Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We Love The little Things

The question I asked recently on the Around The Mouse facebook page got me thinking. The question was, "If you were at WDW right now, what is THE one thing you'd most want to do on this fine, sunny day?" The answers were (and they're still coming in as I write this) very interesting. For every major attraction listed (Splash, Soarin, Pirates, etc.), many people answered, "Just being there" or something similar. What is it about WDW that brings out that feeling in so many people?

Sure, we all love the big, popular attractions (Toy Story Mania, Haunted Mansion, Soarin, Everest, etc.). The awesome end-of-night fireworks and shows (Wishes, Illuminations, Fantasmic!). The major restaurants (California Grill, Brown Derby, Le Cellier, Boma, etc.). The most popular desserts and treats (Dole Whip, Zebra Domes, etc.). But what are the many things that make Walt Disney World feel like Walt Disney World...that have nothing to do with the big things?

I'm talking about the elements of WDW that you see, hear, smell and feel that makes you LOVE being IN Walt Disney World. And I think the vast majority of those things have nothing to do with the biggest, most popular attractions.

Maybe it has to do with a few of these things...

...the Welcome to Walt Disney World sign that crosses over the highway.

...walking down Main Street, USA in the morning with the Philharmonic playing in the distance.

...the smell of popcorn on Main Street, USA?

...the hammocks at Poly beach.

...watching Wishes from the Poly beach.

...the idea of watching Wishes from the Poly beach hammock.

...the slow incline up at the beginning of Spaceship Earth.

...the pre-Illuminations loop that plays over the speakers as you stroll around World Showcase after dark.

...the miso soup from the Yakatori House.

... the hanging garden lamps and the sound of the water falls behind the Yakatori House. Especially at night.

...being told, "Welcome home," as we enter the resort lobby.

...hearing, "Look at all the lazy people in the lazy rivah."

...seeing the morning sun rise over the Boardwalk.

...seeing the morning sun glow on the Castle.

...seeing your kids meeting Pluto and KNOWING it's HIM.

...experiencing familiar scent of Pirates of the Caribbean.

...having a seat on a bench somewhere around World Showcase and just r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g.

...the first time you see Cindy's castle in the distance as you're walking through the TTC toward either the monorail or the ferry.

...getting choked up during Wishes. Or Illuminations. Or the Candlelight Processional. Or from watching the Voices of Liberty.

...lining up at the turnstile to any of the four parks and knowing you have a whole day ahead of you in a fantasy land...or at least part of a day in Fantasyland.

...watching a CM trade pins with your kids and giving out advice for touring.

...watching the glass blowers at Magic Kingdom.

...and about a million other things.

More and more over the years I've discovered that Walt Disney World isn't about riding rides. It's about the feeling the experience evokes as you envelope yourself in its wonderfully unique atmosphere. When you're there, soak it all in and enjoy every moment - there's no place like it anywhere else.

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