A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

DVC….the thought kept entering my mind.  What is this DVC?  How had I missed out on this?  Disney Vacation Club….how exclusive is it?  What do you do in this club?  Where was it?

The research was on.  That’s how my little mind works….when something grabs my attention, I throw myself into it until I undersand what is going on.  I knew I had to learn about it and what it stood for.

I read some amazing blogs about DVC, read some posts on some social media boards, and learned that it wasn’t a night club or even a restaurant, and it definitely wasn’t a ride that I missed.  DVC was a vacation “time share” program, that was unlike the other run of the mill time shares that everyone thinks of.  Families, or individuals, may purchase points to use for stays at exclusive Disney Vacation Club resorts.  After much discussion, my husband and I decided to sign a contract and become DVC members.  We bought in at the Polynesian resort and haven’t looked back since.  We see our money spent as an investment towards future vacations for the rest of our lives.  What I loved the most was that I already have a place to stay each time we want to vacation at Disney World.  We don’t have to worry about what the rates will be, we could come down for a long weekend away, or stay for a week here and there, depending on the resort that we choose.

My husband and I celebrated this purchase by taking an anniversary trip a few months later.  We spent an amazing weekend, just the two of us, at the Beach Club Villas.  Once again, I called upon my friend and travel specialist, Nikki, to take care of all of our booking and ticket needs.

There are so many great things about owning a piece of the Disney puzzle, and we felt we were living in a dream world.  He loved that we had the option of getting away every now and then, just the two of us.  I loved that as well, and also loved that we could enjoy some adult time while being at Disney.  We ventured over to Epcot, which was a five minute walk away, and strolled hand in hand, through the countries, enjoying our time together and remembering all the reasons why we fell in love and have stayed in love for so long.  We watched an amazing fireworks show that evening, strolled all the way around the area where the Beach Club and Boardwalk connect, laughed our way through the night, and stayed up talking until 3 am.  Every single couple needs a weekend like we had.  We enjoyed the next morning by sitting on our balcony together, remembering all of our times together since we were young and in love, and how we have managed to become stronger as a couple even through the curve balls of life.   Disney gave us that dream getaway, that time to be in love, that time to celebrate.  We were even given the classic celebration buttons, with ours saying Happy Anniversary, ears and ears of love.  How magical.

As we were sharing our dreams and goals together, like we love to do, I mentioned to my husband that I would love to do what Nikki is doing as a piece of my professional puzzle.  I was already a teacher and a coach, but I felt that planning Disney vacations would be something I would be so enthusiastic about, and it would help keep that Disney dream alive for me when we couldn’t be in the parks.  I remember saying to him……”maybe someday, when I am retired”.  And being the wonderful husband that he is, he simply said “whatever makes you happy, I will support you.”.

What happened next, put those dreams into a fast forward motion.img_6118

When You Wish Upon a Star

After the extreme sadness that we endured after returning home from our amazing adventure, we weren’t sure what was going to snap us out of our funk.  We had made so many amazing memories and been able to explore so many fantastic voyages, that we just didn’t want the dream to end.

As we transitioned back to reality, our daily thoughts involved sentences like “I miss Disney!”, or “I wish we could go back!”.   After showing my parents all of our photographs and memorabilia, my Mom got the itch to go.  And that is exactly what we did….we returned just three and a half months later, for a September getaway with my mom.  Did I mention my mother had never been to Disney before?  This was a real treat, getting to be her tour guide and I definitely wanted to make incredible memories that we could hold onto forever.

I reached out to a friend of mine who was an avid Disney lover as well.   Her family traveled to Disney once, sometimes twice a year, and I knew she used a friend as a travel specialist when booking her trips.   She referred me to Nikki, and that, was a major game changer.

