Walt Disney thought of the idea of Disneyland while sitting in a park and watching his daughter play on the merry-go-round (aka Carousel). He wanted something that families could do TOGETHER not having the parents on the side lines.
When a family comes to Disney there is something for everyone so that each person can explore, enjoy, & yes even learn at Disney together as a family.
But Disney is more than just the fun to be had in the parks. Disney is about STORY. What I love most about Disney are the stories. Everywhere you look there is story. Each and every detail of a piece of Disney has a purpose, a reason, and a story. From the color of the buildings, walls, carpets, drapes, furniture... everything has a purpose that goes with the story.
There are stories in the theme parks. Just look at the Tree of Life with its 169 different animal carvings. Or Star Tours versus Toy Story. You step from each section of the park into another entirely different story.
The stories are in the resorts ... look at the Port Orleans Boathouse restaurant with the giant boat hanging above that is waiting to be completed & sail out the on the rivers of the American south. Or the Wilderness Lodge that models Americas National Parks. Each section of the parks have a different story that invites you to be a part of the story - all you have to do is believe.
The stories I love most are real-life stories - from guests. While riding on the bus from the resort to the parks and talking with guests I experience their stories unfolding before me like a great book that I can't put down.
A young boy looks up at the straps hanging from the bar for the standing passengers and he eyes those straps the entire ride. I watch him, though he does not know it. Then when the bus is nearly empty and it’s just us few... he MUST, it's gotta be tried and he reaches up for those straps and places one in each hand and with a smile the size of Texas he swings like Tarzan! That is, until dad scolds him for doing so. I chuckle and say, "Dad, it had to be tried!" Dad shrugs off his anger and agrees "Yes, I suppose I would've tried too... and he is my son."
A young couple is waiting for the bus to Magic Kingdom for the MNSSHP (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party) dressed as two great looking Jedi. I take their photo while we are waiting for the bus. They tell me about their plans of doing the rides, securing as much candy as possible for late night treats in the room, and not missing out on the fireworks or parade. They are from NY and this is their first trip to Disney.
A young family of four whose two boys explain to me that Mom got really sick on Mission Space - the intense version! Or how he designed the coolest truck at Test Track! That he didn't dare try the Haggis at the Scotland booth at the Intl. Food & Wine Festival. And his favorite ride EVER is Space Mountain! He plays football in NC, and he tried baseball too but prefers football best. He's a good student but hates homework. Best of all ... because they drove to Disney a stranger gave him a Battle Ax toy because it just didn't fit in their suitcase and they were flying home today. He never felt so lucky.
I'm sandwiched between a family that is entirely dressed up as Star Wars Characters -three Jedi and one Princess Leigh, who looks to be about age five or six. Next to them is a family of Park Rangers and Zorro about age nine. I ask Leigh if she is excited about the MNSSHP and her head bounces in a resounding YES! She is nervous though because she's never been to a party like this and she's not sure Leigh can handle the rides. Zorro chimes in, "You have to try Space Mountain! It's so much fun!" My head ping pongs between the conversation of Zorro and Leigh. Brother Jedi who's around age 8 speaks up to give Leigh all the stats on why a Jedi would have no problem riding on Space Mountain. Leigh shrugs in uncertainty. I say, "You have nothing to worry about Princess Leigh because Zorro here will protect you." "YEP!" Says, Zorro though they only just met.
These are the kinds of stories that happen at Disney. They are magical stories from a magical place that families can come together and connect with other families. 100 Million People visit Disney parks each year. 100 Million People making wonderful stories just like these. This is why Disney has so many repeat guests to its parks and it has nothing to do with cost. THIS is what I love about Disney THIS is why I sell Disney. What stories from Disney will you tell?