing…At some point, one of us will silently raise their hand.  This is the “I’m going to Disney World” sign and, one at a time, as we notice what’s happening, we will each raise our hand.  Once we all have a hand raised, we carry1900 Park Fare - Meeting Pring Charming on as if nothing unusual has taken place – but we’ve each been reminded that no matter what’s happening today, we have something extraordinarily fun in our future.  We will all be returning to a place where we are uniquely happy, together.

“When you believe in a thing – believe in it all the way – implicitly and unquestionable.” – Walt Disney

I’d love to hear from you – What IS it about Walt Disney World?  What does it mean to you?

7 thoughts on “What IS it about Walt Disney World?

  1. Love this article, and love everyone’s comments! What a wonderful group of people! Which brings me to my favorite thing about a Disney vacation. The wonderful happy people I am either visiting or just meeting for the first time at the parks, which makes every trip different. We’ve made so many new friends at and through our mutual love of Disney. I may be going to the same place, but it is never the same experience twice.

  2. Very well said. To further expound on what you said about letting go of life’s troubles while you’re at Disney,I saw someone once say that it’s like there is a “Disney bubble” that you step into once you arrive, and you don’t leave the bubble until you head home. This couldn’t be more accurate. When you’re in Walt Disney World, it’s like you’re in another world altogether, and i love that. It’s a complete escape into fantasy.

    And I absolutely agree, your inner child comes out. I am a big kid at heart, and that comes out tenfold when I am visiting WDW. I absolutely love what that place does to me.

    PS I don’t know if I thanked you before, but I appreciate the background color change!!! I can look around without needing shades!

  3. I couldn’t have said it better myself! It’s hard to pin point just one reason why my family loves Disney so much! Even though my boys are growing up and hitting that lovely pre-teen stage our love of Disney is something we all can connect with as a family.

  4. Nailed it completely, Lisa.

    As a Los Angeles native, I hail with the same sentiment from my full day-trips to the Disneyland Resort. Even if it is the same familiar lands and rides and restaurants once more, the place awakens the same carefree child within everyone, just as Walt intended when he designed the park for adults.

    Disneyland is the best part of being an adult; because I can let go of everything, even if I am heading down to Anaheim for a Friday night date. I can be the responsible person who has completed the childhood dreams of doing well in my chosen career, purchasing a house, and getting married; but when I go to Disney I forget about all the weight of grown up responsibility that comes with those dreams for a moment and remember the things that are truely magical in life. I remind myself that original wonder still exists. Disney brings me back to a truer form of myself, because in helping me set aside for a moment all the things I am responsible for in my adult life, a truer form of myself shines through, a part of myself that so many adults let go of in the belief that it will make them ‘less adult’. Disney is a place I can be silly, advernturous, spontaneous, and take risks that I never would otherwise.

    Walt would be so proud.

    Thank you for opening this subject up. 🙂

  5. This post is so amazing. It makes me so happy to read this, and I think more people need to have something like Disney to remind them of the person they were. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love this post! With so many vacation choices out there (and, let’s face it, other things than travel to spend money on), it’s sometimes difficult to answer the “why Disney again?” question. The answer is more a feeling than something that can be put into words – but, Lisa, you did a great job of explaining that feeling!
    I agree with everything you said, as well as Curt’s great comment – though I have one more thing to add. As a kid, I moved a lot. I mean, a WHOLE lot. From NY to FL to NY to FL to NY to FL to NY. And then another place in NY. I switched elementary schools six times, I kid you not. Though a native New Yorker, I’ve always felt half-Floridian. Throughout all of the moving around, there were two consistencies: visiting my grandparents in the little hamlet of Ionia, NY, and visiting Disney World whenever possible (which wasn’t a lot during the NY phases, but much more frequent when we lived in FL). Those are the two places I’ve always felt the “I’m home!” feeling – Ionia and Disney World. My husband and I are in the process of buying land in Ionia, on which to someday build a little cottage. We’ll return to our other “home” next month. 🙂

  7. Great quotes and reasons. I believe we should identify our passions and pursue them aggressively. Negative people about WDW used to bother me. No more.
    There is so much variety yet familiarity too at WDW. I enjoy the hospitality and attention to detail. It’s the happiest place on Earth!

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