When The World Needs Magic

I'll admit it; I'm having a rough time writing this week. The day-to-day world is not a nice place, and Orlando, Florida has had much more than its share of tragedy for the time. Yesterday, I called my boss to ask how I was supposed to write happy Walt Disney World stories amidst all the pain and horror the past week has held. In a calm and reassuring way, I was told that it was all right for me to take time to grieve, but reminded that the world still needs magic.

Dreamy and Tranquil Cinderella CastleA Magical Icon Cinderella Castle

Walt Disney knew how rough the real world was, from serving overseas as a teenage ambulance driver in World War I, to financial ruin, to having the people he trusted most turn their backs on him and shut doors in his face - he knew. Yet still, still this optimist with a utopian dream kept working to bring more magic and fantasy into the world. We are the lucky ones that get to experience and enjoy it.

We need magic when we're sad, and sick, and grieving. We need magic to show us that not all of the world is a harsh and bitter place. Even in the stories and tales that our favorite Disney characters inhabit there is evil, and there are villains that try to shut out the light. But like those Disney heroes, we must fight on. We use that Disney magic to carry hope, and to teach us, and our children right from wrong. We put ourselves in the place of those characters and escape into them time and again for inspiration, and support. We know that like them, we must work, we must battle for our happily ever after. They show us, that anything is possible.

Disney Heros Support and Inspire UsDisney Heros Support and Inspire Us

No, the world is not a safe place, and we've been sadly reminded that even in the midst of a carefully crafted utopian paradise bad things can happen. But on most days - Walt Disney World is a place that our fragile humanity can reach out and touch things that otherwise only happen in our dreams. We need a place that we can become an Ice Queen, or a Space Ranger, where Fairies flitter amongst the gardens and the nighttime sky lights up with a million glittering sparks. We as humans need magic, because when the rest of the world is so harsh and uncaring, our imaginations are sometimes the only place that we can escape the crushing distress.

When you experience good show at Walt Disney World, you're on a perfectly set stage with just the right mix to entice the senses. As twilight falls the lines between fantasy and reality blur and it can be transformative. It is magical. In our hearts we all lust for the feeling of innocence and the wonder we lost in our childhood. Disney provides us with the ability, if only for a moment, to experience pure joy.

Twilight Brings With It Another RealmTwilight Brings With It Another Realm

Do you have a "most magical" Disney place? Is there a place that you visit in your mind when the world gets a little rough? Or maybe one that you stop by on vacation and just sit down to take it all in? I think mine has always been the beach and gardens at Disney's Polynesian Village, it never fails to transport me away from all of the negative outside voices, and quiet my mind.

Leave a comment and let me know where you find Disney magic, and together we'll help continue to support one man's dream of a better tomorrow.

dlrodgers wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 12:21:

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Thanks for this post, we all do need a magical place to help us work through our fears, anxieties, and sadnesses. I find my Disney magic at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, sitting in the beautiful lobby late at night or sitting on the balcony of my room. I'm always surprised by, and thankful for, the sense of peace I feel when I walk into the AKL.

Lisa B. wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 12:59:

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Kristen, you bring lots of people joy with the HAPPY articles that you write. Wdwforgrownups is my happy place when things get tough. I visit my go to Disney website to read about my favorite place on Earth. By not writing, they win!

Kris1971 wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 15:16:

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Well done, Kristen. We all need a reminder that there is still magic in the world after a week like this! Thank you!

Stefanie wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 15:28:

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Very well stated. We always need a bit of magic. Disney World is a place where my children and I have made countless memories. My wish is for the family of that little boy to find peace. I can not imagine.

MOF wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 18:01:

MOF's picture

Thank you for your words Kristen... And yes, we still need magic to carry on ...

alicemouse wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 19:33:

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Awesome article, Kristen!

Jobuck71 wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 19:53:

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Thank you for writing anyways! I love the magic! My happiest place is to sit in the new Fantasyland and watch the fireworks. It is truly a magical place that I can't wait to get back to! Then there's always It's a Small World, the first ride I ever rode at WDW.

