Walt Disney World truly is “the most magical place on Earth”. It is a place where people of all ages can go to escape reality for a while and bring a fantasy world to life. It is a place where many people create some of the most incredible and magical memories of their lives.
I’m sure most of us who are die-hard Disney fans have people in our lives who don’t understand why we love Disney so much. At one time or another, I’m sure most, if not all, of us have heard someone say that Disney is for kids. But, they are missing the point. Disney isn’t just for kids, it is for people of all ages.
For me, personally, all of my memories of Disney World have been created as an adult. I was 23 years old the first time I visited WDW. I immediately fell in love with this magical place that has now become my home away from home, and knew that I needed to find a way to make Disney a part of my everyday life. I promised myself that one day I would make it happen. Seven short years later, I fulfilled that promise to myself and moved to the “Mouse House”.
Halie’s first WDW visit was when she was three years old. She got to visit Disney World several times during her childhood, and has very different memories than I have. Since she was so young when she first visited, she hardly remembers her first visit at all. I still remember mine like it was yesterday.
When you have childhood memories of Disney, you can look back as an adult and compare your childhood experiences with your adult experiences in the parks.
As a kid, you can very easily become completely immersed in the magic and the atmosphere in the parks. You very likely don’t think about the crowds, the cost, or the planning involved in making your WDW visit a magical experience. As an adult, it is very likely that those are the first things you consider when you decide to visit the parks.
So, how do you keep that magic alive as an adult? Well, for starters, as often as possible, try to think like a kid. When possible, try to put yourself in a similar mindset to when you visited the parks as a kid. Allow yourself to become immersed in the magic, once again. Remember those childhood memories and try to bring back the joy and excitement you felt when you were a kid. Leave the stress, chaos, and drama in your life outside of the park and just enjoy the fact that you’re at Disney World. Meet your favorite characters. Buy yourself your favorite treat. Laugh. Smile. Do something to make a stranger’s day a little bit brighter. Start up a conversation with other park guests and make new Disney friends.
Many people choose Walt Disney World as the location for their engagement, honeymoon, or even their wedding. Others choose to celebrate their birthday at Disney. There are countless occasions and milestones that could be celebrated in the parks. Creating these memories in the parks as adults is every bit as exciting and impactful as a little kid getting to meet their favorite character or ride their favorite attraction for the first time. It is a memory that will last a lifetime.
Since I don’t have any childhood memories of Disney World, I think back regularly to my first Disney visit. I think about how my life has changed since then and how fortunate I am to get to live the life I am currently living.
Before my first Disney vacation, I really thought that trip would be a once in a lifetime experience. 10 years, to the day, after I first visited WDW, Halie and I got to watch Happily Ever After together for the first time at Magic Kingdom. That whole night, I kept thinking back to my first visit and how much my life had changed. I was able to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of my first WDW visit with one of my best friends, watching our favorite fireworks show together for the first time, and Magic Kingdom had truly become a second home for me by that time. I still consider that night to be one of the best of memories of my life.
Since moving to Orlando, I have made a point of visiting the parks on dates that have special significance for me. I do this as a way of creating a special connection between those dates and Disney. The picture at the top of this post was taken on August 25th, 2016. I visited Magic Kingdom that day to celebrate one year since I left North Dakota to start my new life adventure in Orlando. That park visit was a gift to myself to celebrate the anniversary of the day I took the biggest risk of myself and essentially restarted my life at the age of 30. Looking back, I’m still shocked that I took that chance, but I’m glad I did.
Since Halie and I started Dream Chasing in the Mouse House, the parks have taken on a whole new meaning. I visited the parks by myself on nearly a daily basis for the first couple of years after I moved down here. I always wished I had a friend who loved Disney as I much as I do who would join me in the parks. I also thought it would be cool to start a Disney blog. These past few months have allowed those dreams to become a reality. As much fun as solo Disney visits can be, nothing beats getting to create and share new memories with an amazing friend.
While I used to wish I could share my Disney adventures with others, Halie and I now get to experience those adventures together and share them with the world. As Disney bloggers, we are constantly looking for new things to experience and share. Blogging about Disney and looking for new experiences to enjoy keeps the magic alive every time we enter the parks.
Visiting the parks as often as we do, it would be easy to take it for granted. We both feel fortunate to be able to visit the parks any time we want. We love seeing the reactions of people who are first time visitors. When possible, we love doing something to create a magical moment for another guest in the parks. Disney World should be a place filled with fun and happiness. It should be a place that is magical. We keep the magic alive for ourselves when we are able to help someone else enjoy a magical experience.
From infants to the elderly and anywhere in between, pay attention to the pure joy that others are experiencing while they explore the Disney parks. Being surrounded by that happiness and positivity is sure to help you keep the magic alive.
How do you view Walt Disney World as an adult? How do you keep the magic alive? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to follow us on social media so you can stay up to date on all of our Disney adventures.
XOXO, Halie and Danny