Disney Isn’t Just a Theme Park

You wake up early and for once, you’re full of energy. After all, waking up early for Disney is better than waking up early for anything else. You shower quickly and lay out your outfit for the day, along with all of the necessary accessories. You have your favorite Disney shirt, your MagicBand, your backpack and, of course, your autograph book. You probably have a few Alex and Ani bracelets, too. Oh, and maybe a Tsum Tsum or two.

The fastpasses are made; the park hours are ingrained in your memory. You’re practically jumping up and down waiting for the rest of your family to finish getting ready so you can leave. You sit down to have breakfast, but you’re too excited to eat very much. You just want to get there.

If you’re staying on property, you hop on the bus. If you aren’t, you hop in the car. Either way, you’re practically bouncing in your seat as you make your way to the promise land. Going by car means you get to pass under the Walt Disney World sign, which gives you chills. It means you get to park in either the heroes or villains lot, and you pray you get to park in the section of your favorite character. You get on the tram and recite the safety message word for word as your family looks at you and shakes their heads, laughing.

You make it to the monorail, sit down and wait to recite your next line. “Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas,” you say in unison with the recording. You are so close you can taste it now. As you pass Seven Seas Lagoon and travel through Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you catch a glimpse of Cinderella Castle and you all but lose your cool. You’re almost there.

You speed walk off the monorail, hoping your family can keep up. You go to the shortest bag check line and happily open your bag for the security cast member to inspect. Once you’re through, you head to the front entrance and wait your turn with your wrist positioned perfectly for you to scan your MagicBand. The cast member greets you and starts to tell you to place your wrist against the machine, but you’re already done and putting your finger down for the fingerprint scan. You wait for the green light and then you’re off, rushing to get to Main Street. You quickly stop and grab a times guide and a map, even though you don’t need it, and then you’re hurrying past Town Square Theater and the Main Street Train Station.

And then, you’re there. You’re standing at the beginning of Main Street, staring at Cinderella Castle and taking in every sight and smell. There are smiling cast members holding dozens of balloons and the smell of freshly baked goods coming from the Confectionery warms your insides.

You take a deep breath and sigh, smiling.

You. Are. Home.

For you, Disney is, and has never been, just a theme park. A day in the parks is never just ‘another day at Disney.’

Waking up on the morning you’re going to Disney is equivalent to waking up on Christmas morning. You ride the same rides every time but they never get old and you always notice something new. You know every soundtrack to every parade and show, and you probably annoy people on attractions because you know every spiel. (I truly apologize to anyone who has ever ridden Tower of Terror with me because I know every, single, word.)

You firmly believe that everything Mickey shaped tastes better and that Disney food should be in its own food group. In fact, one of the best parts of going to the parks is getting to eat all of your favorite snacks, from dole whips to Mickey pretzels and everything in between.

You don’t think meeting characters is just for kids. You wave excitedly to them during parades and pray they come up to you when you call them over. You wait in line to meet princesses and practice your princess pose. You flip through the pages of your autograph book excitedly as you try to find a blank page for the next character to sign on. And a trip just isn’t complete without meeting the mouse that started it all.

You are constantly planning your next trip and you love helping others plan theirs. You price out dream vacations that include stays at luxurious resorts on property and popular dining spots and hope that one day it’ll be a reality. You post pictures from past trips all the time, which leads people to think that you’re always there. (And maybe you are…and there isn’t anything wrong with that!)

You have your favorites and your must do’s. You know the best way to get around each park and the best time to do every attraction. You know which rides are the hardest to get fastpasses for and which restaurants are hard to book…but somehow you always manage to snag that hard to get reservation because you’re just that good.

And because you are so blessed with Disney knowledge, you probably get made fun of all, the,  time.

When you tell people you’re going to Disney, they roll their eyes and go, “again?”

Yes, you are going again. And you’ll keep going as much as you can for as long as you can because life is far too short to deny yourself the things that make you happy.

There is something about Disney that just feels…right. You enter the parks and you feel at peace. The people around you aren’t strangers…they’re like a second family.  It could be the hottest day with the longest lines and you would still be happier there than anywhere else. Hold onto that and do not let go.

Don’t let anyone steal your pixie dust. Don’t let anyone rain on your Festival of Fantasy parade. Don’t let anyone make you feel like Disney is just another theme park.

A trip to Disney isn’t just a trip to Disney for you.

A trip to Disney is going home, and that is a beautiful feeling.


 Welcome Home.



4 thoughts on “Disney Isn’t Just a Theme Park

  1. Thank you for that, it made me laugh and cry! This is exactly how I feel, and I hope to going home in January as a cast member for the DCP!

  2. Nice article and written very well you were able to nail those little details that amplify everything when you are on vacation.

    Great read.

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