When deciding where to go and what to do for your next vacation, the possibilities are endless. Of all the places in the world you could choose to visit on your vacation, and of all the things you could do, a lot of factors are involved in finally making a decision.
Millions of people from around the world choose to visit Walt Disney World every year. It tends to be a bucket list vacation destination for people worldwide. But, the question is, why? What is it about Disney that keeps people coming day after day and year after year? What makes Disney unique? What makes Disney a special experience?
We started discussing this topic recently, and several things came to mind for us, ranging from the obvious to smaller special touches that take the Disney experience to the next level and make it extra magical.
Here is our list of things that make WDW such a special experience:
- First of all, the anticipation. To get the most out of your WDW vacation, you will need to plan as far in advance as possible for everything you want to do, from hotels to dining to FastPasses. Many people start counting down the days until their Disney vacation months in advance, which enhances the anticipation. That anticipation continues to build right up until you finally enter the parks.
- Wearing special buttons while in the parks adds a little something extra to your experience. Whether it’s your first visit, it’s your birthday, you’re celebrating a special occasion, or want a button for any other reason at all, Disney has you covered. It’s a pretty cool feeling to wear one of these buttons in the parks and have complete strangers welcome you for your first visit or wish you a “Happy Birthday”, “Happy Anniversary”, etc.
- Interacting with cast members who truly love their job can leave a lasting positive impression on guests. Any time a cast member is able to bring a smile to a guest’s face, a memory is created that will not be soon forgotten. When you visit the parks as frequently as we do, cast members will start to recognize you and remember you. Being remembered is a really great feeling. Whenever a cast member goes out of their way to say hello and ask how your day is going, it just adds a bit more joy to your day.
- Magical moments take place every day at Walt Disney World. Whether it’s a cast member doing something special for a guest, or a guest doing something nice for another guest, you can witness these amazing moments on a daily basis. I have personally been on the receiving end of several magical moments. For example: receiving a free snack from a cast member right before the park closed, being taken from the back of a long line to the front, receiving a free poncho from a cast member while unexpectedly being caught in a downpour, etc. Whenever possible, it is a great feeling to create a magical moment for another guest. Hopefully it is something they appreciate and remember. Hopefully they pay it forward, as well.
- Character interactions are a lot of fun, especially for kids. Even as an adult, having a chance to interact with a character you loved while growing up is a pretty cool experience. For little kids, they get to experience the magic of interacting with a character they may have only seen in movies. It makes the characters seem more real to them and really enhances the magic. Character meet and greets in the parks, as well as character dining at Disney restaurants, are experiences that make Disney vacations both unique and special.
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique offers several packages that help your child transform into her favorite Disney princess. A full makeover, Disney princess dress, shoes, wand, and crown are just some of the special things included in this experience. To take it one step further, a sprinkle of pixie dust on your little princess’ hair adds the perfect magical final touch.
- Disney parades give guests the opportunity to see (and possibly even interact with) many of their favorite characters all in one place. The floats and costumes in the parades are incredibly detailed and beautifully designed. Parades add a little extra magic to your day.
- Animal Kingdom is home to animals from around the world that many guests may never have the opportunity to see elsewhere in their lifetime, especially from such an up-close view. If you are an animal lover, then Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a park that you will absolutely love.
- The fireworks are a perfect way to wrap up a magical night in the parks. There’s nothing quite like experiencing a Disney fireworks show at the end of an amazing day. Three of the four parks at WDW end the night with a fireworks spectacular that is not to be missed.
- Disney hotels are a very unique experience. Each hotel has a different theme, so you can surely find one that appeals to your personal interests and preferences. Guests staying in WDW hotels have exclusive access to attractions in the parks during Extra Magic Hours, so they can enjoy their favorite attractions without having to wait in lines that will be significantly longer during regular park hours.
- Special events (the Halloween party, Christmas party, After Hours, Dessert Parties, etc.) give guests the option of purchasing an additional ticket to enjoy an experience in the parks that is only available to a limited number of guests, or, depending on the event, is only available for a limited time. Special parades, fireworks, character experiences, decorations, and various other aspects may be available during these events that aren’t available on a typical day.
We will discuss more ways that WDW is unique and special in future posts. This list is a great place to start when trying to decide whether to visit WDW, or to vacation elsewhere. These are some of our favorite things to tell people about, as they begin planning their trip.
Quite possibly the absolute best thing about a Disney vacation is that it immerses you into the magic and gives you a bit of an escape from reality for a while. You can get lost in the magic and forget about the outside world for a while. After all, that is what a vacation really should be, a break from reality. A chance to get away for a while, to relax, and to have fun.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our list! What do you think of it? Is there anything else you would add to our list? Let us know in the comments!
XOXO, Halie and Danny