Welcome to This Friday in Fantasyland
So much of visiting Disney World these days revolves around meticulous planning. I recently spent three frustrating hours navigating the troubled FastPass system picking the rides my family wants to ride months from now, and yet, my favorite memories of Disney World never really focus on those coveted FastPass picks or dining/resort reservations. Instead, the unplanned or unexpected moments reign supreme.
Sometimes you have to stop and really enjoy being there.
With that being said, what I’m daydreaming about isn’t necessarily about being in the parks themselves; it’s focused on that wonderful haze of a full day’s fun and the excitement of more to come.
I’m imagining my feet are aching from a long day walking back and forth through Hollywood Studios, but they would be propped up. I’d be lounging outside at my campsite in Ft. Wilderness, warm in my latest purchased Disney sweatshirt, and I would be laughing with my family about all that happened that day. My daughter would finally have gotten the nerve to go on the Slinky Dog roller coaster. My son would be playing with his new Sheriff Woody.
It’d be slightly cold, because I prefer visiting Disney during the winter months. The crisp air would carry with it the smell of the crackling campfire that my husband stokes, and I would have my s’more supplies resting on the picnic table. We’re going to roast marshmallows to close out the day.
My family’s travel trailer would have its awning stretched out, with its lights casting a golden glow over our foldout chairs, picnic tables, grill, and rented golf cart. Our dog would be scurrying around on his leash, happy to be free after being cooped up in the camper for hours while we had fun. We can hear the distant music of the Electrical Water Parade, which we hear every night.
While I’m talking about how much my son loves his new toy, my kids would be playing and laughing together—almost wild with their fatigue. They’re going to sleep well tonight, which is wonderful because we have a character breakfast planned for the next day.
I check the time to see when it is. I’ve used my phone during the day to take photos, but I didn’t check email. There wasn’t time. My husband is so removed from the daily grind that he hasn’t mentioned his work in days. We’re blissfully removed from our day-to-day lives. Instead, we are having intensive family time on our vacation, and we have more to show for it than souvenirs and photographs: we have memories like this moment. My kids will remember this trip forever.
I’d be taking a moment to just enjoy it. The magic of Disney does that. To me, a trip to Walt Disney World is more than amusement parks: it’s uninterrupted time where I’m closest to the people I love most. I am so focused on my family that our regular life seems worlds away, and I want it to last. So I breathe deep and file this feeling away in my mind, so I can remember it too.
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