The Year Without Disney: How to Keep the Disney Spirit Alive Between Trips
|by Andee Zomerman, PassPorter Guest Contributor|
Last modified 12-01-2011
Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!
Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Making Magic
Outside, the leaves have ended their colorful transformation, the crisp air has forced my sweaters out of the closet, and my afternoons are booked shuttling kids to all of their extra-curricular activities.
Normally this time of the year keeps me busy enough to let frivolous thoughts escape. But recently, something occurred to me, and my heart sank to my stomach. The year-end nears and I have not taken a Disney vacation.
It’s not like the revelation surprises me. Earlier in the year, my husband and I discussed our travel plans and decided an extravagant vacation didn’t fit in our calendar or our budget. Though we had no formal plan to travel far from our Oregon home this year, I secretly thought we might escape for a long weekend to the Disneyland Resort. But unless a truckload of Pixie Dust dumps on us in the next few weeks, 2011 will be the first year that I will not step foot on Disney property. It appears that Mickey and I won’t reunite until at least 2012 (or later?), so I am discovering ways to keep my “Disney spirit” alive.
Helping Friends Plan Their Disney Dreams
Helping people I know plan their Disney vacations excites my “Disney spirit.” Just last week, my Girl Scout co-leader met me for panini and soup to devise a touring plan for her family’s first visit to the Disneyland Resort. She became a tad overwhelmed when I spoke of spreadsheets, but the result was a fun-filled schedule, fully planned by the end of lunch.
Helping Strangers Plan Their Disney Destination
The PassPorter.com community forum displays an abundance of questions waiting to be tackled by fellow readers. When not planning my own getaway, I lose myself in scanning posts from others planning theirs. In the past, I’ve spent countless hours on the site researching every detail about an upcoming trip. I may be stuck at home this year, but I can take time to share my experiences in order to help people I’ve never met plan the vacation of their dreams.
This plaque appears overhead as you enter Disneyland Park. - photo by 4Zs
Manage Those Photos
Knowing I won’t be taking new Disney pics this year, I can devote some time to organizing the prints from previous sojourns. Will I fill one album per trip? Should I make a compilation of excursions by the decade? Maybe I can dedicate a scrapbook focused on my children growing up with the characters. Whatever I come up with, I know my “Disney spirit” awakens in the photographed memories that are significant to each magical vacation.
Keep “Expert” Status
Even though I’m not traveling to a Disney location this year, I can still send away for my free planning DVD for the Resorts and Cruise Line. A multitude of blogs constantly update me on current Disney events, while reading the latest edition of PassPorter's Walt Disney World keeps me abreast of the changes and additions I need to be aware of to maintain my Disney-expert reputation.
Trying Something New
I almost feel blasphemous sharing this. Knowing we wouldn’t be saving our pennies for a 2011 Disney vacation, we did activities we don’t normally do on a Disney excursion. Staying local, we rode bikes, went water skiing, tried horseback riding, and even went camping! I admit I had an honest-to-goodness, restful time in the outdoors. Time away from the theme parks proved that we could keep the “Disney spirit” of family alive even if a life-sized mouse wasn’t there to welcome us.
Yes, I have experienced mini pity-parties because I don’t get to see Mickey this year, but working with others as they prepare their own Disney holiday gives me almost as much joy. One recent morning, a friend texted me as she and her family were driving to a different California theme park for her son’s birthday:
Friend: Driving by Disneyland. He asked if we could go there instead. So we are.
Me: Much better decision. Stop by City Hall on Main Street to get him a bday sticker.
Friend: Keep the hints coming. Do you suggest Park Hopper since it’s open until 10?
Me: Yes on PH to get max roller coaster time. No if coasters aren’t important.
(20 minutes later)
Friend: Screamin’ is AWESOME!
Throughout that day via our iPhones, my “Disney spirit” was kept alive as I vicariously shared my friend’s impromptu destination decision. She texted after favorite attractions and sent pictures of “World of Color.” After all, if I can’t experience the Disney Magic in person, I might as well share in the Magic others are having!
About the Author: Andee Zomerman lives in the Pacific Northwest and is a wife and mother to a family that loves all things Disney. They seem to be constantly planning their next Disney vacation – even while experiencing the current one.
Related Links:Read additional articles from PassPorter.com
Gardens of The World Tour - A Guided Tour During Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival last updated 5/28/2009
Star Wars Weekends - Feel the Force at Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 6/4/2009
Unusual Photo Opportunities - Getting Unique Photos at Disney last updated 6/18/2009
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights - Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 7/6/2009
Dashing Through The ... Snow? - Sleigh Rides at Walt Disney World last updated 11/30/08
Mtfarlin on December 1, 2011 @ 7:08 pm
Thank You for a great article!!! I too am not able to travel to Walt Disney World this year due to budget restraints:( First year in a long time I have missed a visit with The Mouse). Since last Feb I have helped 8 co-workers and family members plan their trips to Walt Disney World. Some travelers are first-timers and some are repeat visitors. As mentioned helping others plan their trips and regular visits to the PassPorter site and others, helps me get my "Disney fix" for this year Thanks again for letting me know I am not the only one yearning for that "special" Disney trip.
View all 2 comments in forum thread LesliePR on December 7, 2011 @ 7:53 am
Truly a disney wonder! I always think that it's not just the fun of going yourself, but getting others excited about going and sharing your expertise and hints. Wonderful article, Andee! I only get to go to WDW every five years, but oh, i have fun planning and talking to others for the rest of the time! :o
So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!
(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)
Updated 12-01-2011 - Article #755
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 55,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide.
As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!|
We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result
in more spam! We guarantee it.
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
| LEARN MORE|
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks|
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discussion forums about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel provided by PassPorter Travel Press, the ultimate Disney travel guide and book series.
You will only hear this in Disney......
19 May 2013 at 8:50am
As I was waiting for DH to get out of Darth Maul's Mall. I was sitting by the exit of RR. A family came out. A husband said I want to go see...
(click title above to view replies)
Has anyone used the Disney Floral & Gifts service before?
16 May 2013 at 11:09pm
Hey fellow Passporters. My family and I will be going down for our first trip to the World in October. I am wanting to add a little extra surprise...
(click title above to view replies)
My Disney Experience and tours/rentals
16 May 2013 at 11:14am
Does My Disney Experience list tour and/or rental reservations like it does for resort and dining reservations? Mine doesn't show my safari tour or...
(click title above to view replies)
Total Visits: 2104