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Jeff Heimbuch: Finding Disney In New Jersey

Folks who live within reasonable driving distance have it easy; whenever they need a little bit of Pixie dust in their life, they can just hop in the car and head for the Parks. But when you’re a rabid Disney fan living 1058 miles away (yes, I checked!) from the closest Disney Theme Park, your mind starts to wonder just how you can bring a little bit of the magic into your everyday life.

Living in NJ, this can be a little hard sometimes. There are no instantly recognizable connections to Disney in our lovely state, but that’s not to say I can’t find some! One of the first places I always look is my own bedroom. Like I’m sure most of you have, my room is littered with Disney paraphernalia. Everything from pictures, Vinylmations, souvenirs, books, and more, Disney has infiltrated my living space in every possible way. It’s a good way to wake up in the morning and start my day, surrounded by the things I love.

Of course, I can’t be in my room ALL day, so I have to take it a little further. Especially when it comes to a place that most people consider not magical at all: work. I am lucky enough to work for one of the major health systems in the state. Thankfully, my job had a Human Resources Manager that was just as into Disney as I was. With this love, he helped injected a lot of Disney’s philosophies into our everyday life at work. He even went as far as having yearly business seminars, where he brought in representatives from Disney to help talk about how to make us a better business.

We also have two mascots for our children’s hospital, both of which were designed by former Disney Imagineers. They even went as far as coming in to teach people how to “become” these characters, much like the costumed characters walking around Disney’s Parks. Disney’s customer service is unbelievable, and a lot of companies strive to be as good as them.

Thankfully, with their support, and the HR Manager’s pushing, we have become one of the Top 100 companies to work for in America… mostly thanks to our “Disney” way of looking at things.

Of course, if I travel a little further South, I come to Atlantic City. While it doesn’t look like it once did in it’s heyday, The Boardwalk Resort at Walt Disney World is based on the Atlantic City of the 1920s. While very few remnants of it remain nowadays, I can still close my eyes and PRETEND that I’m standing in Walt Disney World and not South Jersey.

When I absolutely NEED to be in a theme park, I do have an option. Though it pales in comparison to Disney, I do live within a half hour’s drive to Six Flags Great Adventure. When I’m really craving a theme park experience, with non-stop thrill rides, I can always count on Six Flags to be there to feed my adrenaline junkie side.

So, for me, finding a little bit of Disney in my every day life isn’t too hard to do. I just have to open my eyes and look around me to see it staring right back at me! It’s the best thing for me to do when I’m holding myself over until my next trip! If you stop and think about it, I’m sure you can find a little bit of Disney in your everyday life, too!

About Jeff Heimbuch


Jeff Heimbuch recently moved to California, where he lives 20 minutes from Disneyland. Jeff recently released a book with Disney Legend Rolly Crump called It's Kind Of A Cute Story, and writes way too many weekly columns for MiceChat.com. He also co-hosts Communicore Weekly, the greatest online show. He firmly believes Animal Kingdom is a Full Day Park.

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