In a way, Disney World is its own microcosm: a small world where everyone speaks and sings in tongues. Everyone. In a way, everyone is represented in the “ happiest place on earth” If you were to look at just the naked stats of who visits Walt Disney World (WDW), you might think it was almost exclusively an American destination. After all, European tourists account for just 5% of WDW’s international visitors. And yet that doesn’t tell the whole story: there are plenty of reasons why so many people from outside the US choose to visit WDW. Understandably, when you think about some of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole world, America probably doesn’t top your list and vice versa. But if you dig deeper into why people choose to visit those places, then things get a little... more interesting.
WDW is a Fantasy Come to Life
Disney World is the ultimate fantasy land. The entire park is set in a world that is almost entirely divorced from reality, from Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to the canals of Venice. And the thing about fantasies is that they have the power to unite people from all walks of life: old, young, Western, Eastern; rich, poor; religious, and non-religious. Fantasy is kind of a universal language. Disney World is a place where people can let go of the stresses of day-to-day life and just “be”. Whether you’re a 20-year-old in your gap year or a 50-year-old parent traveling with your kids, everyone is on a level playing field at WDW. And that’s the beauty of it no one is judging you for anything other than whether you’re having a good time.
The Magic of Disney is Universal
Disney is the only truly universal language. It’s a language that is understood by people of all ages, religions, and nationalities. Because Disney is a fantasy world, it’s not bound by cultural conventions. By building a whole park dedicated to this one fantasy, Disney is essentially creating a whole new world where cultural rules don’t apply. The Disney characters on display at WDW represent some of the most recognizable characters in the world. They’re predominantly American figures (Goofy, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse), but they transcend nationality, culture, and language. People of all ages will instantly recognize these characters and be able to identify with them on some level. But it goes beyond that, Disney characters are idealized in a way, and they represent what we want to be: strong, fearless, and capable of overcoming any challenge.
WDW Represents the Best of America
Americans are exceptionally proud of their country. And for good reason: America stands for freedom and democracy in an otherwise chaotic and uncertain world. That pride can sometimes be misinterpreted as arrogance or a kind of cultural imperialism. But in the case of WDW, it’s a celebration of all things American. Visiting WDW is a chance to experience first-hand everything so wonderful about America. And there’s no better place to do that than Walt Disney World. Few places are more American than Disney. There are flags and bald eagles everywhere you look. And that’s not just for decoration: it’s a celebration of America.
It’s a Place for Celebration and Commemoration
WDW is a great place to celebrate anything and everything. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or simply just a break from work, WDW is a great place to celebrate. The park is open all year round, so it makes sense that people would want to visit at special times of the year especially given how many people visit from overseas. The most common times of the year to visit are October/November (Halloween), December (Christmas), April (Easter), and July (summer vacation). Commemorating special times of the year, in particular special days like Halloween, is a great reason why people from abroad would choose to visit WDW. And given the park is designed to look like a spooky forest on Halloween, it’s a great place to commemorate the day.
A Place to Practice Your Language Skills
As we’ve already discussed, Disney is a great place for people to celebrate and commemorate occasions. But for those who are traveling for more academic reasons, WDW is also a great place to practice your language skills. There are plenty of opportunities to interact with Disney staff who speak the language of your country. And you’ll get plenty of practice using your language in a real-life situation. If you are traveling with children, they can also benefit from learning another language in a fun and engaging way. You might not be fluent at the end of your trip, but you’ll certainly understand more thanks to Disney.
Disney World is the most magical place on earth, and it attracts tourists from all over the world. There are plenty of reasons why people choose to visit WDW, ranging from the Magic of Disney to the celebration of American culture. Disney World is a great place to practice your language skills, learn about another culture, and simply enjoy a break from your normal life.