Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail. Enjoy the ride as we share how we know we’ve arrived at Disney.
Driving under the arch … Where Dreams Come True … that’s always a pretty exciting moment. But it’s not how I know I’m at Walt Disney World.
Arriving at my resort … “Welcome home, Melissa!” … it’s so warm and inviting. But it’s not how I know I’m at Walt Disney World.
Going through bag check, waiting in line, scanning my Annual Pass … all familiar, comforting Disney things. But none of them fill me with a sense of total peace and Disney bubbleness the way entering the Magic Kingdom or Epcot does.
Yea, that’s right: I’m a rebel. There are TWO WAYS I know I am at Disney World. But really it’s just one: walking through the turn styles (or, I guess, the Mickey-head poles, now) and really, truly actually being in my happy place.
Something happens in that moment–I spontaneously take a deep breath, my back and shoulders relax, and I can’t NOT smile. But the feeling is slightly different in each Park.
In Magic Kingdom, there’s that wave of calm, happy homecoming combined with an intense excitement. I belong here. This is home.
As I walk down Main Street, my typical New York pace slows, even if I’m late for an ADR at Be Our Guest. I revel in the colors and the smells and the familiar (but always slightly different and unfamiliar) sights. It’s so kinetic and bustling–it’s almost sensory overload. And whether I have a touring plan or not, I feel like anything–anything–is possible. Where will I explore first?! What will the day bring? Allons-y! Onward toward adventure (or fantasy or yesterday or tomorrow)!
As I enter Epcot, that wave of soothing serenity is combined with curiosity, reverence and awe. No matter how many times I visit, Epcot seems exotic and full of possibilities.
I usually stop for a moment in front of the flowerbed at the center of the stone memorial pillars and just breathe for a second. Looking up at Spaceship Earth always catches my breath. Despite the pops of cheerful flowers, it’s a stark, impactful scene, and I’m suddenly acutely aware and full of appreciation for the tradition and emotion that give this place its character. It feels gravid and serious but, at the same time, like adventure is just beyond. And suddenly, I can’t wait to barrel headfirst into it!
A word of clarification: I love Animal Kingdom. And I love Hollywood Studios. Nothing against either of them. There were a string of trips in 2011/2012 where the first Park I’d visit was Animal Kingdom. But … it’s just not the same. And entering those Parks, for me, just doesn’t spark that same feeling.
Why? Well, MK and Epcot are my Parks. They’re where I experienced Disney World for the first time and where I spent the most time with my family growing up. Your mileage may vary.
Which Park makes you feel like you’re home? And how do you know when you’ve arrived at Disney World? Let us know below!
Thank you for joining me aboard Magical Blogorail Green today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is WDW: It’s Not Just For Kids.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ YOU’RE HERE!
2nd Stop ~ Walt Disney World: It’s Not Just For Kids
3rd Stop ~ A Disney Mom’s Thoughts
4th Stop ~ Heidi’s Head
Final Stop ~ Disney Living