Why One Family is So Passionate for Disney
Editor’s note: Disney is one of those places some parents just don’t get. Why is it so beloved by so many, yet loathed by others? Karyn is from a diehard Disney family, so we asked her to share her love and her wisdom with us in an ongoing Disney series. Although not every parent, or kid for that matter, may see the point of Disney, some do. Thousands do in fact. And every family deserves the chance to experience it for themselves… to find their magical place.
So many folks, myself included, talk about their “happy place”- the spot to get away from the daily grind of life and an escape from reality. For many, it includes a trip to the beach, a walk in the park, or even something as simple as a few hours out shopping. For my family, it’s Walt Disney World. I know of some that may not see the appeal, and that’s perfectly fine, but for me and the fam it’s planning and taking our bi-annual road trips to “The Happiest Place on Earth” that gets us through those freezing winter months in Eastern Ohio and it’s also what leads us into them as well.
What Makes it So Special for My Family?
I know the term “magical” gets overused when it comes to Disney, but it truly is a magical time for my family every time we visit. I could write that it’s magical because each cast member (the technical term for Disney employees) goes out of his or her way to make sure our vacation goes off without a hitch, or it’s because when we stay onsite that my daughter can stop at the front desk and take balloons back to our room free of charge. I could also write that it’s because we can sit back and let Disney do the driving for us (after a 1,000+ mile road trip, it’s nice to not have to touch a steering wheel for a few days), or how character meals bring the Disney princesses to us. In all honesty, it’s because of all of these reasons.
When we’re at Walt Disney World, I feel that we’ve entered a land of enchantment and the outer world refuses to exist, if only for a few days. We don’t read the newspaper or watch the news when we’re there. Instead, we watch Disney’s own channels for maybe 10 minutes at night before we pass out from happy exhaustion.
There’s also the fact that we don’t have to step a single foot into a Disney park and are still able to enjoy the magic at our chosen resort. They have a way of making every family feel special, and from the towel animals on our beds that greet us after a long day to the daily wake up phone calls from Mickey Mouse to my daughter, each little touch adds up to an unforgettable vacation. We can simply hang by the pool and my 13 year-old would be happy as can be with all of the planned activities, dive-in movies, and all-around fun including meet and greets with favorite characters.
A Budget for Everyone
My daughter was nine years old before she visited Disney World. Why? Well, I thought that you had to basically sell one of your kidneys to afford a vacation. Once I started doing online research, I joined a few Disney vacation planning groups and the folks were more than happy to pass on their best ideas for saving money. I took heed of their ideas and tips, and once I began planning, I realized they were all too true. I learned some invaluable advice for planning family vacations to Disney World and a few pointers really hit home.
- If you’re even considering a Disney World vacation, order a free planning DVD. Once your e-mail is in their system, you’ll have a better chance of scoring a pin code which can bring you some decent discounts.
- If you’re foodies like we are, the Disney Dining Plan can save you lots of cash. Which plan you choose should depend on how much you like to eat.
- Plan your vacation during off-season. Not only are the crowds more manageable, but the cost for a vacation is as well.
So Many Disney Friends
Compliments of my Disney planning passion and my opportunities to join a few online planning groups, I have made so many friends that I still chat with online at least weekly. They’ve shared with me their joys of pregnancy and the birth of their new princes and princesses, family dynamics changes, health issues, the loss of family members, and the best part, their upcoming trips to Disney World. I love to live vicariously through them and we support each other with planning questions and offer assistance, as well as letting each other in on Disney contests and vacation savings opportunities. The camaraderie and daily encouragement is a blessing on days when I feel fractured or stressed. They’re like my Disney therapy group and it doesn’t cost me a dime!