General DVC

How DVC Helps Unlock the Magic of Disney

As many of you know, my normal interaction with DVC Fan is through the lens of comedy. My sometimes witty, mostly inane lists of funny observations I’ve made on visits to the resorts and parks over the past couple of years have given me the opportunity to interact with so many fantastic DVC members. These funny observations were inspired by (or stolen from) our own Amy Krieger, who still does it better. To quote Woody Allen, “If you’re going to steal, steal from the best.”  

Having recently relocated from Utah to the Orlando area, I’ve had some experiences lately that put the comedy on hold and reminded me of things that quite frankly, I’ve taken for granted.

As DVC Members, one of the things we always pride ourselves on telling other people is that we experience the parks differently. “If I don’t get on Big Thunder this trip, I know there’s another trip down the road. I’ll always be back.” I’m one of those people, and it’s never been more true since moving 25 minutes from the parks. As a DVC Member and constant social media contributor, I’ve found myself comparing visit to visit, restaurant to restaurant, and resort to resort. Always searching for that Disney Magic. While I’m forever grateful that I get to experience these things so frequently, there’s a byproduct that I hadn’t really considered, and this week I’ve found myself experiencing Disney in a whole new way. 

This week, I had the opportunity to visit twice. Once with some dear friends at Magic Kingdom who live a few hours away and once with my mom, who I took with me to Hollywood Studios on Father’s Day.

The last time my mom was in a Disney Park was in 1992, right before my 16th birthday. It was Disneyland, it was summer, it was crowded and it was prior to any kind of FastPass. We were in the park for 10 hours and rode only five rides, as the lines were pure insanity. It couldn’t have been a worse experience for her. I still had fun, but then again, I met a girl from Texas who kissed me on Pirates of the Caribbean, so I really don’t remember anything else.

My mom hadn’t been to Disney World since 1985, and it was for a softball tournament at Wide World of Sports. They spent an afternoon at EPCOT (I still have the Figment plush she brought home to me from that trip). What struck me was her experience on returning after so much time. I can’t imagine having the experience of only knowing what used to be and then being immediately immersed in the changes over almost 40 years. To go from Spaceship Earth being on the cutting edge of technology to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was a shock to her senses. She couldn’t grasp the scale and scope of what she had just experienced.

My friends that went to Magic Kingdom with us, and who are huge Disney fans, were also discovering Disney in a new way. Their oldest daughter just recently completed the College Program, and they just recently became DVC members. So recently, in fact, they are still waiting for their points to be loaded. While waiting in lines, we discussed all the aspects of DVC ownership. They fired question after question. Even though they only live in Jacksonville, to see the excitement firsthand as they navigate ownership, review point charts, and plan their upcoming visits is something only we DVC Members understand. 

Even more so, to hear their oldest daughter and her boyfriend talk about how working at Disney has changed their lives, how getting to deliver magical experiences is something that they will always cherish and she was even trying to get back on full time. 

All of these things lead really up to one glaring detail. It made me realize that The Magic of Disney, that we all fell in love with and that we all constantly search for, is actually within ourselves. Disney can theme out a land, provide stellar service and top-notch food…but all that has very little to do with the so called “magic.” Other theme parks can do the same thing. I’m sure we all have friends that aren’t “Disney people.” They’ve stayed at the same resorts, eaten the same food, and rode the same rides.  Why aren’t they as smitten as the rest of us? To put simply, their “magic” is somewhere else.  

The “Magic of Disney” is our own to unlock. Ten years from now, I won’t be able to tell you if the food was good, but I’ll remember my mom’s reaction to 50s Prime Time and how she was totally lost in it. She said it reminded her very much of growing up. She watched the old time tv’s with such a fondness that while I think is charming, is not something I dwell on. She meandered through the park, her head turning and her eyes constantly searching, trying to take it all in. Her brain trying to comprehend Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is something I won’t forget. She cried during Fantasmic…not because she’s overly connected to Disney or Mickey or anything. But because she didn’t know how else to process it.  It reminded me very much of why I fell in love with it all in the first place. Considering that theming-wise, Hollywood Studios is at the caboose of the Disney Train in regard to theming, I can’t wait to take her to Animal Kingdom when she comes back. 

My friends at Magic Kingdom, who were actually in town to celebrate their youngest’s 16th birthday, let her plan their whole day. Whatever she wanted, that’s what they (and we) did. We did the things. We ate Dole Whips and Churros. We rode Haunted Mansion and Pirates. The one thing that I will never forget; however, was as we were wrapping up the night and getting ready to head out, their 16-year-old daughter wanted to do one last thing. She wanted to end her birthday walking out of Cinderella Castle. That’s the core memory. It wasn’t how bad the chicken nuggets were at Cosmic Ray’s. It was sharing that moment with her, even from a distance. 

I can’t wait to watch my friends get to experience DVC Membership at its fullest. They might not care about the same details that I do. They just want to be a part of this and to do it a little cheaper than they would have otherwise. I also can’t wait to use my membership differently. Shorter stays in rooms I’ve never got to see and to bring friends and family in to visit, sharing my DVC Villa rather than whatever cheap hotel their budget would allow. I want to help others unlock that magic, if it’s in them, and provide an experience that they may not otherwise have been able to. I have so many friends and family that have never been to Disney World. I’m excited to watch their experience.

What are your core memories? Where’s the Disney Magic inside of you? What DVC experiences are you looking forward to in the future?

One thought on “How DVC Helps Unlock the Magic of Disney

  • So very good! Thank you!

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