You're Going Again?

To some we are foolish, to others we are juvenile, and to some, we are obsessed. To those who share our affliction we are completely and utterly smitten. “Don’t you want to go anywhere else?” and “aren’t you tired of that place yet?” are the two questions that my husband and I are asked the most when we talk about our next planned excursion to Uncle Walt’s Florida property. The answer is always “nope, not yet”. Mind you I have been there only five times, with the first trip in 1989, and my husband has been there three times (his first trip wasn’t until 2000). Ever since I can remember, as a child living in a small farming community in the “thumb” of Michigan, Walt Disney World was the Brass Ring, always there in my mind, but never quite within reach. I was seventeen when I FINALLY got to Disney World (my poor husband had to wait until he was thirty-four).

My first trip was with my grandparents, parents, sister and an aunt and uncle. My grandparents and aunt had been there several times, being that they lived in Florida, so they made the itinerary and we saw what they thought we should see. My second trip was in 1994, a friend and I went and stayed off-property, and we covered the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, Seaworld and Universal Studios (then just one park) in as many days. We opened and closed a park each day, and I must say that I only remember bits and snatches from that entire vacation.

My husband and I were married in February of 2000 and when thinking about a belated honeymoon he stated very plainly that he wanted to go to Walt Disney World. So we ordered our vacation planning video and began planning. We were trying to be somewhat careful with our money, yet we wanted a nice honeymoon so we decided to “step up one” from the Value Resorts and stay at the Caribbean Beach Resort. True, we could have saved a little on lodging and stayed at one of the near by off-property hotels, but we wanted the whole Disney experience, and by the time we would have rented a car and paid for parking at the parks, it wouldn’t have been much savings anyway. We spent almost 10 full days as guests of the Walt Disney World Resort, and it only took about 24 hours to realize that we were enamored of the entire place. The Cast Members made us feel like welcome guests, the accommodations were clean and the atmosphere was right on the mark. It was truly like visiting another world. We were hooked. We couldn’t stop raving, and we both get teary-eyed when we think back to the first time we stood “in Canada” and watched Illuminations together. On the flight back to Michigan we were already talking about what we
were going to do the next time.

We spent the next three years agonizing over when we would be able to get there again and soaking up everything we could about Walt Disney World. We had been subscribers to Disney Magazine and would go through each new issue from cover to cover, sometimes more than once. When my husband’s parents said that they wanted to take us in October of 2003, we were like two little kids, beside ourselves with the thought that Mom and Dad were going to take us to see Mickey. Our friends thought (and still do think) that we were nuts. We know we’re nuts, but when you feel so alive and so at peace somewhere, how can you not live for each return trip to that place?

My husband and I celebrated the fifth anniversary of our belated honeymoon at our favorite place in December of 2005. Six weeks before we were scheduled to depart he got notice that his employer was shutting down his department and he would be permanently laid off effective January 1, 2006. We debated for about 10 minutes, “should we cancel? Nope, the trip was paid for, we’re going.” Besides, we weren’t sure when we would be able to get back. We spent 11 days in our Nirvana and don’t regret our decision for a minute. We still get tears in our eyes when we listen to the soundtrack to the Millennium Celebration, and we take great pleasure in surprising each other with little Disney reminders. Even on one income we are trying to build up our
“Disney fund” so that we can try to see our next trip on the horizon. Yep, we’re hooked.

Gretchen and Jeff Osim
Eastpointe, Michigan