One could simply “go to Disney World”…but not a Disney Fanatic. No, a Disney Fanatic appreciates the subtle differences that make a Disney visit (whether hours or weeks long) truly magical. A Disney Fanatic knows that from the moment you spot the sign, you somehow get transported away from every other reality and are able to immerse in a place so wonderful that you start to believe that elephants really have always been able to fly. Here’s what makes Disney World so swoon-worthy for Disney Fanatics…
1. The Cast Members – From food service to call-center service, from characters to concierges. Every. Single. Person at Walt Disney World is trained to make your day the absolute best it can be. While I’ve met some grouchy tourists, I have never met a grouchy cast member. They spread smiles, stickers, and genuinely great service like Pooh spreads honey – generously.
2. The Specialty Food – We all know that Disney World is home to several five-star restaurants, some with menus created by world-class chefs. But even counter service food is special, often themed to close-by attractions. Of course the exclusive Dole Whip gets a lot of attention, but it goes well beyond that. Last time we went to Hollywood Studios we had Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese. That’s right. It even had bleu cheese crumbles.
3. The Safety – To keep the magic alive, it takes more than just pixie dust. Did you know that every night after closing, each ride undergoes rigorous safety checks and routine parts replacements? We’re talking a whole crew of people that start working at midnight so that the rides are running safe by the time the park opens. You don’t have to be a Disney Fanatic to appreciate that – you just have to be a human that likes full use of all their limbs, know what I’m saying?
4. The All-Age Appeal – While Dad may not be dying to get one more princess signature, and your toddler can’t experience the thrills of Expedition Everest, there is something to be said for the fact that both of those things are even available. Disney World grows with you and your family. When my boys were in the “hug Mickey Mouse” stage, I used to fear that they would someday get sick of Disney. Nope. They’ve just moved on to Jedi Training Academy and Kali River Rapids. Different experiences – still just as awesome.
5. The Maintenance – You will never find paint chipping at Disney World. You will never find a gross bathroom. You will never find a mystery stain on your comforter. Enough said.
6. The Changing Attractions – This is a controversial one, because I know some like nostalgia. However, shutting down old rides to create new ones makes each visit fresh and exciting. When we heard about New Fantasyland, we were like, “oh we have got to see that!” Animal Kingdom is teaming up with Avatar? Bring it! New Frozen ride in Epcot? Yes please! New rides means more for this Disney Fanatic family to fall in love with…and more reasons to take pictures, ’cause you never know what will be gone next time!
7. The Magic Band System – Whole articles have been written on the Magic Band’s merits. It’s a Disney Fanatic’s dream come true, really. I mean – unless you have small children with, you know, small-children-needs, you could literally just walk around the park with your Magic Band and cell phone and be just fine. And you can decorate it. It’s legit.
8. The Special/Seasonal Events – Want a new Disney World experience? Just go at a different time of year! Even if you don’t want to pay extra for things like the Christmas or Halloween parties, you could still go see the fun! The decorations change, the costuming changes, the merchandise changes, sometimes even the parades and attractions change. Did you know you could play with real snow for a few months last year during “Frozen Summer”? (Northerners are like “so what?”, but it was super fun for my Florida kids.)
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9. The Educational Aspect – Disney is about fun and fast rides. But Disney is also about opening our eyes to something new. I like that when we go we can learn something, because learning is magical in itself. When we go to “France” in World Showcase we can have a conversation with a person about their real home in real France. When we go to Conservation Station we can learn about both familiar and unfamiliar animals from friendly vet techs. When we go to Hollywood Studios we can learn the history of animation, and even try our hand at it. And then we can go on another fast ride…high fives all around.
10. The Non-Park Stuff – A Disney visit can be incredible without even setting foot in the parks. Nightclubs, dance halls, restaurants, sporting events, mini-golf, shopping, theaters, bowling, car shows, boat rides, tea time, concerts…all of these things are available (some for free!) outside the park gates, but still on the grounds of the Happiest Place on Earth.
So go on, let the inner Fanatic come alive. Loving the unique details of Walt Disney World will be easy as a spoonful of sugar…and it’ll keep you coming back for more!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!
Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper