In celebration of Valentine's Day this year it seemed like a good idea to think about the things I love about Walt Disney World Resort. I've been visiting Disney World since 1974 when I was just a wee little one and over the years I've collected a rather extensive list of the things I love about my happy place.
There's so much to love about Disney World that it is quite difficult to narrow it down to just 5 things, but that also seems like a reasonable list (and one that will result in a not-too-long article). My list of favorite things includes food (of course), icons, and more.
The first item on my list of things I have has to be the scents associated with Disney World. Whether we're talking about that water smell on Pirates of the Caribbean or what the lobby at Disney's Polynesian Village used to smell like, there is something about using your sense of smell at Disney. My favorite scent at Disney is found at The Puffin's Roost in Epcot's Norway Pavilion.
Of course I'm talking about Laila perfume, which can be found in a rather large display in the store. The perfume is usually the first thing you smell when you enter The Puffin's Roost from the front door. There are always a few bottles for sample sprays and if you're lucky enough you might just get to meet perfume designer Geir Ness! I had the chance to meet him in 2015 and he is so friendly - and he signed my bottle of perfume! (I'll admit I had a total fan girl moment when I finally met him).
If you have a favorite scent at Disney World you might want to check out Spireside Candles. This super fun line of candles includes scents like Main Street Bakery, Wilderness Lodge, and even Soaring Over.
Next on my list of favorite things at Disney World has to be food. It's no secret that I love eating at Disney World. A few of my favorite snacks are Dole Whip Floats, School Bread in Norway, Caramel Corn from Germany, Mickey Mouse Rice Krispie Treats, and that cinnamon roll from Gaston's Tavern.
The list of restaurants that I love at Disney World is way too long for here but let's just say that sometimes I daydream about the bread service at Sanaa, the pizza at Via Napoli, and yes even Mickey Waffles. Don't we all?
Next on my list of things I love is Cinderella Castle. This love affair goes waaay back. When I was a kid I had this super cool watch from the Magic Kingdom with Cinderella Castle on the face and interchangeable bands (I think they were pink, white, and blue). I LOVED that watch (and really wish I still had it).
There is just something about seeing the Castle as I walk down the middle of Main Street U.S.A. that just gets me every single time. I'll admit I get a little choked up each time I see it. And at night when the Castle is lit up? That's my favorite time of day at the Magic Kingdom.
Which brings me to the number four item on my top five list: the way Disney World makes me feel. As soon as I step foot on property I am HOME. It's a feeling that non-Disney folks just don't understand. I'm happier, less stressed, and suddenly feel like a kid again as soon as I walk into a Disney hotel or theme park. [OK, this usually happens as soon as I land at the airport]. ;-)
Yes, Disney can be crowded and overwhelming and you often have a few less-than-magical moments on any trip but in the end it all comes back to the magic and how that makes me feel. I will freely admit that I turn into a kid again when I see Mickey Mouse or Cinderella (my two favorites). Winnie the Pooh has the same effect on me (which is why I'm always making that ADR for Crystal Palace).
And finally, no matter how many visits I make to Disney World I always find something new. Which brings me to #5 on the list: I love discovering new things at Disney. Whether it's a new food or drink, or falling in love with a new hotel (Animal Kingdom Lodge I'm looking at you), or finding a new quiet spot to drink it all in - there is something to be said about trying new things when you're at Disney.
Even after more than 40 visits to Disney World, I'm still discovering new things and that's why I keep going back. People always ask "why do you go back to Disney so much?" and I always tell them (1) because it's my happy place and (2) because you never know what kind of adventure awaits you once you're there.
And so that's my top five list of things I love about Disney World. I'd love to hear what you love most and what brings you back. Leave a comment and share your favorite things. Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!