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The dreams that you wish will come true

Walt Disney’s genius lights up the sky over his clean, magical theme parks, it dances across the screen during his innovative, timeless movies and it illuminates the faces of its iconic characters.
A child of the 1970s, I first stepped into the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights, courtesy of sweet movies like Pablo the Dancing Chihauhua and Lefty the Dingaling Lynx.
As a young mother, I loved our collection of VHS Disney movies including the Lion King, the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and, my favorite, Mary Poppins, and I enjoyed reading Disney books to my children with characters like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Alice and Wonderland.
Then, in 1996, I made my first pilgrimage to the Magic Kingdom itself where my appreciation for the man behind the mouse blossomed like the sprouts on the park’s mind-boggling topiary.
Last weekend we took a quick trip to Disney World to celebrate my mother’s 75th birthday and, as I trotted along behind her, attempting to keep pace (we covered four parks in 36 hours), I marveled again at the brilliance, the imagination and attention to detail that makes it the happiest place on earth.
We paused briefly in our romp through the parks to watch One Man’s Dream, the inspiring story of Walt Disney’s life, in which we learned that, in addition to creativity, Walt developed an amazing ability to take risks and absorb devastating setbacks.
He cruelly lost the rights to his first cartoon, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but came back stronger with his rendition of a plucky little mouse eventually named Mickey. He mortgaged everything he had, including his personal insurance, to build Disneyland and then turned around and risked it all again to buy a giant swamp in Florida in order to create Disney World.
Disney built his theme parks because he “wanted a place where parents and children could have fun together.”
Look around Disney’s parks today and you see generations of families benefitting from Disney’s generous dream, and, perhaps, imagining brilliant dreams of their own as well.

Epcot ditched by the group

My mother doesn’t kid around. She is the first to arrive at the park, on this day it was Epcot, and she waits for no man, or daughter who may or may not have scanned the wrong finger at the entrance to the park. This is them ditching me as I struggle to scan the correct finger, while simultaneously documenting the amusing ordeal.

Epcot triumphant group

They didn’t wait for me, but they paused momentarily for a photographic record of their achievement — first guests through the park.

Mainstreet USA is impressive enough I I almost cried with joy when I first saw that castle, but consider the real genius of this place -- no garbage. The underground AVAC system whisks it away in 20 minute intervals, moves it to a central location and recycles it.

Mainstreet USA is impressive enough, I almost cried with joy when I first saw that castle, but consider the real genius of this place — no garbage. The underground AVAC system whisks it away in 20 minute intervals, moves it to a central location and recycles it. There are hidden entrances throughout the park and a whole labyrinth underneath. Though he died just before the park opened, Walt Disney’s genius remains in the park’s execution and brilliant design.

Mary Poppins topiary

The topiary is amazing and an excellent example of the attention to detail that makes this place work.

Mickey topiary

Really, it’s quite remarkable.

Spider garden

They all got mad at me again when I took a few seconds to snap this photo, we may or may not have missed the first boat to Hollywood Studios because of me, but I knew we were all heading back to snowy Wisconsin and I could not get enough of the beautiful gardens.

Rain gear

Here are my mom and my sister Kathy, two grown women who actually appreciated a little rain because it kept the lines shorter. I believe the following Walt Disney quote speaks directly to them —
“Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Joneses do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought.”

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Posted on February 5, 2014, in Family and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What wonderful memories you are making. I so look forward to your post’s. Makes me feel like I’m traveling with you. Keep them coming.

  1. Pingback: Never waste a wish | Molly B and Me

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