When I was participating in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World, an Imagineer told me a story about what he went through right after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
He stayed up most of the night, like many of us did, worrying and wondering if life or the world would ever be the same. He then remembered something his dad would tell him when his family moved or had difficulties, “When life turns upside down, head to the Magic Kingdom!”
In the early morning of September 12, this Imagineer drove to the Magic Kingdom and got into the park before it opened. The airports
If you have turned on the news in the last few months, you have seen anger, hatred, and threats of violence because of differing points of views.
Politics have divided so many of us that we have a hard time being with someone who might have different opinions and beliefs. It has gotten to a level where tone and rhetoric has caused a handful of disturbed individuals to lash out in violence and making threats of taking a life. This climate in the world, especially in the United States, has led many to wonder if this is the new normal.
I hope not. I believe it will get better. Until then, I am grateful that the world still has Disney.
Disney holds a special place in the hearts of people from all over the world. We all have a unique connection to Disney from watching a Disney movie with family and friends to making memories at the Disney parks. This is why when you go to a Disney park, you see people from all walks of life. Caucasian, Latino, Christian, Muslim, atheist, gay, straight, male, female, transgender, young, young at heart, disabled, or abled, it does not matter because we all love what Disney stands for.
Once you enter the gates of a Disney park, it doesn’t matter who you are, how you got there, how expensive your hotel is, or how many times you’ve been there. Everyone shares equally in the magic of Disney. The social constructs that once divided us get washed away as we pass under the sign that reads, “Here we leave today and enter a world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.”
Walt Disney created a place where anyone can pause their life, wish upon a star, and see the impossible happen. Elections, debates, and issues will come and go, but my hope is that when times get difficult we hang tough, grab a hold of each other, and head to a place where everyone can be childlike again.
Disney, for some, might just be a brand or a company. However, for those of us who understand the magic of pixie dust, pirates, ghosts, castles, and a mouse named Mickey, we know that this place can be a sanctuary from the storms of life.
The world is upside down, so how about we all take a breath and head to the Magic Kingdom…