When my boyfriend and I went to see Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. All I knew was I was excited.
Like any typical show on ice, there were plenty of axel jumps and death spirals, as well as flashy outfits and some very impressive backflips. It almost felt like a glorified Winter Olympics figure-skating competition, minus the judges. There was an elaborate stage set, a castle that lit up and blew smoke and shot off fireworks and even turned inside out to reveal a classic, Small World (after all). There were traditional costumes and funky costumes and even costumes that blew my mind (try
skating around blindly inside a giant shark outfit. Or being bent over on hands and feet inside the ever-beloved Pumba costume).
But it was more than just people dressed as Disney characters skating around an ice-rink. Being one of the few couples there without a kid in tow, I felt lost in a sea of awe-struck children. But with my Nemo hat on and my anticipation buzzing, I might have been the biggest little kid in the place (okay, okay, maybe not the whole place, but definitely our row). I sang along to my favorite Disney songs and swayed to the ones I didn’t know (which weren’t many). I ate popcorn and cotton candy and eyed the princess mug the girl in front of me held tightly. I clapped eagerly when my favorite characters emerged on-stage and felt slightly miffed that Pluto was nowhere to be found. I even found myself disappointed at the end, not wanting to leave, wanting more.
I’ll never forget the first time I visited Disney as a kid. As my family and I stood huddled together one night, watching the Magic Kingdom castle light up, preparing ourselves for the firework show that was coming, a tiny light appeared in the upper-most window of the castle. Tinkerbell flew gracefully out the window, flitting off somewhere into the night. At that moment, my biggest dreams were confirmed: magic did exist. From that moment on, I never lost that overwhelming feeling of hope, the innocence and excitement of believing. There are definitely times where I lose it momentarily, but then something wonderful always comes along and brings me right back.
It’s important to grow up. Life, exciting as it is, brings with it responsibilities and (hopefully) maturity. There are jobs to do, bills to pay, errands to run. There are important things that take precedence over having fun and cutting loose. But that doesn’t mean you ever have to give up the magic, the giddiness, the child-like fascination. Live your life, do all the menial things that come with responsibility, be mature and levelheaded. Just don’t ever lose the sparkle.
And if you ever need a reminder, just pop in a Disney movie. I recommend The Great Mouse Detective. Or The Brave Little Toaster. Or Beauty & the Beast. Or Alice in Wonderland. Or The Little Mermaid. Or The Lion King. Or Fantasia. Or The Sword in the Stone. Or Aladdin. Or Mary Poppins. Or…