Sunday I asked for picture requests for last night’s visit to the opening of Summer Nightastic! at the Magic Kingdom, with the Main Street Electrical Parade and Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular. Sadly, I only received one real request (I know you readers are out there somewhere!? ;)). However, while I was sitting on the sidewalks of Frontierland with my 19 month-old son plopped on my lap, I realized that I could take a million pictures, and certainly you can see a million pictures and video everywhere right now…but I cannot replicate the experience for you here in text and photographs.
Therein lies the magic of Disney in one of its many forms – holding your baby in your lap as your 11 and 9 year-olds sit next to you, to watch a parade you saw at their age…and haven’t seen since they were both your baby’s age. After you’ve wrapped your head around that math, pause for a moment to think about the layers of memories there. I can write about sitting on the warm concrete with the smell of smoked turkey legs wafting around me in the thick, humid air. I can try to pinpoint the moment when the music first hits the area you’re sitting in and you crane your neck to spy the first twinkling light. I can share with you the look of wonder and joy on all of my childrens’ faces as they witnessed the Main Street Electrical Parade for the very first time. But I cannot do it justice. It is simply something you must experience. Like most things at Disney, it is a multi-sensory adventure that is truly felt as much as it is seen.
Truly, to be a fan of Disney Parks, is to be a time-traveler. You can rewind the magic and experience it again and again. There is not a single time I visit Epcot or Magic Kingdom that prior visits and memories don’t come flooding back. In a world that’s ever-changing, it’s nice to have a place that has figured out how to keep time in a bottle. Sure, there are some things we loved about Walt Disney World that we’ll never again see…but it was just as important a memory for me to explain what was once there to my 11 year-old son as we stood in front of the old Fantasyland Skyway station. I’d give anything to ride on the Skyway just one more time with my children in tow, but at least now they know the history and what used to be. With the Main Street Electrical Parade, we are able to get ‘what once was’ back again.
So I urge you to get to the Magic Kingdom this summer. Whether it’s your first time seeing the parade or your 40th, how often do we get to rewind the magic and relive our childhood – or experience a whole new one? Even every 10 years is a long time to wait. Come on down and give your old memories some new friends.