What Disney means to me

A little while ago, I ran a poll on Twitter asking what kind of posts you’d like to see more of from me. I’m sure most of the people who voted just voted on the general kind of blog posts they like reading from anyone – not me specifically (I don’t think I’m that special) but still, I like to take on board what people enjoy reading and try and cater to that. One of the most popular options was Disney. Which surprised me a little bit. I know there’s a humongous Disney community on Twitter but there’s also a humongous amount of people who aren’t that bothered about Disney or who like it but wouldn’t necessarily go out of their way to read Disney related blog posts.

I love Disney but I haven’t really blogged an awful lot about it. The results of the poll made me want to because Disney is and always has been a huge part of my life so why wouldn’t I want to blog about it more? Although I was a bit reluctant to churn out the good old, “favourite Disney movies” and “favourite Disney songs” blog posts because personally, I find those a little boring to write. Despite enjoying reading them on other people’s blogs. So I started brain storming Disney related ideas and I thought talking about what Disney means to me would be a nice post to write. Albeit, maybe a bit emotional.

So… if you don’t like Disney, probably best to skip this one! For those that do, I hope you enjoy and can connect and relate to some of the things I mention here.

I don’t participate in the Disney community on Twitter. I find it very cliquey and very, “well I’ve been to Disney more than you so I’m a bigger fan” (genuinely… I’ve seen comments like that before). I also don’t collect merch, I don’t own all the movies on DVD and I still haven’t seen Moana (okay, you’re allowed to moan at me for that one because I can’t quite believe it either). But to me, I don’t like nor understand the mentality behind that the more you own or the more times you’ve been somewhere, the bigger the fan you are. That just isn’t true. If something is important to you, it’s important to you. 

So with that out the way, I want to explain why Disney means so much to me. I’ve never really thought about my answer to this question before so forgive me if this post is a bit all over the place whilst I try and coherently say what I’m thinking. Disney started when I was little. My parents allowed me to watch the Disney movies when I was a kid and took me to Disneyland Paris for the first time when I was 5 years old. Obviously I was too small to go on most things but what did I care? I was 5 and in the happiest place on Earth. I went back to Disneyland Paris again in the New Year of 2009/2010 with my parents and my best friend at the time and for the third time in 2011 with my boyfriend at the time.

I grew up with Disney and haven’t really known not liking or enjoying Disney. To me, it has and always will be very much ingrained into my very being. Disney means a lot to me because I’ve never had a bad Disney experience. The words Disney and bad don’t belong in the same sentence. And I’m just going on personal experience here of course. Each trip to Disneyland Paris was utterly magical for it’s separate reasons. My first holiday as a little kid, spending New Years Eve at Disneyland with the phenomenal fireworks, my best friend and my parents and finally, the first holiday with my then boyfriend, after I was diagnosed with anxiety.

Stepping into those parks each and every time have brought with it a sense of calm, happiness and a safe place where nothing could go wrong. Where the outside world doesn’t exist. Where characters walk around amongst everyone. Where dreams and fairy-tales are real around every corner. Disney reminds me that there is happiness in the world, that magic can be found and we also have magic within ourselves. It reminds me to laugh and that laughter is timeless. That it doesn’t matter how old you are, you should always embrace the child in you, have fun and believe in magic. Even if it’s for a short period of time. The parks taught me that and so did the movies.

Disney also gives me a very strong sense of nostalgia. A few years ago, I found the tap recordings my parents took during our trip to Disneyland when I was 5 and I did nothing but cry when I watched them. I’m actually crying right now whilst typing this, jeeeez. I realised that this was a special time for my parents and although I was too young and I don’t remember it, they do. And there will come a time where those tape recordings are going to mean a lot more to me than they do now. They also show me that I want to ensure I do the same with my kids, when the time comes.

For those that don’t know, I have a Peter Pan tattoo. I have the quote, “Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning” on my left hip. Clearly, I like Peter Pan judging by my blog but I love that quote so much because to me, Neverland is a place that we all need to have. We all need our own little Neverland; somewhere to switch off, to go to mentally when things get tough which is full of nice things and nice memories. Somewhere where we can be ourselves and not worry. Have fun, dream and imagine. And that, on a whole, is what Disney means to me. It’s a part of who I am. It’s me, it’s my childhood, my family and a lot of my memories and Disney will certainly stay with me forever. 

If you’re a Disney fan, I’d love to hear your Disney stories. What Disney means to you, your favourite films and what they mean to you, your favourite Disney holidays and whatever else you want to share!

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88 thoughts on “What Disney means to me

  1. We went to Eurodisney after we got engaged and when we went to Paris for our honeymoon. My goal is to get the kiddies there while they’re still kids. Time’s running out as the eldest is now ten but I really want him to experience it as young as possible (and again in the future!) . They’ve all chosen it over Legoland even though obviously they all want to go there too (four boys). Can’t even imagine how great it’ll be! And great post as always and great tattoo!

