How did you become a Disney fan?

| September 30, 2014 | 16 Replies

I am sure if you are a fan of all things Disney, you have been asked “that” question.  Why are you going to Walt Disney World again? I know I got that question quite a bit when I lived up North. It got worse when I said I was moving to Orlando to be closer to the parks. So what was it about Disney that made you become a Disney fan?

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I became a big Disney fan later than most people. In fact, for years I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to go to Walt Disney World or Disneyland! Finally after several sad events in our family, my sister insisted on a family vacation at Walt Disney World. I did not want to go at all but went because it was family. I truly thought they must put something in the water for everyone to have such a wonderful time. It took a few days and I slowly warmed up to the parks. I realized that WDW is not your typical theme park. It was a place to truly escape from the world. We stayed at Caribbean Beach and I think the beautiful landscaping there got me thinking about moving to Florida. My family has created some wonderful priceless memories in the years since we started going to WDW. Now I get to watch my grandchildren grow their love of all things Disney.

I decided to ask my friends on Facebook what got them hooked on Disney. I am surrounded now by people who get my passion for the parks. I was surprised at some of the responses I got.

Stephen M. said,  “I used to sit and watch World of Disney and various Disney movies with my Grandmother when I was very young.” Many people said watching the movies made them lifelong Disney fans.

John S. said,  “I watched the Original Mickey Mouse Club and was in love with Annette and love to see all the happy people at WDW.”

I can remember watching the Wonderful World of Color when I was younger but it didn’t work its magic on me. In the last few years I have started to watch the Disney Movies like Snow White, Beauty and The Beast, Cinderella, etc. I didn’t watch them because they are classic movies but I wanted to see the details that the Disney company used when they built the attractions in the theme parks. Once I watched the movies I appreciated all the details in the attractions. That is what hooked me when I first started coming to WDW was the attention to detail.

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Julie P. mentioned, ” The feeling that when I enter the Disney bubble that nothing else matters. At least for that week I’m there.”

Richard P. said ” Growing up in the UK in the 70s a visit to Disney World was a dream, and I’m lucky enough to have been able to visit with my own family. Well worth every penny saved to make it come true. I know that many of my friends live a budget lifestyle all year so they can afford to visit Walt Disney World often.  They are always looking for ways to save money by booking with a discount, or money saving tips.”

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For me and many others the memories they were able to make with family and friends is what brings them back to the theme parks time and time again. I get to see some of these Disney fans more often than I get to see far away family.

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I have been able to visit Walt Disney World for all the major holidays and seasons. For me it truly is a magical place no matter the season. I would rather sweat in the heat than slog through slush and snow up North. What made you become a Disney fan?  See you in the parks!

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Category: Disney World

  • Karilynn Wilson

    Love your perspective Kathy—so heartfelt and open. I don’t
    know that I can pinpoint what makes me a fan of Disney like some others can,
    but I can say that for all of my years, 36 and counting, I’ve been a lover of
    imagination, make-believe and fantasy. Not counting my first movie in utero
    (Star Wars), my first Disney film in the theater was Song of the South (not a
    popular thing to say these days) and I got lost in my grandfather’s cornfield
    looking for Brer Rabbit. I also loved my toys, from Star Wars to Smurfs to She-ra action figures. I listened to Disney music constantly on my little vinyl record player. When The Little Mermaid came out at the same I was 13 and dealing with a critical health crisis, everything kind of exploded and I’ve been inhaling Disney ever since (with a special fondness for that mermaid). 20+ years later of loving the stories, the music, the characters and yes, the merchandise (love my toys), I’m still going strong. Now I actually live in one of those Disney houses that we laugh about (with certain allowances for other fantastical characters of course). Living on the west coast makes Disney vacations a little less frequent but each trip is that much more special. Hope
    to meet you on PCC 5.0.

  • Sharon Bivens

    Wonderful World of Color, my first visit to Disneyland in 1970 with my family contributed, having my children and watching all the movies, old and new as they came out. But being a 5 year old at heart, probabaly helped the most. My love of imagination, children and Walt. But the biggest thing was when my spouse and I went down in 2000, for our 25th wedding anniversary. The kid was very much alive in me, but not the spouse yet. About 4 days into our visit, the old fuddy-duddy was at Typhoon Lagoon, waiting for the wave. I knelt in the shallow area and watched the child come out and begin to play with the waves. MY heart just JUMPED with so much joy and love. I knew at that moment, there was another Disney freak born and I was married to that person. God I was on Cloud 9. We can share all that is Disney.

