By: Tangled Diva
I am often asked why we keep going to Disney World over and over again. So much so, that I thought it warranted an article. For some, Disney is a one-and-done kind of thing, and I cannot even wrap my mind around this. I can’t in my wildest of dreams imagine ever getting sick of it or not wanting to visit again. In fact, we seldom leave without another trip planned. What is it about it that keeps us coming back? I honestly can’t narrow it down to one thing, but rather dozens of little things.
Disney is all about the details–even the tiniest of ones. We still discover some small detail of a ride or show on every trip. Some of my favorite little details are the hidden mickeys in the shower curtain at Port Orleans French Quarter, the dessert at Cinderella’s Royal Banquet, and the glowing sidewalk at Epcot. I could honestly write an entire article on just the “little things.” It is these “little things” that are my absolute favorite part of Walt Disney World! The Imagineers go to great lengths with the creativity and detail they put into everything, and it is something that is not lost on my family.
There is also way to much to do at Disney World to cover in just one trip. I have been a total of 9 times, 5 times in the last two years alone, and there is still so much that I have not checked off my Disney bucket list. On our most recent trip I was able to check four things off:
1. Meeting Divine at Animal Kingdom. She was the first thing I saw when I walked in the park, and I was so excited, I literally yelled out loud. My family thought I was nuts as they didn’t even see her (see picture below, she blends in really well).
2. Eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Since I have a boy and it takes two table service meals, this was never something that I even considered. But, on our last trip, we had an extra table service meal, so I thought it might be worth trying. There was not a reservation for 6, but I could get a reservation for 3. So, my mom, sister and I ditched the guys (don’t feel bad for them, they went to Le Cellier), and went to the castle for lunch. We did not regret it. The food was wonderful and so was the atmosphere. My favorite was the flair in which they introduced the princesses as they entered the room (TIPS: Go to the bathroom before you enter the castle. The bathrooms are small and not easy to get to, so I recommend going before you enter. Also, while they do a good job of trying to cater to boys too (they give them swords instead of scepter/wands), I don’t know that I would go if I had only boys. If it were only one table service, I definitely would but I would not waste two for a boy).
3. Eating at Akershus. This was our favorite new thing of this trip and was quickly added to my Dad’s must-do-every-trip list. The food was wonderful, and, like at Cinderella’s Royal Table, you got to meet a lot of princesses. Also, like at Cinderella’s castle, you got your picture taken with one of them as you walk in the door (Cinderella’s Royal Table: Cinderella, of course and Akershus: Belle), and you get souvenir copies of your pictures for FREE. But, unlike Cinderella’s, this meal only takes one table service. And, honestly, Cinderella’s wasn’t that much more impressive to me than Akershus. I think the idea of dining in the castle is so appealing about Cinderella’s. All of the princesses come around to your table. My son was with us this time, and he was such a trooper getting his picture made with them. He especially liked Mary Margaret, ooops, I mean Snow White!
4. See the Cadaver Dans. Earlier this year, I saw the Dapper Dans for the first time, and I was so excited. This year my goal was to see them as the Cadaver Dans at the Halloween Party. We were on Tom Sawyer’s Island watching the Festival of Fantasy Parade (TIP: This is a great spot to watch the parade and is never crowded). We were about to head back and as we were on the “stick boats” (i.e., if you don’t speak Bryce, this is the log rafts), and my husband heard them singing. As soon as we got off, we darted over there. Luckily, I was dressed as Leia, so maybe they didn’t recognize me as the crazed fan that chased them around earlier in the year. They were just as good as the Cadaver Dans completely with new and Halloween-themed jokes.
5. Be in the Mulch, Sweat & Shears show. This is not something you can really plan as they usually select an audience member at random. But, lucky for me, I was selected on this trip. And, let me tell you, it was the highlight of my trip. Mulch, Sweat & Shears is my favorite show in Disney. I love 80s music and love to sing, so it is definitely the show for me. I was beyond ecstatic to be chosen as the honorary cow bell player (my husband even commented on my facebook picture of the show that our marriage and the birth of our son had now fallen to numbers 2 and 3 on my “best day ever” list). I love to sing and do videos, but I am definitely not a performer. I was so nervous that I nearly passed out in the middle of the show – haha. But, it was such a great and fun experience, and I even got a free set of Mulch, Sweat & Shears drum sticks to commemorate the occasion. My son has been threatened with his life if he plays with them by the way 🙂
Also, while not on our bucket list, there was some things that we did for the first time this trip. My son’s favorite was Captain EO. I had seen the sign dozens of times before but had no idea what it even was–ride or show? Bryce saw it and wanted to check it out, so we did. For those that don’t know, it is a show featuring the King of Pop, Michael Jackson in one of his cheesiest roles. But, Bryce absolutely loved it and had to go to it two more times (unfortunately). In fact, the show made the rain at Disney not seem so bad for Bryce. He found doing the moonwalk much easier when his shoes were wet :). We also saw the Jammitors perform their special Food & Wine show (they ditch the trash garb for culinary tools). This was a pleasant surprise for us. We saw the Jammitors for the first time last May, so we couldn’t wait to show our family who had not seen them yet. But, we knew they did a special show for the Food & Wine festival.
Disney is constantly evolving to meet the demands and desires of guests. Sometimes this change, like all changes, can be painful at times. Nobody likes to go in a park and see their favorite ride closed, boards up blocking views, or a crane photo bombing your picture of the castle. Most recently, people were completely distraught at the closing of Maelstrom–some even magic banded them selves to the gates in protest of it. But, while I am a big fan of Maelstrom, I can’t wait to see the new Frozen ride that is going in its place. The same is true with Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This trip we learned of so many changes coming to it–more Star Wars stuff (the nerd in me is so pumped about this one), more frozen stuff and maybe a new ride. Animal Kingdom is also expanding to add an Avatar-themed land. And, while I was not a huge fan of this movie, my dad was and can’t wait to go back and check this out.
There is still so much on my bucket list that I haven’t done. The one that will probably shock you the most is that I’ve never had a Dole Whip. Honestly, it has never really appealed to me, but I feel as if it is something I must do if I consider myself a Disney fan. I also still want to get the kitchen sink sundae at Beaches & Cream.
Disney always leaves us wanting more, especially when we learn about new things to come. I cry almost every time I leave even though I know that I will be back. There is just something about leaving that Disney bubble and returning to the real world that saddens me every time. We are planning a trip to Disneyland next summer, and can’t wait to check it out. This will be the longest we’ve gone between Disney trips in two years, so therapy may be in order!