Welcome to the Magical Blogorail. We are a group of bloggers who have come together to share our love of Disney. As you follow us through this month’s loop, you will find at the end of each post a link to your next stop. Feel free to follow our blogs, add your own comments, and share our blogs with your friends. This month we will be sharing with you our favorite Disney theme park. Thanks for joining us and enjoy the ride on our Magical Blogorail!
Somehow, when a group of Disney fans starts talking, it always comes up. Magic. No matter why we find ourselves at Disney, we look for the magic, that little difference that makes Disney someplace special, someplace worth visiting over and over again. Disney specializes in that magic. Each of the four parks at Walt Disney World in Florida interprets it in a different but equally wonderful way, and that diversity offers something special for everyone.
When I first returned to the Disney parks as an adult, I knew which interpretation of “Disney magic” was going to be my favorite. I’m a humanities teacher passionate about history and culture; I’m a bit of a foodie, and I love live entertainment. Epcot was going to be my favorite park.
I was wrong.
It actually took quite a few visits to WDW for my husband and me to make our way back to the Magic Kingdom. We weren’t in a hurry; we did want to go back there, but it was the oldest of the four parks at WDW, and it was targeted at a younger audience. Finally, however, we did make it to the Magic Kingdom, and it was there that I once again discovered what Disney magic really meant to me. The Magic Kingdom is unquestionably my favorite Disney park because it offers a perpetual sense of magic, wonder, and discovery that none of the other properties provide for me.
From the opening welcome to the closing fireworks, the Magic Kingdom is a park targeted at transporting its guests to a better, gentler place, at tapping into all of the hopes and dreams of childhood and bringing them to the surface in guests of any age. As we grow older, the idealized visions of our childhood world are tarnished by reality. We realize that customer service is a valuable skill set for making profit. We realize that adventure often carries disaster in its wake. We realize that happily ever after isn’t that easy. We realize that the America of our grade school history books never really existed. And we get used to living with those realizations. The Magic Kingdom challenges all of those real world “facts,” reviving our optimism and our dreams. It reminds us of “what should be” without making us abandon our knowledge of “how things are.” It frees us to believe in a better future and inspires us to improve our present.
Walk down Main Street as the park opens, and you’ll find yourself welcomed by smiling cast members lining the streets – not to sell you anything, just to welcome you “home.” Visit Liberty Square, pause to read the plaque at its entrance, and you’ll find yourself overcome with patriotism and pride for an ideal that, even if it never existed, remains something to strive for. No other Disney park inspires me in the same way. No other Disney park sets me free to dream and dance in the streets with such abandon and joy. No other Disney park convinces me so completely that we can only triumph by believing in the power of our dreams.
Beyond offering the freedom to believe in dreams you thought forgotten, the Magic Kingdom offers an unending stream of experiences and surprises in a way I have not encountered at other parks. The Magic Kingdom is Disney’s “Flagship” park, and it shows. Every time I visit the Magic Kingdom, I find myself encountering shows, entertainers, and events without consciously seeking them out. As I move from one attraction to another, I inevitably find myself caught up in some new, wonderful “thing” that just happened to be starting as I was going by. Those unexpected encounters, bits of fun and joy are the ultimate defining factor in Disney magic for me. Only the Magic Kingdom creates a world where amazing things just happen without planning or coordination on my part, and that is pure magic for me. I tend to echo Tiana – “what you give is what you get.” Most good days, in our out of the parks, come from being informed and knowing what you want to accomplish. But I don’t see the Magic Kingdom that way. It does not require me to plan and seek out wonder; it drops it all around me every time I visit. It allows me to return to the childish belief that wonderful things just happen, and all I need to do is enjoy them. For me, there is nothing better.
I think the Magic Kingdom will always be my favorite park. In it, Disney has managed to create a sense of magic that frees me from my worries and cares. It remains the flagship park of Walt Disney World, a place that offers an opportunity rediscover why life is worth living, not just surviving. The Magic Kingdom feels like home – that place where you’re safe and accepted – and it will remain my theme park home.
Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Magical Memory Planners!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ Your Highway in the Sky (you are here)
2nd Stop ~ Magical Memory Planners
3rd Stop ~ Adventures of a Disney Princess
4th Stop ~ A Disney Mom’s Thoughts
Final Stop ~ Walt Disney World: It’s Not Just For Kids
If you’re still hungry for great Disney articles, visit the Magical Blogorail website, and take a look at all the wonderful blogorail loops waiting for passengers!