I miss being a kid.
There are often times where I lay in bed and just relive every little detail of my childhood. I miss the memories and the places I would go to, but I mostly miss that untainted joy I’d wake up in the morning with simply because I was alive. I miss that sparkling freedom and innocence I had when reality was still years away.
However, during this spring break, I was lucky enough to experience that childhood happiness once again when I went to Disney World.
The rides were fun, of course. From the thrilling drops of Tower of Terror to the blinding speeds of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, I screamed so much I lost my voice, and a part of me was glad I was old enough, and therefore brave enough, to ride these attractions.
But Disney is known for magic, and the thing that made it most magical for me was how it made me feel like I was eight years old again. And out of all of Disney World’s four theme parks, Magic Kingdom was the perfect place to rediscover that child-like awe and wonder.
I dragged my roommate to the Mad Tea Party and rode on “it’s a small world” simply because those were the rides I loved the most when I was a kid and though they definitely weren’t thrilling, it still felt like I was on top of the world.
I was also able to watch the nightly fireworks show they put on at Magic Kingdom. And honestly? That shit blew my mind.
They would project moving visuals from well-known movies like Moana and Frozen on the giant Cinderella castle while blasting nostalgic music and lighting up the night sky with dozens of fireworks. It was probably one of the most immersive experiences I’ve ever been a part of.
Yes, it was just a firework show, but Disney retold the stories that we all grew up with. They showed it in a way that made us feel like these movies and tales we love so dearly would live on for a long, long time. And as a huge fan of Disney and its work, that’s such a comforting feeling to me.
Oh, and I also started sobbing when they got to Moana’s story. But no shame.
Before hopping on the plane and going to Disney World, I was fairly sure Magic Kingdom wouldn’t be my favorite theme park. After all, it’s just princesses and fairy tales. I thought Hollywood Studios or maybe Epcot would be my number one contender.
But I get it now. Magic Kingdom is known to be the best simply because it embodies what the Disney experience is all about. There’s nothing quite like seeing all your favorite characters parade down the street or watching a childhood movie come to life before your eyes.
I’m definitely feeling the post-vacation blues right now. Not only because I’m no longer in Disney World but also because all these adult responsibilities have once again been shoved back into my face. Spring break felt like a break from this reality, a fragment of my imagination that had somehow come to life.
But after all this time, I think I’ve come to realize one thing – that little 8-year-old me that I thought didn’t exist anymore? She’s still in there. And to be honest, I don’t think she ever really left me.