It really is the most magical place on earth.
The common misnomer is the 'happiest place on earth', but that's Disneyland. My children cried at least once a day on our visit to Disney World, for various reasons depending on the day. So maybe that doesn't happen in California.
But it was truly magical.
When my children come face to face with the manifestation of their imaginations, when they meet the characters that they've only known in their favorite movies, when they watch Tinkerbell and Dumbo fly, when they can fight their own battle against Emperor Zurg - I'm telling you. Talk about pixie dust.
A fellow tourist said to me, "Now, how old are your children?"
"They are four and five."
"Well, my children are 11 and 13. We intentionally waited to bring them until they were older."
It's nice to meet you; I intentionally brought them while they are small.
I'm sure there are some definite perks to doing Disney Parks with children whose legs don't tire. On the flipside, there is also something truly unbelievable about taking children who are young enough to absolutely believe in every ounce of it. They never even ask if it's real; it doesn't cross their minds that something might be manufactured for their benefit. It's real deal.
They believe in it all.
And maybe I didn't just take them 'for them.' In part, I took them 'for me.' We needed some magic in our lives.
And it helps that Uncle Rob can make it all happen - the Global Puppet Specialist with the Entertainent Show Quality team of Walt Disney World (say that ten times) - can make it all happen.
I just have one small, teeny tiny philosophical issue with the WDW. The Dub-Dee-Dubs. (I just made up that nickname. Kind of proud of it. Smilling to myself... digressing.)
It's the whole push for every girl to be a princess and every boy to be a pirate.
Sure, there's a high degree of enchantment when you hand a girl a tiara, a boy a sword.
But if I may push the magical envelope, I don't so much dig the idea that girls should aim to be helpless, pampered, in need of masculine rescue, and - above all else - glittery beautiful and put on display.
And boys? By all means, hand them a weapon upon arrival. Let's set on a pedestal those who steal, rape, pillage, and poke each other's eyeballs out. That's definitely the little tourist I want at my dinner table.
Especially one who believes it can all come true.
Granted, Disney would lose a lot of revenue if they gave all little boys make-overs to become Prince Charming. But even the prince? What'd he do? He kissed a girl. She fell asleep; he kissed her. Voila. Hero.
Again, my hat is off to Rapunzel. Way to think outside the castle, girlfriend.