Hi. My name is Lorna and I’m seven (work with me here). I have just spent the last three days in a land filled with magic and wonder and a lot of mice. Well actually just the two. I was in Disneyworld with my friends for the weekend.
My weekend went a little bit like this…
We arrived on Friday night after a four hour drive from Miami to Orlando through little towns like Lake Placid and Sebring (who had a real water tower with Sebring written on the side) and over the Everglades until we reached the kingdom of characters and fantasy. Arriving at the Wilderness Lodge, our Disney home, we were met with screams and laughs of excitement. Where did this noise come from? IT CAME FROM US BECAUSE WE WERE LIKE CHILDREN FOR THE WEEKEND. We left the real world behind and got down to some innocence and PG fun. And do you know what? It was one of the greatest weekends of my life. Reliving the childhood tales of princesses in puffy and sparkly dresses and seven little men who hum a little merry tune, made me cry with happiness. The stress and trials of life got left in the boot of the car and not to be let out until Monday.
The first night was spent with my mouth wide open in awe. It started with a journey across the lake from our hotel to the Contemporary resort right next to the Magic Kingdom where the most unbelievable display of fireworks was being watched by the 45,000 visitors to the park that day. It was unreal. No blog post could ever describe what it looked like or how it made me feel to watch such magnificance erupt from the sky. Even more entertaining and heart warming was the reaction of the sea of babies and children with little smiles as wide as Florida radiating joy from their faces. I was reliving a childhood dream and the age of 7, when I was obsessed with Cinderella and thought I actually was her. I had many dresses that I thought looked like hers. When I saw the real thing on Saturday I think my early attempts at styling were in vain but I give myself an A for effort. At 12 midnight we took the last boat back across the moonlit lake to our hotel with all the families who had just admired the spectacle. No wonder all the kids were up so late, their parents probably couldn’t get them to sleep with excitement.
Four very excited little girls climbed into bed on Friday night in anticipation of a day of what would be one of the most amazing experiences of our lives.
Entering the Magic Kingdom on Saturday morning nearly brought me to tears. This is Lorna in Wonderland, move over Alice, there’s room for both of us in the teacups. Within two minutes of entering, we encounter a Disney staff member who tells us he has something special that he wants us to be a part of. Automatically we are skeptical. Actually judgemental. Oh boy how we were wrong. He had seen us chatting to some of the Disney characters as we walked in, basically behaving like out of control 7 year olds. He then delivered the invitations of all invitations. HE ASKED US TO LEAD THE DISNEY PARADE WITH KERMIT AND MISS PIGGY. Well let’s say you could hear the screams in Dublin. This was a dream come true.
Two hours later we were back stage at Disney! The happiness was everywhere and as the parade leaders, we had to be the happiest people in the world. When the parade started my heart went into monobeat. The crowd was huge lining main street USA and the fantasy filled boulevards of Disney. We donned our best smiles and waved til our arms fell off. The crowd were snap happy and we were more than willing to entertain. We giggled and grinned and are now probably in thousands of tourist photographs all over the world. So this is what its like to be a celebrity, and I’ll tell ya, it’s hard work. The cheeks were sore from the smiling!
I cannot describe to you what it felt like to really live out a childhood dream. The weekend taught me that having a childhood is paramount to your life. Living with no cares and having something new to learn everyday, that now we see as trivial, but back then it was a challenge. One of the most enlightening parts of Disney is hearing how kids react to seeing this spectacle. The wonder and astonishment on their faces is heart warming and seeing just how this reaction makes their parents smile. It was an escape from reality where nothing mattered, not work, not life, just fun.
I will be eternally grateful to my parents for how they raised me and for giving me a childhood that has taught me to not forget that I was a little person once and all that mattered to me was refusing to eat brussel sprouts, falling off my bike, and singing along to “Frankie”.
Innocence is bliss. So make it last.