Jolly Holiday: An Introduction
We have been members of the WDWforGrownups.com forum community for more than a year now. When we got married in August '09, we spent half our honeymoon in Disney World. One of the first things we did upon returning home was post our trip report to the site. We've been welcomed to the community with open arms, and both check the site on a daily basis.
When we received the email asking us to write a column, we were both flattered, and both immediately panicked. What in the world would we write about (sorry for the pun)? After all, though we've both been Disney fans our whole lives. Jason is a teacher, and Caitie just graduated from college during the worst recession in seventy years. This adds up to us not getting to go to Disney World very often.
Still, we keep up with the news, we listen to podcasts, we own lots of music and movies, we collect souvenirs, and in the four years of our relationship we managed to get to the World twice. While we both have an enduring love for all things Disney, there are, of course, things we disagree about. There are some songs Jason loves that Caitie can't stand. There are movies she has a particular affection for that he feels blase at best about. There are attractions in the park that he can't wait to experience, but if the line is more than five minutes, she might want to avoid.
So, in our discussion on what to write about for this column, we came up with the idea of a his/hers review of all things
Disney. We will choose something (movie, music, attraction, restaurant etc.) and give our perspectives on it.
For this first column, we figured we'd just give our backgrounds: why we love Disney, what aspects we love, what brought us
here. That way you get to know your friendly bloggers just a little bit before you decide we're complete idiots for an opinion that is clearly wrong (I kid, of course; one of us is never wrong).
I think I'm a Disney fan because I'm very similar to Peter Pan: I fight one-handed pirates and fly. I went to Disney World
several times as a child with my family. I didn't get to the World through most of my teenage years (aside from one small trip around the age of seventeen), and then not again until I was in my mid-twenties when I went with some friends. Since that trip, I've gone three more times, once with family and twice with Caitie.
I have a collection of T-shirts since that trip with friends that is nearing double digits. Before Netflix came into our
lives and I stopped buying movies, I had amassed a fairly large collection of Disney features on DVD. I have more CDs of Disney music than I can count. Our living room is adorned with an 18-inch Beauty and the Beast figure Caitie bought me as a wedding gift, along with several other posters, paintings and other knickknacks. Our home is slowly developing into a shrine.
I suppose the appeal for me is that there is a certain innocence to Disney. I'm a middle school teacher; I enjoy the age
because I like that while the kids are on the verge of jaded adulthood, there is still that childhood wonder about them. I often
feel like that at Disney World, and the simplicity of a well told story, a beautiful or upbeat song, or just the smiling face of Mickey Mouse can make me feel that wonder even now. It's a perfect escape from bureaucracy and taxes and political thought that so pervades most of adult life.
In fact, growing up is completely overrated, and Disney allows me to hold on to that so often lost childlike view that life should be fun.
Why I love all things Disney. Wow. I guess a big part of it is my parents. They owned about every VHS and I watched them all the time. We would see every movie when it came out and bought the cassette tapes to listen to in the car. My parents liked to go see shows, so I think Disney movies were a good way to get us interested.
I went to the World for the first time when I was three. I don't remember much more than Dumbo, but I love looking through the picture/autograph book my parents have. We went again when I was twelve, and my mom let me help plan it. We got the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World (DING!) and figured out where we wanted to stay, what we wanted to eat, and what we could not miss. I loved it more than the time before. I then went with my high school choir when I was 15, then with my family again a few months later (the worst trip of the 4). And, as Jason said, we have gone twice.
I love Disney for the magic. Everyone there is trying to make your trip as magical as they can, and it really works. I love the level of service you get...and it doesn't matter if you are at a value or a villa, you are still treated like a special guest. That doesn't seem to exist in many other places, so it is something I really enjoy (probably has to do with my Midwest roots...).
It is so special to me because it is a place full of fun memories. I get close to the castle and can point out the spot where my friends and I watched SpectroMagic. I ride Buzz Lightyear and think of when my family went on it together and how I ended up winning. I eat at 50's Prime Time and remember when the waitress brought my older brother two Cokes at a time because she was refilling his every ten minutes. I walk into the Rotunda and think about when I got to sing there with my choir. Next time I go, I will have the memories of an amazing honeymoon. It is such a great place to make memories that last a lifetime.
Now that you know us and love us, join us in upcoming columns for a his and hers look at the theme parks we all love.