In this article, I explain how this once Disney World skeptic became not only a happy customer, but a Disney influencer and raving fan! So much so that I now spend a great deal of my time writing and sharing how great Disney is with other moms, fans, and influencers. When I first wrote this article in March of 2017, I had just completed my Year of Disney with an Annual Pass and launched this travel blog.
In the past six months, the Disney side of VeraVise WOW travel has grown into a growing community on Twitter through our weekly #DisFanChat on Tuesday nights. We have a Facebook planning group surrounding the chat and a brand new Facebook page to share all of our DisFanChat news and discussions.
I have also launched Mouse Fan Mondays Blog Hop for all of you die hard Disney nerds to share your Disney love online with one another here at VeraVise and with my fellow Tennessean and Disney Nerd, Sarah, at The Moment Mom!
There are several more exciting Disney related things in the pipe line so I hope you will join us and stay tuned. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this early post from VeraVise WOW Travel and please drop a link on our Mouse Fan Mondays so we can hop over and see what's happening in your Magical Place!
Finally, if you enjoy seeing Disney pictures, be sure to like our DisFanChat Instagram page!
We've all been to theme parks before. They all have the same basic make up, right? Thrill rides. Kiddie rides. Theme park food. Mildly entertaining programs (for when it rains or it's too hot or you just need to kill time).What is it about Walt Disney World that has led to entire websites and podcasts and really an entire industry based solely upon the happenings at this Orlando attraction.
As I mentioned, I was a Disney resister. I had some personal reasons, but honestly, my ignorance of what Walt Disney World had to offer to families of all shapes and sizes kept me away. After finally deciding to take my husband up on the offer to visit with our three kids, what was it that turned this one time Disney skeptic into an all out completely obsessed Disney fanatic? In reflecting on that question, I came up with these top five reasons this #neverWDWer became an Annual Pass holding, podcast listening, all things WDW following mom.
I know it will sound loony to all the non type A personalities out there, but I love to plan things. When I worked as a pharmacy manager, my favorite aspect of the job was planning the schedule for my staff.
I loved meeting the challenge of filling the needs of the business while trying to offer everyone the best possible schedule.
If you are like me and take as much pleasure in planning the experience as actually experiencing it, WDW offers that and much more. Whether it's scoping for FP+, researching the best Disney character meals for my family, or picking the absolute best hotel experience, the sky is the limit at WDW. Every detail can be planned. Now, of course, I'm realistic. You can't plan everything or no one will have any fun, but if you are an organizer or you just love laying it all out before you go, WDW certainly fits the bill.
WDW offers a great community. Facebook groups, forums on sites like touringplans.com, podcasts, and endless blogs abound. The world of travel, and WDW in particular, provides a place for people from all different views to share this one common affinity. Perhaps many of us would never be BFF's in real life, but in this place, we share common ground. Silly I guess, perhaps maybe even a bit shallow, but during this previous crazy election cycle, it was often nice to escape into my many WDW communities,
and discuss an upcoming trip, or a favorite snack,
or what the crowd level might be at any given moment in time. It was fun to share the journey with others.
Now, we are getting to the real motivations for my turn around views on Walt Disney World. The multigenerational appeal. On our first visit to WDW our party included my husband, his parents, our three children ages 7 years, 4 years, and 20 months, and myself. Despite being an über planner, our first trip was taken within about three weeks of deciding to visit so many things were not planned, and some rides were difficult to access.
Nevertheless, I was blown away. I fully expected that someone would have to spend a lot of time waiting with the toddler throughout most of the day as is often the case at many theme parks, but not at Walt Disney World. There were very few rides that the entire family couldn't enjoy and these rides weren't just watered down carnival attractions.
The first time I rode Peter Pan, I was enthralled. So much so that after six visits, I still don’t feel I’ve experienced WDW if I don’t get to experience Peter Pan at least once. And Splash Mountain!! Wow!! What an experience. It took a year before my entire family was brave enough or tall enough to ride it, but after my first experience, I just couldn’t believe it. The quality animatronics and the length of the experience made it like no other ride I had ever experienced. Even rides like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Under the Sea impressed me.
I just remember the great fun and joy I had as a mother seeing my children's faces as we rode along and even my twenty month old smiling and laughing. What great memories that I will always cherish.
This reason is closely tied to reason #3 as I already mentioned how impressed I was with rides like Peter Pan, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Splash Mountain. Our first trip was an off site trip in that we rented a home rather than staying on WDW property. And while, I will have more to say about the great fun it is to stay on WDW property and will likely elaborate on my favorite hotels and WDW property areas, nevertheless, even being off site didn't leave us feeling like we hadn't been part of something so very special.
My husband still laughs at me because the moment Peter Pan's car took flight, I said, "How are we flying?" before I looked overhead. Perhaps it isn't that Disney offers something for every age as much as Disney makes us all the same age again.
The final and #1 absolutely most significant reason that Walt Disney World successfully converted this usually much more frugal and skeptical mom into a Disney crazed, justifying every dime, mom: Food Allergy Policies
I am an allergy mom! All you mom's out there who know exactly what that means, understand why Walt Disney World is an amazing family vacation for kids (or moms and dads) with food allergies. We have visited many restaurants that have been accommodating, but accommodating
is not the same as going the extra mile.
Walt Disney World goes the extra mile for my kids. They don't just have to eat some bland tasting alternative. No! Sometimes, in fact, they get something better than mom and dad. The meal that won me over and keeps me coming back was experienced in Animal Kingdom's Tusker House.
After having some of the best food I've ever eaten and enjoying my children's excited adventures dancing around with Mickey, Goofy, and Donald and Daisy Duck, we enjoyed some of the best desserts I have eaten at WDW, but I worried my kids would not really enjoy their desserts. I was very surprised when our waiter brought them out their very own plates of desserts! That's right. DESSERTS plural! They didn't just get one dessert, like the rest of the non allergy family, they got a plate full of delicious treats. For this investment, Disney was rewarded with a new loyal family and another adoring fan who tells all her friends about this great theme park experience.