Monday, March 19, 2012
The first day there we sat down front for the Fantasmic show. I just LOVE that show!! It's all about using your imagination and good beating evil. There we were, crammed in with a bunch of people watching as Mickey kicked the witch's butt, the music soared and out came the Mark Twain with Steam Boat Willy at the helm and the crowd roared!!! Instantly, we weren't black, white or Hispanic, Christian; Muslim or Jew; Asian, European or American; liberal, conservative, democrat or republican; we were all little children excited to cheer on Mickey!
It occurred to me that Disney is an entirely different world. In an increasingly volatile world, the "Happiest Place on Earth" is an oasis on non-violence. Aside from some of the rides, pirates fighting, Brier fox tying up Brier rabbit, and of course the eternal battle of Pan vs Hook; the most volatile thing is a cranky baby who is waaay past due for their nap. There is a unity of childhood wonder that over takes everyone who enters and brings a smile to your face.
There was the large, I mean 300 lb large, gangster. He was tatted on every spare inch of skin, including his shaved head, and huge gages in his ears, very scary looking dude. Something was so sweet to see him trying to squeeze into the itty bitty car on the Pinocchio ride. As his excited precious little 2 year old princess, literally, she was dressed as a little Disney princess, urged him to, "hurry up daddy"! Can't help but smile at the scene!
Then there was the grumpy teenager who obviously was NOT happy about having to wait in line with his little sister in order to "see" Minnie. When it came to their turn, Minnie held her arms open wide, the little girl ran to her. After a big bear hug, Minnie motioned to the teen to come over and get a hug. For an ever so brief moment, the chip on the kid's shoulder fell off, he relented and gave Minnie a hug. He couldn't help himself and broke into a huge grin. I hope his parents were quick with the camera because it didn't last long.
Finally, how about the boat load of strangers, who were just soaked from a plunge down Splash Mountain. As they are laughing and happily singing along to Zippty Do Dah, look up to see the passing train. They wave and the train load of strangers smile and wave back! In what world does this happen? In Disney's world, that's where! I think it was because, that train full of people knew what had just happened to us and why we were laughing. It was a unity of shared experiences.
As we hear so much about bigotry and division in America and the world, how is it that we all come together at Disney? Maybe it is that we all have that childlike wonder in us no matter how old we are. I believe that's what the Bible calls "childlike faith". We all want to believe that good always beats evil, that there is good in all of us (except Disney villains). To understand that we are all more alike than different. Laughter has no language! How could we change the world if we noticed good, if we were excited, cheered, smiled, hugged, waved and laughed with strangers? We should all strive to bring a little Disney into the real world because (everyone sing along) "it's a small world after all!"
I'm living on the eighth day, right now!