I have spent an embarrasingly large portion of my life at Walt Disney World. My family would take a vacation every year. I've even performed there. I love it. I am a self proclaimed DisNerd. So when the opportunity came up recently to book this vacation at an insanely affordable price, I just had to.
I cannot begin to explain how much and why I love this place as much as I do. It's a combination of nostalgia, old fashioned charm, and a feeling of homey familiarity that grasps me so tightly.
So here it is, trip number 22 to Walt Disney World Resort, Florida. I am 29, yes I know that is ALOT of visits. And believe it or not, I still have not seen it all. This would have to do mostly with Disney's intent on swaping out attractions fairly frequently (sometimes too their detriment. See: Mr. Toad's Wild Ride). The most difficult thing for me right now is dealing with the anticipation and excitement. I am extremely excitable by nature and I do not wait well. This leaves me on the edge of my seat and with a fairly consistent presence of stomach butterflies. Basically, I can barely stand this wait for several reasons.
1. I love Disney and would/could stand every waking and sleeping hour there.
2. I have not been there in about 7-8 years.
3. First vacation with my love
4. First Disney vacation with a love.
How am I dealing with this anxiety (albeit positive) you may wonder?
1. podcasts: Disney fans LOVE to podcast about the parks and beyond. Some notable favourites are WDW Radio with Lou Mongello, WDW News, and DisneyFoodBlog.
2. YouTube: I have been obsessively watching POV videos of attractions and shows. An added benefit of this is that I can see what I am in for with new ride. I am a tad of a chicken and I experience motion sickness. While this doesnt keep me from riding, I like to know what I am up against.
3. Blog posts: DisneyFoodBlog.com is amazing!
4. Message boards: disboards.com, wdwradio.com, disneyfoodblog.com are all great and full of people eager to impart their wisdom.
5. Park music. I have downloaded all of the park music I could find.
6. Historic Research: This is probably my favourite pre-trip activity. Since I am finally visiting as an adult I am eager to know all of the history behind attraction design, park decor, and Walt Disney himself. I have chosen to research an attraction or feature each day to become more informed. So far the Haunted Mansion has come out guns blazing with amazing history and concept art. Check out http://www.doombuggies.com/ for the best fan website I have found.
7. Guidebook: Now I sincerely think I could write a how-to-do-Disney guidebook, however I still purchased a new one to keep me up to date and feed my pre-trip appetite. I picked up PassPorter's Walt Disney World by the Marx family. This is a FANTASTIC guidebook with handy pockets to store your maps etc in as well as loads of worksheets to plan your days with.
Since every Disney trip, no matter how long your stay, requires an immense amount of planning, a reliable and fun guidebook is essential. More on this guidebook in upcoming posts.
So that is how I am dealing with the wait to board the plane. It's not easy, and I am driving everyone around me batty talking about it. I've even experienced some "why would you go there?", and "why would you go there again?" type questions. It's worth noting that most of these questions come from people who have never been, and therefore cannot understand the feeling of 'arriving home' that can be felt from watching the rope dropping ceremony at the Magic Kingdom early in the morning. So really I barely bother to explain my desire (need maybe?) to return again, and again, and again.
Here is a video of the Rope Drop Ceremony at the Magic Kingdom. Admittedly, it just about brings a tear to my eye.