“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney
If you know anything about me, you know that there is nothing that brings me more joy than Disney. When I was a little girl, my dad would bring home the new movies on VHS and I would constantly watch them, singing along to every word.
Although the movies would sometimes focus on a princess finding true love and living happily ever after, that was never the true lesson of the films. It was more about showing viewers that dreaming big and doing the impossible could lead you to your happily ever after and that really stuck with me.
My family was never one that visited Walt Disney World on a yearly basis when I was little. We would head to the beach every summer instead of the theme park. I enjoyed those trips with my family, but as I got older, I began to realize what I was missing out on. For so long, I had admired the Disney fantasy-land that was portrayed in the movies, but I had never gotten a chance to actually step into that world.
My parents would always say that my brother and I wouldn’t have remembered the trip if we went when we were still young and the last thing they wanted to do was drag two complaining children through the heat and overwhelming crowds. I understood their point, but that didn’t eliminate my need to go to Disney.
When I had turned seventeen, my wish was granted, no genie or fairy godmother necessary! My parents had decided that we were finally old enough to really appreciate the trip. After months of planning and anxiously waiting, the moment had finally arrived. We landed in Florida and as someone who grew up in the North, I definitely wasn’t accustomed to the heat. But still, I was excited that it was all finally happening. I was going to Walt Disney World!
There is nothing quite like entering the Disney property. Once you step foot within the area, it’s like a whole new world (no pun intended). It truly is a magical place where you get to have fun and be a kid again. You get to go back to the time when you believed in something so innocently and purely.
Stepping into the gates of the Magic Kingdom was a moment in my life that I will never forget. As I mentioned before, I was in love with the films. This park was where they were all brought to life and I couldn’t wait to get the day started.
In the middle of the Magic Kingdom stands Cinderella’s Castle. It’s the first thing you see as you walk down Main Street USA, inviting you into this world where dreams come true. Not going to lie, I shed a few tears, finally being able to see it in person. This was the moment where it hit me that I was finally in the place where I was the happiest.
Once I took it all in, it was time to begin this adventure. Of course I stood in multiple lines amongst children between the ages of 3 and 10 to meet my favorite characters, autograph book in hand. I had waited my whole life for this moment and I wasn’t going to let anything or anyone ruin it for me.
Although I didn’t think my day could get any better, the nighttime shows were the perfect cherry on top of it all. As the lights dimmed in the park, the “Celebrate the Magic” show started and I fell even more in love with this place. For anyone who hasn’t seen this show, Cinderella’s Castle lights up with scenes from everyone’s favorite Disney movies in segments ranging from romance to adventure. Following this show is the “Wishes” fireworks. Hosted by Jiminy Cricket, this show lights up the park with fireworks of every color, synchronized to a medley of classic Disney songs. Looking around, you can see how captivated everyone is while they sing along.
I visited the other parks while in Disney, but my visit to the Magic Kingdom will always stick out the most. Even if you aren’t a huge Disney fan, Walt Disney World is such a magical place and being there makes it clear that dreaming will help you achieve anything in life. As we get older, we sometimes forget what it’s like to believe that anything and everything is possible. Disney is a little reminder that there is a world of endless possibilities out there. It just goes to show that a dream and a little hard work will help you achieve anything you set your mind to.