So let me try and explain to you why I’m so into Disney, and Disneyland in particular. Because people ask me all the time and I have to sort of redeem myself as to why a forty-something year old man wears so many Mickey Mouse shirts and takes so many trips to Disneyland. These are the people that just don’t get the Disney magic.
Mostly, it’s because of the little moments I’ve experienced there and the memories of those moments that live on with me and serve to lift my spirits, a perfect example of which happened to me just the other day. I was having an absolutely horrendous morning. I’d worked a 12 hour shift the day before, didn’t sleep well, and was still up at five in the morning to do it all over again. To top it off, I had a headache, I was running late, and my girlfriend had left me with very little gas when she used my car the night before, so now I had to stop at the gas station as well. Add to all of this all of the people on the road with me that don’t know how to drive, the ones blocking intersections because they’re too impatient to wait their turn, having to fight the traffic in front of the high school, and just the general lack of courtesy on the road and I was ready to about kill somebody.
Out of desperation, I stopped at the grocery store to grab a donut for breakfast and some snacks to get me through the work day. Factor in only one check stand open and having to wait in line for the guy buying a 40 ounce Bud Ice and a pint of hard alcohol at 7:30 in the morning, and you can imagine my mood. Suddenly, I became aware of the song that started playing over the PA system, and I had to smile. Not just a small sly smile, mind you, but a huge ear to ear grin that lightens my mood a hundred fold. The song in question was Frankie Valli’s, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”, and while the song itself is a great song, it in itself was not the reason for my mood change, but rather the memory it sparked. A memory of a few months prior during my last trip to Disneyland with my mom and my son for my birthday. A trip that in itself held many great memories, but one that this song in particular stirred up.
It was a warm Friday night. The fireworks had just ended and my son absolutely HAD to run back to Tomorrowland to see a ska band called “Suburban Legends” that was playing at the Tomorrowland Terrace. Fighting the crowds (and I mean fighting!!) we made it over there in the middle of their set, and my son quickly disappeared into the crowd. I hung back and watched and they were actually very good and I was really enjoying the show. They did a bunch of Disney covers and even sang the theme to “Family Matters” before breaking into….you guessed it…”Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”. I tell you, the fun these guys were having and the dancing they were doing on stage was infectious. All I can say is it was a magical moment and at that second I didn’t have a care in the world. I was a million miles away from jobs, bills, mortgages, everything! And the best part? I got it all on video and got to share it with my kids at home a couple of weeks later and it was just as magical. So standing there in the store that morning as the song came on took me right back to that moment. The smile spread and all was right with the world again. And it’s because of the multitude of moments like that and the memories and feelings they invoke that I love the whole Disney experience.
There’s something magical about being there that brings about a euphoria for me like nothing else. Here’s the video I took….you tell me if it doesn’t get you smiling.