What is it about the Disney experience that is so near and dear to those who continue to return year after year? Since the time I began taking my own daughter to Walt Disney World, I have evolved to not just going to Disney, but being a part of the experience or should I say allowing the experience to be part of me. There may not be another organization in the world that can compete with the level of service and experience that Disney delivers. Cutting edge technology combined with the attention to detail, quality and devotion to creating the most enjoyable and positive experience anywhere. Here are my tips to maximizing your Disney experience by “plugging into the Disney grid” and staying plugged in while your there.
4. Stay on Property
One of the biggest mistakes guests make when planning a Walt Disney World vacation is not booking a room on Walt Disney World property. The cost of a Disney Value resort is roughly $100 per night. That’s a pretty fair price considering the perks you get by staying on property like Extra Magic Hours, free transportation, Disney Dining options, etc. The trick to plugging into the Disney Grid and staying plugged in is to never leave the Disney property during the course of your stay. I know this sounds extreme, but it’s true. Exposure to the outside world will taint the experience and prevent you from gaining momentum in creating a magical experience like no other. The reason Disney feels so special is because the people inside the grid work tirelessly to create a world that is pure magic! Disney is a state of mind and once you leave the property your at risk of losing the magic.
3. Do Not Drive
Driving should be avoided at all costs. The last thing I want to do is deal with the perils of driving. Once you get in the car, you break the magic cycle. Use the complimentary Disney Monorail or bus transportation to ensure there are no bad experiences on the road. Taking the complimentary monorail, bus or boats allow you to have short, intimate micro moments with people and families you would not have otherwise had the opportunity to have. People are so much more open to conversation at Disney and you never know who you’ll encounter. I can’t tell you how many amazing people and families my daughter and I have met even just on a short 10 minute monorail stop. I call these “little micro-moments.” They are fleeting glimpses you have meeting other Disney guests while you are on the monorail, bus or boat. They keep the magic moving in the right direction, so don’t drive! Keep your car parked until its time to leave and let the magic do what it does best. The reality is that Disney creates this sub culture that is so fun to buy into and be part of and it’s not fiction… it is REAL! The longer you insulate yourself from the outside world the easier it is to stay plugged in continually enhancing the Disney experience.
2. Be Part of the Show
There is a reason why Disney Cast Members refer to being in the Magic Kingdom as “Being on Stage” When you are on stage, you become part of the show. Walt designed the Magic Kingdom as a story that upon entering you become part of. When I walk into any of the Disney parks it’s as if I’ve stepped through a portal where the madness, mayhem, selfishness and urgency of the real world is left behind and the wonder and illusion of this alternate reality becomes clear. The joy and elation of children and adults alike shroud your consciousness and propel you to a place that only exists here… if you let it. It’s like a heartbeat or a pulse that’s alive and it’s moving and the energy you feel is real and it completely affects how you feel and the entire experience if you allow it to do so.
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1. Let Your Guard Down, Be a Kid Again
All the advertising Disney does cannot even remotely communicate the energy at the Disney parks. When you let your guard down and become a piece on the chessboard. A player in the story… a contributing force to everyone’s delight, you realize that THIS is Disney! It’s what YOU make it and those who contribute their positive vibes help to create this wonderful reality to those who visit. It’s how you interact with people. It’s how you see yourself. Are you willing to reveal that part of you or has it been so long that you forgot who you really are? Walt always pushed the boundaries for creating something special and wanted a place where families young and old could enjoy things together, but who could ever guess that it would evolve into the ideology it is today. An ideology that everyone who works there buys into. When that happens, when everyone begins to play the part it becomes real. When it becomes real, those who are willing to pull back the curtain, can get so much more out of the experience. It is far beyond just being a place you go, it is a state of mind!
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Photo courtesy of Silver Pin Studios