In January 1995, at the age of 29, I found myself at Disney World for the first time. We only stayed 2 nights at a Disney resort, which means 1 full day at Magic Kingdom, but I realized then, I would have to make a habit of seeing Mickey Mouse.
I returned in 1998 for 3 more nights. I brought my mother, who also had never been to Disney. We stayed at the Disney Institute. It was great… and I thought I would be back again next year.
Financial difficulties hit and we struggled for a long time. There was this gray cloud that hung over our home for a long time. It’s very easy to get depressed, down on yourself, blaming yourself, etc. Everyone in the house picks up on this.
It’s not a coincidence that in 2003 God spoke to me about a new purpose and direction for my life, and the beginning of a new business that would begin to grow. I believe God has been blessing my business as a part of this new purpose. As a result of this, much of the financial difficulties were to be a thing of the past and we have been blessed to do many extra things.
One of those extra things was returning for 5 nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge in 2005. We would return the next year for a family reunion for 7 nights.
Disney World is such an incredible place. I believe it is one of the greatest places to refresh, renew, refocus, retool, and revive. I’ve come to realize, life is too short not to vacation in Disney.
Last year, we joined Disney Vacation Club so we could make Disney a regular part of things. So, this year we took a 9 day vacation and stayed at Saratoga Springs Resort. And, what is really cool, is we are going back later this summer for another week, bringing along my sister, my nephew, my mother, and my niece and her husband. My sister has never met Mickey Mouse face-to-face, so she is highly excited.
I love taking people to Disney for the first time!
Below is a video from our time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was Star Wars weekend while we were there, as well as having Kris Allen from American Idol there… about 1 week after he won. It’s an HD video, so expand it to full screen if you can. After watching that video, you can watch some of the others… it’s just such a cool time.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios from Rich Niccolls on Vimeo.
If you’ve never been, find a time to go. Go in the off season, if only for a few nights. Stay at Pop Century (which is where that Goofy photo was taken above) for less than the cost of a Holiday Inn Express. Have a blast and get yourself back on track.
BTW, all the footage on that video was shot with my new Flip MinoHD camera. Incredible HD video and outstanding sound from that little camera. You oughta get one of those too.