Happy Tuesday! A great pleasure to have my friend, Keith, of The Disney Project back on This Happy Place Blog with this very sweet simple moment. Hope you love it too!
My personal history with Disney goes all the way back to my earliest days. My mom, a well-established Disney nerd decades before I was even a thought, took my brother and I to Disneyland every summer since we were born. Disney has always been a part of my life. It’s engrained in my genetic code. In fact, if you look closely, you’ll see a little hidden Mickey at the top of my double helix.
Because of that, I guess I’ve always hoped I would end up marrying a girl who also has a love for Disney. Someone I could visit the parks with for the rest of my life. “But Keith. What does this have to do with a simple moment in Disney?” Well, fine reader. Allow me to elucidate.
The year was 2009. The month, February. I was in Walt Disney World with my brother and oldest niece, but on this particular day I was visiting the Magic Kingdom by myself. Being alone meant I could ride the Carousel of Progress as often as I wanted, and amble about the park at a leisurely pace while on the never-ending quest for an Instagramable photo-op. At some point I stopped for a break near the entrance to Adventureland, and decided to people-watch. I remember that moment vividly: the smiling children, the sounds of the park. I even recall turning around and noticing the spires of Cinderella’s castle ascending into the blue Floridian sky. It was a lovely moment, and by itself worth being the subject of this article.
Before long, however, a couple sat down on a bench across from me. Nothing was particularly remarkable about them, so at first they didn’t warrant more than a glance. After a second look, I noticed that they were an older couple, and they were sharing a Dole Whip. The woman looked around after each bite, displaying a look of satisfaction one can only achieve after consuming that delicious dairy-free soft serve. I then noticed that the gentleman had a little Mickey Mouse on the front of his grey polo shirt. Suddenly, looking onto them felt like looking towards my desired future. It was the perfect metaphor for happiness: a couple who had presumably grown old together, sitting by each other’s side in the Magic Kingdom, sharing a Dole Whip. I mean, how much cuter can it get?
I smiled, took a photo of them in the least creepiest way I could, and meandered back to the Carousel of Progress.