Whenever I tell someone that we're a Disney family, the reaction is usually something along the lines of "Oh excellent, which character is he most looking forward to meeting?"
Um, hello? Family, as in, the group unit. Leo et deux. The trio. Plural. He, meaning of course, my son, is one slice of this big chunk'o pie.
And while I'm so glad people have an interest in his interest in Disney holidaying, it shouldn't be quite as remarkable to people as it is, when after he gives his favourite character in response to that question, I do the same. And i'm not unique. I've just unlocked my joy.
There is plenty at Disney which is for kids, designed with kids in mind, kid safe, kid language, kid engaging and kid humour, but it's not somewhere parents should take their children, just for the children, with a little extra fun in there to make it worthwhile for parents.
Repeat after me, I'm not taking the kids to Disneyland. We are off an adventure TOGETHER at Disneyland!
Parents can take their kids there to enjoy it all completely along side them.
1) The great thing about Disney parks, is that you can let your hair down. Yes, you need to track fast passes and check how much time to allow to get to meal reservations, and troubleshoot kid stuff on the go, but actually, the glorious thing about Disney parks, is that neither you nor your child ever have to think about the next step being in the void. Literally zero "I'm bored"s from them, for you to accommodate, (unless you're in a queue, which is fair enough frankly), but with no meal planning, no house hold chores to drag you down and pull you away from quality time.
Just you and your beloveds, and an even playing field, where you can both experience something at the same time, at the same level, and gain the same memory.
2) You can be as expressive as you like. Adulthood brings a certain expectation for many of us. How we dress, speak, eat, interact, laugh, even how we show our enthusiasm is not just draped with a draining vain of fitting in to some degree, but in some areas, it's even policed! Consider wardrobe policy for work, uniforms, not wanting to stand out too much for fear of casual judgement on the street. I'm no stranger to being told to "Calm down a bit" if i'm excited and my voice is raising.
But there is something transformative about Disney parks. We eat want we fancy. We dress head to toe in Disney character attire. We wear bright, fun bags, huge ears or bows, which we wouldn't be seen dead in elsewhere in some cases, or maybe, it's as simple as feeling safe enough to wear shorts and bare your legs when you wouldn't at home. You are encouraged to laugh, to clap, to sing along, to dance along, even given extra opportunities to!
It's not just for kids. At Disney parks, people are cool with people enjoying themselves in any way. No one is watching unless they're admiring your love for the freedom of it all!
3) If you're over the age of 18, there's going to be a lot of room of nostalgia. If you watched even a single Disney show or movie growing up, you're going to spot a character, product or snack themed around them, and you're going to experience that wonderful pulse of euphoria which does us the world of good. It opens opportunities to share that Disney gem with our little ones, and pass on the love in a tangible way.
So i hope these have been encouraging for you. Please parents, remember,
you are not going as guardians and escorts,
you are going with your best little buddies
and you can access the magic at their level, with them
not stand back and watch.
Be part of it!