While I have been to both WDW and Disneyland in the past, I do not claim to be now, nor ever a Disney-Geek. I possess some level appreciation for what these places are and what they represent in the lives of some of my friends but for me personally they rarely enter my consciousness. This may be because the trips I have taken to the parks were both years ago and the majority of memories have been overwritten in my mental computer by other data.
There is a scene I recall that define Disney parks for me. I am not sure if we were in California or Florida, but my entire family was standing right in the middle of Main Street USA having an excited (read: loud) debate about where we needed to go. This was early on the morning of our first day of the trip and my two sisters and I all wanted to start in different places. The volume level went up as the ability to hear each other went down. Then, my normally patient, father stepped in to end the argument. “We are here to have fun!” he shouted and the next thing he barked as an order “YOU WILL HAVE FUN!” This made the three children and my mother stop, look at him with his red frustrated face, and erupt into laughter. Had he just ordered us to enjoy ourselves? Was he commanding happiness in the happiest place on earth? The answer to both is yes. I don’t know where we went after that, what line we got into or what we ate, but I remember laughing for the rest of the vacation, and years later, about how enjoyment was demanded of us.
Vacations often become work, with timetables, physical exertion that is not normal and a desire to experience as much as possible. We want to get our money worth of fun and sights and food. If there is down time, it is structured and there are expectations of how it should be filled. At times we need to be reminded that we need to enjoy every moment and take in what is around us.
So, you who have become a part of the Disney cult (not a insult) when you plan your next venture into the crowds that want to taste the happiness that is on tap try to set aside time to not see everything, but only what is around you. Drink in the joy of being where you want to be, and recognize the blessings in life that have brought you to that moment.