We all know that Disney vacations are filled with magic . . . but how do you keep that Magic alive between trips? How do you enjoy Disney magic when you’re not at the parks?
One way that Carol and I have found is to share time with other Disney fans at several ‘Disney meets’ each year. We really enjoy this sort of fan get-together. For us, they are an easy way to keep the magic alive without making that long trek south!
When we talk to friends about some of the local Disney get-togethers we have attended we often hear things like:
· “I wish I had known about this, I live very close by.”
· “I would love to know when this is next year!”
· “That sounds like so much fun; I’d love to go some time.”
So if you’re looking to spend some happy times with fellow Disney fans, people who share your Disney addiction, here is a list of a few of those “non-theme park events” coming up in the not-too-distant future.
These local events can help you put the maximum “Disney Magic” in your life!
1. Southern Ontario “Canadian Disney Fan” Meets
In June 2015 twenty-four strangers met at a Denny’s restaurant in Whitby Ontario. The only thing we had in common was a love of all things Disney. We spent a wonderful afternoon talking about our happy place, sharing ideas, trading Disney pins and Vinylmations and most importantly, making new friends.
That first meet was so much fun that we have continued to get together about every three months and sometimes as many as 100 die-hard Disney fans have joined us! That first event has now spawned several active groups which meet regularly at locations across Southern Ontario. Each has a Facebook page where you can find specific information about the next meet.
2. Trade ‘til You Fade – Somerset, New Jersey
This weekend-long event, organized in April or May each year by Central Jersey Disney Pin Traders, is a fun-filled experience for those who collect and trade Disney pins. There are games, raffles and even an optional gift exchange which can be hilarious! Full details are available on the Central Jersey Disney Pin Traders web site HERE.
3. Dayton Disneyana – Dayton Ohio
Another wonderful weekend-long event, however this one caters to Disneyana collectors. The Dayton “Plane Crazy” Chapter of the Disneyana Fan Club does a terrific job organizing this annual bonanza for Disneyana collectors. A hotel ballroom is chock full of vendors tables overflowing with high quality collectibles. This is not a flea market, these are real collectors selling quality product. There are always a few interesting speakers who pass on some fascinating tidbits of Disney history and gossip during afternoon and evening seminars.
Carol enjoys browsing through the collectibles, I enjoy listening to the speakers. When I have a chance to spend one-on-one time with Disney Imagineers, Disney artists and Disney Legends it’s like having a back door into Disney lore and legend.
There are smaller meeting rooms near the ballroom all set up with tables and chairs, where attendees can trade Disney pins or simply mix and mingle.
Full details are available on the Dayton chapter’s web site HERE.
4. Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet – Lynnwood Washington
Carol and I have not attended this annual event held near Seattle; it’s a long way from where we live! But we’ve heard very good reviews from friends who have been there. There are always some top-notch speakers and interesting activities.
You can read about arrangements and plans for upcoming events on the PNWMM web site: HERE
5. Indy Disney Meet – Hamilton County 4H Fairgrounds Noblesville Indiana
This is another event Carol and I have not attended but it sounds wonderful. It’s family oriented, it’s free and they have raised a lot of money to support Give Kids The World. It sounds like a great way to have fun and support a worthy cause, all at the same time. Check out their web site HERE
6. Swap ‘til You Drop – Somerset New Jersey
Another fun-filled weekend-long event, organized in October each year by Central Jersey Disney Pin Traders. The format for this event is very similar to the Trade ‘til You Fade event held each spring. Refer to their web site HERE.
So . . . if you’re feeling blue because you can’t get to one of the Disney parks . . . why don’t you plan to attend one of these locally organized fan events!
Disney fans always make a fun-loving group; imagine how easy it is to make new friends when you are surrounded by kindred spirits.
Maybe Carol and I will see you there!
Gary is a retired banker who lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He first visited Walt Disney World in 1977 and has returned many, many times over the years. Since retiring he and his wife Carol enjoy the parks a number of times each year. They especially like staying at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground with their Shetland sheep dogs.