I got back from Disneyland three weeks ago – and I am already counting down the days until our next Disney vacation. (115 days!!) Everyone knows that Disneyland is magical. Where else can you hobnob with Buzz and Woody, pick up a hitchhiking ghost, or ride a flying elephant? Yes, Disneyland is a place unlike any other.
Every time I walk through the gates, a sense of nostalgia mixed with wonder fills my soul. Happy tears fall and my smile grows a mile wide as old memories re-surface and new memories are made. As I walk the streets and re-visit favorite rides, I’m brought back to moments in time. All of a sudden, I’m a four year old girl on Small World for the first time, or a 22 year old newlywed, experiencing the park with my husband on his first visit.
But, as I experienced my first (and hopefully not my last!) Disney Social Media Mom’s Conference, I was struck by a thought inspired by Tom Staggs – chairman of Walt Disney Resorts. As he was speaking, he was asked about the time he spends with his own family in the parks. He said that his favorite thing was how Disneyland allowed for “heads-up” time vs. the “heads-down” (aka-“screen time”) that pervades so many of our households.
We live in a digital age. We’re constantly on our phones. Our kids rush home from school to play video games. We unwind with the tv. Even when we’re not engaged with a screen, so often we’re not engaged with each other.
As a family of 6, it’s rare when the stars and our schedules align, and we find ourselves all available with time to spare. We may be under the same roof, but so often we’re all caught up in our own “thing” – moving through our days without much interaction. Many modern families crave quality time, community, and opportunities to make memories.
Disneyland has a way of bringing families together like no other. When you’re moving through the park with your family, you’re engaged in a shared experience. Memories are made around every corner as photos are snapped, beloved characters are met, and favorite Disney movies are brought to life in exciting attractions. It’s “heads-up time” at its finest.
Can you imagine a full week of quality family time? Can you imagine how that would change, energize, and refresh your family? Even with young kids, our family at times can feel so disconnected, as we each pursue our own interests and hobbies. We’re busier than ever and our connections are limited. I get goosebumps thinking about spending an entire week together at the happiest place on Earth.
At Disneyland, you literally become the family who eats together, sleeps together, and plays together. Even wait time is family time. Families can take advantage of lines, and turn them into opportunities for the conversations that get missed at home. Come together around the table, enjoy a new experience, and build memories that will last a lifetime. All at Disneyland.
I cannot wait for August to get here. I’m excited for my children to experience the magic of Disney for the FIRST TIME! I can’t wait to experience my favorite attractions through their eyes, and watch their smile widen as they walk the streets – taking in all of the whimsy and wonder. But I know that nothing will compare to the family time we experience while in the park. It’s time where we aren’t all attached to a device or worrying about our next project. Everything we do will be centered around family. And that – that is beyond magical. Thank you Disney.
*I was invited to attend the 2014 Disney Social Media Mom’s Conference. I paid an event fee to attend. While at the conference, I received free products, unique experiences, and deep discounts. All opinions are my own. I was not asked to blog about my experience.
*Amazing photo of the castle courtesy of @hyku – Thank you Josh Hallett!