Why do we love Disney? Besides being raised on The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, I wonder why I cry over a surprise trip to Disney. I mean, after all, it is an amusement park. At the end of the day, that's all it is. So why do people get married there, honeymoon there, plan extensive trips there-- even when they're grown adults?
Is it for the all-inclusive features like the resorts and meal plans? Yes, because those are awesome. But if I wanted all-inclusive, I could find some resort in the Caribbean just as well. What is it about Mickey Mouse ears that make grown adults want a pair?
As I spent the most amazing graduation trip in Disney World last month, I couldn't help but wonder why I woke up before my alarm every morning, ready to go by 7:30 AM with Mickey Mouse ears on, not afraid to look silly when I got a glimpse of Cinderella and immediately fan-girled. I know she's an actress- but what is it that keeps me believing she's really a princess?
I think it's because we all want to believe in castles and princesses. There's a reason little girls are enamored with the beauty of a real-life princess-- it's because, secretly, we all want to be one. Isn't it true though? Deep down, there's a part of you that wants to be a princess, isn't there? To be seen as beautiful, treated with respect and honor, pursued by true Love?
There's a part of us that stays a child, I think. As I get older, I still feel 18 sometimes. And when I'm in Disney, I feel 8 again. Back when I wanted to be a princess because Ariel didn't have bills and unemployment hanging over her head and Cinderella and her prince never had blowout fights and Belle never had to deal with social media during election season. (Yikes.)
There's something in me that's liberated when I throw on those Mickey ears, without worrying about looking ridiculous as a grown adult donning the body part of a rodent. There's a part of me that feels alive when I'm cracking up, running down Main Street, so we can make it to our FastPass for Space Mountain.
Life is hard sometimes and it's nice to be transported to a fairy tale, to space, to different countries around the world. Disney is wonderful but just remember, these fairy tales? We don't love them because they're make-believe. We love them because they tell stories of hope.
Cinderella gives us hope that the underdog can win. Mulan gives us hope that having courage is the right thing to do-- even when it's hard. Peter Pan gives us hope that even when we feel like the childlike innocence in us has died, there's still a part of us that never wants to grow up. Belle gives us hope that the ugly in others can be healed by taking chances on the monster people in our lives. Ariel gives us hope that sacrificing anything for love pays off in the end.
Within every Disney movie you watched as a kid, there was a story of hope. A story that made you believe in the good in life, as all wonderful stories do.
Remember that you have the ability to be the princess hero of your own story. May you live a life where the story of your life give hope to the readers of its pages.