6 Reasons People Continue to Visit Disney World

Ask anyone, from your close friends and family, the person who bags your items at the grocery store or even the hot dog vendor at the baseball game, if they know anything about the Walt Disney Company and you’re sure to receive an abundance of answers. From the movies, Mickey Mouse, theme parks, resort hotels, characters or the man who started it all; Walt Disney himself, everyone knows something about the corporation.

Walt Disney
Walter Elias ‘Walt’ Disney, the man who started it all

The creator, ‘Walt’ Disney, was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago. He started out creating commercials which sparked his attraction to animation. Though his first successful original work, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, was lost with almost his entire animation team when Walt refused to take a pay decrease for the successful cartoon, Disney soon after created another character that would prove to be even more successful than his original. This was the birth of Mickey Mouse and the beginning of a successful era in Walt’s life. With the creation of short cartoons, a motion picture of the classic tale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarf’s, came into the works. Eventually theme parks on multiple continents, cartoons considered classics today, hotels, water parks, cruises and destination vacation sites came into the picture stamped with the ‘Walt Disney’ logo. This is the image of the Walt Disney Company’s success that the world knows today. Many have tried, and most have failed to mimic the major achievements of the company

Main Street
This is the sight that guest see as they enter the Magic Kingdom through Main Street USA

Walt Disney World first opened the doors of the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Disney World houses four theme parks, two water parks, four golf courses, a shopping dining district, two themed mini golf courses and 27 themed hotels throughout the property’s 27,258 acres of land. Though Walt Disney never got to see the opening day of his magical creation before his death, he worked closely with the construction workers as they brought his dream into a reality.

As ticket and hotel prices continue to rise at ‘The Most Magical Place on Earth’, what makes the company stand out and continue to be desired by families across the world? What makes the Magic Kingdom and its sister parks, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom, continue to be a vacation destination for the young and old alike?

6. There is always something new or being updated

The Walt Disney World parks are always installing a new ride or updating an old classic. It is rare that you will step into one of the theme parks without seeing construction in one form or another. Families return every year with the promise that there will always be something new to see when you return to the park.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train has brought a significant increase to Magic Kingdom park attendance

Currently the newest addition to the Magic Kingdom was the expansion of Fantasyland, which included a ‘mine train’ style ride in the theme of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This attraction catered to both the young and old alike and continued with Disney’s tradition of family attractions. This new addition increased park attendance to the Magic Kingdom by 6.0% from 2012 to 2013.

The next addition will be in the Animal Kingdom Park and is set to open in 2017. This expansion includes an AVATAR themed land which will allow guest to travel into the land of Pandora. The AVATAR expansion is also expected to increase park admission to the Animal Kingdom just as the Fantasyland expansion brought more guests into the Magic Kingdom.

5. Fast-passes

Walt Disney World has a system known as fast-passes. While other parks require guests to pay extra for this feature, this Fast-Pass System is included in the price of the theme park ticket at Disney World. The fast-pass program allows guests to pre-program times to ride their favorite attractions while they explore the park waiting for their time slot to return. The ride choices can be made days, weeks, or even months before guests enter the park. Guests can also change their attraction choices and times through the MyMagic+ app available for free on smartphones or online at the Walt Disney World official website. Instead of waiting in line, guests have an hour long window to return to the ride and promptly be seated.

4. Magic Bands

magic bands
Magic bands can be customized in 6 different colors and hold all of your necessary information to explore the parks without carrying handbags, backpacks or wallets.

With the new technology called the Magic Band, Guests no longer have to keep up with park tickets, photo pass cards, paper fast-passes, credit cards and Walt Disney World Resort hotel keys. When a guest books their hotel room online, they select the number and type of park tickets they would like to purchase. Guests also decide the color of the magic band that they will wear for the duration of their vacation. When the reservations are finalized and purchased, Disney sends the bands directly to your home. Guests bring the bands to the hotel with them and have the option to link the band with a credit card and a pin number. After the activation, guests will virtually only need their Magic band to explore and purchase meals and souvenirs throughout Disney World. This is a great convenience for families, especially those with small children who will already be juggling many things along with them to the parks.

3. Hotels on property and transportation that will pick you up

Shown here are two modes of transportation at Walt Disney World, the monorail and a ‘Magical Express’ bus

This is all about convenience. After guests at Walt Disney World Resorts check in to their hotels, they can park their car for the duration of the trip. The Disney shuttle service will take guests anywhere that they need to go on property by bus, monorail or boat. Transportation will escort guests anywhere they need to go until one hour after the latest park closes, which can be as late as 1 o’clock in the morning during the summer months. Instead of fighting traffic and paying to park at the parks, Disney offers this convenient way to travel to all guests. Resort Hotels will also pick up vacationers staying at their hotels and their luggage from the airport, so getting a taxi is not necessary.

