This post originally appeared on my other blog, Guard the Door. Since I am always asked why I love Walt Disney World so much, I figured I would answer the question! 🙂
So, here it is…
Why Do I Love Walt Disney World?
My name is Jeanni and I love everything about Walt Disney World. Yup. There it is. Out in the open for the whole world to know…or at least those who don’t know that about me yet. And if you do, I won’t be apologizing for loving it so much. It is part of me. But why do I love Walt Disney World?
It definitely goes back to my childhood. I was raised a Disney child. Every Sunday night I waited for “Uncle Walt” to come on the television and introduce whatever movie was about to be played. It is a very sweet and fond memory of my childhood. My mom took us to Walt Disney World and the first time we stayed off-site at a hotel off of US 192. I remember taking the shuttle buses to various attractions like Busch Gardens, Cypress Gardens, Kennedy Space Center and Walt Disney World, but only one stood out for me. Walt Disney World. It was in one word…magical.
I can’t even explain why it was so magical. It just was, and it still is for me. There is nothing like stepping on to Main Street U.S.A. and seeing the castle for the first time on a trip. And it doesn’t matter how many times I see it. It is always the same feeling-like I am home. And I don’t think it has to do with the fact that one day our family may call Florida our home. I think it goes further than that.
I believe that it’s because when I am standing in front of that castle, I am keenly aware of one man with a dream. Walter Elias Disney. He was just like everybody else, but not like everybody else at the same time. He had faith. Not only in God, but he had faith in himself, faith in his dreams, faith in humanity. So when I stand in this place of faith and dreams, everything seems possible. Even my most outlandish, craziest dreams seem possible. His initial dream was not to create an entertainment empire or amazing tourist attractions. As he said, “It all started with a mouse.” But that little mouse was not like any other, kind of like his creator.
Are we in fact, like OUR Creator? We may seem small and insignificant at times-like that mouse, but we were created by an awesome God. Just like “Uncle Walt” was. Look what happened with a lot of faith and a little bit of pixie dust! One man’s dream has impacted families and created lifelong legacies of happy memories for families worldwide. The idea for Disneyland came to him as he was spending a typical Saturday having father-daughter time at a local carousel. Disneyland was created as a place for families to spend that kind of time together and be a place where he could enjoy quality time with his daughters. It was about family. Family came first to Walt Disney and his dreams were part of him. Walt Disney World was the next obvious step.
Think about it… If we were as diligent and faithful to believe in our dreams and see them to fruition, who knows where that might take us, or our children, or grandchildren.
I’ve had people joke to me that I am “brainwashing” my children to love Disney. I beg to differ. What I am teaching them first and foremost is to love their creator, God, and I am teaching them that if they have a dream, just like Walt did, that combined with their faith in God and a faith in themselves and their dreams, they are unstoppable and nothing is impossible. Sure, they love Disney shows and Disney World almost as much as I do, but they are also learning so much more. Every time we step foot into Walt Disney World, they are learning, seeing, and experiencing a dream come true. They are seeing what God can do with one person. They are seeing a glimpse of what God sees in us.
A beautiful dream come true.
And you know what my son said on our most recent trip while standing in that very same place-Main Street U.S.A. looking at the castle? He didn’t say, “Wow. This place is cool. It’s such a great theme park. Look how much fun we can have here.” He simply said, “Mommy, Disney World is great, but I know that Heaven will be so much better than this.”
Perspective. An 8 year old standing in Walt Disney World.
So if that’s a brainwashed child, then I am super proud of that!
When people ask me or wonder why I love Walt Disney World so much, and they do, I just answer,
“Because it’s a place of dreams. It’s not “just” a theme park. It’s so much more than that. It’s a symbol. A symbol that reminds me that if I have faith as small as a mustard seed- or a mouse, I can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for me.”