It’s cold outside today here in blustery Michigan. As I look around, see the piles of snow, and feel the chill in the air, I think of fond Disney memories of past vacations. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be back in the land of Mickey Mouse and Palm Trees! I can honestly say, that every single time I am fortunate enough to be on Disney Property, I am fully in the moment and aware of my surroundings. What I mean by that is, I keep in mind that I’m in my happy place, and one day in the not so distant future, I’ll be back home, freezing, and dreaming of a warm sunny day at WDW.
It takes so long for our Disney Vacations to finally arrive. The countdowns, the planning, the anxious anticipation…. it all seems like an eternity. Yet, once we arrive to our destination, time seems to fly by. That’s the unfair part, but I’m completely aware of it the entire time. Have you ever been on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom, and just stopped and looked? I mean, really, really looked? Not just look, but actually take it ALL in. The sights, the smells, the noises, the faces of those around you…. all of it. I do this often. I think part of me knows, that this will all fade, and one day soon I’ll be home just wishing I was there. I look around, breathe deep, and try to imprint the memory in my mind. I want the imprint to stick, so that one day when I’m in need of a Disney fix, I can pull this back up in my Disney file in my head. I don’t take for granted, not for one second, being at Disney World, because I know how fast the time goes by.
Speaking of time flying by… the same can apply in taking your children to Disney. I know for me, I couldn’t wait to take my boys to Disney for the first time, and each time after. I know full well that kids grow up so fast, and memories are something that will last forever. I take a lot of pictures, try to let them go on as many rides as they can, and yes, I watch their faces. I remember seeing things at Disney as a child, and the wonderment I felt inside, gazing at all the magical things that I had only read or heard about. I look at Andrew and Aidan, and remember how that felt. I can see it on their faces when their eyes light up seeing Mickey Mouse, I can hear it in the screams of joy when on a ride that gets their hearts pumping, and see it in those smiles on their faces when watching Wishes or Illuminations. I cherish every single moment. Every one of them. Someday they’ll be grown, and hopefully be there with families of their own. But right at that moment, those are MY babies, and that’s something I wish I could hang on to forever. Another one for my internal Disney file!
Now that I’m teary thinking of my children and their magical moments at Disney, lets talk about other moments to remember. Even little things are worth hanging on to, aren’t they? How about a smell? Yes, to me, the stores at Disney all have a certain smell, and it’s a good one. It doesn’t smell like anything specific, but it’s a fragrance all it’s own, and they all smell that way. Weird, I know, but it’s true. Although I can’t explain that Disney shopping smell, I do know it when I catch a whiff! I’ll be walking somewhere, and something reminds me of it, and I’ll instantly think, “Oh, that smells like Disney!” Call me crazy, but it’s true. It’s all part of remembering being there, cherishing the little things, and really taking it all in. Even smells! Other favorite smells are of course the bakeries, popcorn, and even Basin at Downtown Disney… I love them all. (Even Rainforest Cafe has a distinct smell, but I digress!)
I think part of being on a Disney Vacation, is the drive to make sure you remember the magic, long after you’ve gone home. That’s probably why I make sure that the Magic Kingdom is the last park I visit, on the last night of vacation. I want to remember that feeling, I want to take it all in one last time. And I do. Once Wishes is over, and we start walking towards the exit, I stop and look one more time. Not just look, but really, really soak up my surroundings. What’s going on? What will stick with me? I see Main Street all lit up with white lights, I see Cinderella Castle slowly changing colors, there are people walking around grabbing those last minute souvenirs and snacks. There is a frenzy of activity, but it’s good, and I know this. I’m aware that I’m not sure as to when I’ll be back in that moment at that place, a place that my family and I love so much. I take another look around, and look at my boys. They look tired, warm, with sun-kissed noses, but they’re happy. I’m happy too. I’m happy that I remembered to stop and smell the roses, or the gift shops, or the cupcakes and whatever else the case may be. I know that on a cold day like today, I can close my eyes and remember all the magic and memories that Disney has brought to me.
So, the next time you’re at a Disney Destination, remember to stop, look around, and take it all in…. you will be so glad that you did! Feel free to share your memories and comments as well, I always appreciate your input! Have a MAGICAL day, no matter where you are! ~M
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