Top 10 Signs of Walt Disney World Withdrawal

guest wearing ears looking at fireworks
Credit: Disney

Regular visitors to Walt Disney World often endure moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms. While not dangerous, the withdrawal period includes intense cravings for the magical vacation experience that lingers long after a visit to Walt Disney World.

cinderella castle magic kingdom

Credit: Disney

Those who really love the resort feel compelled to return. In light of this, how can we tell whether we’re just having passing positive feelings about the resort or going through a full-blown Walt Disney World withdrawal?

These top 10 signs can help you identify whether or not you’re suffering from this vacation syndrome.

10. Magical Conversations

It may be days, weeks, or months after your stay at Walt Disney World, but eventually, you’ll notice your magical memories slipping into daily conversations. For many, this tends to be the first withdrawal sign.

mickey and minnie riding teacups

Credit: Disney

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You’re casually enjoying a discussion around the dinner table with your family when someone blurts out, “Remember the time we made Daddy so dizzy on the Mad Tea Party that he fell out of the teacup?” Withdrawal feelings intensify when family members impersonate Disney characters.

This symptom even spreads to social media with likes and comments providing further evidence that you’re yearning for another visit to Walt Disney World.

9. Humming Songs

Children and adults suffering from Walt Disney World withdrawal soon find themselves humming theme park tunes while working or completing household chores.

pirates of the caribbean disney world

Credit: Disney Parks

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Popular songs include “it’s a small world” and “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” but others can pop up, as well. Those who learn the words and erupt into singing loudly throughout the house are really in trouble.

8. Flipping Through Photo Albums

Everyone likes to reminisce from time to time by gathering around photo albums and scrapbooks and sharing a few memories.

However, when you notice that you’re longingly gazing at pictures from past trips to Walt Disney World and you’re doing it with greater frequency, you should realize that you’re actually looking for your next Disney fix.

7. Movie Binges

With on-demand television and movie viewing, it’s easy to binge-watch just about anything.

randy fullmer walt disney animation studios producers dies at age 73 hunchback of notre dame

Credit: Disney

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When you notice that your weekend binges include a generous portion of Disney movies, you’re likely going through withdrawal. If the playlist includes family videos from your library of Walt Disney World vacations, then the situation is quite severe.

6. Comparing Restaurants

Because Walt Disney World invests highly in creating dining experiences that immerse its guests in the magic of the story, all ordinary restaurants back home pale in comparison. Many passionate Disney vacationers find themselves comparing local and regional restaurants with those in Walt Disney World.

San Angel Inn Restaurante

Credit: Disney

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It’s not fair to expect your local Mexican restaurant to serve upscale cuisine inside an Aztec pyramid, and it’s totally unreasonable to demand a meeting with Goofy while eating breakfast at a nearby pancake house.

5. Wearing Mouse Ears

Wearing your mouse ears while picking up groceries surely demonstrates that you’re going through Walt Disney World withdrawal.

The practice begins with wearing them around the house, but as we become more accustomed to the ears, we forget about them. Children giving in to this temptation can be excused, but adults wearing mouse ears to the office may have a bit of explaining to do.

4. Finding Hidden Mickeys

Hidden Mickey hunters spend a lot of time at Walt Disney World looking for arrangements of three circles resembling the iconic Mickey Mouse. Many guests at the theme parks keep score to see who can spot the most.

Hidden Mickey Animal Kingdom Africa Pavement

Credit: Disney Dining

However, when you start looking for Hidden Mickeys everywhere you go…you’re experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms. Before long, you’ll be arranging pancakes and waffles to create your own Hidden Mickey.

3. Checking My Disney Experience

The up-to-the-minute technology allows park guests to check the status of attractions at any moment by using the My Disney Experience App. Obsessive park enthusiasts check wait times long after leaving Walt Disney World.

magic kingdom cinderella castle in background, guest using cell phone in foreground

Credit: Disney/ Canva

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When you’re in the middle of a board meeting, and after consulting your smartphone to see that Toy Story Mania’s wait is only 20 minutes, you think, “I can’t believe I’m missing such a short line,” you are definitely going through withdrawal.

2. Planning the Next Trip

Though planning your next trip to Walt Disney World might seem like a solution to all these signs of withdrawal, it is actually a sign itself. Most vacationers ordinarily plan their trip within a limited amount of time.

Happily Ever After Fireworks over Cinderella Castle

Credit: Disney

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Those who are in the throes of withdrawal stretch the process out over several days, weeks, or months. Well in advance of their trip, they regularly watch Disney planning videos, create multiple itineraries on My Disney Experience, select attractions, make Genie+ selections, book flights and hotels, and make restaurant reservations.

It’s their way of living the experience before it happens in order to curb some of the painful effects of withdrawal.

1. Counting Down

Probably the most grueling sign of Walt Disney World withdrawal is the countdown.

A trip planned far in advance can be discouraging at the beginning of the countdown. 245 days? Ugh! Of course, the excitement ratchets up as the day approaches, and kids can barely remain seated at the dinner table at the mere mention of Mickey Mouse.

The back of a Mickey Mouse statue at Disney's Pop Century Resort

Credit: Disney

Nevertheless, you can be assured that on the day you pass beneath the sign telling you that you’re entering the place “Where Dreams Come True,” your withdrawal symptoms will disappear…that is, until you once again find yourself humming, “”it’s a small world”” a few weeks after returning home.

About D.W. Noonan

D.W. Noonan was blindsided by the magical universe of Walt Disney when he married a dedicated Disneyphile in 1994. His wonderful wife dragged him into countless days of binge-watching great Disney films. As children began showing up in the Noonan home, D.W.'s growing passion for all things Disney led him to vacationing with his family in Walt Disney World each year and taking a journey to visit Disneyland. He is especially proud of his two teenage daughters, who danced for Disney Performing Arts at Walt Disney World in 2015. Though D.W. lives in Maryland, he longs to hear these familiar words when he returns to the resort: "Welcome home."

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