What thought does your mind come up with when I recall this particular location.
The weather? The gators? The oranges? The snowbirds?
I hadn’t thought much about Florida before I went there. I only knew three things for sure about my upcoming trip. They are as follows:
1. I would spend lots of time with the fam enjoying their company.
2. It would inevitably be chaotic.
3. I would get to go to Disney World.
Like many North American adults who get the opportunity to go to Disney World, it was also an opportunity to step back in time, into smaller shoes, my own smaller shoes and live like a child for one blissful day. And for the most part that’s exactly what I got.
I have been to the Disneyland location in the great state of California twice when I was very young, I believe 2 and 3, and twice as a teenager. All I remember from those first two visits as a wee little one is getting the chemicals from a glow stick in my eye during the fireworks. That memory is very very faint and all I remember is looking up at the sky and my eyes stinging like crazy, so that’s something.
So here I was again back in a Disney park. I was thrilled to be in the legendary Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World. However, this time around I was the grown woman with a husband of her own, returned with the in-laws to show them what Disney is all about.
The park was very busy as it was so close to Christmas and there were a lot of us, which created some challenges, but we always managed to find each other in the proper place at the proper time. Most importantly there were no glow stick explosions in anyone’s eye.
Morning turned into afternoon, and afternoon into night. In my opinion, nighttime is the best time in any theme park. The adults have renewed energy. The kids get to enjoy all sorts of nifty things such as the light parade, the sweet fireworks and beautiful lit up Castles. But eventually the children do tire and have expected meltdowns. When Catherine and Grace reached this point the family had to split up with some returning home after a very long day while the rest of us were left to enjoy, the dare I say, ‘magical’ night.
After enjoying a funnel cake we picked up our speed taking advantage of the lack of people as it was now close to eleven p.m.. We finally reached our maximum capacity for all things Disney around 12:30 and decided to head back to our temporary home.
To exit The Magic Kingdom you have to walk down Main Street USA, a beautiful street full of shops and eateries. It is done up in a very quaint North American fashion with old time two or three story buildings with lots of white windows with beautiful window panes, a cobbled street and Christmas decor hanging from one side of the road to the other to emphasize the season. As we slowly walked out I remember feeling deliriously happy to have been there. I was exhausted, but the truth is I wanted to be exhausted. I wanted to stay as long as possible. I wanted to enjoy every moment. I had enjoyed the goodness to the last drop and I couldn’t be more satisfied.
And then a marvelous thing happened. I stared up at the sky laughing and chatting with some of my favorite people in the world and then in what seemed to be slow motion, a flurry of delicate white snow began to fall from the sky. And for that second I believed with all my heart that snow was descending from the sky in the middle of Florida on a warm December night.
I suspended my disbelief and saw the Magic of good old Walt Disney before my very eyes.
We all looked at each other still in this state of disbelief with goofy grins on our faces and then snapping out of it realized that snow doesn’t often fall in Florida, even in December. We looked more closely at the surrounding precipitation to see that it was very accurate, false white stuff. The unexpectedness of it all that made it so that this minor detail really didn’t matter. We were truly giddy with joy.
One of the street vendors selling balloons on the street took note of our bliss and exclaimed, “Wow, you guys sure are excited about that snow!”
Oh yes we were.
So Thank you Walt Disney for a perfect, simple instant that made me forget all about the practical elements of life and allowed me to experience something for what it was: pure Magic. I thought like a child again for that brief moment. I was open to a nonsensical possibility and it felt so freeing.
Mr. Disney, you got it dead right when you so cleverly said,
“Your dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”