What It’s Like Going To Disney World When You’re 20 Versus 8

What It’s Like Going To Disney World When You’re 20 Versus 8

It’s still the most magical place on earth.

1. The Car Ride

When You’re 8: You spend the majority of the time pestering the other passengers. You ask multiple times within the hour if you “are there yet?” and are in a complete disarray every time the answer is no. It doesn’t feel like you’ll ever get there, but when you do, the excitement fills your little body to the peak of explosion. After this peak, your parents can forget about you getting any kind of sleep any time soon.

When You’re 20: You designate one or two drivers, depending on the length of the car ride, to take one for the team. These people drive the whole way while you and the other passengers sleep the entire way. If you called shotgun, good for you, but your job for the next four to eight hours is to keep the one driving from falling asleep at the wheel. This means singing, racing with cars on the highway beside you, and eating Sun Chips the whole way. By the time you reach your destination, you’re almost too tired to function, but you have to keep going because hey, you’re in Disney.

2. The Food

When You’re 8: It doesn’t occur to you that you're hungry until your parents tell you it’s time to eat. You’re too busy running around like a chicken with its head cut off to even think about nourishment. As soon as your parents point out to you that you need to eat, the only thing that will get you to shut up is chicken nuggets or other varieties of foods in the shape of Mickey’s face.

When You’re 20: It doesn’t occur to you until you’re about to pass out from malnutrition that you should probably eat. All you’ve cared about up until now is making sure you are on time for your fast passes. But as you stroll up to the fine park eateries, you notice something. Those chicken nuggets might as well be forty dollars, but you have to pay it; what are you going to do, starve? But let’s be honest: the food is so good you would probably eat it off the ground.

3. Buying Ears

When You’re 8: If you get them at all, you wear them around the park, mostly because you’re parents wanted you to, the whole time wishing you had them off because they’re hot, uncomfortable and pinch your head. Remember, you’re eight and in Florida where it’s a thousand degrees: everything is irritating.

When You’re 20: It’s the very first thing you do as soon as you arrive. They are a staple of not only your visit, but the mouse who started it all. You only take them off to shower and parade around all of the parks with them nailed to your skull. At some point though, it occurs to you that you are in fact wearing the ears of a mascot and it starts to become weird. But you don’t think about it too much because you’re probably going to continue to wear them when you get back to classes the next semester anyway.

4. Meeting the Characters

When You’re 8: You wait in long lines – as you do for everything in Disney if you do not have a fast pass – just to see that one character that makes your whole visit worthwhile. The characters that have touched your heart with their spunk, their light, and their spirit you see in all their movies. You meet them, give them a great big hug, and then run off to the next character. The special event lasts for about three minutes.

When You’re 20: You still wait in the same long lines, but you are almost just as anxious – if not more so – than the six year old standing in front of you, who doesn’t understand why you’re so pumped to meet Tinkerbell. You practically drop kick the child in front of you out of the way when it gets to be your turn and spend twenty minutes talking to Merida about how you’re basically twins, or telling Tigger he’s your spirit animal. It is an intense, life changing experience that can bring any adult to tears.

5. Seeing the Castle in Magic Kingdom

When You’re 8: You stare at it for about five minutes after your parents take a picture of you in front of it for posterity, wondering the whole time why you cannot go inside. You eventually get bored with it – once again, because you’re eight – and are ready to move on to the next event.

When You’re 20: You have to get at least twenty photos with it in the background because this will be the shining star of your Instagram for the next three months, and everyone has to be fully aware and jealous that you were in Disney World. You gaze at it in awe, wondering what it’s made of (PS: it’s fiberglass and plaster, not stone), and why you don’t live in a castle yourself. Seeing the iconic structure makes all of it real. You see how it can inspire people to follow their dreams. For just an enchanted moment, the stresses of real life fade away.

6. The Rides

When You’re 8: Attractions such as Tower of Terror and Mission: Space seem almost too daunting to handle. You stick to the tea cups and the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, and keep telling yourself that one day – when you’re older – you’ll be able to do all kinds of ‘big kid’ rides.

