That New Disney Feeling
In the past 36 hours I went from thinking a Disney Cruise was a cute of idea of something I might to do "someday" (read: possibly never because I'd never be motivated enough to make it happen), to being totally and completely obsessed with booking one.
It started yesterday morning when Kat was in the living room and I was in the office working. She'll occasionally find herself browsing Disney videos on her laptop, sometimes prompting that "I need to go back" mood.
"Hey, have you heard of Michael K?"
"This Disney YouTuber, Michael Kay"
"Oh yeah! I know him. We did a video together earlier in the year. Really nice guy. Why?"
"I'm watching his Disney Cruise vlogs."
I walk over to the room and sit down next to her to watch. At this point I don't ask what brought her upon the videos she shows me or ends up on because that's just the dark magic of the YouTube algorithm these days. I only mention that because these vlogs are from March, so it's not like they're new videos being promoted.
We begin to watch part one of eight of his Disney Cruise vlog series. They're about 20-30 minutes a piece. Now, if I'm being honest, whenever I watch another YouTuber's vlogs my mind is always divided. Half of my brain is trying to pay attention to the actual content of the vlog, but a big part of it is focused on the execution of the vlog itself.
How are they editing? How long or short are the segments? How much of it is selfie shots or b-roll or other people? Are they staging shots? Does this footage look color corrected at all? I'm not judging, but I'm studying. I'm always trying to see not what people are doing in their vlogs, but what they aren't doing. I always want to try and improve upon mine and keep them fresh, and so I'm always trying to see what other folks aren't doing so I could better figure out what I should be doing to keep things fresh.
However slowly as the episode goes on I find myself focusing less and less on the vlog style and more on just the vlog. Having never been on a cruise, let alone a Disney Cruise, everything I'm seeing is new to me. Between not having any set standard for what a cruise should look like, and that classic Disney dedication to quality, the cruise I'm seeing looks AMAZING.
"Let's watch the next one."
And before we knew it, a few hours had passed and we had completed this journey with Michael and his brother on their Disney Cruise.
We both agreed that the cruise itself looked like a lot of fun. Kat was sold when she saw the jet ski adventure at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay, and I was sold at the idea of being on this big cruise ship for a few days. I say it as if it's a joke, but it really is probably the closest I'll get to feeling like I'm on a spaceship, and it's something I've always wanted to try.
Now it's now, and I've already watched an entire other Disney Cruise vlog series, and I've begun Michael's earlier series from his first cruise. I can't get enough of it, and I think I know why:
I have no idea what is going on.
I've been to Walt Disney World more times than I can count. If you show me a video clip of some bathroom entrance or a side pathway, I could at least take a good shot at figuring out where that is, what's around it, and what the area is like. I even played a game in the past with folks on Twitter where we shared photos of carpets from around Disney World and guessed where it was. I know the resort inside and out, and I love it.
The Disney Cruise though? I know nothing. I know nothing about the ships. I know nothing about the activities. I know nothing about the ports. Hell, I don't know anything about cruises in general.
That entire binge session of vlogs was peppered with breaks so that we could Google all these questions that kept popping up between us.
"What's a fish extender?"
Google google google. (Turns out they're decorative pockets you hang outside of your room and sometimes do blind gift trades with.)
"Magnets on the doors are a thing?"
Google google google. (Turns out that they are indeed a thing, and people decorate their doors in the same way some families decorate their golf carts at Fort Wilderness.)
"If the food is included, do you still tip the wait staff?"
Google google google. (Yes, you do. Apparently you have three wait staff members who rotate to the different restaurants with you so that they're covering your table for all the dinners.)
Everything about this Disney process and Disney experience felt so alien to me, and I loved it. It's a feeling I don't get very often, having been to World and Land enough times to feel comfortable. I love learning new things, and I love that experience of discovery.
So within this window of obsession, I've priced out a cruise about 100 times. It's still a BIG BIG maybe, but I'm trying to make the details work. Those cruises aren't cheap after all. We realized that perhaps the "smartest" way to go about it is to add it on the end of a Disney World trip. We'll already be down in Florida so we won't need to pay for extra plane tickets, and it would serve as the "vacation for the vacation" that everyone jokes about needing after a week at the parks. It'd also be the best time because we're looking to share a DVC room on this January trip, which would considerably cut down on our resort costs. So as far as Disney World + Cruise combos, this window of opportunity will probably be the cheapest for us.
Still though, it's money. Enough so that I think it's safe to say that if we do this it'll be the only time I head down there in 2019. And really, that's not a bad thing. I don't want to come off as spoiled. Getting to go to Disney this often is a real gift, and I can't really complain if I "only" get to go once in a year.
On top of that, if we do this, it'll without a doubt be the biggest vacation I'll have taken in my entire life. A full week at Disney World, followed by a 5 day/4 night cruise? That's pretty close to two full Disney-filled weeks. I've never done that. I know a two week vacation isn't unheard of for a lot of people, but it is for me.
On the one hand, it makes me wish I had my old job with my old salary, because then the money wouldn't even be a question and I'd have booked it all by now. On the other hand, I'd never get two back to back weeks of work off at that job, and also there's the whole part where I'd have the six months of being at that job and feeling empty inside. So I guess what I mean is I don't really wish I had my old job back.
In any case, much in the same way this week's upcoming video feels refreshing because it was about a totally new topic I've never looked into before, this completely out-of-the-blue interest in Disney Cruises is equally refreshing. At a point where I've learned to tune-out upcoming Disney World vacations so that the wait doesn't kill me, this is the kind of trip that I could see myself literally counting down the days for.
So with any luck in 188 days I'll be crossing another item off my Disney bucket list. Fingers crossed.