Travel

Main Street, USA

When my dear friend Savvy & I were little baby freshmen at USF {literally six whole years ago}, we started a tradition: run away to Disney & escape all responsibility. Picture this, it’s finals week & we had an Intro to Theater Final the next day… We weren’t too worried. So I brought up the fact that we could go to disney if she wanted? Friendship solidified. We learned that day that we had more in common than just Tswift, Star Wars, makeup/hair styles & avocados. {please enjoy these photos of us from that time & how we have definitely glowed up}

When Savvy & I first met, I’m pretty sure she thought I was straight out of a Sorority Recruitment video… I mean I don’t blame her – my first words to her were “OMG you’re so pretty & I love your blonde hair! Did you go through recruitment too?!” Oh Amanda, what a way with words. She luckily looked past my Malibu Barbie facade & agreed to dye my hair for me one night because I was in big need of a root job. She walked into my dorm room, opened her laptop & said “I hope you like Tswift… cause I do.” The rest was history. We’ve been through many heartbreaks together, many highs & lows with friends surrounding us & even tackling adult world states away. Over the past couple of years, even though we live farther than ever… our friendship has really stood the test of time.

Like I said, this past weekend we went back to Disney while she was in town visiting The Sunshine State & we couldn’t help but reminisce about everything. One thing we both agreed on is that Disney has something for everyone… Food, drinks, adventure & magic. Ohhhh the magic!! I can’t begin to count on my hands how many times I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Disney World. {My dad has a kick ass job & benefits while working for The Mouse} Even though I’ve been so many times, it’s great to see how the park changes based on who you attend with.

Take Savvy & I: theater minded foodies who love roller coasters & adventure, but above all we’re dazzled by the magical aspect of the parks. We started our journey at Pandora: The World of Avatar & decided that the 240min Banshee Ride wait was NOT worth it just quite yet… We rode the Kilimanjaro Safari & saw SO many animals, met Pocahontas & gushed about John Smith, rode Expedition Everest… but honestly, the best time of all: Disney shows. Disney is known for it’s theatrics, right? The magic of Disney really wouldn’t be as magical without the shows & parades spelling out our favorite stories we grew up with in person. Our personal favorites include The Festival of The Lion King, Finding Nemo: The Musical, Fantasmic, Beauty & The Beast & OF COURSE THE MAGIC KINGDOM CASTLE FIREWORKS!!

It’s something about those end of the night fireworks that make all the long lines & walking millions of miles across the parks incredibly worth it. Savvy & I had a crazy day full of musicals, roller coasters, yummy drinks & laughter… we reminisced about the past, dreamed about the future & just appreciated all that we had to be thankful for. As we waited in the darkness with thousands of other park goers, the first dramatic light flash of the castle made us gasp with awe. The music, the fantastic lights & the stunning fireworks display bring back the fondest childhood memories as our most beloved characters come to life on the castle. While Disney changes the show seasonally, the one we saw this weekend brought the most inspiring feelings to life.

I distinctly remember a moment where the villains lit off so many fireworks, that the castle appeared to burn down, leaving smoke & embers for just a silent moment… Rising from those ashes, came the spirit of Mufasa from The Lion King & the audience was in a unanimous hush. He spoke the infamous words to Simba,  “Look inside yourself, you are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the circle of life.” Hercules then emerged, singing how he’d go the distance while other characters came to life, dancing as lasers on the castle. Finally it culminated with tinker bell flying out & sprinkling pixie dust so the audience could go live their own dreams.

It was moving. It made me feel like I too hadn’t finished my journey in life yet… that I had to go my own distance to find where I belonged. While many of my friends argue that “disney is for kids,” I don’t ever want to be so old that this park & the love behind it never gives me goose bumps. The park is magical. The buildings, lights & characters are magical. The feeling you get while reliving your childhood is magical. The fact that you can find new dreams  & be inspired to continue living them, is magical.

Disney, I firmly believe, isn’t just for little kids, but all ages… & someday, I’m excited for the chance to share that with my own family. Many of my fondest memories with my parents & siblings stem from our time at Disneyland & Disney World. Although I live in the adult world now, full of bills & responsibility, I never want to grow up too much. I want to enjoy life. I want to keep my childhood dreams alive. I want to live through the boys & girls in awe of their role model that’s come to life at Disney. That’s what I want, honestly. The constant feeling of happiness & magic in my life the way that Disney brings it…  So thanks, Savvy. Thanks for being a fellow disney lover with me & for all those great years of friendship. I’m so lucky to have a friend like you in my life, even though it’s WAY TOO far away. Love you forever. x -A

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