You might guess from the title that I’m referring to a memory from about 20 years ago – but no, in fact I’m recalling my first visit to Disney World when I was 26 years old, and I cried.
It just happened all at once – all these feelings welled up inside me – years of anticipation and waiting and then finally I was there, and before I knew it I was crying.
Let me start at the beginning. When I was a little girl, like most little girls, I loved Disney movies. I adamantly, until a rather late age, refused to watch “people movies” (as in, movies with actors) and I saved up all my birthday money for my next big VHS purchase. By the time I was 10 or 11 I had quite the collection.
I still remember the first one I bought; Robin Hood. I was seven and I had a crisp $20 bill to burn. I had received it in a birthday card from my grandmother. I remember I was seven because one of the little characters in the movie (a rabbit I believe) was celebrating her seventh birthday as well. See? Specifics people!
And then of course there was the Sunday Night Disney Movie. It might sound extreme but I didn’t grow up with cable (no Dawson’s Creek, no 90210, no MTV/Music Videos, no Gilmore Girls… you get the idea) and as a result I miss a lot of pop culture references. But the good thing about this was of course that you actually anticipated the times of the week when we got the bunny ears working, and either Saturday morning cartoons came in through the local CKWS station, or or or: the coveted Sunday Night 6 pm slot when Disney was on after dinner. It was the best.
So the other thing is, I come from a family with kids who are all pretty spread out in age; there’s 6 years between my middle sister and myself and 13 years between my oldest sister and I. So by the time I was old enough for a family vacation, my oldest sister had left for University and my middle sister was at that age of finding a job and having hobbies and sports to show up for. Also, vacations were really expensive. What I’m saying is, since I was born, we never took a family holiday. Not once. And I lament it to my mother at every chance I get, clearly
Hence the tears when I finally made it to Disney World. All those dreams of wanting to go as a kid, finally coming true.
I’m a 26 year old – a grown adult – it’s 8:00 am and we’ve arrived before the park is even opened up. And the thing is, if you get there at this time, they do an entire show at the front gates. Mickey and the Gang roll in on this train, and through a song and dance they tell you how happy they are you’re there. So I’m standing there with my fanny pack around my waist (it was a leather one but a fanny pack none-the-less) and my squeaky clean white running shoes tied with a neat little bow, and I’m surrounded by families with kids in strollers and I can’t keep the tears of happiness back.
The funniest part however? I was there with my cousin. The closest friend I had all through childhood. Anyway, I’m trying to conceal my tears from her, when finally I steal a glance in her direction and I realize she’s got mascara running down her face. At that moment, when we understood what was happening, we both started crying even harder. But that’s not all – as we’re mopping each other up, we turn around and notice a woman standing just behind us – she’s crying too!
So what I’m saying is, I’m a really big kid at heart. Also Disney World; good for all ages like the pamphlet says.
(I kissed him and then he got shy ^^^ )