Why do I love Walt Disney World?
As I began to reflect on the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, I started asking myself why I love this magical place so much. I came up with a list of reasons, and I feel like they’re universally true. I love Walt Disney World and keep returning there for the following five reasons: every trip is different, making memories, laughter, free to be like a child and, they provide an excellent product and service. See if these same reasons don’t ring true in your Disney Story, too.
Walt Disney is often quoted as saying, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” While he was describing Disneyland, the same can be said about Walt Disney World. It’s never complete. It’s constantly changing. There is always a new attraction, a new place to stay, or a new dining experience. Because of that, no trip to Walt Disney World that I’ve taken has EVER been the same. Sometimes I repeat attractions (because they’re my favorites) or stay at the same hotel as last time (because I love it), but no trip has ever been the same. There might be a festival going on at Epcot (my favorite WDW theme park), or my goal for the journey might be to ride the newest attraction (Remy, I’m coming!). I might arrive early in the day (a great time to go to the park on arrival day), or I might arrive right before park closing (also a great time to go to the park on arrival day). Whatever the trip brings, it’s always different, which is a big part of why I continue to return.
Walt Disney also said, “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” There was never a time in my life that I needed a little escape than when my 3-year-old daughter was undergoing cancer treatment. The fantastic organization, Make-A-Wish, gave our family a trip to Walt Disney World. We left the cares of cancer treatment behind and entered that amazing world of make-believe. We made irreplaceable family memories. Now, 13 years later, my worries are different but still present. Everyone has concerns they’d like to escape. And so, we continue to go to Walt Disney World to make new memories and to escape real life!
Here’s another great Walt Disney quote: “Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever.” I don’t know about you, but I need as much laughter as I can get in my life. In my day-to-day life, I don’t laugh enough. But you know what, when I’m at Disney, especially with family and friends, the chances are good that I’m going to find myself laughing. I’m going to laugh while I’m riding attractions, or I’m going to laugh at something someone in my group says or does. And as the adage goes, laughter is good medicine. I don’t need more vitamins. I need more laughter! And I always find that at Walt Disney World, so I keep going back!
Let’s be honest. Adulting is hard. Sometimes I need to get away from all the responsibilities and revert to acting like a child. Don’t you remember the carefree days of childhood? I miss those days. “The American child is a brilliant human being; characteristically sensitive, humorous, open-minded, eager to learn, has a strong sense of excitement, energy, and healthy curiosity about the world in which he lives. Lucky indeed is the grown-up who manages to carry these same characteristics into adult life. It usually makes for a happy and successful individual.” Guess who said that. You guessed it. Walt Disney said that. He was a man before his time. While he died the year I was born, so much of what he said still applies today. I want to carry a childlike joy and excitement through my adulthood, and going to Walt Disney World regularly helps me do that! I can run, skip, and play like a child there. (Okay, there’s no running at Walt Disney World, but rather than running, it feels like I could fly!) If I carry these characteristics into my adult life, the chances are good that I might be happier and more successful.
You can’t discuss Walt Disney World without talking about the excellent customer service you receive from their Cast Members. Did you know that Disney calls their employees Cast Members? They do because they always want their guests to feel like the show is going on when they’re in the theme parks. And the Cast Members are trained extensively in Customer Service. Disney has even sprinkled Guest Service counters throughout the theme parks to assist guests with any technical challenges with the My Disney Experience app or frustrations in their day. While Disney is a financial giant today, Walt Disney said that “Disney(land) is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disney(land) just with the idea of making money.” And most of the Cast Members at Walt Disney World seem to take this attitude. Sure, they’re there to collect a paycheck. But most of them are there to enhance your experience as well. So you can tell that for many of them, it is an act of love. And this attitude is another reason I keep returning to Walt Disney World!
When I think about why I love Walt Disney World, I can talk about all the fun attractions and the fantastic food and beverage available. And there are some great rides, and I’ve never had a meal at Walt Disney World that disappointed me. But the things that keep me returning are less tangible. They are the ideals upon which Walt Disney himself founded his company and designed his theme parks. These ideals are entirely on display within the parks and within the attitudes of the Cast Members who keep those parks running. What keeps me returning to Walt Disney World is that each trip is different, the great memories I make every time I’m there, the laughter, the freedom I feel to act like a child in the parks, and the excellence in both service and product. There are so many different places to travel to in the world. I keep on asking myself why I return to time and time again Walt Disney World. These are my answers!