When I was growing up, I would see ads on TV for the most exciting, fun-filled place in all of the earth. You could order a VHS tape that would come in the mail, and it would help you plan the perfect trip to Walt Disney World. I would dream of going constantly, and wish that I could escape my life to go and be as happy as all the people in the video.
Now, I know the people in the VHS tape looked happy, because I definitely got one of those videos mailed to us one time, and watched it over and over again. I loved seeing all the rides, and the food, and the characters, and all the magic. It’s all I ever wanted to experience.
I never did get to experience Disney as a child. But at the age of 28, I just came home from the most magical vacation that I could have ever imagined. I am going to highlight a few of the things I dreamed of experiencing as a child, and how I found those experiences as an adult.
As a child, the first thing that attracted me was the “giant ball”.
What is actually known as Spaceship Earth, the giant ball that fascinated me as a child is still beautiful and iconic, but was one of the least interesting things in this entire park. Epcot became my favourite park at Disney World for so many reasons. There’s so much great food, the countries in the world showcase are beautifully decorated and are staffed only by people who are from each country, which adds to the realism. I love interacting with people of other cultures, learning new things, and trying new foods. There’s no better place in Disney to accomplish this. Epcot absolutely lived up to everything I imagined.
So whenever I saw a video of Animal Kingdom, the main thing that excited me was the safari. I loved the idea of hopping on a giant truck and driving off into the wilderness to see exotic animals. I thought that it would be the greatest adventure possible. Having now experienced it, I think it was worth the wait. I was so excited to hop on the truck and see animals. I was having so much fun that I didn’t even want to bother taking many photos, but there are so many things that I appreciated about the experience. Like how the road is paved, but sculpted to look like mud in the middle of the jungle. Absolutely incredible.
- Meeting Characters
As a kid, I loved imagining meeting my favourite characters and hugging them, talking to them, and seeing them come to life. As an adult, I thought I wouldn’t care anymore. I thought that all I would think about is somebody in a mascot costume. I thought I would focus on it all being fake and weird.
I think this photo of me meeting my very first character proves how wrong I was.
Prior to this trip, I had never ridden any rides in my life, other than a carousel. I’m serious. Nothing, Nada, Zip. No rides. Let me tell you, I love them. I love them, I love them, I love them. I’m so happy to have finally experienced something that most people get to experience when they are very young.
- The magic
I knew that Disney was magic-filled, and was mystified by it as a kid, wondering exactly what would happen, and just how magical it could be. I’m excited to say that the magic is real. From the janitors keeping the parks sparkling clean, to the wonder in a child’s eyes, to the feelings of overwhelming happiness everywhere I went, I’m telling you….the magic of Disney is a special thing. Everything is amazing in the most special way. The staff are incredible, the food is amazing, the rides are perfect. The photos are unique.
It seems like a really random selection of thoughts and photos from this vacation, but I really just wanted to highlight what I imagined as a child, and how it was all that and so much more. Many thanks to the woman who made it all possible, my wife. The most magical part of my Disney experience.