The One Thing So Many First Time Guests Overlook About Disney
When you think of Disney World, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? It’s interesting to me to hear answers to this very question because the answers vary depending on who you ask but in particular, there’s one main separating factor among all the answers… if you’ve been to Walt Disney World or not. So many prospective guests have this fixated expectation of what they are going to get out of a Disney experience and more often that not, the experience they receive vastly outpaces their expectations. Perhaps the best example of this is simply the answers to the aforementioned question.
Pose that initial question to a friend of yours that’s never stepped in a Disney park or hasn’t done so in the last 10-15 years and you’ll likely get the answer… “attractions, fireworks, characters, hotels,” and the list goes on.
If you ask a Disney guest who’s been to the parks time and time again that same question the answer typically varies drastically. Their answer is rarely about the attractions or the shows or even the world class dining but rather some story about their kids, a memory they shared with friends, or even perhaps a hidden piece of the history of the parks they found hiding in plain site. You see, the overlooked thing about Disney is that it’s not just another amusement park. Sure, there’s attractions, world class dining, incredible fireworks shows, and the list goes on and on, but one thing sets it all apart and much of it circles back to story and the vastly important influence story has on the “Disney Experience.”
No matter if it’s story in a literal sense of the stories attractions help portray, stories in the sense of the real life history of the parks themselves, or even quite possibly your story that develops from those deeply rooted experiences with friends or family in the parks year after year. The secret that sets Disney apart from all the others isn’t in the attractions but rather in the stories developed that exceed your wildest expectations.
It’s not every day that you get to walk down Main Street with your family no matter how young, old, or young at heart they may be. It’s one of those simple pleasure in life that often gets lost in our daily lives. Disney, and in particular Walt Disney World, has a way of slowing things down and offering a true escape from reality. It’s something that every repeat and life long Disney guest understands and more importantly the one thing every prospective guest should make a cognitive effort not to overlook by mistake.
It’s so easy to get caught up in technology, our jobs, and invariably our increasingly busy lives, but the ability to disconnect and consciously take in that moment and escape from reality with friends and family with no fear of judgement is something that only Disney has been able to provide so many of us over the years. Walt said it best years ago when he said that essentially Disney World may not hold all the answers but happiness will be at the forefront of the project. Of course, in classic Walt fashion, his description was exorbitantly more polished that my iteration of the concept, but I feel that it’s still a near perfect representation of what Walt Disney World does for guests. It’s not your standard amusement park but rather an experience that is so incredibly hard to put into words. I keep saying it’s more that the attractions but that ultimately downplays the experiential nature of the vacation destination. The Disney parks are a vastly transformative experience that surround you and transport you to different places and different stories, but the key to it all is in the opportunity the place creates for you to create your own Disney story. That’s what it’s all about and in the simplest of explanations, that’s the main thing so many prospective guests rarely expect and ultimately overlook.
Disney at face value may not be your idea of a dream vacation, but when you dig a little deeper, the Walt Disney World resort truly is a World of different varieties of entertainment. There really is something for everyone to enjoy. Sometimes it just takes a few minutes to look beyond the obvious to uncover the one thing Disney offers that will help you create your ideal story. If you’re new to the parks, or simply looking for something new to try on your next WDW vacation be sure to check out some of our favorite posts and recommendations below:
As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you’re there, and we’ll keep the conversation going in the future. We’re not the largest Disney community, but we’re one that’s there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are!
A few short years ago, I was sitting in a college apartment trying to figure out what was "next" and came up with this idea to share my accumulated knowledge of the Disney Parks and Resorts with others. The end goal was to help others make the most of their Disney experience and it's been quite the journey!