I grew up in a Disney family. My entire childhood was spent belting out “Part Of Your World” from The Little Mermaid and dreaming of the day my prince would come. So, it’s no wonder that much of my childhood was also spent consumed with the idea of Disney World.
All my life, I was told stories about Disney World. My parents spent their honeymoon there and had returned once after that. All I knew was that it sounded better than anything else in the world. My brother and I used to pour over books about the park. We knew every attraction, restaurant, and even the history of Disney. We would go through those books over and over again, dreaming of the day that we would finally get to visit. We even had those cheesy ‘plan your Disney vacation!’ videos. Despite our years of planning and wishing, we didn’t make it to Disney until I was ten. The wait was agonizing!
Needless to say, I had high expectations for our first trip. It was my first vacation ever, let alone my first time in Disney. Luckily, I was not disappointed. Every moment there felt magical. It was so much better than any book could have described! The rides, the characters, the scenery, and even the food was so over the top, fun, and completely different from my every day life.
I have so many happy memories from this trip. It was as if every member of my family had reached their happy place. Perhaps my favourite memory was when my dad took me on Peter Pan’s Magic Flight. He pretended to be as awed as I was by the tiny twinkling lights and giant figurines. Even now, that is one of my most cherished childhood memories. The trip ended far too soon. And once it was over, I of course, longed to return. Several years later, I did…and it was just as magical as the first time.
Some people think of Disney as a place for children. I say: it’s a place to remember all of the amazing experiences you had growing up. That’s why my entire family went back to Disney World a couple of years ago. Oddly enough, it felt exactly the same as when I was a kid. That’s the truly amazing thing – Disney takes you back to a beautiful, simpler time. While there was some bickering and fighting this time around, it didn’t take away from that magical feeling. Even though my siblings and I are all grown up now, those same feelings of joy remain. See, Disney isn’t just a place for us to visit…it is a place for us to re-connect.
When people ask me about my favourite place, Disney is always near the top of my list. It’s about more than the attractions…it is about the experiences and the memories that you make there. If you want to get back to your childhood, start with Disney. You’ll be surprised at just how magical the trip will be. Even now.