If you know me, you know that I love all things Disney. I’m even listening to the Magic Kingdom music as I write this post. My parents raised me on Disney movies and Disney vacations. I fell in love with Walt Disney World at four years old when my parents took me on my first Disney vacation. I actually still remember that morning, waking up in my Lion King pajamas asking my mom “are we going to Disney World today?”. Upon hearing her say “yes”, I rushed to change my clothes into my Princess Jasmine t-shirt with the sparkles on it. With my Princess Jasmine t-shirt, Lion King velcro sneakers, and Little Mermaid sunglasses, I was ready to go.
Why do I remember that so vividly? I’m not sure why. Probably because it’s my earliest memory of feeling pure joy. Now, at 28 years old, I have been to Walt Disney World about 25 times. I know that’s a lot more than most people, and I feel fortunate enough to have those memories of my childhood. I still love to vacation in Walt Disney World, even as an adult. Some people may think it’s weird, but it’s my happy place. Some people consider the beach, the woods, a special cafe, or a lake their happy place. Mine just happens to be in Central Florida, in Walt Disney World.
I love WDW because my childhood summers were spent down in Florida, playing in the theme parks with my family. My childhood is synonymous with WDW. People don’t understand why I go back year after year, and I’ve just about given up trying to explain it. The way I see it is – if something makes you happy and you can do it, why not do it? To me, it’s an escape from reality and the drudgery of day to day life. It’s a place where I feel completely safe and carefree because I know my only problem will be what FastPass do I want to use next. It’s a place where I can breathe and relax and know that I am okay. It’s a place that feels like a warm hug (Olaf, anyone?) and a place that welcomes me back time after time. It feels like home more than any other place I’ve been.
Friends and family often come to me for Disney vacation tips and suggestions. I’ve had countless people ask me questions to help plan their vacation and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to explain that no, Universal Studios is not the same as Hollywood Studios and it in fact, isn’t part of Walt Disney World at all. I love talking about Disney and planning trips to this happy place. It truly is a magical place, and the reason for that is their wonderful cast members.
Walt Disney World employees are referred to as “cast members” and they are the ones responsible for spreading magical pixie dust. Their smiles, their kindness, and hospitality are second to none and make the Disney experience top notch. It’s a tough job that takes a special kind of person. Aside from the cast members we see in the parks, we have the Imagineers and all the behind the scenes employees to thank for our experiences as well. These people are living out Walt Disney’s legacy and have made it their priority to make other people happy while they are on vacation.
I often get a lot of criticism for going to Walt Disney World so much. People judge and even think it’s odd that I love going to a place that seems to be primarily geared towards children. But if you do your research and learn, you will see that Walt Disney World is an amazing destination for adults as well. There are world class restaurants, bars, shops, and luxury hotels and spas all located within the resort. I know that I personally love eating at new restaurants each time I go! Walt Disney World Resort is more like a small city. In fact, the size of the entire resort is twice the size of the city of Manhattan in New York!
If you are looking for a new vacation destination, have never been to Walt Disney World, or have been a hundred times, I recommend it. Where else can you ride a spaceship to Mars, have dinner in Germany, and soar over the world – all in one day?