When You Wish Upon a Star
ALL EARS® Feature Writer
This article appeared in the December 23, 2003, Issue #222 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
By now the cookies are baked, secret punch recipes have been prepared, presents are wrapped, menorahs are lit, stockings are hung and signs of the many holidays that fill this season sparkle everywhere. As friends and loved ones gather, tradition takes center stage in homes across the world. Perhaps one of the greatest and most overlooked traditions this time of year is wishing.
It is something that everyone seems to enjoy doing regardless of the particular name of their holiday. As adults, we wish we were younger. Children may wish they were older. We wish we were richer. We wish for the perfect gift. We wish for an ache to go away. We wish we didn't burn the turkey (well, maybe that's just me). A frequent wish among ALL EARS® readers is a trip to spend more time with the Mouse.
Are these wishes ever granted? And if they are, who grants them? After much thought, I believe I know.
Time is the ultimate "Blue Fairy" that makes all childhood "wished upon a star dreams" come true.
Yes, it's true; each passing year, at times, seems akin to a dark, diabolical, Disney villain waiting to wreak havoc upon our days. Like some sorcerer, it sprouts a new gray hair daily. It causes our clothes to mysteriously shrink and tighten on us. It forces us to make noises when we bend at the waist. It can bring the deepest of sorrows to each of our doorsteps without warning.
Time also, like most things in nature, tries to achieve a balance. It magically seems to sort through our wishes folder and sprinkle pixie dust on selective ones to make them come true. Often it does this without us realizing it.
Digging into long-lost memories usually makes it all perfectly clear, especially where our dreams about our mutually favorite 47 square miles of Florida are concerned.
For those of us who grew up with Walt visiting our living rooms each Sunday evening, we may have forgotten a time when we wished for just one stroll down Main Street, USA to see if the castle was as beautiful as it seemed on TV. As a child you may have closed your eyes before drifting into dreams and tried to picture yourself gliding along in a monorail, in a place too costly and too far for your family to ever visit. Perhaps you can recall seeing the wonderful magic of Disney's Imagineers at the 1963-64New York World's Fair and wished you could someday see where all these marvels lived.
You may have found yourself silently hoping you could go, even for a day, to that place that filled your neighbor's vacation pictures. To feel for yourself the joy of the wind on your face as your Test Track vehicle burst into the open air. To marvel at the majesty of the Tree of Life.
Maybe your dreams included ones in which the grass seemed greener on the other side of the street. It could be that as a child or a young adult you were lucky enough find yourself speeding through Space Mountain during a day's visit and wished you could stay another day or even, dare you think it, a week! Your secret wishes might have included staying IN Walt Disney World at a budget or moderate resort and taking the bus to your childhood fantasies every day. After achieving that you may have said, "Wouldn't it be nice to walk, boat or monorail back to a luxury resort rather than wait for a bus?"
For some, the dreams might have been more personal. To watch fireworks fill the sky over the World Showcase Lagoon with someone you love at your side. To see the sparkle of youth in your own children's eyes as they ran toward that lovable Mouse in short red pants. To meander among the twinkling lights at night with those who sacrificed their dreams to raise you. For a few, it may have been to bypass the turnstiles and enter the parks as a Cast Member bound for work.
While we may have forgotten these wishes, Time never seems to.
For most readers it already has provided each of us the ways and means to make our personal Disney dreams come true. Too often as adults, the child inside us who began the "trip to Disney World wish" is overlooked. We're too busy lamenting about the cost, or whining children, or crowded parks. We complain about less than perfect travel arrangements, or too many "Grumpy," "Dopey" or "Sleepy" Cast Members and guests, and not enough "Happy" ones. We have been full of remorse when our vacation has ended, because it may be many years before we go again.
We tend to forget that before we had annual passes, Disney Vacation Club points, MouseFests, favorite hotels and rooms, favorite restaurants and for some even favorite waiters, we all wished we could go just "once." A Disney wish, that for each of us, was granted, in time.
Time cleverly seems to grant many of our Disney Dreams as "real world" wishes as well.
The castle we all dreamed of as children, surrounds each of us now. While it might be a tad cluttered and may have a turret or two in need of repair, it protects us from the storms and provides refuge from our daily "quests." No matter how humble your castle may seem, I can assure you, there is someone wishing for what you now have.
Many of us in fact ride to work in the "pumpkin coach" we hoped for as a young newly licensed driver, even though (in my case) the coach might have a few dings and be eight years past its model year.
Somewhere in each of our lives, a beautiful Princess or a Prince Charming does in fact dwell. Perhaps it is the neighbor next door who is always ready to help with a leaky faucet or provide instructions on how to cook a holiday feast. They can be strangers who got your car started on a rainy night or helped you gather important papers that had fallen on the street and attempted to dance away on a playful breeze.
For the luckiest of us, that Prince or Princess shares our own "castle." Time may have just tried to hide their true identity in a plethora of pants left on the floor or milk cartons not returned to the fridge. Our fairytale heroes and heroines may even be disguised in the form of a pet that always seems to nuzzle up against you and purr or bark when you need it the most.
As much as Time tries to take from each of us, it truly attempts to give more. Ultimately, regardless of the quantity of time that each of us has, the quality of what we do with it is up to us. Years, after all, are nothing more than a catalog to file precious memories of forgotten wishes granted.
While it may be hard to see sometime, if each of us thinks back to the first spark that led to everything that surrounds us, we'll find that many of the dreams that we've dreamed really did come true.
On behalf of the entire staff of ALL EARS® and all its contributors and writers, 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 holiday may be in your heart, may all your dreams and wishes come true.
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.