Updated: December 15, 2016

The Disney Bubble

Frequently, people talk about the Disney Bubble that occurs when you are on property at the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s a phenomenon that means different things for different people.

Disney Dialogue columnist talks about the Disney Bubble at Walt Disney World

A Barrier between WDW and the Real World

My conceptualization and perceptions of the Disney Bubble has transformed over the past 20 years. Before multiple trips per year were the norm for me and my family, the Disney Bubble represented a tenuous and delicate barrier between the magic and the real world.

Grand Floridian

The Grand Floridian transports guests to the Victorian era

The Looming Dread of Departure Day

Being in the Bubble was often fraught with some sort of nagging anxiety —  almost from the moment I entered property at the beginning of the visit —  and lasted until the day of departure. It was an overwhelming sense knowing that once departure day arrived, I would not be able to predict how long it would be until a return visit.

Art of Animation

Escape from reality

Given that anxiety, there was often the feeling that every single second spent on property required conscious effort and superhuman physical stamina to experience everything. Unfortunately, as we all know, packing too much in causes exhaustion and that causes a decrease in the ability to absorb, experience, and appreciate the magic.

Our exhaused child decides to take a nap on the sidewalk inside the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

Nic during his first visit to WDW.

WDW Means “Home”

By having the privilege of being able to visit Walt Disney World multiple times per year under all different types of circumstances and lengths of stay, the phenomenon of the Disney Bubble has significantly lessened in its anxious overtones.

Port Orleans French Quarter immerses guests in the Disney Bubble

Port Orleans French Quarter is quaint and calming

Now, the Disney Bubble represents home. I‘ve adapted to spending time away from the resort without all that previous anxiety. And yet, I experience an extraordinary sense of peace and contentment as soon as I physically enter the resort. I actually breathe a sigh of contentment every time I arrive on property.

WDW Welcome Sign

Feels like home!

There is no longer the overwhelming sense of foreboding related to the eventuality of departure. Instead, I embrace a much more relaxed approach and appreciation for all the details and experiences. Is there anything better than the first several hours upon arrival for a stay of any duration?!

Guest admires view at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Villas

Michael stops to take in his resort view from an Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani villa.

Given this transformation of the Disney Bubble for me, I have been able to slow down and savor each and every moment to its fullest. Still I am keenly aware of my past feelings.

Helping Others with a Dream WDW Visit

This gives me pause when I consider the millions of others who are visiting the resort, potentially for their first and only time. How do people manage their emotions and expectations when this is the case?

Cinderella's Castle

Cinderella’s Castle is a welcoming sight!

This makes me want to assist anyone planning a visit. I want to help others emotionally maximize their dream trip, regardless of economic, physical, or developmental limitations.

Yes, it’s a lofty objective. And there are hundreds of other incredibly passionate and talented folks out there working every day to make this happen. I am just a small drop in a very large bucket, but hopefully, my wife and I will be able to contribute to this goal, even if it’s in a small way through The Castle Concierge.

What does the Disney bubble mean to you? Should WDW visits be measured by how much you see and do?

Let’s start a dialogue!

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Michael's travels to Disneyland and Walt Disney World sparked his interest in Walt Disney. He’s also a lifelong fan of Star Wars. Michael is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with 25 years in the behavioral mental health field and special education. One of Michael’s passions is teaching graduate level courses for Lipscomb University in Nashville.

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Linda B
7 years ago

I too feel like I have to get as much in as possible, knowing that I don’t know when I’ll be back. Over packed at first, but as time went on, I learned to stress less about what I wore and felt I didn’t have to go to every Disney Character Breakfast!