Never Be “Disney Shamed” Again

Never Be “Disney Shamed” AgainLet the Disney Shaming Begin! (Or NOT!!!) Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Logan Wolfe.

As part of our Meet the Team series, we asked this month s featured writer, Kathleen Logan Wolfe1, to share with us her thoughts on something near and dear to her heart when it comes to WDW If you have visited the Walt Disney World Resort more than once in your adult life, inevitably someone has questioned your choice of vacation destination with a condescending, insulting and/or borderline degrading tone to their voice. You re going there AGAIN? (Hopefully the bolding, italicizing and underlining helped procure the dramatic delivery and emphasis folks put on that word again .) I call this Disney Shaming .

Never Be “Disney Shamed” AgainAll smiles! Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Logan Wolfe.

Whether there is true malice intended when asking this question or not, it is certainly cause for defense on the receiving end, as a shadow filled with darkness and doubt begins to creep over your I m Going to Disney elation. We can t have that, now can we? Let us be shamed no more! Simply put, some people just don t get it, nor do some people have a verbal filter. I will admit that over the years the raining-on-my-parade has gone from really burning my britches to not affecting me in the least. Perhaps it s desensitization.

After all, I ve been to Walt Disney World many, many times-maybe I m numb to it. Regardless, there are reasons, personal reasons why people long to revisit WDW time and again, and not one of our stories is the same. Similar reasons? Most probably yes, but unique to us and in most cases reasons that change with the tides of our lives. What drew me back as a teen is vastly different from what draws me back today. If you are a repeat visitor, then you already get it. But if you re guilty of exclaiming that A word to your Disney loving friends, perhaps I can alter your view of things a little.

Never Be “Disney Shamed” AgainCapturing magical memories. Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Logan Wolfe.

As a child, Disney World was like living in a dream! The attractions were miracles in motion, my parents were extremely relaxed (as I recall, typically this was not the case), we got to eat ice cream for dinner, we stayed at amazing resorts and we got awesome Disney stuff to take home. We were a one (modest) income family with four children, I say again; it was like living in a dream. Who wouldn t want that again? And again and again.

At age 18, I, along with my two best friends, celebrated High School graduation with a trip to Disney World. What beckoned a teenager heading off to college back to Mickey Mouse you ask? At the time, probably Pleasure Island and boys, BUT also to recapture that magical adults are just kids grown up anyway feeling, that oozes out of every nook and cranny of the resort. The idea of transitioning into the cold, uncertain, so-called real world , left me craving the coddling warmth of childhood and Disney is absolutely comfort food for an apprehensive soul. I ate it up and wanted seconds! Could you blame me? Real life is scary!

It wasn t until 10 years later that I would be able to return, this time introducing my then boyfriend (now husband) to the wonderful world of Disney. Having had a less than joyful first time experience himself as a child, he wasn t exactly a believer and didn t quite share my enthusiasm. We quickly remedied that! Disney World has since become a place that allows us to leave the world and years so far behind us, that we view each of those precious few days through adolescent eyes. The family that plays together stays together just sayin .

Never Be “Disney Shamed” AgainThe family that plays together Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Logan Wolfe.

My entire immediate family returned for our first of three big family visits on September 10, 2001. The following day was one of national tragedy and hit us especially hard, as New York City was our city. I couldn t imagine a better place to weather that terror storm. We felt safe, cared for and comforted.

I will be forever grateful to the kind and unflappable Cast Members and world-class customer service we received during those days. If you had been there during 9/11, you would never need ask why people visit year after year. I have since returned several more times with the whole family (at last reunion 16 of us), a couple of times with select family and a handful with just us three musketeers that make up Team Wolfe. It has yet to get old for me. Regardless of the ever-changing nature of Disney World as the resort that will never be complete , I would continue to return if it never changed from its current state even with Stitch s Great Escape and all the unpleasant closures at Hollywood Studios! Allow me to elaborate why

Despite only two visits as a child, we were a Disney family. We all loved it, my mother and I especially; it was our thing .

We would spend hours laughing, planning and plotting our vacations up until the day she left this earth. In all, I visited the Walt Disney World Resort with my parents eight glorious times. Each time better than the last and the trips that included us all, were the absolute BEST. There are memories for me at every single turn. Those that make me smile so wide, those that make me tear up and many that do both. At one time, even I couldn t understand when people referred to Walt Disney World as home . But I get it now, I do. With my own childhood home keeping a new family warm at night and my Mom now gone, it s where I feel closest to so much that has been good in my life. It s a happy place where I am always welcome, where I can sit awhile and reminisce.

A place that won t let me feel melancholy for too long and will very persuasively encourage me to make new memories and carry on the traditions that began for me back in 1977.

Never Be “Disney Shamed” AgainBig family trips are the BEST!

Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Logan Wolfe.

When a person, place or thing makes you feel that incredibly whole, you pine for it and my friends, there is no shame in that.

See the Septemeber issue of WDW Magazine2 for more on Kathleen!

References

  1. ^ Kathleen Logan Wolfe (getdowntodisness.com)
  2. ^ Septemeber issue of WDW Magazine (www.wdw-magazine.com)

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