Disney has done many remarkable things in its time. From daring to try the impossible with the invention of the theme park to creating one of the most recognizable brand names in the world, Disney has offered joy and innovation to millions. But intentionally or not, Disney has done one other thing: it has created a community.
With the rise of the internet and social media, our modern world is increasingly connected. Individuals are able to find others with common interests and share their stories, ask their questions, and give their advice. In this information age, the love of Disney has generated a rich, thriving community online. This “Disney web” offers advice, stories, and satisfies a bit of the longing for magic that draws its members together in the first place.
The desire to be a contributing part of that Disney web, to offer news and share stories in the hopes of keeping that magic alive, is one of the heart of Your Highway in the Sky. And at the heart of that magic, be it online or at the parks, are people and their stories. Sharing those stories is what keeps Disney alive for us; it nurtures our dreams; it makes us smile. And, on occasion, it makes us cry.
A week ago, we shared 3 special images and stories with our readers – the finalists in our Make a Memory contest. After a week of voting, there was no question that those stories touched hearts and made people smile. Every one of them spread a little bit of magic…but one of them came out a clear winner.
So, we are proud to announce that our winner in the Make a Memory contest is Jennifer Banks. Here is her story…
I saw the look in her eyes when she heard the marching band. She just had to dance. Julia was three years old and completely immersed in the magic of her first trip to Walt Disney World as she bounced along with “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” coming from the instruments. Her eyes were closed and her mouth was smiling as she spun round and round in time with the music.
Her eyes opened at the end of the song, and then she spotted her, crouching and peeking into the Mad Tea Party. Could it be?
“ALICE!,” she yelled in her toddler voice, and she took off running. Alice turned around and enveloped her in a hug meant for a princess. Julia didn’t want to let go. Together they walked back to the railing, chatting like old friends. Alice mentioned that she had been looking for someone with whom she could ride the teacups; would Julia be interested?
They frolicked towards their cup. I stood, amazed, snapping photos of them in a world of their own, spinning and giggling. As the ride ended, they joined hands and skipped off to the side under a tree. Here they spent a while exchanging more hugs and laughs, and eventually Julia slowly walked back to me.
“Who was that? It looked like you were having so much fun,” I said to her, still in awe of the events that had unfolded.
“Oh, that was Alice,” Julia beamed.
“She’s my friend.”
She took my hand and went back to dancing to the music with her eyes closed and her mouth smiling.