Editor’s Note: As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, the WDW Radio blog-writing team wanted to take a moment to reflect on this wonderful place that we write about every day. We thought it would be fun to write an imaginary Thanksgiving Day card TO Walt Disney World and share what part of Walt Disney World we are most grateful for.
Of course, we also want to thank YOU, the amazing members of the WDW Radio family, who read our posts, make comments, and inspire us to write more creative pieces every day. Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends.
Caitlin Corsello: “The thing I am most grateful for in Walt Disney World is the library of cherished memories I have been able to create from experiences there. The memories are endless- from my own childhood memories of endlessly riding Peter Pan, to taking my boyfriend to WDW for the first time and endlessly rattling off obscure facts and information (thanks for always listening, Pete!), to watching the faces of my young nieces and nephew as they saw the castle for the first time, to simply recalling the smell of popcorn on Main Street when first entering the Magic Kingdom. Perhaps I am even more grateful knowing that there will always be opportunities to continue creating more wonderful memories with my family during visits in the future. So thank you Disney World, for providing me with such amazing experiences and fond memories that will last a lifetime.”
Blake Taylor: “Thank you, Walt Disney World, for forever being a place where I know my family can go to share special memories. Whether we’re finding new funny places to pose our Perry the Platypus plush, blowing the horn in the PhilharMagic gift shop, or simply enjoying a Dole Whip, you succeed at making time in your Parks time well spent—looked back on with fondness thanks to the first-class excellence of your Cast Members and Characters to make the Guests’ experience a magical one.”
Fran Cassano: “Dear Walt Disney World, While you have always enriched my fondest memories, this year especially, I am thankful for the magic, enchantment and now the new friendships from this blog that came into my life. 2012 has become a favorite year of Disney by far! Thank you for doing beyond what we think is possible. And thank you for what you have in store for us in years to come. Happiness and Dreams Always, Fran Cassano”
Happy Keller: “I am thankful that the folks at runDisney are continuing to tinker with the courses, medals, amenities, and the endurance events themselves. They seem to be actively trying to make the endurance events at Walt Disney World (and Disneyland) as magical as they can possibly be! Personally, I am extremely thankful to all of you who have run, or will someday run, for the WDW Radio Running Team (benefiting The Dream Team Project). Your posts, e-mails, and friendships mean a lot to me. Thank you for welcoming me into your family!’”
Don Myers: “I’m thankful there’s a place on this Earth where you can check your cares at the door and experience complete happiness and pure bliss. Having a place in existence where you can go with your loved ones and create a lifetime’s worth of memories is something you simply cannot duplicate anywhere else. WDW isn’t just a physical place. When you head through that turnstile, make your way through the tunnel underneath the train station, and walk out onto Main Street USA, you know at that moment you are experiencing something that’s truly unlike anything else in existence…and that’s why I’m thankful for WDW.”
Emma Godbold: “I am thankful for the way that WDW has opened up a whole new world for me. No longer is WDW just a vacation destination, but somewhere I visit to learn, spend time with friends and remember a great man. Even when I cannot be there in person WDW has given me the confidence to set up my own Disney fan website, to get out there and meet new people, to take part in podcasts and live broadcasts, and to even take up running! I will always be grateful for the way WDW is ever present in my heart and mind….whenever I need a little bit of magic I can picture myself on Main St USA and all my troubles disappear.”
Josh Taylor: “Walt Disney World, thank you for the memories you’ve created, but I would like to extend my thanksgiving out to all of the cast members past or present. Without the cast members of Walt Disney World or any Disney park, my experiences and memories wouldn’t be nearly as wonderful. All of us have a job and don’t always show up with a smile on our face for it, but rarely do I see a cast member who doesn’t and that makes the a big difference. Thanksgiving is about people coming together and honoring each other, and even on Thanksgiving, I know some cast members will have to work, but know you are in many of our hearts and you’ve created so many magical memories. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!”
