Why I love WDW

It’s a common question I get when others know that I’ve planned another WDW vacation. And I’m sure many of you get the same question. “Why do you love WDW so much”?

Sounds like a very easy question. I mean, I know I love going to WDW. And I love all things Disney. But sometimes I do wonder to myself and ask, why do I love going so much? Why is it that I think about it every single day. Why do I have such a burning desire to go back year after year? Why do I look back at Cinderella Castle until it disappears behind Main St. when I have to leave? Are there different levels of love for the place I yearn to be at?

Maybe I’m in denial  with reality. Maybe I totally lose myself in the fantasy world of it all. And truly leave everything from the real world home. And what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that what going on vacation is for? To relax and enjoy? And it’s just…different at WDW.

Now this may be totally naive of me but when I’m at the World, I feel a sense of safety. We’re visiting this place full of dreams and fantasy. More likely than not, you’re surrounded by like minded people.  Everyone has an off day now and then. But I also think every cast member there, whether they meet you at the front desk of your resort, ring you up at the Emporium or walk around with a broom, all have your best interest in mind. I know you may be saying that it’s like that at lot’s of other place too. Maybe. But I feel it’s different at WDW. Maybe it’s my naivety again.

The deeper stuff aside. I love the music! Music is in my blood. I love the emotion and passion that the music sends out. I pay attention to the background music. I really feel the music that plays during Wishes or Illuminations. The music is everywhere. And so are the details of just about everything else. I love feeling like I’m actually in a different world. I know nothing about architecture but I love the details in the building, plants, signs and how it’s all laid out.

Not to leave out the attractions. But they truly do bring me back to being a kid. They trigger certain time frames in my mind. I can lose myself in many of the attractions. The details, the visuals, the sounds. Really kicks my imagination and creativity into high gear.

Then there’s the reasons I just can’t put into words. Can’t tell you why. It’s just a feeling. A feeling that only other Disney geeks can truly understand. I sit here and try to put it into words. How do you put something so deep and meaningful into words that you’re confident it explains how you feel. You either get it or you don’t.

That’s it for now. See ya real soon!


When does your trip start?

We’re all very excited about going to WDW. But when I fly into MCO, Orlando International Airport, the first attraction I come across is the monorail that takes you to the main terminal. It’s like a warm up ride until I get to the resort.

So here’s the scenario. You sit on a plane for x amount of hours. All you want to do is get down and get to your WDW resort. You land, deplane, traipse through a usual busy terminal until you get to your first WDW attraction line. Ok, so it’s really not a line you’re waiting on and it’s not really in WDW. You stand in front of those large glass windows waiting for the next monorail to arrive.

So this may not be the classic WDW attraction you always read about but to me, it’s the first attraction of my trip. It’s my warm up monorail until I get to ride the WDW monorail.  It only get’s better from there. You take this nice, peaceful ride to the main terminal where you find your way down to where the Disney Magical Express buses are. What do you look for? That’s right, the cast member with the big white Mickey hand directing you to where you have to check in. And I don’t even have to wait for my baggage. I know it’ll eventually get to my resort.

Next you wait on a short line until you get onto the bus. For me, I’m at Walt Disney World. I’m in the hands of Disney. You finally get on board this big bus with Disney characters on the side and Disney tunes quietly playing on the bus’s music system. Then the bus starts moving and the video starts playing. Mickey Mouse and all his pals showing you what to expect when you check in. Then off to my resort. It’s all Disney from there on.

So if you use your imagination and open up your mind, you can enjoy the process of getting to your resort and start your trip sooner than you think.

That’s it for now. See ya real soon!

Leaving the World

The planning goes on for months and months, or even for years. Planning a WDW trip takes time but it is also really fun.

We finally arrive and have a whole vacation in front of us whether it’s a few days or if you’re lucky, a couple weeks. It’s a feeling of excitement! You have many days ahead of you to explore the parks, visit other resorts and eat at a plethora of restaurants. There’s so much to see and do, it usually keeps you busy from start to finish.

