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Broadening Your Disney Horizons

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You might have noticed a running theme over the last few weekly articles where I’ve been focusing on refining our Disney experience while in the parks. Our love for Disney is much like a relationship. It needs attention, nurturing, and consideration to stay alive and well. That means sometimes taking an analytical approach to things and asking the hard questions, like: How can we improve our rituals and find a way to Disney harder, better, faster, stronger? Hopefully, you read that last part in the electronic stylings of Daft Punk. 

So far, we’ve faced the awkward concept of going hands-free at Disney, and we reviewed a few techniques to up our Disney photography game, so this week, I thought we might be ready to take a leap into something a little bigger: broadening your Disney horizons.

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If you were planning to return to the parks in 2020, one of the biggest concerns might be feeling is that it won’t be, well, the same. If you’re directly comparing previous trips to your upcoming one, that next vacation will undoubtedly not hit the mark without a little fine-tuning of your expectations. As much as I do genuinely believe that during this time there will be a small window into the nostalgia of Disney Parks past, if you decide in advance that your vacation will be sub-par, you will no doubt ensure it will be.

With the notion of shaking things up in mind, I wanted to throw something out there for you all that might seem a little crazy; daunting, even. I figure 2020 appears to be the year for the unexpected, so why not embrace the change?

Instead of rebooking your usual haunts only to struggle with the differences to your Disney customs, what if you took this as an opportunity to branch out and try something new? East coasters, maybe this is your chance to experience an old-school version of Disneyland that you thought you had missed out on by 15 years. West Coasters, instead of returning to your local favorite, perhaps this is the push you need to swap coasts and take on the larger-scale Walt Disney World, complete with lower crowd levels.

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Are you a park-lover that hasn’t yet made the plunge into the world of Disney Cruise Line? 2021 sailings are now available and are far less likely to encounter interruptions than 2020 bookings. On the flip side, perhaps absence does make the heart grow fonder, and your love of Disney parks is so strong that you might take this opportunity to look into a Disney Vacation Club investment.

How about those of you residing in the UK or Europe that are worried the whimsy of Disneyland Paris won’t cut it any longer? Is this the time to bite the proverbial bullet and plan that long-awaited trip to the US to visit the original parks?

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During my lockdown time here in Australia, I have used Disney research as a coping mechanism. In doing so, I stumbled upon a new interest in the parks located in Asia. Most of you know that my trip to Tokyo Disneyland and the outer regions of Japan was canceled in April. Well, not only has that strengthened my resolve to visit, but I’ve now added Disneyland Hong Kong to my list of near-future travels as well. Disney and Yum Cha? What could be better than that?

The purpose of this is to give everyone, including myself, a little nudge out of their comfort zone. Instead of longing for our well-crafted Disney routines, let’s create a new one, in a different Disney destination. Use this situation to chase that next-level Disney love that would have never have been found if we weren’t dared to deviate from our go-to itineraries.

Could it be that your next Disney Dining experience is really meant to be at Animator’s Palate onboard the Disney Dream, Magic, Fantasy, or Wonder? Possibly your next summer is destined to be enjoyed at the paradisiacal Aulani rather than the season tickets for your local water park.

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I’m not saying go big or go home. Although, there is something about that philosophy that always feels applicable to planning a Disney vacation. I’m merely saying that, in my humble opinion, for whatever it’s worth, there is a third option to the go-and-compromise or stay-away debate. And that third option might bring you face-to-face with an aspect of your Disney lifestyle that has been missing all along.

It’s time to get out of our Disney box and start from scratch, designing a new adventure. It’s time to dream a distinctly different type of vacation that broadens our Disney horizons, still allowing us to preserve the systematic methods of our go-to Disney patronage to be safely returned to another time.

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Could this jolt from the universe be what you need to take a chance on a new experience? What Disney experience have you always wanted to embark on but haven’t quite got around to yet?

Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.

Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.


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