Amazing things happen when you are at Disney World and The Magic Kingdom. I don’t think it matters what age you are, what culture you are from or what economic group you belong to. If you are there alone or with your family you share in this….feeling. You share it with everyone else there. That feeling permeates through the air I think. I also don’t think it matters whether it’s your first time or not. Its place for everyone for all time.
Last week I spent 2 days at Walt Disney World. One day at the Magic Kingdom and another day at Epcot (which is my favorite). On my first two visits I was and 8 and 12 and saw it from child’s eyes. I felt that Disney magic and was wowed at early age. I caught the Disney bug, that bug of happiness and joy. That bug of feeling and seeing dreams come true. That bug of witnessing make believe become reality.
On my last visit a few years ago I was with my mom, sister and niece who was about 7 at the time. That visit was a little different. I saw it through and with the eyes of a child. I saw it from the point of view of an adult, an uncle just having it fun with his niece in what is perhaps her most favorite place on earth. I also saw it from the eyes of someone being alone. I spent a lot of that trip alone. Walking around The Magic Kingdom alone for a while and then spending most of the time at Epcot alone. I even watched the fireworks at Epcot alone hidden in corner by The United Kingdom pavilion….but I had fun so don’t get me wrong. I was able to see and do things at my own pace.
One thing I’ve never had the pleasure of doing was spending time in Walt Disney World with someone I love. I got to see those couples holding hands and kissing as they walked from shop to shop and ride to ride. I saw those cute couples share turkey legs and cotton candy or laughing while they ate mickey mouse shaped ice cream as it dripped from their mouths. Spending time at Disney alone means you notice everything. You see everything and feel everything you have and do not have.
All this changed 2 weeks while I was there. On that trip it was my turn. As Mikey from the Goonies would say, “this is our time. Down here it’s our time”. It was me and Stacey’s time to be that cute couple, doing those odd, gross and some say annoying things like PDA. It was our turn to hold hands while we watched the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle from the rose garden. It was our turn to shop for souvenirs for our son who was safe and happy as a clam with my mom 2 hours away in Sarasota. It was our turn to feel that magic, that feeling. It was our turn to have that unique set of memories that only two people in love at Disney can get.
But then something else happened.
I had been carrying a backpack around with me all day since we got to the Magic Kingdom. We had been stuffing our souvenir bags in it and I could feel its weight get heavier as the day went on. Inside that bag was 2 pins that the wonderfully nice girl working the desk at our hotel (Port Orleans French Quarter) gave me on the sly. As the day was over and the park was lit up brilliantly for the night (something that really takes your breath away), after the light show and the fireworks we were walking in front of Cinderella’s castle. Off to the side a little, away from the hundreds of people taking family pictures and selfies I told Stacey I got something for her that I forgot about. I reached in my bag and pulled out two things. One of them was one of the pins. It was pink and said, “Just engaged” and had a picture of Mickey Mouse on it I think. I handed the pin to her.
While she was trying to figure out what it was and what it said, I quickly got down on my old man knee with the ring I had spent weeks picking out and looked up at the love of my life. I won’t say on here exactly what I said but she realized really quickly what was going and of course she yes. There was only one other time when I saw that much happiness in her eyes. This moment wasn’t about anyone else just us. For anyone who knows me I did the unthinkable, the thing I swore I would never do. I did it because I finally found my princess and the person who I can’t live without and don’t even wanna try. I got engaged and I did it at one of my favorite places in the world.
Despite weeks of planning only a few of the plans I had made for this moment in our lives worked out but that Disney magic made it happen no matter what. Not only did I spend 2 days at Disney making memories with someone I love. I did it with the love of my life.
We celebrated sitting in two wooden rocking chairs on the river in a quiet corner of Frontierland while we ate Turkey Legs and called our families. Off in the distance the famous Disney Light Parade was rolling through Frontierland with its bright lights reflecting off the water.
Now that’s Disney magic.