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"My 2 Cents!"
Magical End of the Year Special
article appeared in the
December 24, 2001, Issue #118 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
It's easy to forget what things are all about. What you were so upset about this morning. What the book you read last month was all about. It's also possible, in this time of layoffs and mothballed hotels, to forget what that 40 square miles of Florida known as Disney World is all about.
With apologies to Dr. Seuss for borrowing his rhyme scheme, there are many things, that while related to Disney World, are not what it's really all about.
It's not about Mickey or snow globe parades. Nor breakfasts, or lunches, or new pins to trade. It's not about light bulbs or things that once were, or oversized characters covered with fur.
It's not about steam boats with whistles that blow, or will there be new rides next time that you go. It isn't about Peter, Tink, Hook or the Croc, Nor about profits, and mergers, and stock.
It's not marketing surveys, what's right and what's wrong. Or when you can go, when the lines aren't too long. Not Dole Whips, or Churros or iced Kaki Gori, or Pressler or Eisner in some newspaper story.
It's not about Muppets who appear in 3D, or about Pooh, where Toad used to be It's not Bashful, or Grumpy or Sleepy or Doc, or colorful lions that live at Pride Rock
It's not The Castle, the colors, or some new plush toy fad (It's not? It's not? Surely Zamgwar's gone mad!) It's not that a century's passed since Walt's birth or a park filled with animals, or a celebration of Earth.
It isn't character photos, with The Beast or with Belle, or even if Main Street has that cookie dough smell. Not The Tree of Life's carvings, or a salute to show biz. But there is one thing it's about, that it certainly is!
It's about magic!
Not the kind of magic that makes rabbits appear from hats. But the kind of magic that can stir the soul.
In an adult's eyes, the sights, sounds and smells of the Mouse can work magic on a faded memory. They bring back a time long ago, when Walt filled the screen on Sunday nights and Uncle Henny told you not to sit too close to the old RCA because it had radiation. It reminds you of when Mom was THE Mom, and if your KITCHEN smelled of cookie dough, you might get to lick the bowl.
In the spring and summer, the fresh cut grass and fragrant roses of Disney World's wondrous landscaping can whisk you to backyard days of scabby knees, and cardboard refrigerator box rocket ships.
In its winter holiday splendor, you might recall the pictures askew on the wall and a trail of pine needles on the floor, signaling that Dad had recently dragged a Christmas tree through on its way to the living room.
Disney World's attractions bring to life long ago ViewMaster 3D pictures of Disneyland. Pictures you might have looked at in youthful amazement before drifting off to sleep, to dream of a far away with where the Matterhorn was a ride, and monorails were real.
During the clackety-clack of Big Thunder Railroad, as it climbs the first hill, you may catch a glimpse of a child, clutching his big brother's hand. The sight might suddenly transport you back to your own brother's side, at parks with names like "Playland" or "Palisades" or "Freedomland". Then as the wind blows through your hair on its descent, it peels back decades, compelling you to seek out a hug from an oversized mouse.
A pause on a bench in Epcot can stir the feelings of amazement that were part of a childhood family trip to a glorious World's Fair. A place where the wonders of the future, and the beauty of the cultures of the world, shared the same stage.
Whenever age works its cynical, critical ways on us, it's important to remember what it's like to be a kid, in a place where fairies fly overhead, every day is the Fourth of July, and bedtime stories come to life. In the eyes of a child, even the awful Big Hat may just be the most "splendiferous" thing they've ever seen. Remember, to a 6-year-old, causing Dumbo to soar skyward at the pull of a handle, or seeing a bright red steam engine pull into Main Street station *is* an E-ticket attraction.
That's because Disney's magic never seems to fail on kids. They still believe everyone, regardless of appearance, is a potential pal, the good guys always win, and every story has a happy ending. To the young, and young at heart, the magic is in how they feel in surroundings that to them are, like Mary Poppins, "practically perfect in every way".
It only fails on people who may have lost the magic of childhood, in themselves. For as I've always said, it isn't the place that makes the magic, it's the people.
If you can keep the Magic of childhood alive inside of you, it will keep not only DisneyWorld, but the real world, a wonderful Carousel of Color, and tomorrow will always be just a dream away.
And THAT'S what it's all about!
On behalf of the entire staff of ALL EARS® and all its contributors, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, A Joyful Kwanzaa, a Super Solstice, a Blessed Ramadan, and a happy, safe and Healthy New Year.
Whatever your Holiday may be, may it be filled with Magic.
That's My2Cents... What's yours?
Office of Holiday Cheer
The Zamgwar Institute
Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.