Growing up, my parents took us on a vacation to Florida along with my grandmother, aunt and uncle. It was a big trip and the whole family was excited. Florida was farthest that I had ever traveled away from home and the first time that I ever flew on a plane. I was in middle school but still excited about Florida, Disney, Sea World and everything in between.
It was school break in February and I couldn’t wait to escape the cold, wintery weather of upstate New York. Florida welcomed us with warm temperatures (most days), relaxation and theme parks.
Experiencing Disney for the first time was incredible. The sights, the sounds, the smells…Disney does an incredible job. The castmembers are always kind, always smiling; the parks are always clean and filled with tons of activities for all ages. I was at an age that was interesting to experience Disney for the first time, somewhere between embracing the magic & wonder and trying too hard to be the kid that was too old to be there. I remember struggling with this because it truly was such a fun, exciting time to experience it all.
From the moment that we arrived, my two little sisters fully embraced the magic that was Disney. They loved the characters, the kiddie rides and the photo opportunities. The first day we visited, I tried to resist the urge to enjoy Disney the way that they did – with eyes that filled with a sparkle and smiles as wide as could be. By day two, I decided that I wanted to be a kid like they were; I wanted to embrace Disney the way that they had.
To me, this meant buying a book, as my little sisters had, and having all of the characters sign it throughout our visit. This meant lots of lines, which my parents gladly waited in with us, and lots of photographs. We checked the schedules, hurried to the different characters and anxiously handed over our books and snapped pictures with our 35mm film camera (24 pictures at a time!). The trip was incredible and one that has so many memories that I hold dear to my heart.
Today, our family of three traveled to see Disney Live with family friends, including Jacob’s buddy since birth. These sweet boys sat in wonder at the magic of Disney on stage. The characters, the songs, the laughter, the lights – everything had the little men sitting in awe. They clapped along, danced to the music, wiggled about and just enjoyed everything that the show had to offer. It was amazing. Watching the genuine enjoyment that these boys had while watching these characters, which I grew up watching, was incredible. I couldn’t help but smile throughout the entire show, watching the faces the boys made. I quickly found myself dancing and singing right along with them as they enjoyed the show.
This is one of the reasons that I love Disney so much. The charm, the enchantment and the awe of it all…it makes me feel like a kid again. That is the magic of Disney.