Even though a task such as travel is necessary at Disney World, Disney adds their own magic to the process. Transportation buses are named the ‘Magical Express’ and play tunes from the most loved and memorable Disney attractions, movies and television shows. Park tips and tricks are also given through the speakers of the monorails, ferry boats and Magical Express buses. This gives guests a change of pace from normal charter buses and travel provided by other theme parks.

2. The feeling of being young for just one more day

Families have the opportunity to meet both old and new characters as they explore the different parks at Disney World

The moment that you step foot inside the Walt Disney parks, people of all ages become a kid again. Parents will skip through Fantasyland just as their children do and you can even catch a glimpse of a father waving to Mickey as if he is anything more than a young adult in a mouse costume. Grandparents wait in line to meet Cinderella and return to the days of their childhood. After all, where else can people of all ages become space rangers, go on a river boat cruise, tour a haunted mansion with 999 happy haunts and meet Tinkerbell all before lunch time? It’s as if the scattered showers of Bay Lake, Florida hold the fountain of youth.

1. Nostalgia

disney side
Even the people you least expect to enjoy Disney World seem to let lose as they wander through the different parks and attractions

People young and old remember watching classic Disney movies such as Sleeping BeautyDumbo, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and The Jungle Book, just to name a few. Likewise, anyone that has ever been to Disney World as a child remembers meeting characters and spending time with their families as they cheerfully stroll through the parks and ride the classics such as Splash Mountain, It’s a Small World, and the Haunted Mansion. Walking down Main Street holds memories from your first visit and suddenly you remember why you pay the outrageous prices for a ticket, food and all the souvenirs that accompany the trip; you want to relive your childhood and make similar memories that your own children will remember and cherish as they walk through the park with their own children one day.

People from around the world, some with children and some without, continue to flock to Lake Buena Vista, Florida every year to experience the magic from Walt Disney World. They look for new experiences, ease of vacation planning and most of all a chance to forget about the outside world for a few days. These vacationers are willing to pay more for ease of travel and a vacation resort that doesn’t cut corners and focuses on even the smallest details. This is the ‘magic’ that Disney advertises and this is the reason that people continue to return time and time again.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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  1. Aaron Hatch

    I still have not gone to Disney World yet 🙁 Love your article.

    • Ashley Allen

      It is a magical place that I hope everyone has the opportunity to visit! I hope you are able to make it to this magical place in the future and enjoy it as much as I do!

  2. Great list! Planning on going the first week of September.

    • Ashley Allen

      I have been in december and I personally think it is the best time to go! The crowds are minimal to none and the weather is fantastic! Swimming can still take place due to the fabulous warm weather that hangs out most of the year.

      I hope you have a magical vacation!

    • Ashley Allen

      I personally think that September is the perfect time to go! The weather is still warm enough for swimming but not hot enough to drain your energy as fast as it does in the hotter summer months. I hope you have a great vacation!

  3. Family vacation planned for 11 of us in August. We will be staying in the new Grand Floridian DVC Grand Villas. This will be the first time to Disney World for 3 of our grandchildren and we can’t wait to share this experience with them. So many things they’ll want to see such as Doc McStuffin and Sophia, The Hall of Princesses and the older ones are looking forward to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride. Already counting the days!

    • Ashley Allen

      I love the Grand Floridian and I am sure that the new DVC Villas are just as spectacular! I hope you and your group have a fantastic time. I know the kids will love to meet the characters just as I still do!

  4. Keeley Hebert

    The magic it brings & the excitement that we share such as seeing Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom. It doesn’t matter how we experience Disney, it’s that we cherish our memories that we create….does anyone have any other reasons to love Disney?

  5. I know I’m looking forward to the Mine Train ride, I love roller coasters.

  6. I can’t wait to get to DW in May!! The new parade looks fabulous!

  7. Will there be a day where Disney is open for 24 hours again like the past years?

    • Ashley Allen

      There should be! The 24 hour event at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando this year was on March 11th and the 24 hour event for Disneyland in California will be on May 22. I expect it to be an annual thing for years to come!

  8. Great post!

  9. Just booked my vacation! We’ll be there soon!

  10. Mindi Wilks

    We will be visiting the most magical place on earth very soon again!

  11. Disneyworld is amazing from the top of the castles all the way down to the undergrounded cities that the visitors don’t get to see. Last time, I visited the parks I stayed on site. I purchased a meal plan and had to pre-brook all of my meals at the different restaurants that I wanted to visit. Next time I go, I guess I have to make a reservation for the rides too. It really is it’s own universe.