When You’re 20: Tower of Terror is still just as intimidating as it was when you were a child. At this age, you’re suddenly much more aware of your mortality and the last thing you want is to be decapitated on Space Mountain. But, you also convince yourself that if you do perish, at least you will die in the happiest place on earth, and you plan to have that written on your tombstone.

7. Seeing the Shows

When You’re 8: You were basically brought in to see Finding Nemo the Musical and the live Beauty and the Beast show because your parents were worn out after chasing you and your siblings around for five hours and they needed to rest their legs. It’s a good chance for them to nap and good chance for you to be quiet for the first time in a whole week.

When You’re 20: You go to see the shows because the artistry behind it, the beautiful costumes, acrobats, and animatronics. You can hardly believe that someone can perform the ways the actors in the shows do. There’s just something about watching your favorite movies and musical numbers being brought to life before your very eyes. Warning: the Festival of the Lion King may cause you and your whole party to burst into tears.

8. Taking Pictures

When You’re 8: You pose for pictures simply because your mother bought a new camera and wants to commemorate the trip, not because you will actually go back and look at the pictures; at least not until you’re in your teens or early adulthood.

When You’re 20: You and your friends take turns snapping photos on your phones, posting on Snapchat, Facebook, and all other forms of social media. You are also looking to commemorate the excursion, but also, deep down, you are doing it for the gloating, and rubbing your other friends’ noses in it, all while hoping they understand the Chicken Little reference.

9. The Princes

When You’re 8: You care more about the princesses - their beauty, and ability to sing songs and act the way they did in the movies you love so dearly - than you do their male counterparts. You seek out your favorite princesses to get pictures with them and have them sign their names in your autograph book.

When You’re 20: Yes, you still love your princesses, just as much as you did when you were a child. But, you have to admit, when you see Flynn Rider’s smolder during the parades, you understand why Rapunzel would go weak at the knees. You fight with your girlfriends over who Prince Charming winked at, and every time one waves at you during a show or parade you convince yourself it was a marriage proposal. You yourself could be a princess.

10. The fireworks

When You’re 8: It’s the end of the day; you’re hot, tired, your feet hurt, and all you want to do is go home. Then, the sky lights up with bright, sparkling flames in all the colors of the rainbow as ‘A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes’ plays heavenly in the background. You are mesmerized, though you are unsure why. You aren’t truly able to appreciate it just yet.

When You’re 20: It’s the end of the day; you’re hot, tired, your feet hurt, and all you want to do is go home. But, you stay, just a little longer, just to watch those brilliant explosions. Then it hits you: How many times do children of all ages get to relive their fantasies played out on the silver screen? Or be touched – in real life – by the stories, characters, and themes they hold so near and dear to their hearts. You realize and appreciate for the first time, the true magic and whimsy behind it all, that can make anyone feel like a kid again without a care in the world.

11. Leaving

When You’re 8 & When You’re 20: Leaving is the hardest part. With all the fun you had and the memories you made, Disney World has become like a second home, where dreams come true, and magic happens. It’s enough to make you want to throw your body on the ground and thrash like a two year old having a temper tantrum. Returning to reality seems practically unbearable, however, the memories will last a lifetime, even if the trip doesn’t. And you can always return home, where dreams come true.

Cover Image Credit: Shelby Price

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20 Important Reminders For All You Girls About To Turn 21

The early twenties can be an extremely stressful time for women.

I have come to find that the years of my early twenties have been among some of the best years of my life.

Moving away to college, going to concerts and bars with my friends, wild frat parties, beach days, becoming a college cheerleader, getting my first real job as a personal trainer (offering potential for a career).

While these have been some of the most fun and exciting years of my life they have also been some of the most stressful. Pulling multiple all nighters in a row, and still getting a D on an exam, constantly taking two steps forward and three steps back, feeling a want to be independent, and the struggle it takes to get there, quitting cheerleading, anxiety about my post college plans, and fading in and out of friendships and relationships.

