An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Monday, April 14, 2008

An open letter to Disney

Our family just returned from a lovely vacation in Florida, two days of which were spent at two of your parks: Magic Kingdom and Disney Hollywood. Although we love Disney World, we have learned to pace ourselves. A park one day, lounging by the pool the next. Another park on day three or four, with the days in between filled with outlet shopping, or an Orlando Magic Basketball game, or playing cards on a rainy afternoon.

So, even though we don't make our entire vacation about Disney, we feel the magic of Disney World . . . we really do.

There is the magic of introducing our sons to imagination and adventure; of sitting on a curb waiting for the nighttime parade to begin; of seeing our toddler's eyes when he first meets a Disney character. There is magic in the smiles of people coming off Space Mountain; in the details of the lush landscaping; in the first ride on the monorail.

There is the magic of being a child again.

This year I discovered another sort of magic. You see, I was twelve when I first visited the Magic Kingdom, returned 15 years later with two young sons, and then again this year with yet another son. And thinking about these visits at different parts of my life I realized that you never change. The lamppost on the corner of Main Street, the one that I leaned against while eating my first Itzakadoozie? It's still there. The gondola at the beginning of the It's a Small World ride? Still there. The Hall of Presidents? Yup. Still there. The sameness of it all is truly magical.

We live in a world that moves at a breathless pace. The minute you buy the latest gadget, an even newer one comes out before you can even back out of the parking lot. By the time you know where everything is in a store, it is being remodeled to compete with another store's grand opening. Back to School sales start before the school year ends, Christmas decorations are out in October, and Thanksgiving gets ignored.

The magical fact that you are constant through the years is soothing, comforting, welcoming. I like it that you are the same now, when I am 41, as you were when I was 12. I like it that my sons are experiencing exactly what I experienced, and that one day they will share this same experience with their children.

So, thank you for the magic of constancy.

And I look forward to meeting you again in a few years under that lamppost on Main Street . . . I know you'll be there.


Kathryn said...

Welcome home!!! We've missed you!!

I am so glad you had a good time at Disney and all the other places in FL. We lived there for 7 months when first married and had a blast. We are hoping to take our kids one of these days. It is good to know that the things I remember so well will still be there!
Great pics by the way!!!

Lisa said...

Welcome home!! &:o)) I'm so glad you all had a good time! It's been a while since we've been, but it's always the same in Disneyland in Southern California, which is our Disney haven. There really is no place like it!

:o) mg said...

I am sooo glad you are back.
Disney does not hold the same charm for me...
my first time, at the age of 10, I had a stomach virus...
last time was 3 years ago and all the kids wanted to do was to go back to the hotel and swim.

Wendy said...

I, too, hope to take my sons there one day. One set of grandparents even live nearby, so we have an extra excuse for heading down there. I went twice while growing up (3x if you include DLand) - I'm kind of amazed we were able to do that, as poor as we were. Glad you had a great time. Missed you.

onthegomom said...

Glad you are back, we missed you.

Loved the pics, sounds like you all had a fantastic time!

E said...

Welcome back....and me too. I still love everything about Disney. The parades, the rides, the Mickey ice cream, all of it.
Sounds like you did it all just right....