Why You Should Go to Walt Disney World Despite Everything
I rarely take inspiration from viral videos from other publications. I try hard to write about what interests me at the moment instead.
However, The New Yorker posted an engrossing video the other day that has caused me to make an exception. Here’s the clip:
Some enterprising people went to Walt Disney World and filmed footage of the parks. Simultaneously, they interviewed guests.
All the speakers discuss the same point. Why should you go to Walt Disney World during a pandemic?
I was so fascinated by some of the responses that I want to expand on some of the best reasons. Here are seven reasons to go to Disney right now.
In listening to these explanations, something that struck me was the unspoken but underlying concern of each person.
2020 has presented an unprecedented challenge. Whether a person is four or 94, they’re dealing with a pandemic for the first time in their lives.
Some folks have proven that they’re better equipped than others. In fact, mental health has stepped to the forefront of public conversation.
Online therapy has exploded in popularity during the pandemic, with some people speaking to specialists for the first time ever.
Others have expanded their weekly/monthly therapy sessions to speak with a professional more frequently. Some even do so daily.
Even some of the strongest among us have gotten beaten down by Coronavirus’s fallout and the challenges of staying home all the time.
Some guests have expressed a feeling of comfort they get from entering a Disney theme park.
The moment that they reach a theme park, they can feel a sense of normalcy.
Disney’s one of the few places that remains mostly unchanged during the pandemic. And that’s comforting during a brutally difficult time.
I’ll discuss the Disney Bubble from two different perspectives, as multiple commentators described aspects of it in the video.
To one park guest, the sense of escapism mattered the most. Even during “normal” times, Walt Disney World provides that liberating feeling.
When I’m at home, I’m working around the clock. However, when I enter the Disney Bubble, the outside world tends to fade away.
I no longer think about the challenges of my job or pressing family matters.
I don’t worry about politics or pop culture debates or the constant disappointments that come from being a lifelong Atlanta Braves/Falcons fan.
The moment I’m at Disney, the outside world fades out into the distance, and I evolve into a dreamlike state. It’s a hypnotic sensation that lasts the entire trip.
Given all the apocalyptic events of 2020 – there have been MURDER HORNETS, for God’s sake! – that escape from the real world is so satisfying.
Emotional Connections to the Parks
Other guests have explained how a Disney visit provides emotional connections to the parks.
Some guests have lost family members over the years.
When they visit Walt Disney World, they can remember moments that they’ve shared with lost loved ones.
Since so many people are emotionally fragile these days, I think this rationale stands out.
I’ll use a personal anecdote here. The last time I wished my father a happy birthday, I stood in the World Showcase when I made the call.
Dad, who hated for anyone to make any sort of fuss about him, asked him why I was wasting time calling when I should be having fun on vacation.
A man who had fought cancer on and off for 16 years didn’t want to disrupt my Disney vacation by thinking about my sick dad on his birthday.
In the process of acting so humbly, he became a permanent memory of mine.
Whenever I walk through The American Adventure section, I look at the space where I made that call, and I remember the greatest man I ever knew.
With so much pain in the world right now, who wouldn’t relish the opportunity to remember inimitable experiences like that again?
Disney means family, and we could all use more ‘ohana in 2020.
Trusts Disney Only to Open When It’s Safe
One sentiment that struck a chord with me concerned Disney being open at all.
As a visitor stated, they trusted that Walt Disney World wouldn’t reopen until the company knew it could operate safely.
In the video, The New Yorker posts a somewhat manipulative fact about the number of new infections in Florida the day after Disney reopened.
However, this statement ignores the fact that Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando had returned six weeks before Disney.
Also, Coronavirus infections don’t occur immediately. Victims often need two weeks to know whether they’re infected.
So, the daily infection totals in Florida in mid-July are much less important than the fact that Florida’s health departments have yet to track a theme park outbreak.
Disney waited longer than its competitors because its executives took the extra time to employ more robust safety measures.
Simply stated, people feel safer at Disney because THEY ARE. The company addressed health concerns proactively.
This strategy reassured guests and even many non-fans. After all, the return of Walt Disney World hinted that COVID-19 infection rates were slowing.
Recent data suggests that Disney had the perfect read on this matter.
Missing the Disney Bubble
This aspect ties together with the previous one. Since everyone knows about the escapism of the Disney Bubble, we all naturally miss it when we’re away.
I mean, I know a lot of people who work in cottage industries relating to Disney theme parks.
Many of them do so with the eventual goal of moving to Orlando to live close to Walt Disney World.
That statement alone reinforces the allure of the Disney Bubble. Even when there’s not a pandemic, zealous fans cannot wait to go back.
During an apocalyptic year, the thought of the bubble seems that much more appealing.
Brings Back Sensations from Childhood
I love this one. I’m old enough to remember a visit to Walt Disney World when Magic Kingdom was the only park.
I also recall visiting EPCOT during that exciting first year when people believed the place possessed unlimited potential.
I remember the joy of persuading my parents to ride Space Mountain once again, and I still recall throwing a tantrum on the ride home because I didn’t want to leave.
Something that fascinates me about Walt Disney World is what I call the Dr. Manhattan effect.
For those of you who have never read the Watchmen comic or watched the movie or TV show based on it, Dr. Manhattan experiences all time at once.
He lives in three decades at once, thereby knowing everything that has happened or will happen as if he’s living it for the first time.
That’s many of us at Walt Disney World. We’re adults walking down the same paths that we took as children, ones we’ll walk again the next visit.
We still remember some of those imprinted moments from childhood, just as we’re making new memories today.
Disney is timeless, and it makes us all feel like kids again as we wait in line to meet Mickey Mouse.
These sensations are pure, and it’s a sentiment everyone needs in 2020.
The Core of Disney Never Changes
Here’s something I admire about Walt Disney.
On the one hand, the man invented the concept of plussing. He didn’t want the parks to grow stale over the years as guests grew jaded to experiences.
However, the same man built Main Street, U.S.A., a timeless throwback themed land.
This place’s entire purpose is to remind guests of the halcyon days of yore when life was less complicated.
So, while Maelstrom may become Frozen Ever After and scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean may look different, some parts of Walt Disney World never change.
Main Street, U.S.A. causes the same sensation in 2020 that it did in 1971. Who wouldn’t want that kind of throwback to simpler times right now?
I understand why some people repeatedly stay that they won’t return to Walt Disney World until the pandemic has ended.
Still, I firmly believe that every reason here justifies a visit to feel better about life during a challenging time. It’s why I’m going next month.