Visiting Disney World As An Adult
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Visiting Disney World As An Adult

"The Happiest Place On Earth"

Visiting Disney World As An Adult
Jordan Garrett

They say that Walt Disney World in Florida is "the happiest place on Earth." My guess is, when this is said, it's in reference to the Magic Kingdom. This is where all the princesses reside and the lovable characters from Disney's various children's cartoons. This makes me wonder... is it supposed to be the happiest place on Earth for everyone, or just the kids whom the park is geared for?

Newly 21-years-old, I have just visited Disney World for the first time. We rode all the rides, we took touristy pictures, and got fast passes to meet princesses all over the park (not to mention Mickey and Minnie too). My favorite princess is Sleeping Beauty, and there's not much reference to her around the park. You can ride a ride modeled after The Little Mermaid movie, or Peter Pan, or spin in teacups designed to fit into Alice in Wonderland. You can be part of a show for Beauty and the Beast, or sing along to songs from Frozen. Sure, there is a Lego statue of Maleficent blowing fire at Prince Phillip in Disney Springs, and there are toy Sleeping Beauties in the stores, but there's no real mention of her throughout the park.

Roaming around the Magic Kingdom, my family and I were pretty sure Sleeping Beauty wasn't there that day. We thought she was in Epcot, and my mom got pretty sick of hearing her 21-year-old daughter complain about not being able to meet her favorite princess, a character from a cartoon nonetheless. Defeated, I trucked along when we got fast passes to meet Cinderella. I'll admit, I was pretty excited anyway. I'd always liked Cinderella growing up; she was probably my favorite after Sleeping Beauty.

So we waited in our super short line to go meet Cinderella and my five-year-old niece was buzzing with excitement. Before we knew it we were being ushered around a corner into a big, castle-esque room and as soon as we walked in my jaw dropped. Cinderella was standing on the far side of the room, looking lovely of course, but there right in front of us stood Sleeping Beauty as well. My niece's jaw dropped as well and she got behind me and started pushing me toward the girl in the sparkly pink dress (side note: why is Sleeping Beauty always portrayed in her pink dress? She wore a blue one for most of the movie). Laughing, I told my niece that she should meet the princess first. "No," she said, "she's your favorite! You go before me!" Have I mentioned my niece is a little angel?

With a big smile on my face (which I could tell was beet red) I stepped up to Sleeping Beauty and said hello. She immediately hugged me and treated me like any other "fan," saying "it's so lovely to meet you, princess" and posing for a few pictures with me. She called me princess again as I said bye to her and then immediately turned to my niece and enveloped her and her twin brothers in a big hug as well. Of course, it was much more magical for the three of them. They were meeting the real Sleeping Beauty in their minds, and I had met an actress. But even with this grown-up knowledge, this girl made the entire interaction so special, especially because I'd been so caught off guard. "Best day ever," I whispered to my mom, who just laughed at me. Later we realized our fast passes were for "Cinderella and a visiting princess" which we hadn't noticed before. And Cinderella was just as lovely, hugging everyone and even calling one of my flirtatious two-year-old nephews "a little prince charming."

After the commotion was over (and my intense blushing died down) I got around to thinking. While everything in the Magic Kingdom is geared towards kids like my niece and my nephews, the magic isn't lost on adults. I'd have to agree with that phrase I've heard so many times and never really thought about: "the happiest place on Earth." Not just for the kids, but for the grown-ups too.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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