I feel that if I am going to write about Disney, I should explain the love that I have for it and the magic it has brought to my life! I want this platform to be somewhere I can share the entirety of who I am with my readers and a huge part of who I am comes from Disney. For goodness sakes, I moved down across the country just so I could be near it and take more vacations there! Walt Disney World is truly a part of my life and has brought the most love to my family since I was 2 and half years old.
So, 18 years ago my parents bought one of those vacation packages on a whim to go to Orlando and visit the Disney parks for a few days. We were staying off property at a Ramada Inn where the company that sold us the package was trying to sell us a bunch of other stuff. We had already scooped up our tickets so we ditched the presentation and even at the big arch welcoming you to Walt Disney World, my parents were bewildered – by the detail, by the size and ultimately by the magic that is inexplicable. Although neither my brother nor I can remember the details since we were at the wee ages of 2 and 1, my parents can – and they said as soon as they saw The Castle something special resonated within them. We could all feel the magic and wanted nothing more than to be a part of it. So after my parents took their chances at Guest Relations for an available room, we packed our bags back up, left the Ramada Inn and moved to Disney’s Caribbean Beach for the rest of our stay! Since our first visit, we have not gone a year without a stay at Walt Disney World.
We lived in Illinois, so while we went at least once a year, trips to Disney were only every once in awhile (that’s how it felt to us at least). In 2003, we became Annual Passholders. In 2005, we decided to become Disney Vacation Club Members. Since becoming passholders, we were vacationing to Disney World three times a year from Chicago!
Then it came. The opportunity to uproot our lives and move closer to where our hearts always wanted to be. My dad received the opportunity to move up in his workplace and that meant moving to Tampa if we wanted it. I’ll be honest, moving is hard and I’ve only done one big move in my lifetime so far. But we knew this chance would mean more Disney and that’s truly all our family needs to be happy – knowing we can be a part of the magic whenever we want because it’s only a drive away.
So here we are now in Tarpon Springs, Florida, a cozy one hour and forty minute drive from Mickey Mouse and our Disney lives could not be more full. We visit almost monthly, although it is getting harder with college coming into our lives. But we always make time for it. We have probably 4-6 full vacations a year at Disney (I mean full in that I am not counting just our day or one-night trips). We have Thanksgiving Dinner at Boma. We go every year the week before Christmas and sometimes, even on Christmas. We spend our Spring Breaks, our Memorial Days and any off chance we get at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Mine and my family’s love has grown and continues to grow more deeply for Disney as we age. It is our glue. It truly is magical when you really get it. And if you don’t, then you are missing out. Because the magic of Disney is in the details and you may not be looking hard enough! It’s not a theme park. It’s an entire world and lifestyle – one where you can immerse yourself in experiences with the people who are the world to you.
Most people ask me, why? Why do you go so much? Why do you keep wanting to go back? Honestly thinking, I’ve had to miss out on opportunities to go to other places on vacation because I was going back to Disney. But I have endless amounts of reasons of why I go back. Walt Disney World is personal – new experiences every single time. It is also always changing. I am not only in love with the parks, but with the company. They are cutting-edge, forward-looking, odds-defying and everything I aspire to be. The attention to detail makes our jaws drop every time we find a new element that we did not notice before – each deepening the stories Disney tells and creating more connections between its narratives. There’s always something new and better coming around the corner that makes them the smartest and best creative company I could ever imagine.
And all in all, it is my family’s home. We have already discussed what jobs we will all have one day working at Disney together. It is a vision we have had in our minds for so long and I think if we can make our one dream come true of being able to see The Castle whenever we want, then we can eventually venture into becoming cast members all together and living our happiest life, all alongside a very special mouse.