“If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It”: The Magic of Disney

Jenna Leon, Opinion Editor

Photo: Jenna Leon
Millions of memories are made each year at Disney World in Orlando, Florida

You have probably experienced one of two reactions when asked the question, “If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?”

Either you know right away that you would chose Beyonce because, well, she’s Beyonce or you sit and ponder who has had a big influence on your life or who would have the coolest stories to share with you because their life experiences have filled them with wisdom that may be beneficial to you.

I normally fall into the latter category when attempting to make this decision.

As I walked through Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida a few weeks ago, I passed a quote from Walt Disney himself. Honestly, I don’t even know what the exact quote was but the first thing that came to mind was if I could go to dinner with anyone, dead or alive, it would be Walt.

I was two years old the first time I went to the movie theater and saw Monsters Inc. I almost lasted the whole movie without tears. (I cried, not because I was scared, but because Boo had to leave Sulley.) This was the first time I had come in contact with Disney’s works on the big screen. From the princesses, to

Mickey and Minnie, as well as Winnie the Pooh, Disney created something that added happiness in a world of hate, tragedy, and hardship; he created magic through film, entertainment, and design.

Before this February, the last time I had been to Disney World was elementary school. I remember eating in Epcot with Mulan and I was ecstatic to have her sign my passport. I remember driving the race cars around Tomorrowland Speedway… and then driving the race cars around Tomorrowland again. I remember eating, or attempting to eat an entire turkey leg handed to me by a character dressed like Fred Flinstone. I remember going to see A Bug’s Life in a 4-D theater and hating every second of it due the artificial sensation of bugs crawling on my legs. This was one of the many times my family was back in Orlando using our lifetime hopper passes and staying in the Grand Vista Resort that was right down the road. Waiting in the 90-minute lines for each ride was worth it every single time. The whole park loomed over me with this spectacular sense of imagination and uplifting spirit.

And that is exactly what I felt almost nine years later.

And that is exactly what Walt Disney wanted. Starting in 1928 with the first animated film to star Mickey Mouse and to feature synchronized sound, to now, Disney and the wonderful people that follow in his footsteps strive to achieve the impossible. But not just for kids, for all ages.

As a young adult I still felt the magic. Epcot has always been and always will be my favorite. This time, I left my coloring passport behind and took in the miniature versions of countries, that promote the interest of exploration, travel, and cultural acceptance. The park made me excited to go to college and study abroad because there is such a huge world full of opportunities around me. All these years later, and it was still completely worth it to stand for 90 minutes in line for the five minutes of Soarin’, an around-the-world simulator that features a hang glider and a surreal experience.

I loved the monorail, just as much as I did when I was five and the amount of people young and old wearing Minnie Mouse ears was amusing.

The point is, Disney accomplished something extraordinary here. He made magic in the midst of all the chaos that goes on in our daily lives, and for that I thank him.

There are Disney parks and resorts in seven different locations globally: Orlando, Anaheim, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Japan, China, and Paris. Each one is unique but serves the same purpose with the same mission statement: ““The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.”

If you haven’t been to Disney World in Orlando, Florida or Disneyland in Anaheim, California yet, I highly recommend going as soon as you have the chance, even as a senior in high school.

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