The magic of Disney

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By Calen McKinney

I felt like a child again, with the excitement and energy of someone at least two decades my junior.

There was so much to see and do, from Winnie the Pooh’s house to Aladdin’s magic carpet to Peter Pan’s flying adventure.

I went to Disney World a couple of weeks ago to celebrate my best friend’s 30th birthday. She picked a trip to Florida to celebrate her birthday and wanted to visit Magic Kingdom, the home to one of my favorite rides of all time, “It’s A Small World.”

Two days before we hit Mickey’s house, we went to Sea World. We saw turtles, many, many fish, whales, birds, sharks, and, my favorite, the dolphins. While Sea World is also a magical place, it doesn’t have the sparkle that Mickey does.

For those of you who have been to Disney World, you know about the magic that’s in the air there. There’s just a feeling of excitement.

Or maybe that feeling is the stress-free environment provided by a vacation pretty far away from home. I’m going with the former. But that latter sure isn’t bad.

We arrived before the gates opened, so we waited with the other eager Disney fans of all ages, from infants to the elderly.

It’s amazing what people will do when on vacation. I saw men who had to be in their 80s wearing Mickey ears. And, no, they weren’t with their grandchildren.

Armed with a map of the place, we navigated our way through Mickey’s many lands of the Magic Kingdom. We rode rides, saw Disney characters, shopped at the gift shops and ate food from Mickey’s cafe.

The trip reminded me of another trip I took to Disney when I was much younger, this one with my parents and grandparents. I think we rode “It’s A Small World” nearly a dozen times.

I still have a photo of us all together, taken in front of Epcot. It’s one of my best childhood memories.

Everyone at Disney seemed to be in great sprits. Perhaps it was the special Christmas events, the rides, the parade or the fireworks.

Or perhaps Disney is just special.

I can imagine that those who work at Disney might get tired of hearing the same music all the time. But I never met anyone who appeared stressed or frustrated.

If they were tired of giving a tour or giving ride instructions for the 500th time that day, I never knew it.

All in all, the trip was great. I had lots of fun and made memories I won’t soon forget.

And, now, I have another picture of me in front of Mickey’s magical kingdom. But this time, I’m a bit taller and have a few grey hairs.

It was great visiting Florida, but even better remembering my childhood.