Disney ruined me for life! Let me explain…..

Here’s another throwback article that I thought I’d share! It’s fun to look back! I wrote this when we still lived in Michigan, and was plotting away, trying to figure out how we’d squeeze in a Disney trip that year! Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoy it! ~M

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Yes, you read it correctly. Yes, I actually said that Disney has ruined me! You’re probably wondering if I am delusional, haven’t slept, or maybe just lost my mind. But no, I’m completely coherent. Disney did ruin me, and I’ll tell you how.

Thanks to Disney, I will probably never get to see half of the places in the world that I’ve wanted to visit. I have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, Las Vegas, Italy, and the list goes on and on. I had sort of a bucket list of places, if you will, that I said I’d love to go and explore. Will I go? No. Why? Because since I’ve been traveling to Disney, and taking my children there, there is no place else I can justify visiting!

Here’s my thought on that one. Like a lot of families, we can’t just drop everything and go on vacation. I wish that were the case, but we can’t. In order to venture out and travel, this requires time to save money and plan. Money being the most important part. So, the reason I can’t visit other locations is because there’s a little voice inside my head that says NOT to do that. That voice that says “wouldn’t you rather use that money and save for Disney?” And that voice is right. Darn it!!! Because I know how magical and fabulous WDW is, I can’t spend my money elsewhere. As you know, it’s expensive to go to Disney, even if you wait for special offers, it’s going to cost you. I just can’t fathom putting money aside to take my family anywhere else. See, Disney ruined me! I told you so.

It’s only January and still cold outside, but I’m already looking forward to the warm months ahead. Part of that is thinking about going on a trip. I used to love going to Traverse City here in MI. It’s about 4 1/2 hours from me, has a big beautiful beach on Grand Traverse Bay, and there is a lot to do there. It’s pricey though. I thought for a moment, that maybe since it’s closer to home, we could go for a long weekend. After contemplating, and running numbers, I thought NO WAY! That chunk of change could be put towards a Disney vacation, which is way better than going “Up North” as we say here. See? Ruined!

I have tried to change my way of thinking. On the drive home from Orlando the last time, we made stops in South Carolina, West Virginia, etc. The scenery was beautiful. It just so happened to be the weekend of the “World’s largest flea market” in Virgina, and the people at the Welcome Center told us to swing by and check it out, which we did. While at the Welcome Center, we pulled out brochures for Virginia Beach. The discussion then turned to, well, maybe on our next vacation, instead of Disney, we’ll go to the beach. Heck, it’s closer to home and probably a bit cheaper. Great intentions, right? Surprise, surprise….. we never went to Virginia Beach. I don’t even have to tell you the reason why, you already know!

So now you get a little more background on why I say Disney has ruined me for life. Walt Disney’s visions of his Magical Parks were without a doubt amazing. He knew what he was doing, and did it well. Years and years later, so many families are loyal to Walt’s creations, and try to get to the Parks as often as they can. Maybe I should blame my parents? They are the ones who first took me to WDW at the age of 6! See what they started? A lifetime of Disney memories had begun after that. I can’t count how many times I have gone to Disney since then, but I know it’s where I always want to go. It got even better once I had children of my own, and got to see Disney through their eyes. I remember clearly, when my son Andrew was 2, us standing near the train station at the Magic Kingdom. I was holding him up when “Wishes” began. The look of wonder on his face was priceless, and I began to cry. I’m getting choked up just thinking of that moment. That, my friends, is pure magic. It’s what makes my heart swell. Happiness like that makes me want to go back for more.

So, if Disney ruined me from being able to travel to other destinations, then so be it. For now, that’s where I love to go. Maybe someday when I’m older, I will be able to justify taking weekend trips to other places, and squeeze Disney in there too. Maybe I will be able to afford to travel to multiple places. For now, there is only one place that comes to mind when I think of getting away, and that’s Disney. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I bet some of you are “ruined” too.

Author: Michele

Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the book “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 96.5 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others.

8 Responses to Disney ruined me for life! Let me explain…..

  1. thepoohguy says:

    For me, it happened in college. I had never been before. My parents had always traveled around the country for vacation. Once, we almost drove to California to go to Disneyland but on our way there, Annaheim got struck by a Tornado and a lot of the rides were down, so we drove to Vegas and drove back to Michigan.

    However, in college, a friend of mine wanted to go so we went over spring break. I went back the following 2 or 3 years in a row. Just the best vacations.

    When I got married 14 years ago (yes to turbodiva above), we both wanted to do a cruise and Disney, so we did. We hated the cruise, but Disney has been our anniversary celebratory spot for the last 14 years (with 1 or 2 exceptions).

