Ask millions of people, two mice and me. Disney is more than you think. Yes, there is magic in the air, that’s a given. And there is childlike wonder and troubles forgotten. There are smiles and sighs and moments of pure joy. And through it all there is romance.
Just go with me here.
Surely, Walt must have known what he had created. He must have strolled those streets and understood what he had done. The lands of Disney, lit by stars and lanterns and backed by an endless soundtrack of memories and promise, are pure romance in its most innocent form.
Miles Davis knew this. So too, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck and Gene Simmons. Yes, that Gene Simmons. That’s why you’ll find the songs of Disney in their respective canons. They bought what Walt was selling and in turn they peddled it themselves. Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs and there is nothing wrong with that.
You get lost here, in the Happiest Place on Earth. You let yourself go. In quiet moments your mind wanders to dreams and smiles and the girl on your arm, and you find yourself, as I did, on one knee beneath the shadow of fireworks, kneeling at the base of a castle surrounded by streams and beds of roses and bated moments of silence.
The longest moments live between knees and yes.
It is a place of magic and fairy tales. There is a hope of possibility in the air and it engulfs you with every breath. For a brief time the lines between your life and your dreams blur and become one. You are drunk without drink, and it spreads with rapid and loose abandonment.
It is as if you have been picked up out of the cubicle of daily routine and placed in your favorite movie, alongside dreamers, stars and champions. It feels right. You belong. Everything you did before your arrival was but a stepping stone to get you here. To get you to this moment. You are reminded of the plans you once had and who it was that you thought you would grow to be. And maybe you are, if just for a moment.
Perhaps you spot a Princess out for a stroll, deep in thoughts of kingdoms and ballrooms. Perhaps you spy your hosts sharing a private moment away from their guests. They too can feel it. It is not the romance of lust and the meaningless fancies that fill our daily lives between commercials for Las Vegas and lingerie. It is the romance of knowing that there is good in this world and that you want to share it with someone, even if it is just holding their hand across a moonlit bridge. It is the magic of promise for better days and the righting of wrongs. It dares you to imagine what life should be and encourages you to make it so.
It is family, like Walt intended, if such a thing can be considered romantic. I like to think that it can.
For more on the Happiest Place on Earth please read the following:
All photos by Whit Honea, Tricia Honea or some Cast Member with my camera.