We had had reservations at Outback Steak House, which had become our traditional Valentine’s Day dinner out. Well, not really reservations, because places no longer believe in those. They want to be surprised when people show up and then understaffed. Of course, you also lose business because people told that they will need to wait forty-five minutes for a table sometimes becomes a little extreme. The best they will do is write your name down on a list and the time you will be there. However, when you get there that doesn’t really mean anything, at all.
Anyway, that isn’t what I was writing about, just a disclaimer announcing that I did have plans for Valentine’s Day.
The day started with a trip to IKEA to pick up the wall unit for my study along with some things for the 9-year old’s room. Once the van was loaded up, we headed to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch, a quick trip inside Downtown Disney so Char could purchase a jacket that wound up not being there, and then we were heading home to prepare for our evening out. We didn’t even have to worry about the little one as one of her friends was having several friends sleep over. We were childless with no curfew.
And then the joke was made. “You know, we have those passes for Disney, we could always start using them tonight,” Teri said with a slight giggle in her voice.
The rest of us just turned to stare at her, even the one driving. You could feel the excitement bubble up in the car and Teri knew she had just made a joke that was taken as a serious suggestion. You see, you don’t joke about Disney with the rest of us. We’ll be loaded in the car and ready to go before the words have finished passing you lips. We’re not Disney freaks so much as enthusiasts. It’s taken us some stern looks and tapping foots to keep the kitchen from being made into a Disney display of cookery. Or the bathroom. I do have Disney toppers on my van’s antennae, however.
So at eight o’clock, we had picked up a couple of friends and were on our way to the Magic Kingdom to spend our Valentine’s Day. It had been the first time Char and I had been there in about a dozen years. For Teri it had been about eight and Sarah about five years since they had passed through those special gates. We were all giddy and more than ready for the experience. We had no plans, no specific ride we wanted to enjoy, and no timetable other than the park closing at one. We just wanted to go.
We hit Main Street and were stuck there for about the first hour of our visit if not longer. And we weren’t regretting it, at all.
Disney has a show called Celebrate the Magic, a fantastic light and video show that uses Cinderella’s Castle as the screen. It is amazing. In giant proportions and full color, an array of Disney movies new and old dances across the castle walls, stopping everyone in their tracks and capturing the attention of even the hardest ride-goer. You have to watch. And we did.
We also cried. Well, the girls did. I’m hardcore. I just sniffled. The moving display before us stirred the emotions of each and brought back memories that had been growing dust in the corners of our minds. We were there. The Happiest Place on Earth. I know there are those anti-Disney people for whatever reason, but if you allow yourself to let go, this place holds a wonder that no other has and it grips you. I can see why this was always my mother’s escape when a break from reality was needed.
So there are no more jokes about going to Disney, because we’ll go. Tonight. Now. Cancel the plans. It’s time for some magic.
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