When you hear “Disney World,” you think real life characters, parades, rides and moving trash cans. You also reminisce about the good old days, when a simple VHS tape would keep you entertained for an entire rainy afternoon, nay, for entire weeks, as Hakuna Matata was looping endlessly in your head. Your friends in school would all brag about this World they had been to, this magical place where the castles were real and the fun endless. And then, if you were lucky, one day, your parents plopped you in the car for what seemed like ages until, all of a sudden, Mickey Mouse heads started appearing out of nowhere, and many modes of transport later, you were part of the magic.
A few years later, the park didn’t seem that exciting anymore — the roller coasters weren’t very big, the lines could be outrageous, and for that price you might as well go all out at the mall with your friends. So when I was invited over spring break to spend a day at THE Disney World instead of
burning under the sun lying on a sandy beach, I was a bit hesitant. Luckily though, I chose to go (that’s me on the left, middle row above) with five Brown friends, and here’s why the experience was significantly better than it was years ago, after the jump.
There were no parents or younger brothers or sisters for me to worry about. Because none of the rides are all too intense, going with friends meant we didn’t leave anyone behind at Space Mountain (although I might think twice about the teacups). Even better, everyone was grown up enough that they could wait until 3 p.m. to get lunch. Coordinating FastPasses correctly meant everyone could have a go on their personal favorites, and no one got whiny as the long day went on.
Unexpectedly, some of the simulators and attractions like the Haunted Mansion are still as scary as ever. When a rabid, steroid-enhanced Stitch was spitting on the back of my neck, I still closed my eyes and screamed like a 5-year-old. And the
benefit problem with having a few more years past me is that I was more conscious than ever when I was riding around at 28 mph 300 mph in total darkness. Another secret: you wouldn’t believe the number of dirty songs in the Country Bear Jamboree — “There Was Blood On the Saddle” and “All The Guys That Turn Me On Turn Me Down” were a few gems.
And just when I thought it was all done, the parades and light shows hit me with the full dose of patented Disney magic. Since most of the costumed characters were roughly our age, they were always down for some impromptu dancing and special shout outs when they rode on their floats. And let’s be real: who doesn’t weep a little when Tinker Bell literally flies from the castle like in the movies?
Young adulthood in Disney World lends itself to an action-packed day with friends while regressing into childhood. You get to go back just enough to enjoy all the park’s features (even It’s A Small World.) So if you end up in the Orlando/Tampa area at some point over your Brown years, don’t discount Mickey — the memories are worth it.