Small Girl, Big Ideas

Why I Love Disney


As a designer, I'm apparently not supposed to love Disney as much as I do. I get looks when it is revealed that I find Disney World one of the most astonishing places, that I collect Disney memorabilia, and cry every time I watch pretty much any Pixar film. Since Jason and I are going down to Disney to celebrate our anniversary (and everything else that managed to happen in our lives since I bought the tickets) and go to Star Wars weekend for the first time, I figured this would be an appropriate time to explain myself.

hotel lobby - polynesian
Me dancing absurdly in the lobby of the Polynesian on our first trip to Disney together in 2007. That's my sister in law. Hi Sarah.

I really admire Disney for their ingenuity. Each time we visit the park, it's a new hunt to see what has changed, what details are new, and what creative designs or processes they have managed to implement. There is something really amazing about creating this perfectly crafted mass of land on a swamp in Florida. We visit each hotel to see the design, eat at the restaurants to admire their theming, and in general, just try and pick up on the creativity. It's really in invigorating to us as designers to think of the processes and thought that went behind it all.

the wildness lodge & bride
Being all adorable like on my honeymoon.

Back when I was in school, some of the designers that worked on one of the Disney resort hotels came to speak to one of our industrial design classes. I remember being a bit embarrassed of my classmates fairly rude reactions to the people (after all, they work for Disney, and even if you aren't a fan, there is no reason to be snarky, sophomore in design college in Ohio). The people around me seemed to attack the fact that the country the hotel was themed about wasn't perfect and 'people were starving there and where is that aspect in this hotel.' To me, I enjoyed that they actually bought authentic goods from the country and created an atmosphere that glamorized instead of humiliate the area. Celebrating the positives is what Disney is all about to me. It's not an authentic experience - visiting Japan in Epcot isn't a replacement for visiting Japan in any way. But it's a brilliant way to introduce culture and learning into an experience for a child (or even people that may otherwise never be introduced to these things) that I completely respect. Plus, I'm sorry, but I really enjoy being able to drink sake and walk a few feet and get a pretzel. And ride rides.

Visiting Disneyland in California back in 2007. Note, I still wear that coat on the blog.

I quite frankly enjoy animation too. I love the character design of Disney. I enjoy watching the films as an adult because it still makes me smile, and sometimes that child-like simplicity is needed.

walt disney world 2007
Another point and shoot snap from our first trip to Disney. I used to have a thing for big plastic beat necklaces.

A lot of people argue Disney is too expensive. It is pricey, I won't lie, but you get what you pay for. The people are paid alright (I've had friends who worked there as janitors and what not), they have to hire tons and tons of people to keep the park in the pristine order it is in. I find it worth it, and indeed, they can have you pay that because so many people think like me and do pay it. We do have efforts to save while we visit though! Here's our personal tips of saving in Disney parks.

Yummy Flatbread

-Don't go on the meal plan. Instead, split meals. Jason and I split all of our meals on our honeymoon. The portions are large enough to be able to do this.
-Eat one large meal a day, then snack. We usually get a small snack in the afternoon at one of the quick places, then a larger meal that we split in the evening.

downtown disney! 

-Look for deals and discounts. We have a Disney Visa that we earn points on to use as money at the parks. We also get a discount at stores because of this, and when we signed up, a gift card to use (which came in handy on the honeymoon.)
-Don't stay at a Disney resort. I love them, but it's a great way to save money. I would consider staying somewhere closer to the city of Orlando and not in the area and driving in. Even consider looking up a homeshare or something if you are comfortable with that kind of thing.
-Try just visiting Downtown Disney. For a lot of my posts, we just visited Downtown Disney! Once we tried out Disney Quest, an interactive theme park. It was pretty fun and about half the price of the parks.

let the memories begin!

I get it's not for everyone, but it's something we love. And we're REALLY excited to go to Star Wars weekend! Be prepared for lots of photos when we get back!

22 comments:

  1. I absolutely love Disney. I've gone twice and I can't wait to be able to go back again. Great tips!

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  2. I want to so badly visit this place. It would be a dream!

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  3. I love Disney World not only Disneylands etc, but the world that Walt Disney start do create. It's an ode to dreams and hopes from when we are young, and has much as we grow we never forget our hopes and dreams. I grown up watching Disney movies and I can tell you I find myself a much happier person, with more imagination, culture, than my cousins that didn't saw that movies. And like you I get corner eyes looking when I say I love Disney ( but it happens also when I say I love anime, I love Lord of The Ring... bla bla bla). I think the concept of being a grown up should be liberal. Because we cannot all be equal, and just because we like things that are supposedly for children don't makes us child or irresponsables. No... it's makes us more mind open.
    I envy you so much! In Portugal nothing like that ever happens, Star Wars Weekends would be awesome! Have a great weekend! :D
    Kisses
    Sofia G

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  4. I've been to Disney probably about 20-25 times since I was born and I absolutely love it. I can never get enough. The amount of work and labor they do to make sure millions of people have an authentic and amazing time is awesome. I often wish I could live there...like in Disney World....or at least close to it so I could go more, but I get afraid if I went once a month it wouldn't be as great. I just love the atmosphere of it. It's still a magical place for me, even in my twenties and I still get teary-eyed when I watch the fireworks over the castle. Disney was a part of my childhood and life since I was born and it will always have a special place in my heart. And my kids will be introduced to Disney too someday!