The early twenties can be an extremely stressful time for women. Women are two times as likely to suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder than men. Additionally, research shows that depressive disorder may be appearing earlier in life in people born in recent decades compared to the past.

I've compiled a list of things for all girls in theirs twenties to remind themselves.

1. No one knows what they're doing and if they say they do, they're lying.

So many women compare themselves to others, when in reality, you can't actually know what anyone is thinking, or more so what actually goes on in their life. So stop worrying about feeling like a hot mess comparing yourself to the girl who seems to have it all together.

2. Every minute you spend thinking about someone else is a minute you lose to spend working on yourself.

Facebook and Instagram stalking your ex-boyfriend or ex-best friend is pointless, especially if they're no longer in your life. Focus on yourself and the people you currently have around you supporting you.

3. You don't need to find your "future husband" right now.

You have plenty of time to find someone to spend the rest of your life with, which is a long time. Your life timeline is longer than you think, and looking for someone rather than looking for the right someone can be the difference between a happy marriage or a divorce.

4. Don't think of relationships as, "if we're not getting married we're eventually gonna break up."

Be thankful for the time you spent with or have to spend with that person. Cherish those memories while they last even if they may eventually come to an end. Remember, "when one door closes another one opens."

5. Do the things you love, break the rules.

Don't settle for a job you hate just because it makes you a lot of money. At the very least, continue to do the things you love on the side; painting, singing, dancing, football, whatever it may be.

Keep doing the things you love. It will be your saving grace and will keep you sane.

Don't be afraid to be who you are and break free from societal roles, it's OK to be different, the most successful people don't care what other people think and aren't afraid to be themselves and stand out from the rest of the world.

6. You need and deserve a break.

Work hard but don't burn yourself out. It's easy to get caught up in your daily grind, but take the time to do things that relax you, or go out with your friend.

Remember, you're twenty-something, not forty-something.

You're not tied down. Now is the time to have fun, make mistakes, and be reckless once in a while.

7. Put the time in.

With whatever you wish to achieve, put the time in don't expect life to give you handouts. Don't quit when it gets tough or you think you won't make it. If you put the time in and get what you want to do done, you will be successful in life.

8. Relationships are the hardest part of life, don't dwell on them.

Relationships whether its family, friends or a romantic partner, relationships are the hardest part of life. Just be attentive, listen to other people and hear them out.

Use your intuition and leave behind the relationships that are negative. Being nostalgic never helps, if you don't let people go you'll never be happy with your current life.

9. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

If the first two times you try something it doesn't work out, take a different approach. Trying to get something done the same way and failing each time means you're doing something wrong.

You'll ultimately just pick up learned helplessness. It's not that you're incompetent, you just need to take a different approach.

10. You most likely won't marry your first love.

This is generally the case, and it's OK. Sure, being "high school sweethearts" sounds all nice and mushy, like the perfect fairytale, and for some people, this is the case.

But it's good to experience different people. If I never had breakups I would have never found out what it felt like to be treated well.

11. You're not 16 anymore. Don't expect your body to look like you are.

You're no longer a teenager, your body is different, your hormone release is different, don't expect an effortlessly flat stomach, thigh gap, and size zero.

It's not gonna happen.

Your bones are bigger and your structure is wider and it gets more difficult to stay in shape as you get older. Focus on being healthy, not a size zero.

12. People who want you in their life will be in your life.

Don't waste your time on people who don't care, or constantly blow you off, put you down or hurt you. You don't deserve it, and neither does anyone else. If they don't make you a better person, if they don't make you happier, let them go.

13. If someone tells you "you can't" show them that "you did."

Don't let anyone interfere with your dreams, they're your dreams to achieve, and if you want something, and you put in the work it takes you will get it!

14. Someone will always have more.

There will always be a girl who's prettier, smarter, funnier, skinnier, richer, more athletic. Base your success off of how much progress you have made, not by comparing yourself to someone else.

