"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It's About The Memories

I love Pooh, but man do I miss Mr. Toad
I noted on Facebook this morning that one month from today will be the final day of our Disney vacation. I called that fact "bittersweet." I think I made myself misunderstood. I'm not dreading the end of the vacation I've looked forward to for so long. Sure, leaving the magical, totally fantastic and stress-free world of Walt Disney World and re-entering the real world via a drive up a massive eight lane super-highway is always a bit of a shock to the system, but it isn't ever truly sad. I never truly leave Disney, because Disney never truly leaves me. That's what this whole blog is about. I have real and vivid memories of Disney vacations going far back into my childhood, and this trip will be all about building upon them and creating new ones for myself, my wife and especially our son. I won't say I look forward to our vacation being over, but I know how much I'll revel in remembering it and sharing those memories once we return home.

I thought it was a bit of a fun coincidence when I found this article on a blog about the "mortality" of themed amusements like Walt Disney World. The author misses a few of the attractions at Epcot, Horizons specifically, and muses rather philosophic about his idea that attractions like this are "mortal" while so much of our entertainment is becoming "immortal" through the use of recording and electronic archiving. We'll probably always be able to see The Wizard of Oz somehow but once Snow White's Scary Adventures is closed and torn down, it's really and truly gone is his point. I'm not sure if he sees this as a good thing or a bad, but he says this is why he thinks Disney advertising has become focused on "Memories." I have to agree, and I think it's not a bad thing at all.

Selling "memories" is genius. It's good marketing, I mean who doesn't want to have and to give good memories? It's good business, but it's also DOING good. Our family will have a blast at Disney World. We will come home with mementos, pictures, stories and memories to last us a lifetime. No one can ever take those away. They are going to cost us quite a few dollars, but what else could we spend that money on that would last forever? Sure, we will become attached to rides and shows and attractions that are eventually upgraded, changed or completely replaced. But that's all ok. When we are in Fantasyland, you can bet I'll be showing John exactly where the submarines used to be, where the skyride station was and you can be doubly sure I'll be going on and on about Mr. Toad while we ride the Winnie the Pooh ride. Someday John will do the same thing with his children, pointing out where he used to enjoy this or that attraction that has "moved on." That's all part of the fun.

It really is all about the memories. Yes, this time next month we'll be on a busy highway somewhere in Florida headed north. But I don't dread that one bit. We'll be headed toward home where friends await to hear all about our trip, where we'll share our pictures and our stories over dinner and drinks. There will be calls to parents and grandparents. There will be MUCH blogging and re-living. There will be posting pictures on Facebook to brag about how much fun we had. I actually look forward to that part. And soon after we return, our friends will be headed to Disneyland in California and we will live vicariously though them and await their stories and pictures and excitement. It's all part of the magic, a magic that doesn't ever stop just because you aren't in a park.

And then...... well, and then it's time to plan the next trip :-)

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