I get the question a lot about why I go to Disney so much especially when I don’t have kids. The thing that non-Disney fans or people who haven’t been in a long time (or ever) don’t get is that every trip is different — and not because the parks are always changing. Every trip means something and all are special for their own reasons.
The first time I came to Disney World, I was a child, wide-eyed and full of wonder. Imagination was not far from my grasp because I lived in that land every day. The characters and world I was immersed in was one that felt like home. It was magical and everything I watched or imagined came to life right before my own eyes. It gave me a newfound hope that whatever I dreamt of could actually come to life.
As I grew up, Disney trips held a different meaning. Going as a teenager I was aware of the man behind the curtain. Knowing that it wasn’t really magic, I remember desperately missing that childlike innocence and grasping on to the fairytale. As a 13-16 year old just trying to understand what life was and figuring out a confusing time, Disney was a retreat from it all. I could have fun and not have to worry about my next step. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I really knew Disney was something special. It was a place for everyone, started by a man who just wanted a place to enjoy quality time with his daughters. I loved being a part of a world where the possibilities were endless and at reach for everyone. It was then I had a hunch I would go back as much as humanly possible. (Hopefully work there, too!)
The trips I take now, (and fortunately I’ve been on many), all have a special place in my heart. Some trips have been to run away from reality. Some have a nostalgic feeling of old memories I hold dear of a family never to be again. Some have been to remind me that it’s okay to be a kid at heart and not let small things weigh me down. Some have taught me something new about myself. Some have been about nothing but fun in the sun; playing from sun up till sun down and testing the limits of how much sleep one can go without.
Some have been about mending a broken heart and being reminded that my fairytale will happen one day, even if it’s far different from anything I imagined. Some have been celebrations of successes, the future, hope and love. However, all of them have been about traveling to a land unlike anything else — one that feels like home. There are no words to explain the feeling of walking on Main Street for the first time of your umpteenth trip… Only happy tears swell in my eyes as all the trips flash in my mind.
Disney is in the business of making dreams come true but for me, it’s always been so much more. It has been there for me as I grew up and will be with me long after. I do love to travel and plan on seeing as much as I can of this world. But I will always make time for Disney. Because for me and a good million of other Disney addicts, this place is more than just a theme park resort, it is a “world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.” A world that no matter what age, always welcomes us back home with a warm hug and a churro. What more can you ask for?
Cheers to the next hundred Disney trips.