In 26 days, CP and I will be back in the World. It has been 5 months, 24 days since our last visit. 11 months, 8 days since our visit before that. In approximately 7 months, we will go again. I think it’s official: we have a Disney habit.
In the circles we run in (read: cadres of over-educated, left-leaning, corporation-suspicious, MSNBC-watching bleeding heart liberals), there is something of a notion that vacations should be….serious. Exotic ports of call. Patronage of cultural institutions. Service trips. At the very least, haute cuisine. That’s fine. We like those things, too. But a few years ago, something happened – maybe it was the recession, or family/work/school drama, or the drudgery of year after year of terrible New England winters. Maybe it was all of those things. In any case, we cried uncle, and decided it was time for a WDW vacation. Serious could wait. It was time to enjoy some nice weather, ride some rides, be a kid again in a place no one would judge us for doing so.
I think the idea might have been mine, but CP was the easier sell. For several years, I had kept my distance from Disney. On a lark during my sophomore year of college, I applied for and was accepted into the WDW college program. This experience sits squarely in the column of “things I wish I had known more about before I jumped into.” My roommates partied constantly; thus I never slept. My work location was considered one of the least desirable; my coworkers suffered from a dispirited malaise. I felt trapped in a bad decision. Seeing Disney from the inside out was equal parts fascinating and frustrating. Underpaid and overworked, a series of incidents ultimately led to me leaving the program early. I was burned out on Disney. I ran the other way, headlong into my books, my exams, my family drama, and into the uncertainties of the post-9/11 world.
Several years passed, and then we cried uncle. Or maybe I was the one who cried uncle, finally ready to forgive Disney (and myself) for one bad spell in an otherwise unblemished record of lovely childhood trips to – and countless family memories made in – WDW. It was time to go back and suspend disbelief for a time, to revel in an environment where the real world stopped at the water’s edge. And, as they say, the love affair began.
Up next: A brief stop in 2008, and a retrospective of 2010 as we prepare for our first trip of 2011.