    • Oh I really want to go to Legoland but haven’t been haha. Disney as a kid and Disney as an adult are definitely different but both so wonderful. Hope you manage to take them while they’re still young xxx

  2. I love this post! It’s really true that we all need a bit of escapism every now and then, just as you said! For me, Disney is about going somewhere else for a while when life gets too hard. I love your chip mug and tattoo, by the way! You should definitely watch Moana – it really stands out from the other disney films. 🙂
    chloewritessometimes.wordpress.com

  3. I’m a fan of Disney too. And your post brought back so many memories particularly of watching Disney movies with my daughter’s. Also my eldest played Peter Pan in primary school. My youngest Robin Hood! They both had lead parts which probably made some of the other mum’s jealous. Ha ha. My eldest went to Disneyland in Tokyo just recently. A dream come true. Magic really does happen!

  4. Jesus Christ why am I crying after reading this? I really need to get a grip. This is so wonderful, I really loved this post idea and I think it’s very well written toooo 🐒 also, we defo all need a little neverland 🙈 xx

  5. That was such a lovely post and I teared up reading it. I like Disney but it is not my ‘thing’. For me, it is Harry Potter. I only discovered Harry Potter about 3 years ago and it was when I was really depressed. HP gave me that world to escape too and learn about myself, even in my late 20s. JK Rowling’s personal storey also helped me an awful lot. So I totally get where you are coming from and I am really glad you wrote this post.

  6. Same. All of this. We are a big Disney family and get flack for it from those that don’t really get it. For us, it’s a way to hold onto a little bit of magic, even into adulthood. Life is short and I kind of feel for people that don’t hold onto at least a little bit of fantasy in their life. For those of us that do, it’s hard to imagine a life without it.
    Also though. You haven’t seen Moana?

  7. We went to the Florida one the summer before I sat my GCSEs. I remember loving it, and my Dad also filmed most of it. Must see if I can find out where the tapes are! I’d love to go the Paris one, but I’m really worried it won’t live up to Florida – I remember my parents and siblings going for a day trip during a family holiday (I’d decided I was too old for family holidays and they decided on the day trip while they were away) – they said it didn’t have the same feel to it.

  8. Dude, you gotta see Moana! It’s so wonderful. Love the tattoo too! 🙂

    I can’t even begin to explain what Disney means to me, but I totally get what you’re saying about the “well I’ve been more times than you…” thing, gets to me too. Since I live in Australia, the closest park to me is Hong Kong but I’ve only ever been to the Paris park and only once. Once day I’ll get to the rest!!

    My favourite films will always be The Little Mermaid and Toy Story, but ugh I just love them all!

    • It’s and utterly ridiculous thing to say isn’t it? Why does it matter how much people own or how many times they’ve been to the park. Some people can’t afford to go to the parks once a year, every year! And some people, like you, aren’t in a position to just jump on a train and get to Paris xxx

  9. I’ve never been to Disney, I’d love to though. I don’t own all the films, I just try to and own all the Disney films which I like. I hate that Disney means a lot to everyone but some people think it’s a competition. It isn’t about who has the merch or who goes to the parks but how Disney makes you feel.

  10. Aw, Jenny, I love this post, I can picture you as a little girl at Disneyland Paris! Disney wasn’t a big thing for me when I was growing up but Flora loves her Disney movies. Her favourites are The Aristocats and Moana at the moment. I agree with you about us all needing our own little Neverland where we can retreat and dream our own dreams in peace. Thank you for sharing such lovely childhood memories with us, xx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  11. Disney means so much to me. I just adore everything about it and I just love how wonderful of a company it is; it’s touched so many people. I agree that you don’t need to collect Disney merch to be great Disney fan. I honestly just collect a few things because I enjoy it not that I want to prove anything.
    My favourite characters have to be Goofy, Jasmin and Moana at the moment. However I love so many other characters too! I’m going to Disney World this year and I can’t wait to go back!

    Tabitha x
    http://www.whattabithaloves.co.uk/

  12. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to Disneyland, and when I had the opportunity I choose Knotts Berry Farm because I was a teenager who thought she was way too cool for princesses and all Disney things, but my friend actually works there so hopefully I’ll go soon

  13. This is such a lovely post! I’m definitely a fan of Disney, and completely agree that it’s such a happy place! I’ve visited both Florida and Paris, and they were so magical! I can’t believe people actually have the ‘Im a bigger fan because I’ve visited more times’ thats seriously petty haha! I hope to visit Disney again soon, I would love to experience it now I’m more grown up to appreciate all the detail put into the parks!

    Sarah | http://www.sazsinclair.com xx

  14. Such a lovely post, Disney is always so magical. I’ve never been too any of the parks but I love sitting and watching the films they always give me the warm fizzy feeling.

    Emma x
    Emmarollason.com

  15. I’m not a Disney fan (so I hope you don’t mind me commenting!) I do like it but just have never really understood the hype, but that made it all the more interesting to read your post. It’s so lovely that you have such strong memories from it, I have films and programs that I watched as a child and still re-watch now that bring back floods of memories that you just couldn’t recreate with anything else! I’m hoping to visit Disneyland for the first time either this year or next, so who knows, maybe I’ll become a massive fan soon! So glad I read this, it was very interesting and inspiring!