  12. Betty Gouge

    Thanks, Ms. Allen, for such a great article. Until reading your article, I had no idea my next visit could have so many conveniences with just an arm band. Looking forward to my next “magical” vacation.

  13. Wolfstar96

    I’m definitely in the nostalgia category. My grandpa worked on rides in Disney Land (in CA) so we got discounts on entrance to the park, so I went to Disney Land practically every summer. It was so fun, it’s too bad I live in CT now and thus am on the completely wrong side of the US to go to Disney Land.

  14. One of the perfect place for family holidays with KIDS!! All the adventure, fun, food, accommodation, excitement are at one place.

  15. That Magic Band is a great idea. I had no idea they did that.

  16. Alora

    There is the strangest, most magical feeling about walking through the Disney gates. It is impossible to explain it to someone who hasn’t been. My fiance and I are going in September/October for our honeymoon. He hasn’t been and I can’t wait to show him how special of a place it is! Despite all of the negative, anti-consumerist drama that surrounds The Most Magical Place On Earth, I can’t help but love it there!

    Great article!

  17. When it comes to Disney World is it all about the experience. Children who are exposed to Disney films begin to shape fantasies around what they see on the screen. For little girls, going to Disney World means meeting princesses and becoming royalty for a day. For little boys its the opportunity to meet the characters who keep them laughing and save the day in their favourite movie. Parents continue to take their little ones to Disney World in order to try and “complete” their kids childhood with that Disney World trip.

  18. My high school music department would go on a trip to Eurodisney every year and it is exactly what you said. Even my more cynical friends loved being a kid again. We would watch the Princess Parade, get various hats with mouse ears, and skip through the park. It was such an amazing trip.

  19. NurseManhattan

    Great article! The 7th reason for me would be Dole Whip.

  20. Lexzie

    I’ve never been to Disney World but it is on my wish list. Maybe after post secondary I’ll be able to go and then use these 6 reasons as an excuse to keep going back…

  21. Disney seems awesome, can’t wait to go and visit Harry Potter land!

  22. CemeteryLikeAStage

    The first Disney film I ever watched was Pocahontas at age 8. Ever since then I dreamt of working for Disney as an illustrator or animator. The child within me will never leave!

    • I’ve never been to Disney World 🙁 . This magic band sounds cool. I want one for real life.

  23. I’ve often gone to Disneyland (California, Tokyo) and Tokyo Disney Sea. Your top two reasons are why I keep going back. That, and the feeling that there really is something magical about Disney.

  24. How is this about art?

  25. I’ve never been to Disneyland but I’m planning to go to the Paris one next year. Slightly terrified that I’ve built up such an image in my head, it will ultimately fall short of my expectations!

  26. Valeria Sharivker

    Love to read a piece like this! Light hearted but informative.

  27. It’s unfortunate, but growing up in SW Florida resolution in countless school and birthday trips to Disney. By 7th and 8th grade, most parents would allow their children to opt-out of going on these trips. I know that millions of people LOVE Disney, they schedule their vacations around it and engulf themselves unto the Disney “magic.” Do I wish that I could enjoy Disney the same way everyone else does? I don’t think so, but maybe I’ll have a different opinion when I bring my children. For now, I really don’t like Disney.

  28. I can’t think of another brand giant that produces more brand evangelists than Disney. Nostalgia was definitely on point as the number 1 reason. Anytime I hear anyone talk about Disney (positively), it’s either about a favorite film or park experience. A lot more memorable than their latest tech installations, no one really focuses on scanning a wristband for attendance—however cool it might be.

  29. This was great! 🙂
    I remember going to Disney World for the first time– one of the best experiences of my life! I did not meet Mickey (one day– one day :)), but remember the feeling when I first saw the castle. And then! The light show during the evening was remarkable.
    What I would like to add is how great the food was! I think that pulled pork hot dog and (vegan) Oreo cupcake were some of the finest I will ever eat. If I have any suggestions for the newbies, TRY THE CUPCAKES! 🙂

  30. Whenever I think of Disney (the movies, music, characters, parks, etc.), yes, the nostalgia is always there, but more importantly, amidst our busy adult lives, sometimes we forget to become the carefree child with unlimited imagination and creative that we once were. There is actually so much adults can learn from children and their innocence.

    Also because some people like me are still believers in magic and lovers of fantastical worlds and things.

  31. Having grown up in the Orlando area, I visited Disney World more times than I can remember as a child. I’ve been back once or twice since then, but not for many years. The only reason I would probably go again is to take someone who hasn’t been. I think that’s another reason people go–to experience Disney through another person’s eyes and ears, whether a child or an adult. Then it really becomes magical again.

  32. Great article! As a Disney World passholder, I continue to renew my pass despite the rise in prices for many of these reasons. There is just something about Disney that keeps me coming back and reaching into my pockets.

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