First of all, I didn’t realize that by reaching out to Nikki, that her services would be free.  I assumed, like many, that using certain agencies would be an extra expense.  Next, I also didn’t realize how much I would LOVE talking to her.  Let’s be honest, the girl KNEW her Disney, so that made every conversation so much more enjoyable!!  One email and one questionnaire later, she introduced me to an entire new set of excursions and extras that I had never heard of.  We booked our package, and she made everything just as simple as it could be.  I could literally feel her enjoyment shining through the emails.  I felt I had tapped into a gold mine.  Here I had someone who had an incredible amount of Disney knowledge, helping me plan my trip, and it was free!!!  Life was so easy!!!

The time came for our trip, and I am not sure if my children, myself, or my mom were more excited.  It was an amazing sense of anticipation and dreams realized.  As our plane landed and we prepared for the Magical Express to take us “home”, we realized that we were living out an incredible time of our lives and we want to savor every single second.

What happened during the next week was simply beautiful.  We enjoyed Disney World during a time of year that wasn’t as busy as the summer.  The weather was cooler, the lines were not as long, and, maybe because we were missing school to be there, but it just felt like we were the only people on the planet who were there.  We spent our first day enjoying all of the things that the Magic Kingdom had to offer, and I loved catching glimpses of my mother, with the brightest smile on her face.

We journeyed over to Epcot for our next day (and the next one after that), and when we entered the gates, something just came over me.  I felt as if I had been missing out on such an incredible piece of the Disney magic.  I can’t believe we didn’t book a day at this incredible “future world” during our last stay, but we had too many other things planned and felt we couldn’t stay an extra day.

Epcot was even better than I hoped it would be.  With our fantastic character dining, and getting to actually learn new things on the amazing rides, I wasn’t sure which piece of Epcot I loved more.  We journeyed through all of the countries, ate incredible food while touring, and felt we were truly diving into new cultures and experiences.  It was such a calm and serene vibe.  I think if we could have gone back for a third full day, we would have.

The next day we had to endure some heavy rain off and on, but we headed over to Hollywood Studios.  We had just finished getting some yummy treats when we heard the thunder rumbling.  Very shortly after, a downpour transitioned right over us.  Now, if we had been anywhere but Disney, I may have been a little mad about all of this.  But we just went with it.  The rain began to empty out the park, and we decided to power through.  We did as many inside rides as we possibly could, and the best part was that they let us keep doing them as much as we wanted to because there were no other guests waiting in line.  The rain would let up,and we would venture over to a shop or two.  Then it would come down again, and we would just make the most of it.  The kind and gracious cast members helped us get in and out, and all while having the most beautiful smiles on their faces.  We finally left after a few hours, and while we were soaking wet at this point (except for what our ponchos covered!), we all agreed that it was a pretty magical night.  How many people can say that they were one of about 50 inside the park and could do pretty much anything they wanted to without waiting in line.  Sure, we missed out on the fireworks show that evening, but we decided it was alright.

As we braved Animal Kingdom the next day, we realized that our trip was getting close to being over.  Once again, we were surrounded by great food, magical rides, fantastic shows, and characters that were so endearing.   We saw amazing animals as well on a guided safari ride.  What can I say…..Disney doesn’t disappoint.

The time came for our last full day, and we decided to end our trip at Magic Kindgom.  I watched my children transform into a pirate and a mermaid, we delved into more sweets and treats, journeyed into Neverland, and loved introducing my mom to a fantastic new mine train ride.  We park hopped over to Epcot to ride our favorite ride one last time, and went back to our room to clean up and prepare for our evening meal at the castle in Magic Kingdom.  As soon as dinner was over, it was time for fireworks.  We were escorted out and got to sit front row for the nightly show.  Breathtaking is probably the best way to describe this glorious evening.

The next morning, we were able to get in one more character meal, and we headed back over to Hollywood Studios, but for a dry day this time.  We did a few things we missed due to the rain last time, and then it was time to say good-bye.

Once again, it felt as if my heart was being ripped out of my chest.  As we were leaving, I saw a sign that read DVC and it piqued my interest.  What was this Disney Vacation Club?  I knew I liked clubs, I loved to vacation, and I was in love with all things Disney.

It wouldn’t be long before I knew what DVC was as it held the key to all of my wishes coming true.img_0244