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  • Writer's pictureShira Zatcoff

You’re going to Disney again?!?


It should come as no surprise that as a travel planner for all Disney destinations, I travel to Disney’s properties around the world a lot. But I don’t travel to Disney as much as I do because I am a travel planner. I am a travel planner for all Disney destinations because I love traveling with Disney.

I suppose my passion for Disney started in the spring of 1981, although in reality that was more likely the beginning of my parents love for Disney. I was 2 years old and my parents took me on my first Disney World vacation. At just 10 years old, the Walt Disney World® resort was still very much in its infancy. There was just the Magic Kingdom and 2 resort hotels (the Contemporary and the Polynesian). Even Orlando International Airport was not much of airport. My parents were young, my dad was fresh in his career and we stayed at some cheap motel down the road. My 2-year old self was apparently enchanted by the characters (who, back in those days, just walked right up to you) and my mom always says I learned to speak at Disney World. My parents must have been hooked because after that we generally made at least one trip a year. As the Walt Disney World® resort expanded, we’d be there to check out what was new – new resorts, new theme parks, new restaurants – it was all an excuse to make a trip from our home in New York to Orlando.

Twenty-one years after that first trip in 1981, I would luckily meet a guy who liked Disney too. He hadn’t made as many trips as I did, but he was definitely hooked. Our first trip together was to California, for the wedding of one of his friends. Since we were going to be in the area, we decided to add on a day at Disneyland. Less than a year later, we’d be engaged at Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World.

Newly engaged at Cinderella’s Royal Table

In the almost 13 we’ve been married, my husband and I have made 9 trips to Walt Disney World, 2 trips to Disneyland, a vacation spent at Disney’s resort on Hilton Head Island, and an upcoming cruise on the Disney Dream. With the exception of one Walt Disney World vacation we made as a young married couple, all these vacations have been with our 3 boys – Ari who was born in 2009; and Ezra and Micah, twins born in 2011. We are often asked, “You’re going to Disney, again?” Yes, we are and here are just some of the reasons why:

Disney’s Legendary Service: When you stay at a Disney resort, you can expect a certain level of service. No matter the price range, the room will be clean and well maintained and there will be a comfortable bed to sleep on. The staff, or cast members, will be friendly and eager to do anything possible to make your stay more pleasant. Not matter the location or price range, vacations are expensive and it is comforting to know we can expect a certain level of service.

Learning about the marsh from one of the Cast Members at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort.  While the island has many beautiful resorts, we chose to stay at the Disney resort because of the high-quality service and friendly Cast Members we have come to expect from Disney.  The resort did not disappoint.

Family-friendly accommodations: Not surprisingly, Disney makes it easy to vacation with children. With complimentary shuttle service from Orlando International Airport and complimentary transportation around the resort, there is no need to rent a car for a Walt Disney World vacation. When our kids were babies and toddlers, this was essential. Even better, Disney transported our luggage from the airport to our hotel rooms. This made travelling with 3 young kids as easy as possible.

Micah at 6 months old on his first Magical Express ride.

Once you arrive at your resort, you’ll find a TV playing Disney cartoons in the lobby to keep the kids entertained while you check-in. All hotel rooms are equipped with mini-fridges, which comes in handy for storing formula, milk, yogurt and whatever else the kids might need. The hotels will also supply pack-n-plays, high-chairs and bed rails. The resort shops (and baby care centers in the parks) all have diapers and other baby care essentials available for sale. They have really thought of everything a family might need.

Are you a larger family?As a family of 5, we have found it difficult to find hotels that can accommodate all of us in one room.But Disney has a variety of accommodations at different price points that can accommodate us.

It’s an escape from reality: My husband and I made one trip to Disney World without children after we were married. At the time, we had been married about 3 years. We were working ridiculous hours at stressful careers. And we were trying to have a baby for almost a year. Needless to say, we needed a break. So we booked a last-minute vacation to Walt Disney World. It was just what we needed – we enjoyed low crowds at the parks (it was just after Labor Day and the parks were empty), we sat by the pool and we had great meals at some of the best restaurants on property. Most of all, we temporarily forgot all of the stresses we had left behind – they don’t call it the “Happiest Place in the World” for nothing. We came back ready to face our stressful jobs and a long road to parenthood that would involve lots of doctors and lots of heartache before welcoming Ari into the world.

A Disney vacation can be whatever type of vacation you want it to me. Disney has a vacation to suit everyone. Want a vacation filled with thrills? Spend your days and nights at one of Disney’s theme parks or water parks. Want to relax by the pool? The resorts at Walt Disney World all have great pool areas where you can swim, relax on a lounge chair and enjoy an adult beverage. You can have an amazing (and relaxing time). Some of our best vacations to Disney World are ones where we spend the majority of our day enjoying our resort, only heading in to the parks in the evening for dinner and a few attractions. With world-class dining and entertainment, there is something for everyone at Disney World.

You will make memories that last a lifetime: Disney World is the perfect place to create cherished memories with your family that will stay with you for a lifetime. I still remember the trip I took at the age of 10 to Disney World with my cousins. It was the summer of 1989 and we brought homemade gifts for Mickey Mouse, who was celebrating his 60th birthday. And now my children are creating their own memories at Disney World – whether it’s conquering stage fright by participating in the Jedi Training Academy or laughing about the time they pulled out Pluto’s tongue at Chef Mickey’s (if you see Pluto, ask him how he is doing), my children will never forget their vacations to Disney World.

Normally stricken with stage fright, Ezra was thrilled to be battling Darth Vader and I was one proud mommy.

These are just some of the reasons why we keep traveling back to Disney year after year. I would love to hear some of yours!


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