Thankful for My Happy Place

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Disney World is the top of my list for my favorite vacation spot. There is something about driving under that magical archway announcing that you have made it to the The Most Magical Place on Earth. Every time we go, I feel the same anticipation grow mile by mile and I can’t help but smile (like, full on teeth and all smile) as we drive past the sign and on to our resort. As Thanksgiving approaches, I started considering reasons why I am so thankful for this vacation spot and all of the wonderful memories it has helped shaped through the years.
Never Grow Up. This is obvious, right? Where else can you wear shirts with cartoon characters, dance with a princess, and go on a treasure hunt with a pirate without thinking twice about how silly it looks. There could not be a safer place to wear a Goofy hat and dance in the middle of Main Street. I love Disney for this; to me this is the epitome of what Walt hoped to create.
Through a Child’s Eyes. I will gladly admit the first time we took our son to Disney, I was more excited than he was. I thought I loved Disney World before, but it took on a completely different meaning to me the first time we had our son there. He lit up meeting Mickey and Minnie and I nearly cried. Every ride was amazing, the characters were celebrities, and to him there is nowhere else he would rather be. I love talking about Disney World with him and all of the memories we create every time we get to go. And now, I cannot wait to take our newest addition so she can earn her ears on Main Street, too.

.meeting Mickey
Instant Friendships. Friends are great, but Disney friends are awesome. When we relocated to a different state a few years ago, I was nervous about making friends and meeting people. Little did I know, I had Disney on my side! Carrying around my Disney bag made me easy to spot and within a couple of months, I was forming friendships with people at work and at church – all because our mutual love of Disney. Three years later, these friends are probably my closest and even though our relationships are now deeper than just a love for Disney, I know that there is someone nearby that “just gets it” when I’m 10 hours away but looking to see what the wait time is for Tower of Terror on a cold November day!
College Memories. I did the Walt Disney World College Program (all the way back) in 2003. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I loved seeing just a small glimpse of how this business is run and it really laid a foundation for me as to what complete Guest Service really means. This is something I think about in my project management role at work and even serving on my church greeting team on Sunday morning. These days were some of the best of my life. I loved every single second while on my program. Where else could I go hop on Tower of Terror before going to my job at Epcot?! I still keep up with the friends that I made during this incredible 5 month program.
Disney Bubble. Once I drive under the magical archway welcoming me to the place “Where Dreams Come True” I leave the rest of the world behind. This is my time with my family, away from every care we could possibly have. The phones are in backpacks, the TV is not turned on, tablets are left behind. We talk, we laugh, we create memories without distraction. Once we are home, these memories give us more family time. I can still remember trips we took with my parents as a child and we still talk about them! I love being able to build on this with my family – it is so much fun talking about what we loved during each trip and planning for next time.
As a Disney fan, what are you thankful for? Do any of these touch you the same way? Tell us below why you are thankful for Disney!

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