  • Tonya Frazier

    I grew up watching Disney Wonderful World of Color on Sunday nights when I was young and wanted to go to the new “Disney World” and stay at the Poly. I asked to but we were a long way (Kentucky) and Mom told me NO…Only rich get to do that. I never lost the passion of going and in 1980 I had to go to a training seminar in Jacksonville and my spouse told me we were going. I was somewhat afraid that it would cost a lot but once I saw that castle…..My dream came true. I have stayed in the Poly twice now along with some other resorts. My children and now grandchildren have been and have caught my passion and enjoyment of the place. My son works at Microsoft in Washington now and my daughter is a medic. Every-time I tell them that dad and I are going they find a way to go too! I would say a lot of people can say the same thing: I grew up with ‘uncle Walt’ and it was my world away from my daily world. Going with all the family for Christmas!! See you there!!

  • Linda

    My father’s family lived in Florida (Kissimmee, Orlando-area, etc…) so every summer, me, my mom, my dad, and brother would pile into the car, during the 1st two weeks of August and drive from the sweltering heat of New Jersey to the unbearable heat and humidity of central Florida to visit our family – we would always take an extra couple days away from visiting to go to Disney World (which in the 70’s, was only the Magic Kingdom)- every year, for about 16 years, we’d do this. It was an AWESOME memory in the making! I’ve gone about 20 times since over the past 30 years, and as Julie P in the article stated, “that feeling you get when you enter the Disney bubble”….it doesn’t get any better than that – my husband and I try to go every year, for the Epcot Food and Wine festival, and although we have no children, you’re never too old to act like one when you cross those gates. All the worries in the world are removed by all the smiling happy faces you encounter all day long. It’s just the greatest feeling in the world and the happiest place on earth!!!!

  • Karen

    Went for my first trip in 1992 when I was 39 yrs old. I really didn’t want to go, couldn’t really see the sense to go all that way, from Maine, to see a theme park. Then after spending 6 days there, staying at the newly opened Dixie Landings Resort, and going to MK, MGM and EPCOT, I was hooked. I had been back home about 4 months when I realized that is all I was thinking about and trying to figure out how I was going to get back there again. Trip #31 is coming up. not to far off, I will become a “snowbird” and hope to work at WDW for the winter.

  • Mark Bustamante

    I’ve been really lucky. I was born and raised in Orange County, CA. I lived and still live 20 minutes from Disneyland. Ever since I was a small boy I got to go to Disneyland either with my family or my friends. We went for birthdays, holidays, when relatives came to visit. Every time it was magical. As i got older I started going more frequently. And as Disneyland upgrade their rides and attractions and added “special” events I visited even more. Now that I’m married and have a child I purchased Annual Passes for my wife, daughter and myself. We visit at least 3 times a month and now my 19 year old daughter visits the Magic Kingdom with her college friends. I’ve even gone so far as to get two Disney Themed tattoos (Winnie the Pooh and Tigger and Boo from Monsters Inc) and plan on getting at least 2 more. We have been on a Disney Cruise, visited WDW and are going again in 2015. My BUCKET LIST contains visiting every Disney Park in the world.

  • Demaris Hill

    I also fell in love with Disney World at a later age. Don’t get me wrong. . .I loved Mickey and Disney movies and of course Winnie Pooh and the gang. But it wasn’t until I was 29 years old when I was invited to visit Disney World that I became a Disney “addict”. I too, live up North and have friends who think I’m crazy because all I want to do is visit Disney. Being there is surreal and it is truly like being in another world. Leave your troubles behind for awhile and let Disney World immerse you in an experience of a lifetime. I have already decided I want to move to Florida to live close to the parks. It is just a matter of timing :)

  • Teresa M.

    My husband became a fan of Walt Disney World when we went there on our honeymoon in 1995 (my idea). We have been back 5 times since then, the most recent trip being this past August with our 4 kids in tow!

  • Kristine Ihrke

    I am with those that say Disney is their escape from the “real” world. It’s my Eutopia! I don’t cook, clean, or worry about the troubles of the world. Our vacation is about family, laughter, memories, and magic. The things that count in life.

  • Ghost Man

    To be honest, I never really paid attention to Disney World even though I grew up watching the Wonderful World of Color. Our first trip to DW was in 1992 after a close friend told me about his recent trip. That trip got us hooked and in two years we joined the DVC. Even though we can go to other destinations we always return to DW. Like others, we are always asked questions, ” Why not go someplace else? Don’t you get bored?” Well, we’ve gone every year since 1992 and haven’t been bored yet. As Kristine stated, it’s the escape from the real world.

  • Dana Saxton

    Because they do the little things – extra details that if they didn’t do, you wouldn’t miss – that make the magic happen.