    Shan xoxo // http://www.cultureandcouture.co.uk

  16. I actually found this really interesting as someone who isn’t a Disney fan at all. I grew up watching the movies like every kid, but I probably couldn’t tell you what happens in most of them. I’ve never really understood the whole adults swarming to see the latest movies thing either so your perspective on this is quite enlightening for me. I totally get the nostalgia element though! It’s a nice form of escapism x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

  17. a goofy movie is up there with being one of my faves, such an underrated film!

    also my absolute dream is to visit walt disney world in florida, i’m so desperate to go!

  18. Omgoodness I relate to this so so much. Disney has pretty much a staple in my life and has been since birth, I remember watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and falling in love with the magic and now as an adult with two little girls who love Moana (so I watch it roughly 3 times a week lol) it’s incredible to see that spark that magic in their eyes and it’s just pure magic, like you said there is no bad in Disney.

  19. What an absolutely amazing post. Like you I grew up watching Disney movies and fell firmly in love with each and every one. There is just something so magical about them that bring out joy and happiness in a way no other film can. Sadly I have never visited the parks but would love to one day . I highly recommend Moana too it’s quickly become one of my favourites I can’t resist a sting female character!

    Melanie | http://www.frasersfunhouse.com

  20. My boyfriend took me to Disneyland Paris for my 25th last year and it was magical. I was in tears at the fireworks haha I have found some in the Disney community can be quite brash!

  21. This was so nice to read! I love reading why people live Disney! As you know from my blog I’m a huge fan as well and like you it all came from my childhood and grew as I got older. My love of Disney has definately rubbed off onto my family, and I’ve even encouraged older members to give some of the newer films a try and they’ve enjoyed them!

  22. This is such a lovely post! I’m a massive Disney fan too, I’ve been watching Disney ever since I was tiny. I’ve recently been re-watching films like the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas which I haven’t seen in years, and they just make me so happy because I remember watching them with my mum when I was little and singing to the songs and things.

    I’ve also been thinking of getting a Disney tattoo, I’m just not sure quite what yet! Although I was thinking of the Simba silhouette as the Lion King is my all time favourite! xo
    Sian | http://www.siankathrine.co.uk

  23. Thank you for sharing! Disneyland Paris is on my bucket list! I had always dreamed to work at Disneyland in California since high school. I worked really hard in school and to get experience, and I was lucky enough to get hired in the Entertainment Dept to run the various shows. I even had the privilege to open shows for Disneyland’s 60th Diamond Celebration. I am truly humbled, blessed and honored to have lived out my dream for a season. I want to mention that I don’t think I am better than anyone else. I am just a small town girl whose big dreams came true through hard work and a huge support group. Now due to medical issues, I had to switch careers. My favorite part about working at Disney was blessing others and seeing the smiles and the faces light up. There is truly no better feeling ❤️.

  24. This was such a nice post. I always like to read posts about what mean a lot to people and why. I have way too many posts about Supernatural on my blog, but it’s important to me and weirdly it’s my go to happy place, despite it being about monsters, demons, angels. It’s about so much more than that but I won’t start rambling here as this is SUPPOSED to be Disney related, lol. Your post got me thinking about what was important to me when I was a kid, it wasn’t Disney but it was fantasy related and the two do overlap.
    I was a big reader as a kid (still am) and anything that could transport me to another world, whether it was a Disney movie or a fantasy book I was all for it. I guess you could say books became my escape, especially when life was bad instead of good. It sounds like Disney was and is that thing for you. Thanks for sharing that part of yourself with us random internet weirdos and I hope you’ll do so in the future.

  25. It occurs to me in my comment on your other Disney post that I said I went to Disneyland, which is in California and I meant Disney World, which is in Florida…oops. I would like to visit Disney again just to see how it compares with when I was a kid. I really, really want to go to the Harry Potter part of Universal too (I’m a big fan of the books & the movies.)

    • I’d love to go to the HP part but I don’t like heat at ALL so it wouldn’t be the best place for me to go. But we have Harry Potte Studios which is just an hours drive from me 🙂 xxx

  26. Pingback: My favourite holidays * | Jenny in Neverland

  27. Disney has always played such a huge part in my life. As a kid I’d watch the movies on VHS over and over again, until the tapes wore out. When I’m feeling sad, or poorly I whack on a Disney movie and it makes me feel much better!
    I went to disney paris on a school trip when I was 13, and cried of happiness when we pulled up. Everyone took the piss for a while but it didn’t matter because I was at Disney!

    Can’t wait to read more Disney posts from you ❤
    PS; I love you're peter pan tattoo xx

  28. I’ve been to Eurodisney a few times too, and I love it. I was going to go to Disney in Florida but it was too much money. I love Disney too, the films are classics, but I don’t watch them as often as I should. It’s lovely to see how passionate you are about it, you’re never too old to be a Disney fan!

    Amy | hookedonthemusic.com

  29. I love disney! I grew up with the movies and going to the parks. Now I’m an annual passholder and I work in character entertainment in my city. So I basically get to dress up like all of the princesses, it’s a dream come true! I just wrote about disney too actually!!

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