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  5. Aw, I love that you've got your arguements to back up why you love Disney. I mean yeah, there are going to be some things that are seemingly "negative" about it--like the high prices and the fact that they're making products on everything that they possibly can, but that's what a business does, and I think people fail to realize that even though Disney is this childhood nostalgia magical fun place, it's a money-making business, too.

    Haven't been to Disney since I was a very, very wee grasshopper, though. Maybe one day in the future to see how things have changed, though, just as you said they do! :)

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  6. I havent been to disney since I was little but it still seems wonderful. Who doesnt love it!? haha Im excited for you to be going to the star wars weekend! i bet it will be awesome!

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  7. I can't wait to see your pictures - they really do encompass everything I love about Disney, since we're going in September, it'll be fun to see to get us ready!

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  8. I love disney and can understand why you love it so much! I wish I was there right now going on all the rides!
    ~Sara

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  9. I love that you love Disney so much. It's actually not often I meet someone who has a sincere love for Disney like you! And my husband's family is from LA, I've lived in LA and tons of people go with season passes (of course, I'm only talking about Disneyland). Your tips are spot on (if I do say so myself). I have not gone as frequently as you but the last time we went, it was such a blast!! I totally loved every moment!
    xo,
    nancy

    http://adoretoadorn.blogspot.com

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  10. I LOVE Disney! It's the best! I went every other year with my family as a kid and took my Hubby for the first time in 2011. What's not to love? The rides and the detail are what I love! P.S. It's so funny how different you look in the older pics!
    Oh and thanks for making that button for me! You are too sweet, seriously :)
    Jessi
    haircutandgeneralattitude.blogspot.com

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  11. it's actually kind of funny, but i love disney more now than i did when i was a child! when i was younger, i went three times and i remember being do overwhelmed with the parks. i went a few years ago and loved it though... the parades were my favorite!

    lindsey louise

    hellomrrabbitblog.com

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  12. i am so excited for you! :) have an absolutely amazing time
    kw ladies in navy

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  13. I really enjoyed Disneyland the one time we went (as a kid), and I've always loved their films. It is strange to me that there would be such negativity about working at Disney who seem to be very much into creativity and would seem to give opportunity for design projects you couldn't get elsewhere.

    That said, I've really enjoyed your posts about Disney in general but it- and several other blogs- has really highlighted for me how much Disney is a part of so many people's experiences, especially on the East Coast. It is really pricey to get out of the Wyoming/Montana area, so not many people would go to Disney (land or World) more than once, but so many people seem to go yearly or more! It is such a different perspective on the place and interesting then to read about.

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  14. I'm from Florida, and took Disney World for granted for so many years. Now that we live in TN, I miss it so much! It is a great, inspiring, happy place to visit.

    Adrienne
    What Lola Wants

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  15. I love Disney World! I want to go so bad!

    ♥ Naomi {Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups}

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  16. Adorable photos, I love Disney and think there's nothing wrong with it. I have not been in ages though! I love the photo of you and the mouse ears hat! xx/Madison

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  17. Great tips! I'm hoping to go back there this year :)

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  18. you look so cute! i've been meaning to share my orlando pictures on my blog. will have to get around to that! this is a thoughtful piece. for me, i haven't thought that deep into disney -- for me it just reminds me of innocence and childhood memories. nothing more nothing less. just plain and simple. i think that's why i have a fondness for it (even though i literally didn't get to go to disney world/land until i was an adult!)

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  19. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Disney. You definitely pointed out some useful info here =)
    Japan's Disneyland and me shared our very first memories. I was only 14 and it definitely was and still stay very magical to me till today. Next I went to the world smallest Disneyland which is Hong Kong and I wasn't too disappointed because when I saw the map, I knew I shouldn't compare it to Japan's Disneyland. Few years ago, I was in Paris with my bf and we went to Disneyland on Christmas. It was still magical! =D Maybe someday I will go to Orlando's =)

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  20. I couldn't agree with you more! The people at Disney really know what they are doing. They make it a real experience everytime you go! All the details, the characters you can meet.... Everything!!! It's so relaxing. I tell everyone I know they should go at least once. I feel addicted now though. Hahaha We may go to Disneyland in July because I've never been.

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  21. I love Disney too. They're so innovative and do a great job crafting a very specific image. I just love the art of animation so much and they've done a lot for the industry. I always love watching my Disney DVDs over and over again. They just make me happy!
    I really need to make a visit to Disney World sometime soon!

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  22. I still have yet to go to DisneyWorld (only been to Disneyland) but it is my DREAM! And you're basically the queen of Disney so if and when I go, I know where to get my tips. You're right, the design is really beautiful. I love it because (as the marketing goes...) you can't be in Disneyland and NOT be happy. It's just too fun.

    perfectly priya

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