This blog post is my unveiling. It’s my confession to the world that I am unabashedly addicted to anything Disney: Walt Disney World, the Disney Store, Disney movies, Disney soundtracks, Disney lunch boxes, even Disney themed Chex Mix. If a retailer slaps a Disney logo on it, I’m buying it. I’m renting it. I going there.
Now hold on a minute. I’m not quite that lady with her selfie profile picture in front of the castle. (Not yet at least.) She’s the one with the Mouse ears on and a sugar-high grin plastered on her face. She’s the lady back here in Oklahoma that has the Mouseketeer stick-family decal displayed on her minivan. I’ve heard all about her engagement at Walt Disney World in 2001. Well, I already have a mini van you guys! If my Prince of a husband can figure out how to make this happen retroactively, I’m only one Cinderella Castle engagement away from all out Disney hysteria!
If you haven’t been sprinkled by that golden pixie dust, one visit to Disney will do the trick. One deep breath on Main Street, U.S.A. that smells so sweet. One breeze past the line with your FastPass at Toy Story Mania! One hug from Mickey himself. I promise you will be feeling the magic. (Below, my then two-year old was not feeling the magic so much in this photo but he still speaks to me. I am now an expert on thrill levels for preschoolers.)
First, the Disney Magic is about having fun and staying positive. At home I have some real Wicked Queen moments as a mother. (Check out my cute shirt below.) At this particular moment at Walt Disney World this fall, I wanted to take a photo and this little pirate wanted to dock the ship for a temper tantrum. All I remember is that my mother and I became hysterical with delight. Who knows what storm was ‘a brewing right there in front of Thunder Mountain Railroad? All I know is that this Wicked Queen remembers something hilarious.
The Disney Magic is also believing in kindness. I’m not just talking about the kindness I showed these little worn-out faces when I finally let them take a break.
I’m talking about the “Beauty to the Beast” type of kindness. If my boys are asked as adults, “Sum up what your parents taught you into one phrase- one phrase that you see your parents holding up on a sign for you to read from the playing field of life.” I hope and I pray that my banner from the bleachers would read, “BE KIND!” Be kind. I have to show them that in a world where there are so many people different from us, so many people who are in need, that kindness and love can make a difference. While the connection between Belle and the Beast and kindness is probably lost on them at this age, I think Disney’s brand embraces this value and I’m glad to let my kids be a part of it.
Here we are on another trip being kind to each other for almost a whole day! He was really into roaring like Sully.
I also want my children to dream. This means more than having an active imagination. I want them to dream about a world free of terrorism and to dream about being President of the United States! After all, dreams aren’t just the fantasies of childhood that end when we grow up. One kid dreamed and invented computers, another dreamed the “I Have a Dream” speech, and hopefully soon, another kid will dream up the cure to cancer. Kids have to believe that dreams can come true. So I want them to experience a little of the Disney Magic that does just that.
Here is my little Padawan meeting Mike and Sully for the first time after playing with these monsters for two years in our playroom. It was a dream come true.
Here is our family magically not being late to our White Rabbit photo opportunity. We were not late. Dreams do come true people!
Lastly, I love that Disney allows me to gently introduce my kids to the villains. I think that a knowledge of good and evil is important even in childhood. Because sometimes there is a Wicked Queen and a poisoned apple out there. I want my kids to be able to recognize it, guard against it, and be the good in this world. I also want them to know the difference between the people who make a few mistakes and people who make mischief and mayhem their calling card. A good example is knowing the difference between a true villain and a mother (prone to motion sickness) who literally loses it after the fifth tea cup spin. Forgiveness is something we have to practice daily. There are a lot of life lessons happening in Fantasyland!
These days I’m living a pretty great life planning our next Disney trip and hoping for a Mickey emoji with every iPhone update. My only worry in life is figuring out how I’m going to talk my boys into a reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Now, where can I order one of those Mouseketeer stick families? And would DS4LIF be too much for a personalized license plate?