15. Things are just things.

Things do not equal happiness. Experiences and successes do! Sure that new Triangl bikini is nice, and you deserve to treat yourself to tangible items, but at the end of the day, they are just things.

16. People change, and so will you.

Your life changes dramatically year to year, especially during your early twenties, a time of many new beginnings and opportunities. Things are inconsistent, and people change and move away. Don't let this upset you, and don't base your happiness on other people.

They're just people after all, and they make mistakes. People can't always be reliable.

17. Take it one step at a time.

I like to look at my life like driving at night. Your headlights can only light up a small portion of the road ahead of you. You can let what you can't see coming scare you, or you can follow the road as you see it and worry about the obstacles when they come into view.

This is something I try to focus on when I have anxiety.

18. It's OK to be selfish.

To an extent, yes. Sometimes I have a problem with putting others before myself, and yes this is a good thing in moderation. You need to be well for yourself in order to help others.

19. Follow your intuition.

Your gut feeling is more accurate than you think. If you have a good feeling about something, take a chance on it. Failure is better than wondering if you would have succeeded.

20. You will figure it out.

I know it's a time of so many uncertainties and financial instability, but just keep treading water and you'll eventually make it to shore.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr.com

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A Love Letter To Chicago

For those who are missing their hometown, you're not alone.


To my lovely Chicago,

Being the independent, adventuring seeking seventeen-year-old I was when applying to colleges, I wished nothing more than to get away from you. I felt like we need really needed space from each other and I needed to explore other things.

However, after our time apart there's just so many things I miss about you and I can't keep them off my mind.

It all started when I came down to South Carolina. I quickly realized just how much I was missing. No one knew what Portillo's was, let alone that their secret ingredient in the chocolate cake was mayonnaise.

Not only that, but I haven't had a good piece of pizza since we went our separate ways.

No one knows about deep dish let alone what Pizano's, Lou Malnati's or Giordano's is. Pizza used to be our thing, now I'm lost trying to fill that hole in my heart. I miss cheese popcorn with a sprinkle of Carmel corn from Garrett's. People looked at me funny when I tried to tell them about that. Little do they know what they're missing.

Being without you has created a hunger both literally and figuratively that can only be filled by the Windy City itself.

Aside from our romantic dinner dates, there are some things that people just don't understand about us. People don't understand my love-hate relationship with Lollapalooza and maybe it's a North Shore thing but no one else seems to understand the importance of the sides of Perry's Stage.

My true home was always the left side but I would rather be trampled trying to listen to the one Travis Scott song I know that to ignore this gaping hole inside of me. I also tried to explain my love for Water Tower and Oak Street. No one understands how the shopping you have is so much better than anywhere else. Old Orchard mall, you will always have my heart, but I haven't forgotten about your Northbrook Court.

I also miss your sports. The love Chicago has for its sports teams is something I haven't seen anywhere else. Not only is the support different here but I haven't seen any hockey player as cute as Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane since I left you.

I want you to tell Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant that I'm sorry I moved away but I did manage to watch a game on my phone one time but nothing compares to being at Wrigley. I miss you Wrigley Field. I miss you so much Chicago that I would be willing to cheer on the Sox's just to come home.

Also shoutout to the Bears, I haven't seen Pro Football since I left you and I picked a school without football because I could even think of supporting another team.

I want to let you know I made a mistake, I think the south is beautiful but I am missing you more than you could ever know. I wanted a real beach, only to find out that jellyfish stings really hurt.

Lake Michigan, you would never do that to me. I thought I hated your cold weather, but all I want right now is to see the grey-brown slush shoved to the side of the road that was once white beautiful snow.

I miss your people and their Midwestern charm. I wanted to reach out to you because this long distance has been really hard but I'm willing to make it work. I should've never cut you off. I'd really like to work this out and maybe we can talk it out over Thanksgiving or Christmas.

I love you Chicago and I'm sorry for taking you for granted.

Love your sad ex-girlfriend, Holly Malnati

PS. I'm crying right now.

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