I traveled to wdw for the first time 12 years ago at the age of 44. I remember thinking on the plane ride home that I never wanted to go anywhere else. I have returned multiple tines since then. At first I tried to “do everything”, then I “ planned down time”. How I plan, what I do, where I stay, what I eat may change- but it is the one place in the world that I can always find magic.
If I did not know better I would say that Disney adds an addictive chemical in the air and water. But all kidding aside I blame Tinker Bell she flies around spreading Pixie Dust everywhere. It is not really Disney World, It is Never Land. It’s an escape. On April 2 1513 Ponce de Leon was looking for the fountain of youth and found Florida, It was thought to be St. Augustine FL but no, it"s Orlando. Honestly I can’t explain it but Disney does make most of us feel better, whether it’s a drug, magic, or just a mystery, Disney has a hold on us some how.
I went to Disneyland in 2004 it was great but I never had a huge desire to drop everything and go again. I then went to Epcot in early 2008 and was amazed. I took my oldest daughter back in April 2008 for a visit to each of the parks. Since 2008 I am hooked. I have pre-planned trips to Greece, Bahamas, even Ireland however when it comes down to where I really want to go I head back to WDW. My next trip will be my 8th Disney trip and it is always fun to go back to. I am glad the Disney magic helped you get through some of the problems you encountered as a child. I hope you can go back soon!
I was fortunate enough to go to WDW with my parents and sister a few times when I was a young teen. As an adult, I went yearly with my parents and husband. I was the one who always made sure we got there! When it was finally time for our children to go, I planned it out based on their age. We’ve gotten there almost every year now, sometimes 2 or 3 times a year (from Massachusetts). Because there are 5 of us, and the kids have gotten older, we invested in DVC so we can afford the bigger villas. Every year we try to do something different in our to keep it fresh. My kids are now older teens and they still want to go to Disney with us. They are talking about someday taking their kids. I think that’s what makes it so special - that there’s always something new to try and it appeals to all ages. It’s something that we want to share with everyone! (Sorry this got so long!)
You’re not alone most people on this site have had disney cravings. For me it’s not just the holiday but the planning that I love. You should plan another trip, not nessarily this year, but knowing you’ll be going again might help.
The Magical World of Disney I remember when I was young and The Mickey Mouse Club was the big thing on TV (if you had one, and mostly B&W). My brothers and I wrote a letter to our older sister telling her she had been invited to become a mousekiteer on the Mickey Mouse Club TV show. She was thrilled! When she found out that her fantasy was not going to happen she was ready to kill us The point of this story is that the desire to be a part of a fantasy world has been around a very long time. No one wants to grow old but of coarse age wise we don’t have a choice. Than again many of us don’t act our age and that’s alright in this situation. Kind of like the show from old, The Twilight Zone. To I and my wife, WDW is just the easiest trip to take as our luggage is taken at the airport and next time we see it, it is in the room at the resort of our choice. We don’t have to find things to do because at Disney World there is plenty to do. We eat like pigs and get waited on like were kings and queens. Relaxing in the pool with no one breathing down our necks is a dream come true. When it’s all said and done we bring our luggage to a central point and Disney takes it to the airport and next we see it, it’s at our home terminal. What to do next? Plan another Disney trip, what else!
I have probably been to WDW over 25 times and I miss it after every trip. The last day of any trip I am always in MK and always walk slowly down Main Street turning around for one last look at the castle. I get a lump in my throat and sometimes a tear rolls down. I just am so happy when in WDW, I love sharing the magic and for just a few days the outside world seems to stand still. We have gone almost yearly since my boys were young (now young adults) the last several years we have gotten APs, so that I can go back more frequently. If I have another visit (no matter how short) planned the leaving is not so hard.
That’s a good question, and the only thing I can say is I hope so. We went on our once in a lifetime, one and done trip to Disney it was outrageously expensive and exhausting. And difficult and time consuming to plan, And my husband had zero interest in going at all. Turns out we had the time of our lives And I’m now planning our second trip.
When I was prepping to go on my solo trip 2 years ago, I saw a PBS special on Walt and it mentioned, I think, a key reason why WDW and DL cause such a reaction. After the turmoil of the strikes of the animators and workers, the harshness of the critics to a few endeavors, losing his parents, carnivals being dirty and filthy, and all this other stuff he couldn’t control, Walt started focusing his attention on model trains.
This attention, as Salvator Dali had put it when on a visit, was Walt seeking “an ideal.” That really struck, and stuck with, me. Because it perfectly encapsulates how I see Disney World. Looking past the simple content of the place, you see important underlying details that make Disney World “ideal.” The parks are kept to a supreme standard of cleanliness and grooming. The staff is friendly, happy, and respectful to all and many even go out of their way to make your day better. Then there is the actual content of the rides and buildings added in, which is stories of fantasy recreated in reality and all the things one enjoys as a child. And not just haphazardly recreated either, actual thought and design is put into something as simple as moving from one land to another. The whole thing looks to separate you from the outside world and the chaos that goes along with it.
In short, it strives to create an ideal environment, which is something no other destination(as far as I know) strives for. And that I believe, over everything else, is why Disney World and Land succeed and why those “Disney Cravings” are so strong.
