"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

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Magic Worked

Before we left for Walt Disney World I wrote about how much the lovely and talented Lisa needed this trip. The stress of work was getting to her in a way I'd not seen in a long, long time and she desperately needed to get away. I didn't say it then, but one of my big concerns was that she wouldn't be able to "let it go" and be truly away. I was picturing emails and texts about Town of Oak Island issues making it impossible for Lisa to relax and leave the real world behind.

As it turned out, that wasn't a problem. Lisa seriously limited the number of times she checked her phone for messages and when she did check, there were no problems or even questions waiting for her. Her co-workers and even the elected officials left her alone, and I am eternally grateful for that. Lisa was free to let Disney work its magic, and magic happened. We got our relaxed and happy wife and mom back, and it was magical. 

My people at a jaunty angle, waiting for the First Order
Driving to Cary for John's final marching band competition and leaving from there turned out to not be a very bad detour at all. The show was great, John and his band competed well and we all left excited and happy by about 7 pm. The drive to Disney wasn't bad at all from there, just a straight shot down 95. South Carolina seemed to last forever, but with Little Steven's Underground Garage on the Sirius for company, I was fine driving while Lisa and John got a little sleep.

We used the online check-in option, so Disney had texted me our room number in the afternoon and we were able to head straight to our room catch a few hours sleep before heading out to our first park, Hollywood Studios.

We got there just after lunch time and were immediately sucked into the magic. Hollywood Studios
Chewie & my peeps
has been very Star Wars-ified, and in the very best way. Lisa got to see her Muppets and I got to meet Chewbacca and introduce him to my family. The weather was beautiful, and it stayed that way our entire trip. We were all a bit sleepy, but stayed to see Fantasmic and were all pretty pumped up after seeing it. Lisa and I got to see John completely blown way by the show and talking about how he wants to come work for a theme park's entertainment division making shows like that happen. We all crawled into bed happy and ready for day two at the Magic Kingdom.

Our Keys to the Kingdom Tour was unbelievable. By now we were all firmly ensconced in the magic of WDW. Instead of worrying about work, Lisa was looking with complete amazement as a few Disney princesses showed up right next to us in the Utilidors under the castle on their way to a show. We spent the afternoon riding rides and the evening experiencing Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, staying in the park until midnight.

Rockin' her new F&W shirt :-)

My people outside France
Tuesday was Epcot Food & Wine Festival day, and we had a ball. By now, I'd even stopped wondering if Lisa would have to deal with some emergency or issue from home. I can't tell you for certain it wasn't in the back of her mind, but it didn't seem like it. We rode Soarin' twice back to back, grabbed a quick bite and drink from the little food counter in The Land pavilion and took the boat ride through the greenhouses before heading over to Test Track and then beginning our F&W experience at the Festival Center next door. Lisa got "sipping chocolate and a pretty new shirt and we headed off for World Showcase and all sorts of munchies.

We ate and drank our way around the world, we popped back to Future World for a ride in Spaceship Earth and took another lap of the food booths. We all decided to forgo the Illuminations show in favor of a relatively early bedtime and beating the crowds out of the park. I gotta say here, bus transport to and from the parks was easy,quick and hassle-free.
Yep, we were having a good time :-)

We like hats

By Wednesday, we were all completely relaxed. Lisa was a different person from the week before.
Perusing the Tiffins drink menu
We enjoyed Animal Kingdom from open to close in a completely relaxed and easy-going manner. We never had to rush anywhere, we stopped to watch all the street performers we saw, we enjoyed the beauty and intense themeing that defines Animal Kingdom, and we had a leisurely and delicious late lunch at Tiffins. Lisa may have mentioned once or twice how no one from work was contacting her, but it was in the context of being able to completely let go. Seeing Animal Kingdom, including the safari, at night topped off what was probably our favorite day of the entire trip.

I just love these two.

Lisa likes tigers. Grrrrr.

Off to tackle Everest and face the Yeti!

We had to leave the bubble Thursday, but went to the Magic Kingdom first and got to see it decked out for Christmas. I loved it myself, but seeing the old wonder and happiness back in Lisa's eyes that morning was the absolute best. We had a truly Stites Day, riding the Peoplemover around twice without getting off, enjoying lunch in the new and amazing Skippers Canteen and finishing off with the Christmas version of the Jungle Cruise, now called the Jingle Cruise for the season. Oh, except
Christmas Magic!
that we saw Elena of Avalor being welcomed into the pantheon of Disney Princesses on the Cinderella Castle stage on the way out. Oh, and on our way fro Tomorrowland to Adventureland earlier, Minnie Mouse interacted with Lisa from the float of a parade we stumbled across by posing and waving just for her.

See, it's those kinds of things that still get to us, Lisa and I. Whether it's seeing Chewbacca or waving to Minnie or staying on the Peoplemover for another lap or riding Expedition Everest in the front, back and middle all in the same day or having Tinklebell magically appear with us in photos or seeing Mickey and friends open the park, the unplanned magic is what sucks us in and allows us to completely leave the world behind.

Fantasy merges with reality and dreams come true at Disney World. Yes, it's not a budget-conscious trip. Yes, it's a longish drive. But some people spend that much money and all sorts of time on anti-depressants and doctors' visits trying to cope with life. Me, I'll take a dose of magic for myself and my family. Four and a half days in another world is pretty priceless if you ask me, and seeing it completely turn my frazzled and stressed out love back into a happy and relaxed and smiling woman is worth more to me than anything.

1 comment:

  1. Your wife is amazing and we are proud of the job she does for us. Can't wait to see the relaxed version you brought back to us ;)