Friday, December 19, 2008

It's the little things, even at Disney

Just got back from another amazing trip to Walt Disney World. And as always, it's not the fantastic rides, the huge production parades, or the beyond-amazing fireworks displays that end up meaning the most. Don't get me wrong -- those are the things we go for! But at the end, it's the little unexpected, sweet moments and the exquisite details that stay with us and keep us going back.

Disney is all about details, and one of my favorite things to do is just sit and take it all in. I spent 30 minutes just sitting in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom, loving the background music and the little flickering gas lamps. I also love how when walking the grounds of Pop Century, the music seamlessly shifts from decade to decade, depending on which building you're near. And they have not done any cost-cutting in the upkeep department -- we joke that overnight, they have crews that go out and arrange each blade of grass by hand. ;-)

But there's something about being at Disney that makes you so happy, it overflows -- and you feel compelled to share it with others. My son (almost 13) and I brought bags of Mickey stickers, mini Mickey candy canes, and glow bracelets with us, and it made us so happy to just give them out to kids and sit and talk with them a while. It took so little to bring smiles to them. But the best moment came at the very end of the trip. To set this up, let me explain that my big strapping almost-a-teenager son becomes an overjoyed 3 year old when a balloon is present. This kid would trade his beloved electric guitar for a red balloon, I think. So loving my son as I do, (and wanting to trick the air conditioner motion-sensor in the resort room... shhhhh...) I bought him a big red Mickey balloon our first night there. He lovingly held onto that string like it was his new best friend, and it floated around our room the rest of the trip.

On our last day, he was all sad-faced at having to leave his balloon behind. We were outside, waiting for the bus back to the airport, and I told him to just tie it to a pole there as decoration or something. He looked around, and saw that a bus had just pulled up, and a little girl and her family had just gotten off. From back over at bell services I watched him walk up to the little girl, say something to her mother, then hand his precious balloon over to the little girl. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree, and so did my son's. I have never been so proud, and I'm tearing up again just typing this.

It got us thinking about why this only seems to happen at Disney. People seem more "open" there. We don't have the fear that someone will call the authorities if we offer a child a candy cane. But possibly that's just a lazy excuse. Maybe we should get a bunch of balloons and just walk the streets of our hometown, giving them away to children... and maybe even some grownups. Try and spread around that Disney spirit we love so much. What can you do today to bring a smile to someone's face?


  1. I grew up on Walt Disney cartoons. During our recent trip to Disneyland,Hong Kong, I could identify every character in sight!!!
    Here's a test for you. What is the name of Geppetto's goldfish in Pinachio??!!! By the way, welcome to MBC. I'm a SAHM of 2 boys from Malaysia.

  2. Hi Veronica! I'm sooooo jealous that you have been to Disneyland in Hong Kong. I'd love to go there, and to Tokyo Disney.

    Thanks so much for reading my blog! And if I remember correctly, the fishies name was Cleo. :-)


  3. Ok your post made me teary eyed! This is exactly why I love Disney so much and why I was a Cast Member!

  4. I want to visit all the parks one day. I loved reading Disney stories.

  5. Where were you a CM, Amanda?? That's so cool that you were -- my son is already hoping and planning on being in the College Program.

    Tracie, I hope you're able to make it to all of them at some point! That's a goal of mine, too. :-)

    Thank you all bunches for reading my ramblings, and for commenting. :-) Have a Disney kind of day!