“Our Family Vacation”
Our family went to a magical place
With princesses, pirates, and journeys through space
We had fun galore
And left wanting more
We made memories we’ll always embrace
We love Disneyworld! We love the rides, the shows, the resorts, and the magical feeling that permeates our Disneyworld vacations. Our love of Disneyworld has always seemed contradictory to our regular travel style and preferences. When we travel we don’t like tours, unless it is specific to one thing we want to see that day. We shy away from “packaged getaways”. We always try to learn at least a few phrases of the language from our destination countries. We like to learn about the culture, to be immersed in the culture, to be a tourist without seeming too touristy. In fact, a lot of places we travel I get mistaken for a native and spoken to in their native tongue. Greek in Greece. Italian in Italy. Spanish in Peru and Mexico. Hong Kong was the exception, because I don’t look the least bit like a Chinese woman. I tease my husband that we need to travel to more of the Nordic countries, because there is no way I would be mistaken for a Swede or a Norwegian. Two of our daughters might, in part because I have developed a fondness for Scandinavian children’s clothing. But even if I were decked out head to toe in designer Swedish clothing, I would still be an average sized brunette with curly hair and slightly olive skin. But we would still try to absorb the culture and experience of the everyday Scandinavian, regardless of how much we did or did not resemble one. That is part of the joy of traveling to new places.
If we enjoy so much experiencing the cultures of the world, why we would love the fabricated world of Disney so much? And then, I suddenly understood. Disney has truly developed their own very specific culture, founded upon the wonder of childhood and magical stories that make people feel that childlike magic even as an adult. Disney attends to even the smallest details, so when you visit one of their parks, it is like walking into another country. It is a magical faraway land where wonder and mystery awaits, but that is simultaneously familiar and comfortable. The characters in the shows and parades are like old friends, familiar and dear to our hearts. Aeryn could not contain her excitement when we met Mickey Mouse. She still randomly tells me, “Mickey Mouse hugged Aeryn” as we go through out our days. Rapunzel told the older girls a secret when we met her. Abigial and Alyssa talk about the secret together, but not with me. You can tell they feel very important sharing a secret with Rapunzel. When we travel to Disneyworld, we embrace the culture of Disney in the same way that we embrace the culture of any country that we visit.
This Disneyworld vacation was especially memorable because we were joined by both sets of grandparents. Watching children experience the magic of Disney makes the entire experience more fun and rewarding. When my husband and I were first married without children, we went to Disneyland. The rides were fun, but we didn’t feel the same sense of wonder and magic as we do now, watching our children seeing their favorite characters come to life. I am so glad that the grandparents were able to have this experience with their grandchildren!