Monday, May 3, 2010

Separation Anxiety

I will always associate Jelly Belly Jelly Beans with leaving Walt Disney World.

It was December 2001, and the time had come for us to leave Walt Disney World and start the long drive back to northern Ohio.  I had started crying the night before (during Fantasmic), and had been on the verge of tears ever since.  I just hated the thought of leaving my happy place and returning to real life, and the long drive home we faced wasn’t helping.  We stopped at Goodings Supermarket to stock up on supplies for our drive, and they had a huge Jelly Belly selection.  I can’t tell you how many pounds I bought.  As we drove home, I sat there gorging on bean after bean, with tears silently streaming down my face.  I think I nearly broke my husband’s heart.  My daughter, seated in the back, thankfully had no idea.

This was the most extreme reaction I've ever had to leaving WDW, but the emotions were not unique to that trip.  Why is it so hard to leave?  And what can help lessen the blow?  Over the years, I have learned a few tricks on how to ease my transition back into the real world. 

  1. Document your trip so that once you get home, you can share your experiences, either with a trip report or through photos (or both).  Reliving your experiences in this manner can help prolong the magic, and can help you remember tricks you learned for use in future trips. 
  2. Listening to Disney podcasts and participating in Disney discussion boards can help you keep the enchantment alive, as well as bring you the joy of helping others plan their vacations. I truly believe that helping others prepare for their WDW holidays can be almost as fun as planning my own.  Okay, “almost” might be stretching it, but I do enjoy helping.
  3. Recreating Disney recipes at home is always fun.  I will often do entire Disney dinners based on ones we enjoyed, and will even tie in a Disney movie that matched the meal’s theme.
  4. Surrounding myself with souvenirs from my trip doesn’t hurt.  Disney jewelry is always a good pick-me-up!
  5. Listening to Disney music is a great way to relive the magic, but this can backfire.  I am absolutely incapable of listening to the Fantasmic finale, Baroque Hoedown from the Main Street Electrical Parade, or Come Again from the Country Bear Jamboree without welling up.  Would you buy it if I claimed they are happy tears?
  6. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s never too early to start planning your next Disney vacation.  I am absolutely positive that the reason I have often found it so hard to leave WDW is because I don’t know when, or even if, I’ll be back.  I went nine long years between my last trip as a child and my first “adult” trip on my honeymoon, and I think that separation scarred me for life.  Since then my trips to the world have been at least two years apart, sometimes as many as four.  To put it plainly, I get homesick for Walt Disney World.  Short of moving to Florida or other drastic measures, the best way to curb this panic attack is to be sure that I will be returning before too long.  Hopefully, my new DVC membership will help here.  Knowing that I will be back before long should help ease my sorrow at the parting.  Should

Speaking of separations, I want to let you know that this will be my only post this week.  I will be traveling for work, with no access to Facebook ( or my blog.  I’ll miss “talking” to you, and I look forward to resuming next week!

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