Maggie: “Thank you Walt Disney World for making the magic in our lives. My family and I have been going to you for years, and I love all that you bring to the table. You bring the magic for children, and the magic of seeing the children believe in magic for the parents. Thank you for being more than just a theme park and having great back-stories for each attraction. Thank you for your awesome ice cream on Main Street in Magic Kingdom. Thank you to Walter E. Disney for making it all happen.”
Angie Carreiro: “Walt Disney World, I have always been grateful that you were there for me and my family to have something to look forward to. You have always been my sanctuary. Over the years you have actually helped grow my family, by adding many friends I have met because we share our love for you. I define myself by many things, and one of those things is you; I am a Disney Fan. My past and future is full of memories and thoughts of experiences from your parks. You are part of me and always will be!”
Lindsay Diamond: “What I’m most thankful for regarding the Walt Disney World Resort would be experiencing the theme parks through the eyes of friends and family members. I was with my niece and nephew for their first visit ever, roamed the world with my Orlando family (Nicole Siscaretti, Suzannah DiMarzio, Scott Otis, and Lou Mongello), kept up with my best friend (Emily Fister) and her energetic approach to the parks, and entered the Twilight Zone for a 10-mile race with Katherine O’Brien. Each of these trips to WDW brought a unique perspective that kept the parks fresh and exciting for me. I got nostalgic as I watched my niece and nephew experience my favorite rides for the first time, and hanging out with my favorite locals always brings me a wealth of new knowledge about the parks. Hopping theme park to theme park with a fellow teenager allowed me to enjoy the parks as a normal guest and take off my analytical glasses, and visiting the world as a runner added a whole new list of to-dos and traditions. I’m thankful for these beautiful memories, but even more thankful for the beautiful people I made them with. I can’t wait to see what new experiences and perspectives are in the year to come.”
J.J. Harvill: “Dear Walt Disney World, Thank you. Thank you for being the place where dreams come true, where magic lives, where anything is possible. Walt Disney World, you are my home away from home, my favorite place on earth. I know that I can always rely on you to give my family and me an escape from hectic, every day life. No matter what time of the year or how long the vacation is, you have never ceased to amaze me with your magic and innovation. This Thanksgiving, as my family comes together around the table to celebrate each other and our blessings, I know that you will be a part of our conversations. Because you, Walt Disney World, have brought my family even closer together over the years and we will forever be thankful for your sense of family, wonder, and love.”
Makena W.: “Who but Walt could have thought of such a utopia? Walt Disney World is like an escape to me. It’s where nothing bad can happen and it’s continually blissful and upbeat without stress or worries. You always arrive with a smile on your face and laughter bubbling from your lips. Disney World has always been my sanctuary. Whenever life gets rough or disheartening, reading about Disney, watching Disney World videos or flipping through photo albums cures that feeling instantly. Without Disney, I would be a totally different and average person, which wouldn’t be any fun at all. Disney is, and always will be, what makes me who I am – and for that I am forever grateful.”
Christy Viszoki: “In thinking about my answer to this question (I have been contemplating for a month now), I have come to some perhaps odd-sounding observations. Trying to see things differently, I decided to find the silver lining in the expense and distance involved in going on a Disney vacation–factors that I often complain about from my home here in New Jersey. And so, I have concluded that I am thankful that Walt Disney World is a place I have to work hard to visit, as it shows my children the value of saving and planning, and makes the reward of a visit all the more sweet. Because of our love of WDW, we all work together to save money, and as a family, we come together. I am thankful Walt Disney World is far away, as it gives us time as a family to plan and discuss, to dream and to brainstorm. Car rides, dinner conversations, and even evening prayers can focus on the magic of the parks, all of which bring us closer. The distance and finances mean that visiting Walt Disney World cannot (and likely will never be) a daily occurrence for us, so we all work together to make our shared time there as magical as possible. I have come to realize that I do not have to be in (or even NEAR) Walt Disney World for Walt’s magical vision of his park to positively influence my family. Thank you, Walt Disney World”
What would you add to our Thanksgiving notes? In the comments below, please add what you are most grateful for in Walt Disney World.