Once upon a time…
Some part of us loves stories that start with that phrase. No matter how bitter anybody is about love and commercialism, it lifts our spirits. As unrealistic as fairytales can be, they give us hope that we can find a better future. Theme parks transport us into the stories.
Recently I was lucky enough to snag a complimentary ticket to Disney World. For weeks I invited friends who were Disney cast members or had annual passes to join me. Everybody was busy and none of the plans were working out. In a few days I’d be moving out of Florida. There was no knowing my next opportunity to attend the theme parks that have always been so close by.
My introverted side liked the idea of a solo Disney day. My morning began by taking a Star Wars Tour in Hollywood Studios. I witnessed Jedis in training battling Darth Vader. Then an enormous auditorium of families sang along to Frozen “anthems.” These adventures warmed my heart. Then after a quick sitting break in air conditioning, I headed to the ferryboat to hop to Magic Kingdom.
Magic Kingdom inspired my inner child. It made me feel like I’d been plopped inside a television surrounded by all the ‘90s characters I grew up with. Characters like Snow White and Mary Poppins came to life and changed the cartoon world as we knew it. Walt Disney told us the story of creating his dreams.
I must say that PhilharMagic is my favorite place on Disney property. An orchestra kid at heart, this 3D show makes me feel fuzzy as Winnie the Pooh! Like the fears of Peter Pan, growing up can take away hope for fairytale endings. We're conditioned to focus on what is attainable. It’s funny how our social media and conversations are such a pendulum. We require practical and financial responsibility. On the other hand, we must prioritize what makes us happy. Pour our entire selves into our impossible dreams, right?
Television and amusement parks are the most incredible forms of escapism. While no one can live in it, I am so grateful to have had such access to it. Walt Disney triumphed impossible feats to bring this idea to reality. What lovely inspiration as I start a new chapter of my life in a new state.
Then a wonderful evening was to be had! My friend and fellow songwriter, Elizabeth (who is fabulous both on and off stage), met up with me to grab drinks at the Port Orleans resort on property. There were some boozy beignets that I simply had to try before I left. We ordered some yummy cocktails, creole macaroni and cheese, and beignets filled with Baileys, Kahlua, and RumChata. (Commence drooling.)
Two skilled musicians took the lounge stage and played country and bluegrass requests for a couple hours. What a night! The French Quarter themed menu, the chessboard, and a friend...
A mix of outlandish fairytale dreams and goals for something real are my fuel for the future. Excited for new opportunities in Chicago, this new chapter brings the unknown. Let's do it!
To the second star to the right and straight on 'til morning!
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Cover Photo by Elizabeth Ward