Disney Post-Partum Depression

Bob comes to terms with his condition but still requires treatment

For Shakespeare, maybe, parting was 'sweet sorrow', but for Disney guests returning home, it's sorrow, period.

People sometimes ask me about the 'worst part' of my Disney trips. I don't know why people have such fascination with the 'worst part' of things, and I don't know why so many of my friends think that way. I'm afraid to ask. But in answer to the question, I have a short, simple, and probably unsatisfying reply: the return home.

It's not that I dislike my home. I even like it, sort of, when the temperature outside is below freezing and snow smothers the ground. And I'm happy to return here after a visit with the dentist or after midnight shoot-outs with Mexican bandits.

But the last thing I want to see after a return from Disney is this place ... or any place, really, that doesn't include a big castle.

I call it Disney post-partum depression.

I've suffered from it for years. Probably all my life. I'm betting you do, too.

The Insidious Nature of the Disease

The condition manifests mid-way through a vacation. First I tell myself, 'I have another whole day at Disney, no worries', and then the next day I tell myself, 'Hey, I have *this* whole day at Disney, still no worries', but then, well, the cover-up ends and I'm stuck trying to stuff clothes back into those vacuum bags without a vacuum.

(Technically, I suppose, that's pre-partum Disney depression, a warm-up for the pains and pangs yet to come.)

The pangs in the park are the worst. Often I rush over to the Winnie the Pooh ride in high spirits - only a 10 minute wait! - and stand joyously in line, anxious to test my rugged nature once more by keeping my eyes open during the tense Heffalump and Woozle sequence, but then it hits me: this vacation will soon end.

Suddenly, the Heffalumps lose their horror. Departure is nigh! Depression sets in. I stare with envy at the family clustered in front of me chatting about how it's their first day in the park. When they sense me staring, they move cautiously away. I muster a smile. They move farther away. The father steps protectively in front of his children.

Don't laugh. You've had that same look on your face. I've probably seen it and rushed to protect my children, too.

The Prospects for a Cure

So what to do. Is there a cure? No. Actually, yes, there is a cure, but it's the same thing as what causes the disease in the first place: staying longer at Disney. Or returning immediately. Or inducing yourself through self-hypnosis that you're still at Disney, a dangerous approach for extreme cases that often results in barging to the front of a grocery store line and waving the facsimile of a Fast Pass in the snarling faces of others. Or demanding that the clerk at a mini-mart charge you $3.00 for that bottle of water, and not a cent less. Sad, sad people. I've seen them! And I turn away in shame.

I'm one of the lucky few. I have Disney Dispatch to keep me busy when I'm not ... there. In a sense, though, working on this site is Tantalusian: that's the Greek myth about thirsty Tantalus doomed to stand for all eternity chin-deep in water that would recede whenever he leaned his head forward to drink.

I'm leaning forward now. Nothing there but monitor.

Alternative Treatments

The best treatment for Disney post-partum depression is to fool it into thinking it has won. That means scheduling your next trip immediately. Waste no time! As soon as you return home, make new reservations. Even better, make them on a 'bounce-back' when you check-out from your Disney resort. As long as the mental beast thinks it will soon return to the parks, it will leave you alone.

What else? Write! Do a trip report. Take part in forum discussions. Start your own blog. It's perilous to bait the beast, I know, but writing about Disney is the closest you can get to being at Disney while miles and miles away. It's therapeutic. You might even make a living as a Disney blogger! (Okay, so that's probably not going to happen, but we're all about the dreamin' here at the Disney Dispatch.)

Let Us Part on a Note of Hope

My purpose in exposing my own Disney depression is to encourage others to expose theirs.

Take off those Mouse ears and admit your problem.

My name is Bob, and I'm a Disneyholic. As long as you don't try to visit me and ask to sleep on my couch for a few nights, consider yourself part of the family.

Now excuse me while I make an ADR for the Olive Garden.

I'm on the Dining Plan, you know.

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