Growing up, I always believed Walt Disney World was a magical place. I can remember gathering around the tv on Sunday nights with my family in anticipation of the Disney movie that aired each week. Walt Disney World was always that elusive place where anything could happen in a blink of an eye or with a flick of the wrist.
There’s an old saying that says “those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”. This week I’ve discovered the beauty of that statement in so many ways. Our second day at Disney was nothing short of magical.
The magic began as we gathered at the Ohana breakfast to jumpstart our day with not only a great meal but wonderful atmosphere! The word Ohana means family and it was a beautiful sentiment as we sat around the tables to celebrate our Signature family coming together. We also enjoyed spending more time with Mickey, Stitch, Lilo and Pluto!
Next it was off to make dreams come true at the Magic Kindom! Everyone’s eyes were filled up with excitement as we made our way through the gates in anticipation of what the day would bring.
For many people the day represented many different things. Of course there were rides, characters, food, fireworks and parades but there was really so much more than that. For Ms. Jenny, there was hope, joy and inspiration. From the first moment I met her smiling eyes, I knew she was going to be a friend. What I didn’t realize was the impact she would make on my life in three short days. Ms. Jenny didn’t come to Disney looking for magic like most of us, she came with a mission to experience as much of life as she could. She crossed many things off her “bucket” list this week. Things like riding Splash Mountain, meeting all the Disney characters, and getting her feet in the sand on a beach. She wisely told me it was “ok” to act like a kid if you wanted to because that was part of living our lives out.
Then there was Thelma. Her biggest dream was to come to Walt Disney World. The magic started for her before even arriving as she set goals for herself so she would be able to attend! She refused to let things stand in her way. She worked steadfastly to improve her walking and other skills so she experience this trip . For her, it was affirmation that she could reach her dreams and accomplish her goals!
As the day progressed the magic continued! Everywhere I looked I could see it sparking in different places. Moments of laughter and energy as Ms Anna danced with the characters on Main Street U.S.A. or the look of accomplishment as Ms Mary finished with the most points at Space Ranger Spin. Moments of awe as Ms Lula experienced It’s A Small World for the first time. The love between a nurse and an Elder as they shared special moments in time together that will never be forgotten.
So you see, the old saying was right. If you believe in magic, you will find it. This week our Elders have given us the greatest life lesson of all. They have shown us that there is magic in all of us, we only need to pursue our dreams to activate it.