But then the inevitable comes. It’s time to return home and carry on with your life. Extreme happiness often turns to sadness. It’s ok to be a little sad. You’re in the most happiest place in the world. That’s why you go. For me, we always spend our last night at the Magic Kingdom. As we start to walk out of the park, I take in every last bit I can. The sounds, the smells that last peak at Cinderella Castle just as it disappears behind the train station.

But as it’s ok to feel sad that you’re leaving, be happy at too. You just made some fantastic memories that you’ll remember for a lifetime! Maybe you’ve even made some friends. And in this age of social media, maybe you were able to meet someone who you’ve only chatted with online.

Leaving Walt Disney World, and the magic and beauty it holds for us, is hard for us to do. But remember all the things you’ve experienced. Remember all the smiles, laughs and oohs and ahhs you had. That’s what Walt Disney World gives to us as a going away gift.

That’s it for now. See ya real soon!

Surprising a friend at WDW

This post is being written in two parts. It’s the middle of September. It will be updated in one month after I see if my plan worked.

I love catching people off guard and surprising them with something they either wanted or needed. Or something they don’t really need but I know they’d like. This was the foundation to something I wanted to do for a Disney friend coming over from the UK visiting WDW.

Months leading up to a WDW vacation, people often announce their countdown to when they leave. It’s an on going thing that we post every so often on various pages. So all of our friends in the Disney community knows when we are going to be in the World. A lot of times comments are shared back and forth. On one of those occasions, I mentioned to one person that I’ll leave something for her to find when she arrives on her trip a couple of months after I was there.

Emma was coming to the World all the way from England. You may have read her blog, and I hope you have; http://daydreamingdisney.com/ that she regularly posts. You may also know her as PinkEmmaUK.  I honestly don’t remember how it all started but I had said to her that I’d leave her something in the parks in hopes that she may find it when she arrives.

Suffice it to say, I couldn’t think of anything to do. I didn’t want to deface anything on property for her to find. And I think it would have been impossible to leave something, say under a rock or behind a bush, for her in hopes that it would still be there when she arrived.

My other choice was to leave something at the resort she was staying at, which I knew which one it was. I even emailed Disney to see if it was possible to leave something behind the front desk for her. They responded with yes and directions on what to do.

That plan sort of backfired too because on my trip, I never made it to the resort she is staying at. So in the end, I decided to write up a welcome to WDW letter. I will be mailing out her letter in time for her arrival and hopefully they will remember to give it to her when she checks in. Didn’t think of what to do if she checks in online. I will have to call the front desk to see if it was given to her.

So this is a surprise. This internet thing is a strange world. We make friends who we may never get to meet in person. A unique kind of pen pal. I will be updating this blog next month when I find out if she received her letter from me.

Ok, so It’s Thursday. This happens to be my only day off of the week. I called the resort that Emma is staying at yesterday to confirm that they did indeed receive my envelope and do have it put aside for her when she checks in. I really have no way of knowing when she sees it other than her Tweeting something to me. Will wait and see.

I just got confirmation that Emma did get the letter I left for her at the desk! It’s the little things in life. Even though my original plan was to do something else, I’m glad I was able to leave this small token for her and hopefully give her a smile. That’s what it’s all about, making people happy.

This kind of leads me to something else. There is a Disney community out there where many of us may never meet in person. We connect online by various means. It’s a place where friendships are started. It really is amazing.  I can only imagine how future technology will bring us even closer.

Enjoy your stay at Walt Disney World Emma, see you in the “Box”!

That’s it for now. See ya real soon!

Living vicariously through others

I spend a lot of my time on Facebook and Twitter. I follow a number of people who spend a lot of time somewhere in Walt Disney World. I read their posts and can imagine in my mind exactly where they are or what they are seeing.

It’s a curse and a blessing all at the same time. I want to so badly be at WDW all the time. And I listen and watch these people bring some Disney into my life every day. And I’m thankful for this medium we call the internet. But yes I get a little jealous. Not in a bad way mind you. But in a I know how wonderful it is there and want to be part of it way.

