TMSM’s Adventures in Florida Living ~ Finding the Words


It’s Wednesday, and truthfully, I was dreading writing this weeks Florida living blog. The past few days have been so horrible here in Orlando, as you know, and I’ve been having a hard time finding the right words to express myself and also share updates with our readers. When there’s a tragedy of any kind, I always try to be respectful of the situation, but it’s not always easy to find a “good” way of speaking about it. I’m trying…. so hang in there with me.

Since Friday, the Orlando area has been hit hard with tragedy, and the hits keep coming. There was the shooting of a singer doing a meet and greet after a show, then the night club mass shooting, and last night the incident with the gator at the Grand Floridian. How do we talk about such things? How do we find a glimmer of light when things here seem so dark? I’m just at such a loss, I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve seen the best and worst of people this week. I’ve had people ask me questions that I never thought I’d have to answer. Most comments have been very supportive, but as in any crowd, you have people who have nothing good to say. We have no choice but to move forward, no matter how hard it is, but we can learn so much in the wake of tragedy.

Some asked, what does Disney have to do with the Pulse nightclub shooting? Well, the shooter targeted Disney World as well and Disney had to amp up security, that’s how it coincides. This entire area is on high alert because of the choice of one horrible person. The community has come together in solidarity and support, and that’s been the GOOD side of what’s happened. Disney took another hit last night, as the sad news spread that a toddler was attacked by a gator at the Grand Floridian. Search efforts have been going on since last night, and sadly they found the little boy’s body this afternoon, it’s just a horrific situation. The beaches at Disney are closed, and water travel around the Magic Kingdom has stopped. So, we have increased security from the terror attack, and now an alert and closures from the gator incident. It’s been a bad week to say the least. I’m running out of things to say, as I feel like there is nothing I can say or do to make it better. I’m so sorry for that.

I think one thing that we need to remember, is that pointing blame or judgement really does us no good. Bad things have happened, that’s true, but coming together in solidarity is so important. My heart is broken for our community, but I do know that in time, people will heal and hopefully keep in mind that deep down, we are all the same. The Orlando area is a melting pot of people. Seems as if everyone here is originally from somewhere else, myself included. Seeing people from all walks of life, come together to lend a hand, truly has been amazing. A little kindness goes a long, long way.

As for what happened last night on the beach of the Grand Floridian…. it’s still so fresh, I am at a loss for words. I will say this though… We need to be careful, no matter where we are, even at a Disney destination. I feel horrible for the parents of the boy who was lost, and it’s easy to try to point blame, but we shouldn’t. The beaches at Disney World at night are just SO dark, and yes there are “no swimming” signs, but I’m sure no one could imagine something like this would happen. Disney does do something when it comes to controlling the wildlife, but accidents do happen, and sadly this one is unfathomable. What will happen at Disney in the future? I assume they will have to make changes to the waterfront areas, but we shall see. All we can do right now, in any sense, is be careful of our surroundings. My heart goes out to everyone involved in all these tragic situations, I just can’t imagine what they’re going through.

As for me and my family, we did go to Disney for the first time in weeks on Monday night. We went to Animal Kingdom, and security was tight, as it should be. I fully realize that it’s easier said than done, but we have to press forward and keep doing the things we love and enjoy. Fear is a horrible thing, and we can’t let that control what we do. I felt safe at Disney the other night, everything felt the same as always. Disney DOES try, I know that. Times like this though, it becomes hard to explain these tragedies to our children. I don’t want them to be afraid, but they need to be alert as well. It’s a balance. Lets hope and pray that by the time we talk next week, things will have settled down and we’ll have happier things to chat about. We are celebrating our two year Florida anniversary this week, but we’ll talk about that next time, as I didn’t think it was appropriate this week. I just wanted to show respect for people who are hurting right now. As always, thank you so much for keeping us with us. Every day is a gift, and tomorrow is never promised, so be sure to tell those you love how much they mean to you. You all mean a lot to me, and I thank you for being part of our extended Disney Ohana. Till next week… see ya real soon. God Bless you all! ~M

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 6642 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele


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