I'm a Disney girl.
Oh, I don't run around sporting the characters and I don't know all the trivia. But the magic of Disney has been a part of my whole life. Disney land opened when I was four days old, and in my childhood the TV shows were not to be missed. My family didn't go to movies much, but I would usually get to tag along with someone's family when a new came out. Didn't make it to the park 'till I was 10.
Living just down the freeway, my kids had a different experience, especially my youngest, and annual passes became a part of our lives. We have all learned a lot over the years: map reading skills, line and crowd patience, and about the magic.
You find the magic of Walt's dream woven throughout the park. It is in the details. When your eyes roam you often notice little bits of detail and decoration so that, no matter how often you go, you can still find surprise and delight. It is in the constant music that always adds to the sense of place. It is in the almost obsessive attention to keeping it clean.
And it is in the story.
Every path you walk down, every ride you ride, has a story. You feel that even if you don't notice it. I became acutely aware of this recently because I noticed a few exceptions.
Now I'm not talking about the rides that are just zippy, flippy fun action rides, though those often have a story as well. But I'm thinking more of the classic get in a decorated pod on a track and go through the story ride. It can be a wild ride through the western mountains and almost getting blown up. It can be seeing so many experiences through Pinocchio's eyes, and then that elusive glimpse of the blue fairy near the end. It can even be going through all the countries of the world, and right after you pass through the US everyone is all in the same beautiful white and gold land singing together. (So we are the closest thing to heaven?)
So, these exceptions, well, I really don't want to name names, but...
There are a couple of the more recently added rides, oh, 5 years or so, that don't have the story. Oh, they have sequential scenes based on a movie or based on some characters, but that is all it is, a series of scenes. You ride past and think 'Oh, look, that's the part from the movie where...' and you come out thinking about how cleverly they handled the technology, but you don't feel you went on an adventure. They ride didn't have it's own story.
And that matters, and I will say it again and again, so much of who we are, so much what we remember and how we think of ourselves, depends on the stories we tell. And for all the detail and the wonder and special effects, stop telling the stories in the Disney rides and you have lost the heart of Walt's magic.
And in the magic of our own journeys through life remember: details matter, music sets the mood, cleanliness makes things nicer, and always, always, remember to tell your story.