Disney World: the most magical place on Earth. We pay thousands of dollars to experience all that it has to offer. All of its magic. All of its wonder. We spend hundreds on food alone. Equally as much on souvenirs and merchandise. Weeks’ and months’ wages on lodging and park tickets. We wait in line for ninety minutes to experience a single minute of thrills. We wait just as long to meet employees in costumes and deal with the hassle of airports, taxis, and bus services. And for what? Why do we do this? Why Disney when there are closer, cheaper theme parks and an array of other acceptable vacations?
We can take a lot from the visions of Walt Disney; a man who simply wanted to create a place where we could leave today and enter a world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. A place where no one is judged, where everyone is happy, and where we can truly forget the stress and cares of reality; even if just for a few days. Life is truly magical within the boundaries of Walt’s vision and it doesn’t take long to realize and accept that Disney is a community. A unity of the faithful, hopeful, and wide-eyed. A brotherhood and sisterhood and family of those that would give anything and do anything to witness and experience the magic that is the happiest place on Earth. That’s why we do it. That’s why we empty our wallets, miss work, and clear our schedules. That’s why we endure our extended families and skip our daily naps: to find a place where we can truly be ourselves. To experience a destination like no other that can take us away to a world of fantasy, a world of the unknown, and a world of pure happiness.
My most recent trip to Disney World is living proof of the conspiracy. I spent four months planning, paying, hoping, and waiting for a trip that I was sure to be sheer perfection, only to find out the day before leaving that my boyfriend and travel companion wasn’t all that excited. What did a place designed for children have to offer a man in his twenties who would rather be blowing things up with his Xbox or partying with his friends? I asked him for a simple favor: to trust me.
Throughout our trip, my prince charming’s ideas about Disney World changed completely. After getting off of our first ride for the vacation (Dinosaur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom), he was speechless. He truly could not fathom that anything created by Disney could be that thrilling. And that was just the beginning! We rode things two and three times, met many characters, got barely any sleep, and fell in love with each other all over again. All because he decided to do the one thing that I had asked: to trust me.
Further requests included a desire to watch all of the Disney movies that we own upon our return home (as well as purchasing more!), a desire to join the Disney Vacation Club, and a wonderful desire to return to Disney World very, very soon.
So why Disney?
For the magic and the wonder, yes. But also for the conversion to believer. If my video-game loving boyfriend can stand in front of Cinderella’s castle and cry, anyone can. We go about our lives forgetting about how we feel on Space Mountain or how excited we are to meet a Disney princess. We forget to love the way that we love while in Disney and we forget that being ourselves was all that Walt wanted for his followers and believers. We have to remember that it all started with a mouse and if something that small can make such a difference then isn’t it right that we belong to such a community?
I’m home now and away from the one place that truly beacons me to be Allison. Tears fill my eyes because this city can never compare to the perfection of Disney and I have to remember what my prince charming keeps reassuring me of:
Disney is not a place. It’s a state of mind.