Posted by: Lea | May 3, 2010

For the Love of Disney…

You’re going to Disney World again? Didn’t you just get back from Disney? Do you ever talk about anything else? Those of us who are true Disney fanatics have heard these questions. More than once. In fact, many of us hear at least one of them daily. What’s the best way to answer these questions? And how do you truly describe your love of Disney?

I grew up going to Walt Disney World pretty much every summer. No, my family wasn’t obsessed. My grandfather just happened to live in Port Orange, which is a little over an hour outside of Orlando. Every year, we would head over to New Smyrna Beach to the condos where my grandfather worked for a family reunion. We’d stay for a week. Sometime during that week, we would pack up and head over for the day to the Magic Kingdom- that’s all that was there the first few times I went! Sometimes, it would be just the three of us, and other times, there would be a group of us. I loved going, even though I was scared to death of the characters. My mom still loves to show me the picture of me when I was 2 sitting in my stroller screaming my head off because Chip and Dale were near me. The first time we took my daughter, she was 3. Lo and behold, the first characters we saw were Chip and Dale. And she cried. Is she my kid or what?

As I got older, I still loved Disney. I collected the figures, loved the movies, and had my favorite Disney stuffed animals. When I was 15, my parents decided to take a 10-day road trip from San Antonio to Orlando/Daytona. They let me bring a friend with me. Off we went on the looong drive. We stayed at a suite hotel in Kissimmee, and got our multi-day passes (for the 1st time ever) to the parks. This was in 1991. We went to Magic Kingdom, where we got soaked and got to partake in Mickey ponchos! We went to Epcot for the very first time, even though  it had opened 11 years ago, and we went to the newest park, MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios).

I went a few more times over the years (just day trips). In college, my love for all things Disney grew when I did a speech for my public speaking course on Walt Disney. I was fascinated. The man amazed me. Such a brilliant man with so many ideas with his life cut tragically short.

When my daughter turned 3, we decided it was time to take her on her 1st trip. Neither my husband nor I had ever stayed on Disney property before, so we decided it was time! We booked our package at Wilderness Lodge and headed out for a week. It had been 5 years since I had been to Magic Kingdom. I walked in with Riley and my husband, and I fell in love all over again- the sight of Main Street leading down to the castle, the smell of the popcorn and the flowers, and the music made me realize this is, in fact, my happy place. My daughter initially was scared of the characters, but we were able to watch her warm up to the characters, get her 1st Mickey ears, meet Mickey for the 1st time, and be enthralled by the princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

I knew as soon as I got back that my love for Disney had grown. It is truly just a magical place. My daughter has now been back 3 more times (as well as to Disneyland), my 3-year old son has been 3 times already as well, and his love for Disney is like mine- growing all the time.

I continue to collect my Disney Vinylmations, Disney movies, pins, autograph books and more. I watch the Disney travel planning DVDs and tear up. I plan more than one Disney trip at a time. I read my Disney travel guides as if they were novels. I talk to my Disney pals on Twitter, who have all become true and very dear friends to me. And I talk about Disney to anyone who will listen.

So am I going to Walt Disney World again? Yes. Didn’t I just get back from Walt Disney World? Yes. And do I ever talk about anything else? Um, sometimes, but then again, why would  I want to? It’s all about the love of Disney!

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