What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone says, “Disneyland?” If your first thought is screaming babies, long lines, obnoxious tourists, or entitled children: we are obviously friends. But for the more optimistic person, one thing that describes Disneyland is magic. We all know it’s not real magic. We are well aware that it is indeed very manufactured magic, and in fact costs over $100 just to enjoy that tiny piece of manufactured magic. But there’s just that one moment. Maybe it happens when you first walk inside the park, or maybe it happens as you watch the fireworks at the end of the day. Nothing can describe that moment as well as the word magic does. That’s the moment I was aiming for.
For those of you that don’t follow my Instagram, last weekend my husband and I took a trip down to Disneyland to celebrate our anniversary. Not having kids at Disneyland seems to be the way to go. We were so physically exhausted at the end of the day that we barely made it back to the hotel. I don’t know how parents do it. Those
screaming adorable children with loads of sugar, plenty of energy, and a magical theme park? It’s just too much.
So clearly, I aimed to make it worse. I added magic into the bunch. I bought a pack of small flat decorative stones from the Dollar Tree and painted them red. I painted the black Mickey Mouse outline to one side, and the word “Magic” to the other. I think it’s pretty obvious this wasn’t a quick project. It took me hours to paint the word Magic on each rock. But I had high hopes for these little stones, so it was well worth it. My initial thought was that I would casually leave them all over the park, in the hopes that some adorable little child would find it, pick it up, and exclaim, “MOM! I FOUND MAGIC.” But do things ever go the way you plan?
In my case, apparently yes, they do. I thought my husband would laugh at my “vision,” all the while going along with it of course (as he is my biggest supporter). So when I started secretly leaving them in lines as we waited, I watched. The first time, no bite. The line moved too fast for us to get a glimpse of the lucky finder of my magic rock.
But then it happened. A little boy sees the rock; quickly, discreetly picks it up. He turns it over, and then over again. You can see his face start to question life. I mean, come on! He’s just found magic. When his mom notices, she asks what it is that he found. His response, in a quiet whisper (clearly so his sister didn’t steal his new prized possession), “Mom! I found magic!”
He will either keep that rock forever and ever, probably on a pedestal in his bedroom – or will forgot about it when the fireworks started that night and all his Disney dreams came true. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one I’m hoping for.
Throughout the day, we watched this scenario play out with different children. Most had relatively the same reactions, and it was heart-warming to watch. Needless to say, my Disneyland magic was more than just one moment. It was each moment I witnessed these children finding their magic.