You see, I never really stood a chance. My first birthday cake was Minnie and Mickey. My second, Dumbo. I took my first trip to Walt Disney World before I even started school and continued to go every four or five years after. I collected the Disney VHSs (remember those?) and books. (Bonus points if you remember collecting the Disney glasses from McDonald's.) At one point in college, I thought to myself, "I'm probably too old for Disney, it will bore me now." I went anyway with my family in 2007 and while I was there, I couldn't have felt more at home. When I started taking and funding my own vacations (adulthood, right?) the only place I wanted to go was something with Disney in the title.
A lot of people ask me now, as a childless adult, why I always end up at Disney? It's a tough question to answer, because it's difficult to explain feelings that are personal and internal, and while nostalgia is a lot of it, that's not the only answer. There are sights and smells and music that you will see/smell/hear no where else in the world. There are stories in the details. The queues aren't that bad because they're almost as detailed as the rides. The parks are constantly changing and you remember what used to be and are hopeful for what is to come. You recognize something that you had once forgotten. You're reminded of childhood memories. You see Peter Pan defeat Captain Hook, you're dropped in an elevator in a haunted hotel, you see a lion perched on a rock. You smell the cupcakes baking, the Starbucks brewing (side note: I'm okay with this), you steer clear of Downtown Disney until the construction is over, you're annoyed when your favorite ride is being refurbished, but are secretly telling yourself that it's a reason to come back REALLY SOON. You see the joy on children's faces, even if they're not your own. There are roller coasters or interactive monster comedy shows or relaxing boat rides. There are musicals and wildlife and stunt shows. Your feet hurt but you don't particularly care.
The honest truth is, that while walking down Main Street USA is my favorite place in the world to be, Disney is more than a place. It's not something that you leave behind when you board a plane home. It's something that sticks with you... and more than anything it's a community. A community of bloggers and podcasters and instagramers. Sharing Disney Magic is easier than ever, and being reminded of that internal personal feeling that you get when you walk down Main Street USA is best part of my day.