We spent this past Friday at the Happiest Place on Earth. We are those parents that pull their kids away from the education system for a day so we can avoid the long lines of the weekend. It was a much need break for the entire tribe.
We entered the Magical Kingdom and had an amazing adventure at the park. We spent 13 hours and walked over 10 miles as we raced from one ride to the next. It was a time of complete joy. The phones were stuck in the backpack; there were no e-mails to read or calls to follow-up with. It was time set aside to be a kid with our kids.
We went with our like-minded friends who also pulled their children out of school. Sometimes families just click and ours certainly do. I am not sure who was planning our next duel family gathering first - us or the children!
Our friends have a deep love of Disneyland just as we do. I have memories of e-ticket rides and "America Sings." I even remember believing I was being shrunk to the size of an atom on the Adventure Thru Inner Space attraction. Disney is magical to me. And, I love that I see the magic lighting up my children's eyes.
The kids were bouncing with anticipation when we arrived at the park and wept with tears of sorrow when we left. The trick, I told them, is to keep the magic alive between visits. If we spent everyday at Disneyland it wouldn't be such a special place. This logic did little to reduce the tears. Only the promise of another visit mildly cheered their tender hearts.
It is kids that make Disneyland come alive. The wonder in their eyes and the awe on their faces. Everything is better at Disneyland in the wake of happy children. The rides are more fun, the magic is magnified, and the joy is contagious. They spot Hidden Mickeys like master detectives and relay the back-stories of each attraction with incredible detail. I wonder if Walt had any idea of the inspiration and happiness he was creating. I am sure he had an inkling but could he have known the magnitude?
It is the sheer abundance of joy on my kids faces that reminds me what it is like to be a kid at Disneyland. Yes, we will go back sooner rather than later. And, in between our visits we will live with the magic of Disney in our hearts. And, I hope as they grow my kids maintain that love of believing the unbelievable and dreaming the impossible. Because, truly, the unbelievable keeps us reaching for the stars and achieving what we thought was impossible.