I am thankful that my friend who is based in Florida made it possible for me to visit what's dubbed as the Happiest Place on Earth. He was able to secure discounted tickets and took time off from his busy schedule for me to experience this childhood dream. We drove for about an hour from his home to the venue, and as we were about to enter the property, my smile was from cheek to cheek.
I was taking it all in. The tram ride to get to the Monorail Center. The trip on the ferry to the Magic Kingdom Park. The walk to the Main Square with Cinderella's iconic castle towering over the horizon, happy kids dressed in their favorite Disney characters. Tiny princesses were everywhere. Elsa. Ariel. Belle. Little boys wearing Mickey Mouse caps with his two round ears sticking out, their tees with Simba, Olaf, Alladin, or the Genie printed on them. There were stores that sell candies, toys, and more toys. The place was abuzz with laughter and the sound of rides. The kid in me was beaming with happiness. At that moment, it epitomized its tagline. It was the happiest place on earth.
We took some photos in front of Cinderella's Castle before heading further in to check what was in store for us. The rides were made for kids and the kid at heart, and as two grown adults, we didn't care that we joined the queue for It's A Small World, Tomorrowland Speedway, and Pirates of the Caribbean, among others. We also waited in line to take a picture with Andy and Jessie of Toy Story.
As the day came to a close, for our tired feet at least, we walked back to the Main Square to get to the parking lot through the monorail. In the middle of the Square was Pluto and we figured why not take a picture as a souvenir. There were two long lines, one from each side, that we thought it'd take awhile before it was our turn. As he was looking around, he saw a sign by the nearby Town Square Theater. It said that we could see Mickey Mouse himself for a wait time of 30 minutes. We ditched the line to Pluto and went to see Mickey instead. It was a half-hour wait well spent.
Mickey Mouse was in front of me and asked me if I like magic. He said he'd do a magic trick. He told me to pick one card from a set of four and not to tell anyone. I did, and he acted as if he were reading my mind, figuring the card I had on hand while one finger was scratching his chin. He ended up naming the right card then one by one flipped the others only to reveal the same suit. He let out that recognizable hearty laugh, and everyone joined in. That short moment was topped by a souvenir photo, one that is now in a Disney-themed magnet picture frame placed beside other fridge magnets from my other travels. It was there to remind me that do dreams come true even for those who are big kids at heart.