In 2015, Garrett and Jessica Gee sold all of their belongings to travel the world with their two small children, Dorothy and Manilla. At the time, Garrett had recently sold his mobile scanning app to Snapchat for $54 million. They saved that large amount and sold their cars, furniture, and other bulk items to fund their indefinite trip. Thus, The Bucket List Family was born. Though they've explored fascinating corners of the world — 45 countries to be precise — I can't stop obsessively lurking their month-long trip to Walt Disney World.
After two years of extensive traveling, The Bucket List Family was invited by Walt Disney World to spend 30 days staying in each of the resort's hotels. The family began with a stay at the Port Orleans Resort, and they've since stayed at notable ones like the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club Resort, and Art of Animation Resort. Each morning, the family is greeted with a suitcase containing items that reveal their next on-site destination. Though they will be visiting the four theme parks throughout their stay, they will also explore each hotel's unique amenities or attractions.
In addition to regularly uploading videos and pictures to Instagram, Garrett and Jessica will recap each day via YouTube. The first video, shown below, recaps every day in the adventure so far. Highlights include Jessica crying during Magic Kingdom's parade, Dorothy impersonating Donald Duck at the All-Star Sports Resort, and Manilla learning how to swim at the Beach Club Resort.
While I eagerly anticipate the frequent updates and daily recaps along with the other 719,000 followers, I also have a lot of questions. As a former Florida resident, I've visited Walt Disney World over two dozen times throughout my life. As fun and nostalgic as the entire experience is, it is also freaking exhausting. On my last trip, I walked over 50,000 steps on a four-day trip, averaging around six miles each day — and that was in May. August is a whole other beast with temperatures consistently exceeding 90 degrees.
Even at the self-described Most Magical Place on Earth, a month of schlepping can still get old fast. Yes, the Gee family is accustomed to traveling, but it must be a little irritating to have to pack everything up and move to a new hotel room each and every day, with little ones, no less. Though the resorts are incredibly accommodating and convenient, that's challenging.
Which moments will go undocumented? What happens when someone throws a tantrum in the It's a Small World line? Will the cameras be rolling during the hour-long lines to meet Tinkerbell? On any given family trip to Disney, these things happen. They don't make the trip any less magical, but they are real. To give this genuine-seeming family the benefit of the doubt, they are still at the very beginning of their journey, and they may fully intend on including all of those candid moments. The jury is still out on that one — although they were honest about getting rained on in Animal Kingdom and, for that, I am grateful.
This year, it was reported that Air Force veteran and Huntington Beach, CA, resident Jeff Reitz spent 2,000 consecutive days at Disneyland. That's nearly five years. When I first heard the news, I instantly felt sad. I had always felt that Disney is magical and unique because it's not somewhere you would visit every day. I thought that anyone would get bored of it if they went that frequently. For Reitz, however, it gave him "something to look forward to each day."
Will I watch the "30 Stays in 30 Days" challenge in its entirety? Of course I freaking will! I might not want to take on that challenge myself — nor could I ever afford it — but I will gladly continue living vicariously through The Bucket List Family.