Yes, there are several other destinations that have wonderful experience, but those are happening almost by accident. Many people accuse Disney of being “manufactured happiness” and to this I say: well duh. What’s wrong with that, eh? If you have the choice where you can visit somewhere that will give you a 50/50 chance that you will absolutely enjoy, or a place where they can nearly guarantee you will absolutely enjoy…which would you choose? Disney is that near guarantee.
As I mentioned before in a past post, Disney World isn’t expensive because you’ll pay it (because you will, but that’s not the point) it’s expensive because it’s WORTH it.
I went to WDW for the first time a little over a year ago. It was supposed to be a one and done trip. I did a ton a planning and honestly found the devotion to Disney by others to be a bit weird…like Dungeons and Dragons role-play type weird (sorry for any D&D fans out there!). Fast forward to today and I have since gone twice more to WDW, am an annual passholder, and have a fourth trip planned for this summer. Like you, I was so worried the second time wouldn’t be magical, but it was. Then, I was sure the third time would for sure be blah, but it wasn’t. There was magic everywhere from listening to the beauty of the Voices of Liberty, to riding on Soarin’ and Flights of Passage, to watching Happily Ever After at the Magic Kingdom. It was so unbelievable wonderful and now I have turned into a fan for life. I think you won’t be able to shake this feeling until you return to WDW…even if it takes several years, I think you will find that it is worth it. In the meantime, know you are in the company of friends who know exactly how you feel.
We experienced a very similar fascination with Disney World after our first trip and we couldn’t wait to get back. Our second trip was almost our last, however, falling short of expectations that were never realistically possible. Fortunately we had the good sense to try one more time in year three and have never looked back; enjoying trips at least yearly ever since. My caution to you for your second trip would be to not try to re-create your first trip. The first time will always be the most magical. Trips after that have to be wonderful for what they are, magical for sure, but I have found never quite the same. I continue to have amazing memories of that first trip and the wonderful memories thereafter are what you make them. They are amazing times of their own and can never, nor should ever, be re-creations of the first. Enjoy your future trips, I am confident they will be many and memorable.
I have seriously considered this. There is some kind of brain washing with lasting effects going on! Maybe subliminal messaging?
I promise if I get back before you do, I will shoot you this time
I get it. I still get asked daily how our trip was and my answer is always that I wish I never left.
Therapy. I need it!
Oddly one of my strongest memories of Universal Studios was the smell in the toilets. It’s incredible! So sweet and delicious!
If you’ve only been once, I do believe you will feel the “magic” again. We lost the magic on our last two trips and decided it was time to visit elsewhere. This was trip 9 and 10. Our kids were getting older and we just decided that we wanted to travel to the Caribbean. Now, it’s been 5 years, and our youngest has been begging to go back. I just booked our fastpasses and I truly believe the magic will be there again only because our youngest doesn’t remember everything.
Go back when you can. There are plenty of ways to lower the cost of a Disney trip. Take a look at credit card reward bonuses. This trip will only cost us the price of food as we have been saving credit card miles and points for the past two years.
I just wanted to say that I’m sorry you went through that awful stuff and that you felt your childhood was robbed from you (as it sounds like it was). That is really crappy and unfair. I’m glad you found joy and peace at WDW.
Although I have not been through what you have, I too feel an unparalleled sense of peace and joy while there. It is just as magical for me every time I go. Each trip has its own kind of magic, whether the magic of seeing the kids’ faces the first time they meet the mouse, the magic of a stolen weekend alone with my DH who I missed for lack of quality time in our busy family life, or the magic of spending time with like-minded friends (who I only know because of this forum and community!) with nobody to worry over but myself. Every trip is magical, and I can’t imagine that ever fading.
I hope you are able to get back sooner than you think.
I’m so glad I’m not the only one. It always makes me sad to leave. It really is a beautifully special place and my soul feels at home when I am there.
I hope it will be just as magical the second time! We’re getting set to go on our second trip in 75 days (not that I’m counting. ). I’m not sure what it was that hooked me, but I think it definitely had something to do with escaping the “real” world and its troubles, like you said. I was just so happy while we were at DW! Sure my kids had their moments here and there, but on the whole, we just enjoyed ourselves and each other so much.
I also wanted to say that I’m sorry for what happened to you as a child. I hope that your trip helped you find some peace and recapture some of your childhood.
I went in 2016, and hadn’t been since 2005. Honestly, if it weren’t for my kids I wouldn’t have gone back. My trip in 2005 was a weekend trip that I got as a Florida resident, and honestly, it had only been 2 years since my previous trip before that. I really enjoyed the trip in 2003, but in 2005 I thought it had lost some of the magic. The rides weren’t “New” but they were in 2003, because we had just been and I remembered them so well. I got that back in 2016. Even though I wouldn’t have gone without my kids, I would now. I had an absolute blast. And there’s things I didn’t get to do because of my kids that I would have done if they hadn’t been there.
I can’t wait to go back. We are going back in June 2020. I never thought I’d turn this way, but I’m an absolute addict. I got to see the biggest smiles on my kids faces during that trip. On one of them, it was on the 2nd ride we went on - The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. At that point they could have come to me and said “We are aware that you have spent thousands of dollars to come here, but your time is up. It’s time to leave.” And I would have thought it was worth every penny.