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"My World" by Chad Smith

Posted on September 3, 2010

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So, as a committed Disney fan and lover of Walt Disney World, I often dream of Disney. When you’re sitting at work and things get a little stressful, you have those moments where your mind escapes. Where does it go to? Spaceship Earth at Epcot? The castle at the Kingdom? For a drop on the Tower of Terror?

At times, I imagine the “shopping day”, where I hit gift shops at the Yacht & Beach Club and Boardwalk resorts, or the always relaxing escalator ride at the Swan or Dolphin as I people watch. But, as a fellow Disney fan asks you, what is your personal Disney World? What do you imagine when you dream of the world?

I have some thoughts to share as I have talked with many folks about this subject over the years:

The Monorail

No doubt the monorail is Disney for many folks. A more common fame, the “Please Stand Clear of the Doors” has been quoted more than any favorite movie. The smell of the monorail, the sound and the feel all give the sensation that “oh, yes, I am back at Walt Disney World again!”. I always know the first sight on the monorail is one of the most reassuring visuals that “yes, you have arrived!”

Resort TV’s “Top 7 Must Sees”

Some may say we check into their hotel and rush to the TV for “Walt Disney World’s Top 7 Must Sees” hosted by Stacy Aswad. Stacy’s voice and presentation have given a many the feeling of “yes, we are in Disney now”. My wife and I always enjoy the show and often let it repeat the entire time we are on vacation. Who needs news, weather, etc. when you are at Disney? Give me the Top 7 again Stacy!

Hotel Lobby

Standing in line at check-in and waiting to start your vacation at your favorite Disney resort should have a name. Maybe I could contact Webster’s and see if they would add it to their dictionary. Let’s see… it would be something like…  ”Mouseness”  -the feeling one gets while waiting to check into their favorite Disney resort to start their magical vacation. Oh, sorry to the online check-ins, while I respect the efficiency of saving time, you also sacrifice a possible Magical Moment being made by the Cast Member at check-in. There is a story here for another day and another article, one day I will share how a guest received a complimentary 5-day park-hopper at check-in.

Disney’s Magical Express

A great vacation usually starts with a successful flight into Orlando International Airport. Upon landing, skip baggage claim and proceed to the Disney’s Magical Express Welcome Center. This has become the first feel of Disney World for many since its inception in May of 2005. Disney’s Magical Express service collects your luggage and delivers it directly to your Walt Disney World hotel room within a short 3 hours or so after you check-in at your favorite resort. Nothing can be better than a cool ride on a Disney motor-coach heading to the start of your vacation (Please note: Disney’s Magical Express will not handle your bags if you arrive in Orlando International Airport after 10:00pm). This service has been especially great for families traveling with small children (I am one of those who mobilize a small army through the airport).

Character Meals

I have had many Disney friends say a breakfast at Chef Mickey’s is the best way to start day one of a Walt Disney World vacation. The monorail ride, breakfast with Mickey Mouse are a great prequel to a day at the Magic Kingdom! Even as I write this, I get excited thinking, “man, this sounds like fun!”. Our family has also always enjoyed the first evening of a trip with a character dinner.


I saved the best for last. As someone constantly wishing to be at Disney, you may find yourself just like me. The planning process can never be overlooked, it is half the fun! As the old saying goes, it is not the destination, it is the journey (or maybe it’s the other way around, oh well). Planning your trip, collecting your favorite Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR in Disney jargon), and surveying your friends or family who are traveling can build the anticipation. Enjoy this process, even in the pre-planning without an unknown travel date.

So my Disney friends, I presented some random thoughts for you to shut your eyes and imagine about. Where-ever you may be, sit back, relax, and think: “what is my “Disney World”?

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