Gen wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 20:13:

Gen's picture

The fireplace on the 5th floor of the Wilderness Lodge. Thank you for writing this.

Lynn A Winkel wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 21:20:

Lynn A Winkel's picture

Thanks for such a nice article. I've thought about Orlando a lot this week. You all have had more than your share of rough times. But I know you'll pull through. Maybe it's the Disney Magic, but things will look up. I have so many happy places at WDW. My top one is Old Key West. It's like coming home. It's peaceful and brings back endless memories of our times at Disney. ❤️❤️

MrHub wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 22:34:

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Nice article Kristen.

On the balcony of our room at the Poly listening to the Magic Kingdom wake up while having a morning coffee with my honey.

Rebecca wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 23:11:

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Thanks for this heartfelt comment. My magical place is, interestingly enough, Main Street, sitting next to the bronze statue of Goofy. It's the first thing I do upon arrival to the Magic Kingdom and I am once again my ten year-old self! Happy memories!

MJB12 wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 23:44:

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Thank you for writing this. Made me cry.

Lillian wrote on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 23:53:

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Thanks for the reflection. This puts exactly how I feel about WDW. I like the quiet of the Beach Club Villa pool late at night. Also a hammock on the Caribbean Beach waterside.

Barbara wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 00:09:

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Disney truely is a happy magical place. My quilting teacher used to have a sign that said "leave your problems at the door". When I enter Disney I leave everything at the door. Disney is a very serene, beautiful place. It's what the world should be Happy and everyone is nice n courteous. We go every year for 1 week and I love it. My Husband, Son, his wife, son, our daughter, her husband and their son go. Thank you for making Disney the happiest place on earth. Your posts are great also.

JoAnn wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 00:31:

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Well written.
For years my favorite place is the bike/jogging trail between Ft. Wilderness & Wilderness Lodge. Quiet place where you may spot some deer. I remember when the trail was longer before the Lodge was built.

Kim G wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 04:49:

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I love the excitement when I first step onto the Magical Express on my way to whichever hotel we have chosen for the trip. The whole ride is magical and I love the anticipation of all of the fun that will follow. I switch over into "Disney" mode. I have to admit that the ride back to the airport on the Magical Express makes me shed a tear every time...

Cathy wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 10:46:

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Reading all the negative and dishearting and devestating news from Disney this week of course made my family and I so defensive of Disney.
Disneyworld is our "happy place". Disney is our escape from all the pressures and sadness we have in our lives. Our favorite place is the Grand Floridian. Just getting off the bus when we arrive and hearing the cast members say to us"Welcome Home", brings tears to my eyes. Turning the corner at the Magic Kingdom to look down Main Street USA, and the first look at the castle, well my daughters and I start crying with tears of joy, just to realize we made it back again! With all the sadness and disappointment in this world Disney is a utopia of "happy" for families that come together here. Disney makes a child so happy that she will bring her children there when she has a family. Disney makes me forget my two girls are growing up way to fast and they both have severe health issues and for the short time we are there we can forget maybe someday they won't be so sick. It's a memory that lasts a lifetime., it's a memory you carry in your heart on sad days and lonely days until you return again! The Grand Floridian is a magical place all in its self. From the arrival, the lobby, the smell, the wonderful cast members, the happy lady in Sandy Cove who will have a conversation with you like a member of your family that you only see once a year., the cast members at Sugarloaf that remember you from day to day and offer you a special drink that you have asked for in previous days. It's the band at night in the lobby, while walking to the monorail, it's the look on a child's face running to tell her grandmother she danced with Prince Charming!
It's a utopia of no matter what troubles there are outside that Grand place you are safe , you are hiding if only a few short days from all the stress of everyday life.
That's what Disney is to my family and I. So yes I have defended Disney this week, only to sound selfish, Disney has brought me magical lifetime memories and it truly is our "happy place".

Mary Lou wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 13:33:

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Thanks Kristin!

Your article and everyone responses are just what I needed to keep the Magic of Disney in my heart. Without it the world can be a very harsh place.

