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Expectations of Disney

Lately I see more and more negative posts around the internet regarding Disney...or more like what Disney is doing wrong. There are two problems I see with this...

1) Many people seem to think Disney owes them something

2) It's hard for first time visitors to sift through what is the occasional rant or something they should genuinely be aware of.

Let me address the first point. Are we entitled to expect certain things of Disney? Of course! We have expectations in mind, many of which Disney has set us up for. We expect to enter the park, on a perfectly sunny day, not to hot or cold and definitely no rain. Mickey will run up and embrace our children and we will immediately get in line for our favorite ride with no wait. Oh and we'll also have our favorite dinner...all of which happens spontaneously.

More realistic...the crowds waiting to have their bags checked before even getting to the entrance of Animal Kingdom

Ok in all seriousness, there are certain things most of us expect from Disney. We expect it to be clean, we expect amazing guest service, and our children to have a magical time seeing and experiences all their favorite characters and movies. However, upon reading a lot of blogs there seems to be a whole other set of expectations, seemingly from those of us who frequent the parks often. These posts bash Disney newer systems like Fastpass+, the invasion of Frozen and Starbucks, the removal of their favorite character/restaurant/snack...well you get the point.

Are they entitled to their opinions? YES! Of course! Today though, I want to share my opinion. Maybe my version is a bit skewed. I'm lucky enough to help a lot of people plan their first trip to Disney. Most of them don't sweat the small stuff...they are so thrilled to visit the parks for the first time that they don't stress about the future of Fastpass+, or what restaurant they've missed out on...but occasionally I hear comments about what they HAVE to get on their vacation or it will be ruined.

Dear First Time Visitor...I implore you to take a step back. Take Disney for what it's worth...and not for what you've read online about what is wrong with the parks or where you HAVE to eat. I'm not saying turn a blind eye or that Disney is perfect but the things that seem to affect repeat visitors (and I mean repeat often within a year) don't affect you the same way. Disney is an amazing place. They are constantly working to improve their systems for YOU as the guest.

Here are some things that people said when I asked them why they LOVE Disney!

  • I absolutely love the atmosphere that you're totally somewhere else at Disney World. That the outside world doesn't even exist (I was fully convinced it was its own country when I first went as a kid.)
  • The total immersion. Every detail planned out so you get 360 degrees of atmosphere. All your senses take you to a different world and it's truly magical. The customer service is also fantastic
  • One word. Magic.
  • I love it all! They do everything so well. The parks really transport you somewhere else where you can forget about the real world and be a kid no matter how old you are! The customer experience is unmatched in my opinion and worth every penny!
  • Family friendly, clean, great service, being able to escape from the real world for a few days, good food, making memories...should I go on?
  • The reason(s) why I love Disney so much are that it is a place where a family can go and be totally involved in a vacation 24/7. From the resorts, to the transportation, to the parks, to the meals - it is possible to make the entire trip an all inclusive Disney-themed trip. There are so many options so each trip can be quite different from the the last, and visitors really can pick and choose their own ways to enjoys Disney.

So here's my suggestion. Enlist the help of a great travel planner to help you sort through the info...find out what's important and what's not. If it's your first time, remember you don't know what you don't you won't miss out! Soak it in, enjoy every second, pay attention to the little moments of wonderment, sing along, dance, act silly, put away your phone, be a kid again, enjoy your children (no matter what age), and believe in the magic...even if it's just for a few days.

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