Why do we miss Disney World? We all know that Disney has closed its parks for the “foreseeable future” due to Covid-19, and while I think that’s a smart move, not that there’s any other option, it is difficult to think of a closed Disney park. Knowing I can’t go makes me miss it a lot. But why?

Is it the rides? Is it the food? How about the shows and music and characters?

Clearly the answer to all of those questions is a resounding Yes!

But is that all? Are we just missing being able to go to the parks and stand in line and ride the rides and see the shows? I think it’s way more than that. At least it is for me.

Being unable to go to Disney during this crazy time has caused me to wonder what exactly I miss about being there. There are many things really, perhaps you can relate.

Of course the experience of being there, from the rides to the shows and everything in between, is something that you can’t find anywhere else on earth! Do I miss being able to go on Jungle Cruise? Of course I do, but I miss being able to go on Horizons more!! So it’s not just that; Disney is special for more than just the attractions.

Disney is a full sensory experience. Firstly, the sounds of whatever rides or show are nearby, mixed with the cacophony of people milling about, speaking in their varied dialects and accents is certainly unique. One of my favorite aspects of Disney, particularly Epcot, is the background music wherever you go! Along with that of course comes the sights of not just the park itself, but of all the people in their Disney shirts and mouse ears. Sure, there are some crabby people milling about, looking like they’re having the worst day they’ve ever had, but for the most part, people are smiling and laughing, just as Disney would want them to be. We certainly can’t forget about the smells! Walking past the bakery on Main St USA or any of the numerous restaurants, popcorn stalls or Churro sellers is always a gloriously tempting occurrence!

Nothing in my house looks, smells or sounds like Disney, that’s for sure. 

The Disney cast members are particularly special! Nowhere else in the world can you find more happy and helpful people. They work so hard to help every person they encounter to have a magical experience. Perhaps you have a special memory of a time a cast member went above and beyond for you, I know I do!

There’s also a beautiful sense of community surrounding Disney. Whatever park you go to, if you look around you can see likeminded people that are there to take part in the magic that Disney creates. Regardless of your political background, ethnicity, or career, when you’re at Disney, you’re a Mousketeer! When you’re standing in a giant crowd of people watching fireworks, everyone reacting as one to the spectacle, it’s hard to not feel connected.

So perhaps there isn’t just one thing about being at Disney that I miss, it’s everything put together. It’s the way that all of these different aspects combined make me feel. For some, going to Disney is a once in a lifetime event, for others it’s a weekly thing they do after work. I guess it should be easier to deal with knowing that no one else can go either, but that honestly makes it a little worse. I know that if I were to walk around the parks right now, there wouldn’t be the smell of popcorn or waffle cones, there wouldn’t be the sounds of laughter and singing, there wouldn’t be any smiling cast members to greet me or tell me to keep my hands inside the ride vehicle. No, things aren’t the same right now. The roads and walkways are empty, and that’s sad to think about.

But we know that when things settle down and we get a handle on this virus, Disney will open its doors once more. So in the mean time we just have to do the best we can to recreate the magic at home. So my friends, put on your Disney shirts and ears, pour a drink in your favorite Tiki mug, get comfy in those giant Mickey slippers and settle in. It might be a while, but at least we can do our part to keep the magic alive.