I remember when I was a very young boy watching The Wonderful World of Disney, seeing Tinkerbell fly over Cinderella’s Castle, imagining if this really did happen! I would see her with Walt Disney as he discussed his plans for his new theme park which was being built in Central Florida and would be called Walt Disney World. To me, all of these plans were truly Magical and I would day dream about seeing this for myself one day if I was lucky.
Having grown up in a small town in Western NY, I was never accustomed to anything so special as this. My parents divorced when I was very young, and my mother took care of my sister and myself, and we didn’t have the money to take vacations out of our small town. A vacation to us was visiting our local theme park called Midway Park or visit our beautiful Lake Chautauqua. To a young child, I thought that Midway Park was a gigantic theme park and there could be nothing better. Of course, I knew of the state of Florida, but I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever be able to visit there because we would have to drive over 24 hours to get there or take a plane flight that we couldn’t afford. I never thought this dream would ever happen!
Well, a young boy’s dream did come true when his mother re-married and we were then able to take a special vacation. Yes, we flew to Florida so that we could go to Walt Disney World. I was beyond excited, for one because I was going to fly on an airplane for the first time in my life, and most importantly because we were going to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, and this is where Cinderella’s Castle was and all the other lands that Walt Disney would tell us about on his TV show that I faithfully watched.
We arrived and the day came when we were to visit the Magic Kingdom. Oh my gosh was I so excited and was probably driving my family crazy with the anticipation of our arrival. Fast forward, we arrived at the park in our rental car and parked in a lot that we had to remember as being called Goofy. We boarded a tram that took us to board what was called a monorail, and wow I thought I was truly dreaming! The monorail toured us around the property, and we went through the middle of one of their hotels called The Contemporary Resort Hotel. Wow, my eyes were probably as wide as my head and couldn’t believe what I was seeing! We got to the main entrance of the Magic Kingdom and entered the park with our theme park booklet of tickets – A thru E, with E tickets supposed to be the most exciting attraction to see. I ran with anticipation to the Magic Kingdom gate and there before me was Cinderella’s Castle! Was this real and did Tinker Bell really fly over the castle at night?
When I thought my day couldn’t be more Magical, the fireworks lit up the sky over the Castle and before my eyes, Tinker Bell flew over the castle and fantasy became reality. I was in awe. This story ends now with a 57-year-old man who still believes in Tinker Bell and the Magical world called Walt Disney World. One is never too old to believe in their dreams, and not only did I live them as a child, but I was blessed to call Walt Disney World home as a Cast Member for many years. Even though I have retired and went on to other adventures, I still believe in the magic of Disney!
I would love to hear your stories about how Disney affected your life like mine, and how your dream became a reality. Please write me back by making a comment at the end of this blog. Who knows, one person may receive a surprise from me in the mail – a Snack Pack gift basket – from Mouse to Your House. I am looking forward to hearing from you!
Written by Rick McMasters