    We finally bit the bullet on DVC last year on my 40th birthday celebration cruise on the Magic (took us 14 years to cruise again after the awful situation with Carnival), and of course we loved the Disney cruise. This year, we already did our anniversary trip to Orlando, and in October when DW hits 40, we will be doing a coast to coast, DL and WDW in the same trip!

    After all, why would we go anywhere else? It’s usually great weather, fun, family friendly, and just all around relaxing for us. People think we are nuts for going every year, and I think they’re nuts for not going! Just the happiest place on earth!

  2. Cindershella says:

    Wow!! 80 times!! You’ve got me beat by a long shot!!! GOOD for YOU!! I think that’s awesome, and I’m glad you can relate!!! One of the things that keeps me going as far as TMSM is concerned, is because of the “family” we have here and how much we “get” each other!! Awesome!

  3. dsnybst says:

    I read the first few paragraph’s and couldn’t stop grinning. When I finally finished reading it, I knew. YES we are RELATED! Not ruined, related. I mean how can two families be, well so much alike? Disney has been in our blood for more than 20 years. See my moniker, DSNYBST, yup have had it as long too, short for Disneyorbust. Yes, we’ve gone a few other places for vacation, and were planning our next Disney Trip while on those vacations. Let’s face it, it’s home away from home. We’ve been more than 80 times. Figured out long ago, that DVC was the way for us, and have never looked back on that decision. If being “ruined” is watching your kid grow up and become part of the disney family and make magical moments for the next generation, then consider us very “ruined”. If polite, clean, safe, enjoyable, never the same experience, “ruins us” then again count us in. Making memories that make us continue to smile and get excited over and over again “ruining us”. Well count us a part of that “FAMILY”. We will be back on property, in May and if we are lucky, we will be meeting more of the “Family” while we are there. Can’t tell you how many we’ve met and kept up with over the years. So here’s to being members of the “Ruined by Disney Club”. Proud members since 1991.

  4. Cindershella says:

    Thank you for the lovely feedback!! It’s nice to be able to put my thoughts down, whether some think it’s rational or not, and have other people “get it” so to speak! At least you know you’re in good company here, and we can all be “ruined” together!! 🙂 Michele

  5. PennyUK says:

    I only wish I could afford to be ruined by WDW but unfortunately because I live in Scotland there is no way on earth I can afford to go back and forth to WDW nearly as much as i would like. I am lucky enough to say I have been a few times in my lifetime which to be honest I never believed I would go once. I have gone to the sunshine on this side of the pond for the last 3 years and that combined has still not cost me what ONE trip to WDW would cost so in reality the sad fact is… if I waited and saved up for that amazing 2 weeks in WDW then I probably wouldnt see any sunshine for at least 5 years and believe me when I say living in cold, wet and miserable Scotland you need it:-)

    I wish I had been born in America 😛

  6. mousesf says:

    I too am ruined – my husband laughs when he asks if I want to go to Europe this year and I reply with “but you can see all of that at Epcot”.

    I have come up with a solution – just move to Disney that way you can vacation there every day and save your money to go other places 🙂 I just ran that by Jeff and he actually thought it might be a good idea LOL!

  7. turbodiva says:

    I can’t believe that I am ruined for life too. My husband and I went on our honeymoon and we’ve gone almost every year since, and sometimes twice. It seems so weird to say that I really don’t want to go anywhere else. I mean I guess I do, as we are going to stay at Aulani next December. But I had to wait for Disney to put a resort there I guess. LOL!!! It just feels weird to go other places, like something is missing. We have been married 14 years just this past March 6th, and that is where we go to celebrate our anniversary. We do not have kids and may not, but still love to go and have seen it through the eyes of friends kids. I’d love to make memories with our own, but that may not be God’s plan for us. In the meantime we go and become like kids all over again. Gonna do a coast to coast for my 40th this year. That is what I wanted to do, Disneyland, then Disneyworld!!! What better way to celebrate!!!

  8. Joyce says:

    Dear Cindershella, I cannot tell you how happy your article made me…….I returned from my 43rd WDW trip this past December…..and indeed, I am “ruined” as well. People constantly ask me why I keep returning to WDW instead of choosing another location for my vacation. I began to think that there was something seriously wrong with me. I have given up justifying my actions to everyone. It is where I want to be!! My children and my grandchildren have my addiction as well. I love WDW, and I will keep going as long as my legs will carry me (and, if need be, an ECV after that! The happiest times and best memories in my life came from WDW….and I am so glad I am not alone! Thank you!

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