I have always wanted to attend a D23 (official Disney fan club) event, but the dates never seemed to line up with my vacations. I finally managed to arrange a trip so that I could attend #DestinationD this year. I was excited about the guest speakers, exclusive merchandise and announcements that would be part of this fun filled weekend, I knew that it would be magical and it did not disappoint!
After I got home, I realized that there was something amazing that I got out of the event that wasn’t even on the itinerary – spending time with Disney friends.
When you share a weekend with people who have the same level of passion for Disney that you do – there is so much to appreciate!
Here are the top 5 things that I loved about spending time with my Disney friends
No one asked me why I love Disney
When I tell people in my everyday life that I’m going to Disney they ask:
“How old are your kids?”
“AGAIN? Weren’t you just there?”
“Don’t you want to go somewhere different?”
Being surrounded by other fans like me, no one was asking those questions!
I never felt the need to ‘defend’ anything about Disney
You know how it’s totally acceptable for you to criticize your family but no one else can? It’s because you know that you love them regardless of the complaints. That’s exactly how I felt chatting with these friends. We could have an honest conversation about changes happening at Walt Disney World that we don’t like, yet no one felt the need to defend them. Why? Because we are all part of the same family who love Disney regardless of the flaws we see.
We all experience our Disney vacations very differently. Some Disney friends are park warriors who will arrive at rope drop and keep going until 2am. Others like to spend days at the resorts and Disney Springs without ever setting foot inside of a park on a visit. Then there are those who love Pin Trading and spend their time making sure that they get that illusive pin to add to their collection. When you get all of these people together, you get very different perspectives and opinions on things that you might have missed, overlooked or hadn’t experienced in a long time.
They knew who the really important people were
When telling my friends from ‘real life’ about this event, the only name that everyone knew was James Cameron. I tried to explain to them the thrill of listening to Joe Rohde and Marty Sklar – but they didn’t ‘get’ what the fuss was about. It was maddening trying to explain what a fantastic experience it was to listen to these Disney legends.
No one made fun of my ‘star struck’ moment
I have been a fan of www.AllEars.net forever. I have always admired how Deb Wills created the site and a career doing what she loves. I have followed her journey and always appreciate her strength, passion and determination. She represents herself with class and honesty, and is a leader I respect in the Disney community.
We registered for the event at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on the Friday afternoon. As we were gathering our loot bags, Deb Wills was chatting with some of my new Disney friends. They knew how much it would mean to us to meet Deb and called us over for an introduction. Not only did she talk to us for a while, she let us take a picture with her! All I kept thinking was ‘be cool – don’t look too excited’, but it was a total fan girl moment!
The next day, my sister and I were coming off of the monorail when we saw Deb again. We didn’t want to bother her so we were just going to walk by when she said “hey, I know you two!”. We cheerfully said hello and told her to have a great evening. When we walked away, we were like two teenagers who had been invited to the cool table at lunch! We just kept saying to each other “OMG – Deb Wills remembered US!”
To all of the wonderful people I spent the weekend with, thank you. Thanks for sharing my star struck moments, my excitement about buying a shirt that said “Imagineering” or not judging me when I cried a little during the tribute to If You Had Wings. You are all very special people and I look forward to many years of friendship, adventure and Disney!
Let us know in the comments what YOU appreciate about your Disney friends!