The writing of this article is incredibly timely, as this year marks the 20th anniversary of my first trip to Walt Disney World. And we didn’t stop there. We keep coming back to this magical place. Here are 12 reasons why.
Who could ever tire of Mickey Bars? Or Main Street popcorn (which I swear tastes better than normal popcorn)? Or turkey legs? Or any of the amazing food scattered throughout Disney property. When else is it socially acceptable to eat a full breakfast, eat a snack immediately when entering the park, eat a full lunch, eat an afternoon ice cream, eat a full dinner, and then eat more ice cream as a late night snack? Never, that’s when. Disney food is just special. It encompasses so much of your vacation, as silly as that sounds. The restaurants in Disney are some of the best in the world. There is always something more to try, or old favorites to satisfy your taste buds.
It’s not every day that you get to hang out with your favorite movie characters. Well, it is when you’re in Disney. We keep coming back to catch up with our old friends, or meet some new ones. There’s something so surreal about seeing Mickey just walking down the street. Or waving to Anna and Elsa as they pass you in the parade. There’s an unexplainable giddiness that arises in everyone upon seeing a beloved character. We come back for that feeling.
No one wants to go on the best rollercoaster ever just once. Or, what if you missed something the first time around? No, no. You have to go again! And again and again and again. Disney rides give so much story, detail, and beauty that you just want to go back to experience it more. And so many of these rides can only be found in Disney. Sure you can go on a Ferris wheel anywhere, but nowhere else can you go on Pirates of the Caribbean or Small World!
9. Monorail & Skyliner
These two are the most fun ways to get around. Even though the Skyliner is fairly new to the scene, we already believe it’s a must-do. Of course, we still love the classic Monorail. Both Monorail and Skyliner provide brilliant ways to see so much of Disney property without having to walk at all. We love zipping through the air to be taken to more fun.
Disney has made it a fundamental mission to keep its parks and property absolutely gorgeous all of the time. From the second you drive through the greeting gates, you notice the pristine landscaping. Then you see the little details in the most obscure places, like your bathroom or a simple park bench. And by the end of your Disney stay, you expect beauty. You become accustomed to cleanliness. You know it will be there. The luxury of these things brings your heart rate down, and you come back for that perfection.
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7. Always Changing
One of Walt Disney’s most famous quotes is: “Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Disney Imagineers have taken this motto to heart to this day. We keep going back to Disney because it is never the same experience twice! There are always new things and rides and foods to try! Disney is constantly being updated and renewed to make for the most magical vacation every time.
6. Special Events
We go back for the events! Events come every year so, naturally we have to go every year (or, you know, as often as we can)! From Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, to The Candlelight Processional, there are so many amazing things to do year-round. There is something for everyone with these special events. These get updated and added to throughout the years, which gives a great excuse to go back.
Disney resorts are more than just hotels, they’re getaways. They are a brilliantly unique opportunity to jump into a story. And they all tell different ones. Disney resorts provide convenience and hospitality, yes, but they also give their guests total luxury and magic. We keep coming back for this, and for the opportunity to try out these different wonderlands. Or maybe just to come back home.
4. Cast Members
Mickey doesn’t make Disney. Let It Go doesn’t make Disney. Cast Members make Disney. Cast Members are the glue that holds Disney together. They are the ones that can make or break your vacation, and more often than not, they make it amazing. In true Disney fashion, Cast Members understand that guests aren’t just getting souvenirs, they’re making memories. They go to infinity and beyond to ensure you experience the magic. You don’t get that kind of care and attention anywhere else.
3. Age Doesn’t Matter
Disney doesn’t care how old you are. This is one of the few places on earth that doesn’t judge childish behavior. If you’re a middle aged man and want your picture taken with Goofy, you go guy! Disney’s accessible for everyone. In fact, the less seriously you take life, the more fun you’ll have. Disney’s a place to let loose and have a good time, which is one of the best reasons to go back.
2. To Share Generationally
I mentioned this is the 20th anniversary of my going to Disney. Well, my dad went to Magic Kingdom in its opening year. His parents brought him all his life and then he brought me. My aunt and uncle brought my cousins. And we all still go. There’s a bond in that. We have so many memories (and home movies!) of us in Disney. Memories that make us laugh with each other, cry together for those of us who are no longer here, and plan our next trip. Disney was meant to be shared. I can’t wait to share it with my kids someday.
The pièce de résistance. We go back for the magic. Being in Disney gives you a feeling you can’t get anywhere else. It’s a feeling that can’t really be described, only experienced. There’s magic in all of the things already listed, plus so much more. There’s magic in the rides and characters and food, sure. But the real magic is getting to spend time in this wonderful place with the ones you love, soaking it all in. The magic is in a child’s face lighting up for the first time, in grandparents getting to spoil their grandkids, moms and dads watching their family, teenagers taking their masks off, adults being free. The magic is in the people. That’s why we keep coming back.