I was recently asked by my dad if the magic ever goes away for me. As an annual pass holder for the Walt Disney World resort, it’s easy to believe that weekly trips to the parks could minimize how special this place is to my heart. Yet this question really made me think. How could the most magical place on earth ever lose value? Does the magic go away as you get older? Will there ever be a day that I enter the park without a smile on my face?
The answer is no. Disney is more than just a vacation destination for me. Disney is my happy place, where I can be free to express myself and my love for all things whimsical. Am I a kid at heart? No, not really. Yet when I enter the gates, all my worries go away.
As arguably the most popular tourist destination in the world, most everyone has had their favorite memory that they can reflect on from one of their trips to the house of mouse. Families will shell out thousands of dollars after years of saving up in order to experience this glorified amusement park, and continue to repeat this cycle year after year. What makes this park so special that it keeps bringing guests back even after they have done everything?
The memories, the laughter, the escape from reality. All the most popular reasons guests give for returning to this magical place. The Disney company prides itself on exemplary guest service that sparks interest for guests to come back year after year. There’s just something magical about walking under the train station on Main Street USA and getting the first glimpse of Cinderella’s Castle whether it’s your first time there or your hundred and first time.
As you walk through all the lands, you become part of the story as you interact with your favorite characters and explore their reality. It becomes your reality for a moment and you share a bond with those surrounding you. Each ride you step foot on transports you to your favorite world as you are blown away with magic involved in making these dreams a reality. Every step you take brings you closer to a new adventure, and not a day goes by without a huge smile plastered across your face.
That’s what’s so special about this kingdom. No matter how many times I ride Space Mountain, I will always walk off excited to ride it again. No matter how many Mickey ice cream bars I ate, I will never get sick of the chocolate coated vanilla ice cream on a stick. No matter how many times I meet Goofy, I will never fail to run into his arms for the biggest embrace in the world. No matter how many times I watch the fireworks, I will never fail to belt out “WISHES!” at the top of my lungs. There’s something there that makes every experience a magical moment.
Yes, pass holders and cast members get the luxury of being able to go to the parks on a daily basis, but does the repetitiveness minimize the magic? Not in the slightest. I am extremely fortunate to be able to spend so much time in such a magical place, and I hope someday to be able to be part of the magical team responsible for making this place so inviting. Walt didn’t just create a vacation destination, he created a home. And to all who come to this happy place, welcome!
All photos were taken by the author.