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Feels Like the First Time: Planning a Trip with a First Time Visitor

by Leslie Wiseman, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 03-13-2014

We love our Disney vacations.

I did find however, that going year after year had caused my children to take the most magical place on earth for granted. I realized when my kids said to me "We are going to Disney again?" after I had surprised them with a holiday trip, that maybe we needed to take a break. A depression had set in for me and I thought this was it for our family. Maybe they had outgrown Walt Disney World? How can I restore the magic they felt as little kids? Would this be my last trip until I'm a grandmother? How can I get teenagers to want to go back to Walt Disney World as badly as their parents do?

Last fall, after looking at the many family Disney pictures in our home, one of my best friends asked my children how many times they had been to Walt Disney World. After my daughter counted and responded, my friend said "six times?! My daughter and I haven't even been to Florida, let alone Walt Disney World." My kids were shocked by this and began telling my friend about our amazing trips, where we stayed, what we did, and where we ate. They told her about their favorite rides and shows and many of the magical moments we have experienced. My kids became excited sharing their memories. My son said "You would love it, Marcie; especially at Christmas, because I know how much you love Christmas!" Then it hit me. Would my kids be excited to share Disney with friends who have never experienced it before? This may be how I could get my family back to Walt Disney World.

That night I asked my husband if he would consider taking a trip and bringing along our friends. Of course, he was thrilled to take another trip himself. I asked my children "Do you think it would be fun to invite Marcie and Megan to Florida with us?" They of course responded "Yes!" I waited a few days and I asked my friend, "Would you and Megan like to go to Disney with us this Thanksgiving?" Of course you know their answer!

The excitement and planning had begun. Planning is my favorite part of the trip! I help everyone I know plan Disney vacations and love sharing my knowledge of this awesome place. Instead of playing Candy Crush, I am on the message boards reading and dreaming along with every one of you headed to my favorite places. My kids have always felt I was Disney-crazy, but now that they are planning a trip for our friends, it's like we are going for the first time again. How do we decide where to eat? Where do we stay? What favorite things do we want to share? What is on our must-do list? My friend and I have vowed to budget, save money and lose weight before our trip. (We will see how this goes!) We are planning Disney movie nights to plan our trip. I have found my kids wanting to do things we haven’t done in years.

The first thing we did was order the PassPorter guide. Though my family is seasoned veterans of Disney, we always get a PassPorter every trip. After my friend read this she realized very quickly there was a lot involved in planning a Disney vacation and was thankful we knew the ropes.

My son suggested we order the Disney vacation DVD for them to watch. This really built their excitement and they instantly were overwhelmed at everything we were going to do. My daughter even asked if one of our dining experiences could include princesses, because my friend's daughter had never gotten to "dine" with Princesses as a little girl. This made me smile, as our last trip involved absolutely no character meals, because they were "too big" for those. Though many of the things we will do on our trip we will have done many times before, this time we will see things through our friend's eyes. It will be new again!

I admit, on past trips I have found myself rushing down Main Street, cutting through the shops to get to Splash Mountain faster because, after all, I have seen Main Street USA before. This trip will be different! My family will slow down, stop and point out things, watch parades, fireworks, and shows and be excited to share their favorite things and the Disney magic with some of their favorite people.

Has your family lost the Disney magic? Plan a trip with first-time family or friends! Disney can be an overwhelming task for someone who has never been there, so share your experience with them to make them Disney lovers, too. I, too, am very excited about this upcoming trip. Being able to go to Disney is always a gift, but being able to share this place with people who have never experienced it before will be priceless!

About the Author: Leslie works in the computer software Industry by day, coaches a high school cheerleading squad in the evening, and is the proud mother of a 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter. She is always saving for or planning the next Disney getaway for her family or her friends! She is a lover of Central Florida and everything in the Walt Disney World Resort! (Thanks to Sara, her next trip is booked for November 2014.)  

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Updated 03-13-2014

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