Being retired and 68 years old, one might suppose that I would want to take it easy and stay away from the hectic excitement of the parks at Walt Disney World. But nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, I, as a native New Yorker, chose to buy a vacation home (now my permanent residence) within 45 minutes of Disney World 13 years ago because I am such a fan of Disney. There was also another method to my madness- anticipation of grandchildren whose family might come to visit more because we are so close to Disney World. My four grown children all made numerous trips to Disney World when they were young, and now three of my four grandchildren have also been (the youngest is only one).
As a Floridian, my first move was to buy an annual pass. Since I like to go when the crowds are less, I chose to buy the Weekday Select Pass, meaning that there are a couple of weeks blocked out during Easter and Christmas, several months of the summer, and weekends are blocked out. But that’s OK, since those times get really crazy and I prefer relaxed spontaneous trips where I can walk onto many of the rides. Of course, I usually try to be there at rope drop to do the most popular rides with the least wait! And then I can mosey around the park or parks I choose, just enjoying the ambience, sampling different dishes, listening to music, or whatever I choose, because I don’t have to get everything done in one day. And I especially like the perks that go with an annual pass: free parking at the parks, discount on merchandise, some dining discounts, special annual pass holder merchandise, free magnets, discounts on staying at WDW resorts and more!
Prior to becoming a DVC member, when any of my family came to visit I did take advantage of the discount at the resorts, usually booking adjoining rooms, usually at a value resort. But we became DVC members in December, 2018, and had our first Welcome Home visit at the Beach Club Villas in May, 2019. What a change of pace! My 2 younger children came for a visit and stayed with us and were awed at the accommodations. And the location was perfect to get to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. We loved being able to go up to the DVC Lounge at Epcot to get out of the heat and get something cold to drink. While we already get a discount on annual passes, merchandise and some dining, these are also perks that you can get as a DVC member.
We are looking forward to visiting Aulani in January, 2020! Visiting Hawaii has been on my bucket list for a long time and I don’t know if I ever would have gotten there, except that we became DVC members and that gave me the motivation to actually book the trip. I read about Aulani daily as I joined a couple of FB pages dealing with planning a trip to Aulani. It’s hard to contain my excitement!
Disney World is my happy place and being able to go there whenever I want definitely keeps me young. I live in an active adult community and we have a club called the Magic Years Club. Everyone who joins is a Disney enthusiast and we plan an activity once a month to celebrate Disney. Sometimes it is a trip to a restaurant in one of the parks or Disney Springs, sometimes it is taking a tour in one of the parks, or it may be going to the latest Disney movie together. But we all are active, vital seniors.
Becoming a DVC member is already contributing to my enjoyment of Disney in new ways. Besides the lounge at Epcot that I have already mentioned, we were fortunate enough to be able to attend Moonlight Magic for DVC members at the Magic Kingdom. We really felt very special and had a fantastic time. What’s not to like about a free meal, all you can eat ice cream and being able to get on rides quickly?
So, in summary, I’d just like to say that becoming older doesn’t mean you have to give up things, in, fact, it just means that you have more time to do the things you love and that keep you young at heart. Things like becoming an Annual Passholder at WDW and going anytime you want and becoming a Disney Vacation Club member and being able to relax and stay in luxurious accommodations during those special trips to Disney. I highly recommend it!