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Everything You Think About When Not at Disney

Dining and hugging…

Image: DisneyLook, I’m a grown man. I can’t be walking around town, hugging people in mascot costumes. There’s a word for that group: Furry. I’m not looking to join that particular bandwagon.

When I fantasize about Disney, however, I remember all of those times when my good buddy, Goofy, walked up to me and started pranking me. That dog just will. NOT. leave me alone. Whether I’m at Chef Mickey’s or Hollywood & Vine or Cape May Cafe, he finds me. And he won’t leave me alone until I’m laughed myself silly.

I’m a sucker for a funny person in a costume. And that’s the calling card of so many terrific character meals at Walt Disney World. I think about them so much when I’m not there, particularly my favorite, the Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo & Stitch at ‘Ohana.

Walking around the world…

Image: DisneyNot counting the United States, ten different countries have a presence at Epcot’s World Showcase. Over the course of a 1.3-mile walk, I can visit all of them. As I wander this themed land, I learn about international cultures and sample global cuisine. That goes double when the park hosts international festivals.

I strongly believe that the World Showcase represents the best of Disney. It’s historically significant due to Uncle Walt’s love of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. And it’s politically significant since it demonstrates that people from all different cultures get along swimmingly. They just need to find common ground…like a shared love of Disney.

The World Showcase is sublime. I think about it often when I’m sitting at home getting depressed about the news.

The sense of community…

Image: DisneyYou know how you feel when you hear someone at the mall say something nasty about someone else? Or when a customer is a jerk to the cashier at the store? Or the road rage you get when someone cuts you off in traffic? At home, you’ll experience all of the highs and lows of modern living.

At Walt Disney World, you’re comfortably ensconced in the Disney Bubble, that fantastical realm where everyone gets along. I talk to more strangers at Disney than I do in my own backyard. Now, part of that is because I’m kind of internal by nature, but the euphoria of the Disney vacation loosens everyone up to the point that they’ll happily converse with strangers.

When I think about Disney, I accept that it’s the place that I wish everywhere else was like. That “Happiest Place on Earth” marketing slogan has a strong basis in fact.


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