This coming weekend (November 1-3) is the first weekend in an often-mentioned, but rarely understood week at Walt Disney World: Jersey Week.
Every year, New Jersey teachers have a conference in early November that takes place during a Thursday and Friday. This offers the families of New Jersey school students a mini-vacation that’s not during a holiday; it’s a perfect time to visit Disney World! Over the years, however, Jersey Week has developed a reputation for being a busier-than-average week to visit the parks. While it is probably an exaggeration to think that New Jersey visitors alone could effect park crowds all that much, there may be some other contributing factors to this being an out-of-the-ordinary week to visit. That’s why Jersey Week isn’t a week that I fear going; contrarily, it is item number one on my Disney Bucket List.
Disney Bucket Lists. All Disney fans have them; many contain similar items. Most rely on repeated and frequent trips to Disney World and Disneyland (and, more than likely, other parts of the world). Some items probably rely on more than a sprinkling of pixie dust. Regardless of its contents, a Disney Bucket List offers the regular Disney visitor a focused set of vacation-oriented goals; how many other travel destinations can claim that??
My list includes:
Visit during the first week of November
This year’s Jersey Week happens to fall during the first week of November (it usually does, but doesn’t have to). But it’s not the “Jersey Week” part of this week that lands it on my list; it is the FIVE Disney special events that take place in a 10-day span! This is the perfect storm of Disney events. If timed properly, a visitor during the first week of November can accomplish all of the following:
- Visit the last Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (This year it is taking place on Friday, November 1)
- Visit the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (November 8)
- Experience the Epcot Food and Wine Festival (runs until November 11)
- Visit the Festival of the Masters, an outdoor arts festival at Downtown Disney (November 8-10)
- Run in the Wine & Dine Half Marathon (November 9)
Whew. For most of us, going this week would help us cross off several of our Bucket List items in one visit!
Four Parks, One Day
There are many online reports from others who attempted this unofficial Disney World game: visit all four parks in one day, making sure to complete a set number of tasks at each park. These tasks usually include a certain number of attractions and meals. This seems like a difficult task for those of us with young kids, or those of us who are only in the parks for a regular vacation and would prefer to not spend one of our days running around like a madman. My hope is that the right trip will come along, and I’ll be able to finally try my hand at this Disney Fanatic’s ritual.
Stay at every Disney World resort/Visit every Disney Park in the World/Go on every type of Disney vacation (cruise, Adventures by Disney, Aulani)
These items are all pretty similar and basically require two things: time and money. For a while, we weren’t really considering a bucket list when it came time to book the next Disney vacation; we would stay at a resort that fit our budget and that we were familiar and happy with (usually Pop Century); but things have changed. We have several Disney vacations in mind for the next few years, and if all goes as planned, we’ll be able cross a couple of new resorts off our list.
Club 33/Cinderella Castle Suite/Walt’s Apartment
These are all items that require a little (or a whole bunch) of pixie dust. Club 33 is an exclusive, members-only restaurant that is in Disneyland. This one is manageable, since you can get a reservation if you know a member who is willing to help you out, Walt’s Apartment is located above the Fire Station in Disneyland, and it is actually included in some tours, so this one is also attainable. The Castle Suite is the ultimate bucket list item. As of now, Disney claims there is no way for a regular guest to stay in the suite (although, like most things, money talks). I probably won’t spend a lot of time thinking about this one, but it still deserves a spot on the list.
Be the Mayor of Main Street
OK, world wide web, it’s confession time.
When I retire, I would like to move to Orlando and be the Mayor of Main Street. This is a streetmosphere character who walks around Main Street and greets park guests, shaking hands and taking pictures. To me, it sounds like the perfect way to spend your golden years.
If there’s one thing a Disney fan can do, it’s dream.
So, what’s on your Disney Bucket List?