From Rags to Royalty – Life Lessons from Cinderella

Happy Thursday Main Streeters! With one Dapper Day in the books for Disneyland and another coming up at Walt Disney World, what better way to commemorate the festivities of dressing in your most spectacular attire than to flash back to the fifties and rediscover the original rags to royalty story of Cinderella.

If you aren’t familiar with the phenomenon of Dapper Days that has swept through Disney Parks worldwide, TMSM staff write Susie Bryan has you covered. Search the blog archives for TMSM to read up on this incredibly fun and fantastic fashion event coming up soon at Walt Disney World. Now, let’s proceed.

Hopefully you have been following along with Thursday blogs taking you through an exploration of Walt Disney’s early films, and finding some incredible parallels to draw inspiration from. I’m a firm believer that Walt created his films to help people escape from some the grim realities of the world, and to teach lasting life lessons to future generations who indulge in his films. To give you some context on the timeframe, Cinderella was the twelfth Disney animated feature film released, and it took two years to produce. In those two years, Walt nearly went bankrupt. The studio was in 4 million dollars of debt, suffering through an economy throwing money at a war. In 1950 when Cinderella was released, it’s safe to assume that Walt needed a win. The story was based on the fairy tale written by Charles Perrault, that goes by the same name. When it opened to audiences on February 15, 1950, Cinderella became the greatest hit for the studio since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and helped bring the studio out of the red.

Although Cinderella was a story written by another author, it wasn’t totally adapted to keep pace with the original narrative. As we all know, Walt was a visionary, and Cinderella came to life with characters that continue to be loved by fans even to this day. With those characters came some quotes that we can all take something from. Here are three life lessons to practice taken from quotes in the movie Cinderella.

“Even miracles take a little time” – The Fairy Godmother

Boy, what I wouldn’t give to have a Fairy Godmother every once in a while. I think that sentiment could be true for just about any person on the planet, to be honest. The Fairy Godmother in the story, aside from being pretty proficient in making magic, represents an idea of belief that many have taken and translated into their own idea of faith. Just when Cinderella felt that she had been backed into a corner and her fate sealed to live a dismal and dissatisfying life tending to an evil Stepmother and Step Sisters, the Fairy Godmother comes to restore her hopes. The Fairy Godmother even reassures Cinderella that it’s important to keep faith saying “Nonsense, child. If you’d lose all your faith, I wouldn’t be here. And here I am”. However, this quote on miracles is a life lesson on patience. Granted things in the 1950s didn’t move at lightning speed like they do today, so who knows if Walt envisioned what we know to be possible in this day and age. Maybe this quote was added to the movie not just as a lesson for viewers, but also a reminder to himself that better times would return to the studio. It’s always interesting to draw parallels between some of the dialogue of these films and the time in which they were released. Fast forwarding to tie the quote into modern day; it’s fair to say that society has come to a place where we want everything instantly, even Disney Parks cater to this instant gratification with the use of fastpasses for our most favorite rides. I would caution that there are instances in life where we can’t get a metaphorical “fast pass”, and we will have to embark on an exercise in patience. So when you find yourself wishing things would just happen, remind yourself that even miracles take a little time.

“They can’t order me to stop dreaming” – Cinderella

That’s right, because a dream is a wish your heart makes. I personally love this quote because it’s a significant nod to empowerment and the will to keep your dreams alive. No one can take your dreams from you, because they are yours to chase, yours to fulfill. Dreams are the fuel for possibility. If there is any an example of what dreaming can accomplish, look at what TMSM was built on, or how Walt created an empire out of dreams. Both stories of dreams have connected people from far and wide through a mutual appreciation of Disney and the stories we all hold dear. Inside all of us there is the space where dreams exist, and no matter the circumstance, no matter what anyone tell you, you have the power to keep your dreams afloat.

“Have courage and be kind. Where there is kindness, there is goodness. Where there is goodness, there is magic” – Cinderella

Have courage and be kind. What a simple and beautiful quote to share with others in life, and to wrap up this blog post. The lessons we can learn from being kind to one another are boundless. Kindness is an action and a feeling that transcends decades, and never goes out of style. Most, if not all of Walt’s films leading up to the release of Cinderella incorporated some sort of lesson on kindness and compassion. It’s often not easy to choose kindness, as the start of the quote says, but have courage. It may not always be the popular opinion to be kind, but as the quote continues, where there is kindness, there is goodness and where there is goodness there is magic. Remember Main Streeters life is precious, and through kindness, we can all be like the Fairy Godmother, spreading sincere magic to all who need it.

Tell us, what lessons did you take from this classic film? Please share with us!



Erika Roberts has been a Disney kid for as long as she can remember, but her love of visiting Disney Parks started after just one ride in a Doom Buggy. She couldn’t run to guest relations fast enough to offer up her soul in return for an Annual Pass. Since then Disney has taken all of her money, but has given her the most cherished memories; from watching her Nona’s face light up with happy tears as we strolled down Main Street on her first visit (she was 84 at the time), to her very own engagement on Halloween in front of the Haunted Mansion. Erika is excited to be on the TMSM team and where Disney Parks are concerned, you won’t catch her dead on It’s a Small World. If she asks to ride that, this is a clear indication that she is in danger and you must send help. You will, however, catch her performing Random Acts of Disney (R.A.D’s), park hopping with her amazing group of impressively talented and kind friends (usually in some themed attire), hanging out by The Haunted Mansion, and ugly crying during fireworks… then begging for a Mickey Premium Bar to eat her feelings…this is a judgment-free bio. Otherwise, Erika works for the State of Florida and is actively involved in her community. Erika believes in empowering others and spreading kindness to people from all walks of life. Erika also makes custom designed Disney inspired ears, etched glass, gifts, and accessories. You can check out, like or follow her work on FB, which also links to my shop’s Instagram: She looks forward to getting to know everyone and sharing the magic of Disney!

Erika has 121 posts and counting. See all posts by Erika


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