Connie R. (NDI#176) (12 Posts)

Connie Roberts can still remember her first trip to Disney World even though she was 7 years old. The joy she felt would stay with her for years until she could visit again as a teen. That's when she hatched her plan to move to Florida. Although it took many years for this plan to come to fruition, Connie surrounded herself with all things Disney. And with every move, the closer she came to the parks, the more Disney she gathered. Finally in her late 20's Connie was close enough to Disney World to visit and drive back home in a day. Being a Disney FANatic has been passed on to her 2 daughter and her husband and she's found sharing this love on her blog Brain Foggles and on Twitter, where she's known as the go to person for Disney World questions.

Photo credit: Deborah Bowen

Deborah Bowen is one of the lucky ones.  She resides in Florida–close enough to visit Disney Parks often.  She calls it an “easy commute” which she makes with her two boys (ages 6 and 7) and her husband of almost ten years, Phil. In fact, Deborah is a life-long resident of Florida, so Disney has been a part of her life since very early on.

The Disney Parks are an important part of Deborah’s Disney lifestyle, but the whole philosophy of Disney is what keeps her emotionally attached.  She knows that Disney strives to be a place that makes everyone feel special.  The significance of this, she explains, is that if it succeeds for even a single “magical moment,” that will be a moment that possibly lasts a lifetime.  She has experienced this first-hand with the Disney brand, and the time she felt it most was when she and her family boarded Disney’s cruise ship, the Wonder.  “As we stepped over the threshold of the massive ship,” Deborah recalls, “a Cast Member greeted us by welcoming our party loudly and by name! We entered the lobby, flanked on either side by Wonder crew members–all of whom were applauding and cheering.”

Deborah blends her Disney philosophy into her lifestyle by “spreading the pixie dust” to her children and even her students at the University of South Florida. She leads by example with kindness and compassion and uses the morals she finds in Disney movies, music, and the extremely friendly and helpful CM’s.

While attending the parks regularly and looking forward to another Disney cruise, Deborah collects and surrounds herself and family with Disney movies, Disney pins (especially “retro-looking tributes to the old days”), and Disney Kooky pens.  She is sure to have something close by that reminds her of a special moment at Disney.

Although Deborah has been teased about her adoration of all things Disney, she takes it in stride, knowing that everyone has a hobby that may seem over the top. She thinks of sports fans or music groupies. If they don’t hurt anyone else with team spirit or by rushing to get the release of a new CD, it’s fine with her. So why is having a passion for Disney unusual?  If people don’t get why she’s emotionally attached, Deborah realizes that–indeed–they don’t get it.

Instead of worrying over it, Deborah goes out of her way to find other people like her. People that get “why I tear up during Wishes, or who sympathize when I can’t get a reservation at Le Cellier. These are people who understand the emotional import of Disney, and who allow me to be myself, Duffy bears and all.”

She’s fond of the Disney Parks Blog, other fan sites, and the Disney Moms Panel (fully admitting this because Deborah is one of the Mom’s Panel members). With a record breaking 10,000+ applications to fill just 15 positions, Deborah was chosen. With all that she’s involved with, she still enjoys planning her own trips, helping others plan theirs, “shopping, taking a spinning class at the Y, reading, and texting … texting … texting.”  And even though it seems that Deborah has a full plate of Disney, she still dreams of working for Disney because, as we all know, there is always room for more Disney when you lead a Disney Driven Life.

Contributed by: Connie Roberts (NDI#176) Connie is the DDL Interviewer and Collectibles Blogger. She is also the creator of Brain Foggles.


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