Standing on Main Street and looking down at the Castle at the close of the park, when most people have left and it's so quiet.

Bonnie wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 13:49:

Bonnie 's picture

Your article truly captures the spirit of Walt Disney and the world he created. It is an ugly world out there and WDW is one of the places to escape it and find the magic. For me, just getting on Disney property lets me forget the world around me for even just a little while. But the magic, I see that that in all the faces of the children as the watch, ride or play in awe at their Disney Heros and Princess'. If only we could take all that to the outside world....

jhugo wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 14:25:

jhugo's picture

Thank you for writing this. It is reassuring to know that I am not the only one having these feelings. Disney has always been my go to place when the world got stressful for me. When I stand on Main Street at look at the castle all my stress and worry fade away and for a short time I get to be a care free kid again.

Parrotheadphan wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 14:41:

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Great article Kristen! My happy place is strolling along the Boardwalk or any place in the World Showcase. I find both very relaxing.

Vettelover wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 16:10:

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Thanks for a wonderfully written article Kristen.

Patricia wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 16:38:

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My magical place has always been in front of Cinderella's castle next to Walt and Mickey. Walt is my hero. His wisdom and perseverance have always been an inspiration. When my husband was discharged from the army for his injuries we came to live here in Florida to be near Disney and it was my dream to work there and play there. We bought annual passes and we began taking our two young girls to play in the parks. Whenever life was getting tough, which was often as my husband healed and worked through his anger at losing his army career, we took in the magic and could forget everything else and just have fun as a family. Eventually I did get to work for this wonderful company until I got diagnosed with RA and it became too difficult to work. My heart broke to have to leave but the magic will always live on. Walt gave the world something so precious. It continues to live on generation after generation. It all started with a mouse was what he told the world, but more correct it all started with imagination and courage.

kcsgram wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 17:00:

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Beautifully said. As to the happenings this past week, there are no words. Only prayers.

Amy wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 19:04:

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I was on The Disney Dream when we found out my Dad had been murdered. I spent another day with the ship at Castaway Cay before we could disembark and return home. Even through the tragedy I still find the Dream is one of my happy places. We cruise almost every year and Castaway Cay one of those places I go in my head when I am overwhelmed by the sadness in the world. It was there for me when my Dad died and it continues to bring me happiness and magic. You are so right... The world needs magic. Great article.

JoAnn C wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 19:06:

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Well said, Kristen

Kristen K. wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 20:38:

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Thank you so much everyone for your kind words of love an encouragement.

Bonnie - you totally made me cry, I can not think of a higher compliment to be made to me that evoking the spirit of Uncle Walt.

Kathy Wight wrote on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 22:20:

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I know a special little three year old girl who is celebrating her "Make a Wish" trip at Disney World this week after nine grueling months of chemo and radiation following a diagnosis of kidney cancer. The smile on her face lets me know that the magic of WDW still exists, even in the darkness of the last couple weeks. Her latest scan shows no sign of cancer, and her tiny ravaged body is on its way back to health. Thank you Make a Wish and WDW for bringing magic back to this little girl's world. ❤️❤️❤️

JMed wrote on Sun, 06/19/2016 - 18:04:

JMed's picture

Great job Kristen!!! Thanks so much for sharing with us! I don't have one specific spot, I love just driving under that "Welcome" sign and being there within the bubble. But... walking into the MK will never cease to be magical!

Kelly M wrote on Mon, 06/20/2016 - 16:16:

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I have a tear in my eye. What a beautiful piece of writing.
Thank you.

My magical place is sitting on Main Street with a marshmallow wand, surrounded by my family waiting for Wishes. Waiting for that inevitable tear that comes When You Wish Upon A Star.

Also, on my first visit to Disneyland I was on Main Street for the fireworks and hearing Walt's voice on the street he dreamt of and walked on - magical is an understatement.

Marc wrote on Thu, 06/23/2016 - 20:07:

Marc's picture

There's something special about taking a soak in a large tub (bigger than I have at home) with a bath bomb.

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