Number-One-Son Sam and I have an ongoing word wrestle using ‘technically’ and ‘practically’.
Me (because I want to do something and he does not): “But it’s practically my birthday…”
Sam (because he is an unyielding, miscreant cherub): “But technically, it is not.”
Right now, he would be telling me that ‘technically’ he is not a miscreant just because he disagrees with me on such occasions.
But practically he is.
(and it goes on…)
Anyway, Day Six in Disney was technically not our last day there, because we did sleep through one more night and had to get up the next day to catch a plane home.
But practically it was because it was the last day we were going to spend in any of the parks.
So we, of course, chose the Magic Kingdom.
Because, duh, that’s why.
I mean, if you are going to a place that pretty much all started with a mouse, you might as well spend your last day where the mouse lives.
So we did.
We went over, walked around, watched people, went on a few rides, and hung out for the afternoon parade on Main Street – which has that dragon that I cannot stop taking photos of. Seriously. That is one pissed off lady dragon. Plus she is rude.
Totally tried to take out Magic Kingdom Engine Co. 71.
But other than that, it was really fun to watch Mac watch the parade again.
And Half-Kid Jack (perhaps soon to be changed to ‘Bucking-for-51% Jack’) totally got into the parade in a big way by the end of the week.
All week, off and on, I was thinking of what I would want to leave you with.
You know, about Disney World.
I wrestled with deep things.
Like, I thought about the corporate-ness of it, and how easy it is to be cynical about that, especially when times are tough.
And I thought about Walt himself, and how he had such amazing gifts, but also how a lot of people focus on his complexities and darker bits.
But then I thought I might leave you with the funnier, somewhat ironic, moments of the week. Like when I was standing under a Starbucks sign in the Magic Kingdom and a man stopped and sighed and then practically growled his disapproval of “a Starbucks at Disney World!” as if this was a commercialistic intrusion of catastrophic proportions – in the middle of one of the most commercialized geographic locations on the planet.
Seriously. I almost spat out my Grande Iced Green Tea.
But none of that was what I wanted to leave you with … in my last post, on my last day there.
And then I realized that I’d shared a lot of my week through the eyes of my family, and it hit me. I knew exactly what I wanted to show you with my words and pics.
So the other night, just before 10:00, I went to Main Street.
On my own.
I stayed quiet, snapped a few pictures, and took in my absolutely favorite thing at Disney World.
Pause for quiet.
At the Magic Kingdom, where Cinderella’s Castle looms large, every single night there are fireworks.
They are accompanied by music, and narrated by Jiminy Cricket, and the crowd glitters with glowing Mickey ears, and balloons, and swords that sparkle. Kids sit on the shoulders of their parents and everyone seems to shed their adult selves and return to childhood, if only for ten or fifteen minutes.
Right there on Main Street.
The lights on the buildings are all dimmed, and the castle is softly lit.
And then the music swells.
And all through the park, over any noise of the rides and the crowds, you can hear a small child sing the song…
First star I see tonight
I wish I may
I wish I might
Have the wish
I wish tonight
We’ll make a wish
And do as dreamers do,
And all our wishes
Will come true…
And then other voices come in…
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart’s desire
Will come to you….
And then you hear Jiminy…
I’ll bet a lot of you folks don’t believe that,
About a wish comin’ true?
Well, I didn’t either.
‘Course I’m just a cricket, but
Let me tell you what made me change my mind.
You see, the most fantastic, magical things can happen.
And it all starts with a wish…
Then you hear the Disney characters, from Cinderella to Alladin, and their wishes…
I wish I could go to the ball…
I’m wishing someday my prince will come…
I wish, oh I wish I could be part of that world…
I wish we would never have to grow up…
Jiminy, someday I wish I could be a real boy…
Genie, I wish for your freedom…
And then Jiminy reminds us that any wish is possible, and all it takes it the courage to set it free…
And, at that moment, Tinkerbell – spotlit and radiant – flies from the tippity top of the tower of Cinderella’s Castle toward Tomorrowland…
And the crowd of thousands throughout the Magic Kingdom ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahs’…
And the fireworks, accompanied by an orchestra, begin…
Slow, and almost quiet at first…
Sparkling and building and booming and lighting and and colorfying the night sky over the castle…
It’s pretty dang awesome.
And, in the end, a whole children’s chorus sings to us about wishes again.
And Jiminy returns to remind us that wishes really can come true, if you believe in them with all your heart.
He says we will never run out of wishes because they are all shining deep inside of us.
Which, after all…
Is where the magic lives.
Thanks for coming along to Disney World.
And, as always…
Thanks for readin’.
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