  • Stephanie

    I have been going to Disneyworld since I was about 4. Its my absolute favorite place to vacation. My husband and I have stayed at almost all of the resorts. Our favorite resort is The Wilderness Lodge. I get you are going to Disneyworld again ALL the time. There are soo many other things to do besides the theme parks. Things are always changing and being updated to make things easier. We dont get tired of making plans for that next trip. On our last trip in September, we made a stop at Universal/IOA and stayed at Cabana Bay. It was a really cool resort. We stayed at Boardwalk Club level this trip as well, it was super nice. We had a blast. It is always hard to leave due to the fact that we have sooo much fun!

  • niksgrammy

    I started going to WDW in 1982. It was their 10th anniversary and also mine. It was our first vacation since having kids. At that time there was only the MK River Country and Discovery Island. I had 3 kids and they loved it. We stayed at the Poly that time.
    Since then we have tried to go at least every 2 to 3 years. We have brought our 2 grandsons 5 and 6 times. Now they go with their girlfriends. My husband and I went in Dec of 13 for the Xmas season. That was on my bucket list. Got to cross that off along with a balloon ride at DD. I cried went I went on Small World. My favorite ride was closing for refurb. Literally a grown woman crying, because I thought maybe this would be my last time. But it won’t. There isn’t one stone, flower, railroad track, that I don’t love. Disney has been my life and my go to vacation. Will be forever. Hope to live on forever in WDW. Can’t wait for my next trip. Thanks for listening. NIKSGRAMMY

  • DisneySuperfan

    I was born in June of 1955-the month before Disneyland opened so I don’t ever remember not going to Disneyland. We got to go whenever anyone came to visit us here in California and that was always great,makes you not mind the visitors! I have always celebrated the anniversaries of Disneyland. And yes grew up watching Uncle Walt and the wonderful world of color.I look forward to Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary coming up this coming year in July. Bought season passes for the first time last year,have grandchildren now to enjoy Disneyland too. My two daughters grew up going to Disneyland several times a year and always for the Christmas season and they love Disney also. My youngest went to Disneyworld for her honeymoon several years ago and has gone back again. Hope to get to Disneyworld someday,that will be on my bucket list along with another trip to Hawaii. I also love to shop Disney stores and enjoy their products. Making plans now to see Disneyland’s Halloween decorations-I love all the seasonal decorations they put out,it brightens up any season.There is a special feeling when you’re riding the tram into Disneyland parking lot to the gates and passes all the colorful flowers and waiting to see all the stores and the atmosphere around you. I always look forward to it.

  • Cindi

    I grew up with Disney as far back as I can remember. One of my first memories is actually going to Disneyland back in the 60’s. I was terrified of Monstro the whale that the storybook canal boats pass through. I remember riding in the Nautilus and seeing the live mermaids in the lagoon. Part of our weekly ritual was watching Wonderful World of Disney on tv every Sunday night with our dinner on tv trays. I loved that Walt talked to us before the program and gave us some backstory and usually a peek at new attractions and things at Disneyland and the upcoming new land in Florida, Walt Disney World. I had every and any Disney thing I could get my hands on, and back then it was mostly illustrated storybooks, coloring books and those “magic erasable” wax tablets you could write on with the plastic stylus and then erase the image by lifting the transparent cover sheet. My first visit to WDW was in 1984 and EPCOT was still brand new and we were there when Morocco opened. I was there for the 25th anniversary with the Pepto Bismol pink candy coated Cinderella castle. I remember when Figment and Dreamfinder were quite an attraction and a must see. I sang and toasted with The Hat Lady at the pub, clapped and tapped and danced in my seat to Off Kilter, watched “Candy” Miyugi make fascinating candy sculptures, and felt the drums of the Japanese drummers even as far as Ireland… I rode in the front of the monorail back when you were allowed to fly with the pilot. I rode the monorail with the one and only Bobert, the cast member that shared the history of the monorail and a lot of other fascinating monorail information as well as Disney history and trivia. I had my first Disneymoon at WDW, and decades later, my 10th anniversary too. My mom and I had our first ever girls only Mom and Daughter trip to WDW. And next is my first solo trip to WDW! I can’t imagine my life without Disney in it.

  • pat

    It was Walt Disney! Like many others I watched Wonderful World of Color on Sundays with my family, but my favorite episodes where when Walt himself was on. I loved when he would explain a new ride or talk about a vision or how Disneyland came to be. I’ve only been fortunate enough to get to Disneyland once and they had E-tickets! Been to Walt Disney World about 6 times. But not being able to get there very often is what makes me appreciate The Dis Unplugged, the videos, the photos, the live feeds posted by Craig and the blogs like this one. Thanks again Kathy for helping a Disney Fan stay in touch with a place she loves!