How many of us remember that movie from above? I guess I am mostly talking to my Twitter people here! :) It was almost a ritual, on the weekends for my sister and I to pop in the BETA tape of "A Dream Called Walt Disney World" and watch it once, twice, oh fine, sometimes three times on Saturday afternoons. I still remember putting in the tape and having to rewind it because someone had forgotten to the last time we watched it. Then waiting for that first image of the the castle on the screen, that little girl in the red dress walking towards the castle and opening that big door. Then, in the blink of an eye, a half hour had gone by and I felt like I had had a mini vacation to WDW and likely would just hit the rewind button and have another. I also remember after each view running up to my parents and saying, "when are we going back?" That question was often answered by the "sometime" response.
I have, over the course of my life, been called "spoiled". Not that I am a snob or anything like that (like to think of myself as the opposite). However, I won't lie in say that I have been very fortunate to go on many trips to Walt Disney World since the time I was four years old. Today, I am almost th-th-thir-thirty (sigh) and will be heading off to WDW with my family (mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, niece) for my 26th trip this coming July.
Now, for some of you that I follow on Twitter and Facebook, that maybe doesn't seem like a HUGE number to some of you because I know that Disney is a passion. Hey, that's what caught my eye when I decided to follow most of you you. However, for some, that is a big number.
Responses when I tell people that I have gone to WDW 25 times and continue to return year after year:
- "really, again?"
- "Do you own the company?"
- "Why? Has it changed that much?"
- "Don't you want to go someplace else?"
- "There is a big world out there and you aren't experiencing it."
- "Seriously? Seriously? Seriously?"
The questions above I have learned to smile and take them in stride. In fact, I kind of laugh on the inside when I hear one of them directed at me; especially when it is someone that has either "A" never visited WDW before or "B" was there once in the early 1980s and doesn't think the place has changed. Of course there are those people that, what I like to call "get it", and they just wish us a good time, tell us to take lots of pics, write trip reports, and enjoy yourselves. A lot of you understand that already. The place is just so big that you can find many things to do throughout your trip and still have not done it all. Oh yeah, "and when you're done and you think you are through, you turn around and there's more than you ever dreamed of." True fact. It's in the song (look above).
My life has been Disney since I was four. I don't know what it is like without it. Theme parks, Orlando, Animated Features, Figment, Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers, Ducktales, Roger Rabbit, etc. I love the fact that when I was about nine my parents felt comfortable enough to say, "Ok, Magic Kingdom. Brett, do you want to go off by yourself for a bit? Do you have your watch? We are meeting at this time in front of Casey's. Remember, if you need help, look for a Cast Member. Have a good time!" Now, some parents are probably gasping, "they let him go by himself when he was nine?" Yep! Seems my parents thought I had some common sense. Plus, they knew that I knew my way around the parks (MK and Epcot during this time then the Studios and AK later on). Later on, when my sister was older and cousins were with me, we had no problems just going off on our own. That's just the way it was. It was awesome to feel that independence to just go off and do what I wanted to do. Does that mean I didn't spend any time with my parents? No. However, at least once a day they would let me go off for about two hours by myself and just explore and let me soak up the Disney experience, my way. For that, I am grateful.
Why do we continue to go back? That is a question that is often asked of myself and my family. Nostalgia? somewhat. Memories? yep. Because we know that when we go on vacation we have a place where we know we are going to have a great time and relax. Absolutely. I guess, for me, the reason I keep going back is because I want to go to a place that I know I am going to have a good time at. I am not a "lay on the beach and get sunburned" kind of person. Can and should I go and explore other areas of the world. Yep, I probably should. Will I, eventually? Maybe. I am not too worried about it right now. The cool things is is that I have watched the place grow and evolve over time. Like watching a child/student grow over the years. It is amazing how far WDW has come over the years and there is still so much more to develop. I guess I continue to go back because I like looking at it through the eye of a "fanatic" and not a "tourist". I love watching the Cast Members do their thing. I love walking through Adventureland as the MK is closing down. I enjoy helping others that need assistance when they are lost. Plus, I always enjoy giving away the FastPasses we don't use to a family that is just walking into the parks. Some would say that is "manufactured happiness". To me, I see that as living the life that I would love to see in the "Real World".
This year, of course, I am going to have an amazing WDW year. We are off for a vacation in July and then in January I will be heading back down to combine my two passions; Disney+Running=Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge. That, for me, will be the experience of a lifetime. Some of us have talked about a "bucket list" and that is one that has been on mine for the last two years. It is time to cross it off!
Let's face it, I could go on and on with this post. However, I just like people to know where I come from. I have a passion for anything and everything Disney. I don't have a website devoted to it (but I visit a ton of them). I don't have a podcast (but I love listening to them). I haven't written books about Disney (but I love reading them). I love all those people that share their passion about Disney. It definitely makes me realize I am not alone in the world, lol!
So, to all of you out there who share the "Disney Dream" along with myself and my family, we would like to thank all of you for sharing your passion with us. I would like to especially thank all of those people that I follow on Twitter that have Disney as their passion. Your information and insight is awesome. I hope that I have been able to share even a tenth of what you have shared with me! You all ROCK!
This post is not meant to be mind shattering or anything. I just wanted to share where I am coming form when it comes to my passion for Disney. This is just a drop in the bucket. I guess maybe I should write a book. hmmmm?
Now, as with the end of all Disney BETA movies, we need to watch this! You know what I'm talking about.