Friday, 22 June 2012

Letting Disney in

My husband and I often joke that my sister and brother-in-law need to "let Disney into their lives". They don't have children yet, so they feel they have no need to visit Walt Disney World. They like to tease us about going to WDW so often and about how we probably have just as much fun there as the kids.

They're right. We go to WDW just as much for us as we do for our children. Probably more so right now, as our children are very young. But, letting Disney into your life does not simply mean making the obligatory once-in-a-lifetime visit to the World.

In my household, Disney is not just a brand of movies, toys or the Most Magical Place on Earth. It's a lifestyle.

Some people take issue with what Disney promotes. One such example is the focus on princesses for little girls. The argument is that girls should be taught to be strong leaders, rather than to be dependent on a "prince" for happiness. Well, we have no issue exposing our children to Disney's overarching mantra: believing in your dreams and making them come true.

As such, we have no problem "letting Disney in". Our children regularly watch Disney movies, wear Disney clothing, listen to Disney music and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Knowing that one of my son's first words was Goofy makes me proud. Watching as my daughter asks to be measured every day by my husband in order to see if she will be able to go on a new ride at WDW makes me happy.

We have definitely let Disney in and will never go back. I am proud to show my children that, in a world with so much negativity, anything is possible... dreams do come true. And when we sometimes forget this, there is a "World" out there, filled with pixie dust, waiting to remind us.

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Monday, 11 June 2012

Why we never tire of Walt Disney World

I have been coming to Walt Disney World since I was a child, but my visits became more frequent after I got married. One trip was all it took to get my husband on board and he was converted. We have been coming two to three times per year since 2007. This is partially due to the fact that in 2010, we became Disney Vacation Club members. We have been truly blessed to be able to vacation at the Most Magical Place On Earth as often as we do.

Of course, not everyone sees it as a "blessing". We often hear, "again?!" or "aren't you sick of that place yet?!". Yes, it becomes annoying feeling like you have to defend your vacation choices, but I decide to try to enlighten people with my answers instead.

I tell them it's not just about the rides. It's about the feeling I get when I step on the Magical Express and all my worries and stresses of the real world vanish. It's not about seeing people dressed up as stuffed animals. It's about seeing my daughter's eyes light up as she approaches Mickey, thinking she is about to meet one of her best friends. Surely, you can never grow tired of those special feelings and experiences.

Of course, when traveling with children, it is about the rides and characters in their eyes. The beauty of beginning their Disney trips when they are young is that you can watch them grow a bit each vacation. My son, Max, is currently 19 months old, but has been to Walt Disney World five times. He has always been afraid of the characters, but this trip, something changed. For the first time yet, he approached Princess Tiana on his own and handed her a flower that he picked. That, to me, was Disney magic. On our first trip with Max, he was afraid of the Uzima Pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We spent most of our pool time that trip holding him above water. This trip, he was happily diving about, not caring whether we were there or not. My daughter, Claire, rode Splash Mountain for the very first time this trip! Although she has been to Walt Disney World eight times so far, she is just at the very beginning of her thrill ride adventures!

I am happy to explain this all when people ask. To my family, Walt Disney World is not just a theme park, but a wealth of memories that we add to each and every trip. Creating memories as a family will never grow old for us.

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Friday, 1 June 2012

[Disney] Decisions, Decisions

I know this is a good dilemma to have, so I'm definitely not complaining... But I still need a decision!

I guess it's no secret that I REALLY enjoyed our first Disney cruise: 4 nights on board the Disney Dream. We had cruised four times prior to this one, but none were on DCL. There was something about a cruise combined with the Disney atmosphere reminiscent of that found in Walt Disney World that made this cruise incredibly magical for me!

So, we are currently booked on the same 4 night Bahamian cruise in September. This is the vacation week we were supposed to spend in WDW, but have now made it into a land and sea-type idea. Because we booked it in May onboard the Dream, though, staterooms were limited, and we were booked into an expensive verandah cabin. Whatever.

Now, because I'm obsessed with Disney travel planning, I'm always trying to think of new ideas and find ways of getting good deals. Well, it turns out that if we book a 7 night Caribbean cruise onboard the Fantasy (Disney's newest ship!!), stay in an ocean view stateroom (no balcony), pay for part of it with the DVC points we were going to use on the "land" portion of our vacation, we could actually save some money. This is, in part, due to the fact that we will no longer have to pay for our meals while in WDW.

Well, I'm all ready to switch my reservation because I'm dying now to try a 7 night Disney cruise! My husband, though, is resisting. He really doesn't want to give up those days in WDW. I see it as Disney is Disney, and I get that same warm and fuzzy feeling whether I'm on a Disney cruise or in Disney World.... But he still really wants the WDW aspect!

Truth be told, when I really want something, I can usually work my magic to eventually convince him, but will it work this time? And in time before all the inside ocean view cabins sell out?! Oh, and I should mention that we are also already booked on the 4 night Bahamian in May again.

Any advice?

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