Being a husband and father has taught me about magic in a million different ways. Maybe before that, I chose to ignore it. Thinking like Bukowski, magic, and happiness were for those with a weak constitution. Or perhaps in those days it just wasn’t there.

Spending my first 15 adult years as a bartender, my idea of a sunrise was seen behind bloodshot eyes. Now I am a Disney guy, and the perfect sunsets are to the left of a castle and viewed from a 1-bedroom Villa at Bay Lake Tower. With those restaurant days behind me, I am now an accountant and part-time college professor with a low-key life, an amazing wife, two wonderful kids and a passion for all things Disney World.

Our Disney World journey unofficially started 12 years ago when our planned trip was canceled the night before our flight due to my oldest son having a double ear infection. It took a full two years to finally make it to the Kingdom. This was supposed to be a one-off trip. A singular journey to let my kids experience it and something that we would probably never do again. 

Year two was a last-minute idea, a trip to take with my wife’s parents to feel that magic one more time. The next two trips kept us in the world of the moderate resorts, staying at Port Orleans Riverside, followed by the “once in a lifetime” chance to stay at the Polynesian. And that was it, they had us.

In year six we did the DVC tour, got the free fast passes, thought about it for a hot second and were on our way. I did the quick math and thought it’s only worth the money if we were going to do deluxe resorts every year for the next 20 years, but let’s be real, that’s probably not what we’re going to do. 

By year eight it was a no brainer. We did the tour at the Polynesian and couldn’t wait to get our names on that dotted line. And this even would allow us to take a second trip later that year with our new contract “use year bonus points” for my son’s eleventh birthday. An indelible part of his youth that he would never lose- the idea almost brought tears to my eyes. 

And then of course there was the Add-Ons. They never tell you about Add-On-Itis at the beginning, but it is something you should really learn. Year nine found us adding on two separate times-one through Disney directly for Copper Creek in January and a second time through the resale market to add on more Polynesian points in December. Now finally it is year eleven and all I can think about is that 1000-point club and what Disney Vlog Michele and I will watch tonight. 

Maybe it’s an addiction, maybe it’s a way to hold onto that magic that I felt the first time around or maybe it’s just a way to spend some amazing time with the most important people in my life for as long as I can. 

My only regret is not buying into DVC earlier, and not feeling this magic sooner in life. For us Disney World gives us something to plan for, something to strategize about, and something to look forward to as both a family and as a couple. If you ever considered taking the plunge, there’s not a better adventure in life that I could recommend.