"How Disney Helps Us Heal" has truly taken on a new meaning since my last article in February of 2020. I wrote that article just weeks before, as Pete would say, "the world exploded." As the initial few months of the pandemic passed, it became clearer that our November trip would need to be cancelled. The blow it took to accept this was not an easy one and only got worse later in the year when we had to cancel our plans for our first ever Disney cruise, too!
When I first wrote "How Disney Helps Us Heal," I was speaking from my own personal experience of loss and a new cancer diagnosis. COVID has globalized many of the feelings I described and made them relatable to almost everyone. The world needs Disney. It craves nostalgia, joy, and escape now more than ever.
We all could really use a boost of that Disney feeling. Being transported far away from our daily burdens and brought to a place where we can remember what it feels like to be flooded with excitement and just have fun!
Some people may ask how Disney can really help people cope with these difficult times, especially when some trips are just not possible right now. From my experience, getting through some of the most difficult times can be made easier by just having something special to look forward to. For my husband and I, combating the disappointment of a cancelled trip really only had one solution. We decided to plan a newer, longer and BETTER Disney trip to look forward to! We found (and continue to find) solace by editing our trip over time. We have extended our trip, upgraded our hotel room, and have given ourselves permission to splurge on experiences that we had not initially planned on participating in. If the logistics of those changes sound burdensome, consider using a travel agent to facilitate the process!
For those of you who had to cancel or delay your next trip, maybe there are small ways to improve it to make it THAT much more exciting to look forward to! That might mean pushing the date back further to save, but even small adjustments can help build the excitement for a trip. Consider adding a signature dining experience to your agenda or schedule an evening flight to squeeze in some extra Disney magic at Disney Springs. The beauty of Disney is that there are SO many ways to add to your trip. Read, watch and explore all the ways that you can customize your trip to cater to your family. I promise it will be make the days go by just a little easier.
The truth is that anyone who gets to plan a trip to Walt Disney World is very lucky. To be able to get there and experience even a small piece of it is a privilege that I will never take for granted. The next time you are in a Disney park, remember to savor it. Think about all of those times you were home on your couch wishing you were there. Hold onto that Disney feeling for as long as you can because you never know what it will help you get through next.
What is getting me through my days now is just imagining the day I am on Main Street USA, looking up at the castle thinking, “I finally made it.” What is helping you get through yours?