So I will continue to follow these terrific people who spend their time in the parks relaying to us on what’s going on in the World. I’ll look at all the pictures they want to post. And watch all the video clips they want to post. And I’ll continue to tune into their podcast’s. Living vicariously through them, will help me get through my time in between my own Walt Disney World visit.

That’s it for now. See ya real soon!

Back from the World

So I’ve been back from WDW for a week, and I’m not happy. Why? Because I want to go back! Coming home just reminds me of how much I miss it when I’m not there. So hard to explain to someone who’s not a Disney nut, but so it goes.

Had a great week in the World. First time for us going the first week of August, and it was hot! We knew that going. But We tolerated it very well. For the first time since we started taking our kids, we stayed off property. We decided we needed the extra room, especially since my son had a guest. We booked a 3 bedroom, 3 bath condo using AllStar Vacation Homes. What a great choice we made. We stayed at their resort in Reunion. Pool was right outside our room and our building was practically empty. We will definitely use them again. I was a bit hesitant not staying on property, afraid that not being immersed in the “magic” 24/7 would take away from the trip, but I was wrong. Wrong a little bit, I still missed it.

Had to rent a car while we were there. Haven’t drove in Disney in over 20yrs. I wasn’t to thrilled about having to drive while I was there but after missing a turn here and there in the beginning, I started to get my bearings and actually enjoyed it. It did get us to the parks quicker and parking was easy. It was also nice driving a new car for a change.

We also got to visit that “other” park. If it were up to me, I would have turned it down. But my daughter, who is a huge Harry Potter fan, was dying to see it. And I hate to admit it but the theming was incredible. The rest of the park, eh. We did keep comparing it to Disney. And there are definitely some differences. In the park itself and the people who worked there. Glad we saw it at least once, but not so sure we’d go back.

Usually our first and last day of all our Disney trips, we spend at the Magic Kingdom. This time was no different. Our last night we got to see the Main St. Electrical Parade, The Magic The Memories and You, then Wishes! What a way to cap off our last day. When leaving, I always keep looking back at the castle until it disappears behind the Emporium. That’s when I know our trip is over.

Now that we’ve been home, I get to relive our trip with the few hundred pictures I took. The memories that Disney sends us home with is priceless. We always refer to our past Disney trips. It’s something my kids will remember for a lifetime. Whether it’s a smell, food or something visual, we always seem to remember something that reminds us of Disney.

I also found out that my sister and her family want to go to Disney next year. So now we’re planning a big family trip for next year! That’s one of the ways to help you get over your last trip to the World. Got to start planning for the next one. And how can we not go back next year to see the newly expanded Fantasyland.

That’s it for now. See ya real soon!

The last 30 days

Three years, two years, once a year…what ever time it takes for you to take another WDW vacation, the anticipation of what you’ll see, hear or even taste is something we all share when waiting for our next trip.

I think there are different degrees of anticipation. It’s different if your next trip isn’t for a long time. The desire to want to go is still there, but it seems so far off, it’s almost a dream. All the dreaming, investigating and planning finally comes down to but a few weeks.

As of tomorrow, I officially have 30 days left till we leave for that oh so home away from home. 30 days doesn’t sound like a long time, and it really isn’t. But now I can just taste it! I don’t want to wish my life away, but it so close but yest still far away.

If you remember, we hadn’t purchased airfare for the way down. Well as of this week, thanks to Southwest dropping there fare a bit and a big thanks to a SW pilot friend of mine, we finally got our flight down. Very excited and very relieved!

The next 30 days will be spent getting things packed, buying last minute things we may need, arranging for mail stop and taking care of our pet needs while we’re gone. I work 6 days a week so me being gone for 9 days is a big deal at the office. I don’t look forward to what I’ll have when I come back. So I’ll spend some time taking care of work stuff for the next few weeks.

People who go very often or who live in the WDW area and go weekly may not understand how tough the last 30 days are. It’s a long time but a short time all at the same time. The anticipation grows more and more every day we get closer. Close enough to feel it, far away to have to wait. But oh yes, it is getting closer and closer by the day!

That’s it for now. See ya real soon!