The Balance of Disney World “Old” Traditions and New Surprises

Most people who visit Disney parks on a regular basis are used to the question about why they go back again and AGAIN. Of course there are all kinds of reasons why, but I was thinking a bit about this over the past week, and realized that some of the things that bring me back are, in fact opposites: I love the “traditional” things that we are used to and so love doing over and over again…and I also love the “new surprises” that Disney is so very good at offering their guests, in so many ways. I think that this second part was very much evident this past week.

At a time of year when Disney is just starting their normally “event-filled” fall months that so many families look forward to year after year….Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, the impending Christmas holiday events… seems that Disney is providing some extra excitement this year as well.  Gotta love Disney: they always give us something to talk about! 🙂

All these great events that folks look forward to attending every year are wonderful, and for many, these are special traditions that are the highlight of the season. For some families, it’s not Halloween without a night spent Trick or Treating with Mickey and friends. For others, Christmas isn’t nearly as special without hearing the Candlelight Processional. And of course, food and wine connoisseurs know THE place to be every fall!

In fact, Disney has a full year’s worth of incredible events, with something for just about everyone. In doing this, Walt Disney World becomes more than a just a vacation destination. Because once you attend a special event that you LOVE, you just want to go back again, right? So, we want to go back, year in and year out, because not only do we want to ride Soarin’ AGAIN, but we have events that tug at us at certain times of year…we just HAVE to go again. (Or at least we really WANT to go again…) Special events become family traditions!

Of course, Disney family traditions aren’t just restricted to events. For many, Disney traditions are far simpler: maybe starting each vacation at a certain park, always eating at a certain restaurant, making sure to take a family photo each time at a certain spot….these are also the things that help to create those warm memories that fill us every time we think about Disney World. We discussed Disney traditions on our Facebook page last week, and I was touched by reading about the many special moments that people incorporate into their trips each and every time! Do those traditions make us want to go back again? Of course they do! Which is why Disney created their “Let The Memories Begin” promotion this year….because they know we all love to celebrate those memories and want to create new ones!

So let’s talk about promotions, because this is one area where Disney is very good, in my opinion, at creating “new” things to draw us back too. Whether it’s a Free Dining offer (because who doesn’t want to save money!) or the celebration of the Millennium (Remember that one: “In the year 2000, I went to Disney World!”?)….or this week’s 40th Birthday celebration for Walt Disney World, Disney knows that NEW things bring us back too!

We can’t overlook the new attractions, or refurbishments that bring us to the parks either. Take the New Fantasyland for example: every little piece of information that comes out about this new expansion is dissected, discussed, looked at, pondered, and greatly anticipated. To say the least. Will there be TONS of people flocking back to Disney World when this expansion is complete? You bet there will be. 🙂  Everyone wants to see something that is new.

Which brings me to the newest News announced last week: AvatarLand. Boy oh boy, did this get folks talking online!!! 🙂

Now I don’t really want this post to get into a “Should they/shouldn’t they” discussion. Lots of folks expressed their thoughts about this last week, and while it was evident from reading online that most people are not in favor of Avatar coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom….that’s not the real intent of my mentioning it. The fact remains that it IS something new, for lots of folks it WILL be something exciting to look forward to, and in all likelihood WILL bring folks to the parks to see it.

And that is, I believe, core to a big part of what makes people go back to Disney World over and over. There are lots of reasons…but the fact remains that Disney does a masterful job at creating a balance between old and new….traditions that matter to us, and surprises that excite us (or at least make us curious). 🙂  Sure, some surprises end up not appealing to a majority, and that’s ok, because eventually they go away in order to make room for…..more new things.

It’s the Circle of Disney Life you might say. 🙂

This post is part of the 31st Disney Blog Carnival. Be sure to visit the Carnival for more posts from many wonderful Disney bloggers!

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