It might be a bit much to say that a trip to Disney World changed my life, but it definitely opened my eyes. I like to reflect on things and see where God teaches me lessons through my worldly experiences, and I think that there are a few things He wanted me to learn about happiness and dreams and imagination, after visiting Disney World.
1. A smile really does go a long way.
Cliche, I know, I know. But when you see a little girl who just met Cinderella smile, that smile is sure to spread to your face too.
2. We're all trying to get to the same place. Stop pushing.
Whether you're a believer in Christ or a believer in love, I think all we all want to is to be happy, no matter what way we get to that. Disney World is a crowded place and so is this world, but if we all slow down and realize we all want the same thing, maybe the world would be a better place.
3. Patience is a virtue, some of us need to practice.
Sorry if that offended anyone, but honestly people. Nine times out of ten when we rush we forget something or we end up taking longer to get there. Work on taking a deep breath and getting through it.
4. The magic of childhood is oh SO real.
Don't crush it. There is not a thing in the world more precious than the beaming faces of children running back to their parents after meeting their hero. Let kids be kids.
5. Dance Parties are the way to world peace.
Disney World proved this on NYE this year. We had a cowboy with some sick moves, a couple of speakers, and a hot mix of tunes... Add in people from all over the world and call it a dance party. Cha Cha Slide can move mountains. I saw it happen.
6. Be present.
I fell victim to wanting to take pictures of everything too. Had to get the perfect shot, but I missed out on a couple perfect moments. Being present in the waiting, in the lines, in the hallways, you never know what you might miss.
7. Pay attention to the details.
Disney world is full of them. If you've ever looked at any building, you know that Disney doesn't cut any corners. That might be what makes it so amazing, that nothing is ever just going through the motions. There is something perfect and meaningful to everyone, its all in the details.
8. Pay it forward.
We had a guardian angel named Thurman in Magic Kingdom who gave us a fast pass for whatever ride we wanted, telling us to have a wonderful vacation, that we deserved it. Like heck, he made our whole trip. We got to ride the ride we wanted to but didn't have time for. You never know when someone needs something.
9. Money cannot buy happiness.
Money can buy you a ticket to Disney World, but an empty Disney world without the people that you love and love to spend moments with is nothing. Money can't buy the happiness you feel experiencing it all with loved ones.
10. Our differences font amount to disagreement.
We are equal. I'm not going to lie, I felt like a minority speaking English in Disney World over the holidays, but I came to love listening to and watching families and parents and children interact from around the world. I felt so far away from them listening to them speak, but when I saw the father swing his baby girl around like my dad did to me, I felt like I knew them.
11. "It's sort of fun to do the impossible"
This is a quote from the man behind the mouse, and much much more, Walt Disney. I can't stress enough how little he started with. There wouldn't be a fairytale or Cinderella or high school musical or Winnie the Pooh without the mind of Walt Disney. The marshy-lake-spotted-areas of central Florida would house a castle, a massive golf ball, and a giant tree, each telling a story? Impossible. Unheard of. Unlikely. Until Disney.
12. Believing in yourself is so important.
If you ever get the chance to visit Disney World's Hollywood Studios, be sure to visit "One Man's Dream." Time after time, it felt that the odds were against him, but chugging along, he created the most magical thing known to man. Believe in your heart and it will take you far.