A couple poses in front of an old-fashioned American building at a theme park
Planning & Tips

The Disney Global Tour, an Introduction

I have to admit: before I started dating AJ, I was a little bit judgy about adults who are really into Disney. I loved me some Princess Aurora when I was a kid, but I was never super obsessed with Disney World or Disneyland. I really didn’t understand the draw, other than to bring your kids if they wanted to go.

A man with facial hair and a blonde woman feign fear for the camera with white Storm Trooper statues in the background

Changing Perceptions

On maybe our third date, AJ mentioned that he was planning an around-the-world trip. “Oh wow, that’s awesome!“ I exclaimed. “Wait,” he said, “Wait until you hear what it is. So, the plan is to spend one day in every Disney park around the world. And not really spend any time sightseeing.”

My thought process went something like this: Okay. Yeesh. So he must be really into Disney. That’s some dedication. It’s weird. Should I be reading into this? He seems like a great guy. But that’s kinda weird. But then again he is an animator. Maybe that has something to do with it? Like, maybe Disney inspired him to be an animator?

“OooooOOOOOooohhhh,” I said, “Wow, that sounds like it would be a long trip.” Or something like that.

As I got to know him better, I learned that yes, it’s partially because he’s an animator. It’s partially that his whole family was very into all things Disney when he was growing up. It’s also that, as a man with a mind for mechanics, he has a lot of appreciation for the theming and the details that go into all aspects of a Disney park. That’s something that I had never thought of before, which I’ve really grown to appreciate as well.

A mother, father, and six children of varying ages pose on a Disneyland rail car set dressed in old West clothing
AJ’s family (except his oldest sister) at Disneyland sometime in the late 80s.

Why Are We Doing This?

The other big factor that spurred AJ to want to take this trip is the challenge aspect. He likes to set a challenging goal for the year and stick to it. In 2017, it was Spartan races. He completed 14 trifectas last year, which is quite a big accomplishment. If you’re not familiar with Spartan races, you can find more info here. In 2018, rather than completing over 42 grueling obstacle races, it’s all about a grueling six-week trip with The Mouse.

What’s my part in all this? Well, I love planning travel. For some reason, my brain enjoys researching for hours, navigating time zones, and scheduling down to the minute. It’s like a puzzle, only way more expensive. Plus, I’ve managed to finagle a few sightseeing days, which are exclusively up to me to plan. I’ve opted to take most of them in Japan, but there may be a couple of days in other locales as well.

Seriously, though? A six-week global tour. What on Earth are we thinking? This thought has occurred to both of us more than once. This money could be used toward a down payment on a house, or to pay down debt, or to buy a nicer TV, car, or whatever. That’s all true. But in my life, I’ve found that I never regret spending money on experiences.

A young man and woman smile and hug in front of a tall pint and blue castle
AJ and his sister at Disneyland

Every Disney Park in the World

So. The time off from work has been granted. The schedule has been set. The itinerary includes Orlando, Anaheim, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Paris.

We’ll be posting a lot in the coming months about our planning process, from hotels to restaurants to rides to transportation. As I’m sure you can imagine, there has been a lot to plan. We’re both very excited to share this adventure!

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10 Comments

  • La Toya

    This is freaking amazing. I didn’t grow up going to Disney but now that I’ve been a dozen times – I can’t get enough of the place. Looking forward to following your adventures 🙂

    • Katie

      Thanks! Yeah, we went to Disneyland for a day recently, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I hadn’t been since I was a teenager.

  • Barb

    I salute you! That is sooooo cool! You and AJ rock and super excited you are sharing your travels. Love from AJs slightly older cousin😘🇨🇦

  • Laura

    That’s a fab backstory! I had wondered ‘why Disney?’. Now it all makes sense! Looking forward to following you guys in your adventures!!!

  • Gordon

    So summer is flying by and not many more days before the grand trip begins Eh. How goes the last minute planing (well not quite last minute yet). Any big plans for Paris (Other than the mouse?). And if you only had one day to visit Paris what is the must see/do attraction?

    • Katie

      Yep, the trip will be here before we know it! We’re not quite sure about Paris yet. I’m hoping we’ll have a full day to sight-see, but that depends on if AJ has done everything he wants to do in the parks. For one day in Paris, I’d recommend climbing the Arc de Triomphe for good views of the Eiffel Tower and the city, going to a museum (probably the Louvre if you have to choose one), and wandering around a neighborhood like St. Germain or Le Marais. I’ve also done a river cruise on the Seine at sunset before, and that’s pretty cool!

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