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Where is the MAGIC?

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After the first full day of Disney, I was feeling weary.

All the saving and planning and travel and anticipation was followed by sweating and frustration and crying kiddos and lines, oh my. I was left thinking, “Exactly where is the magic?”

I think magic comes easy when you’re a kid. Easy to feel. Easy to see. But for the adult that bears the load of work and worry, well, maybe we need to look harder and deeper.

So, each evening I spent some time writing down all of the unique moments that I had experienced or witnessed that day.

Here is my daily journal of magic.

Magic is the daddy who is sweating through his cheesy matching family Disney shirt as he carries his little daughter on his shoulders so she can see the fireworks above the crowd when all he can see is the back of another sweaty dad’s head. She screams, “Ooohhhh pwetty!” The daddy smiles and says, “Yeah! Yes! So pretty!” He can’t see a thing.

Magic is a little girl named Abigail who was lifted from the ride by her daddy to her wheelchair and then winked at me over her mask because I was up next in her seat and the ride was intense!

Magic is Abigail’s mom and dad who prepared for this. The lifting, the planning, the patience. Never, ever letting Abigail feel anything but valued and worthy.

Magic is the 75-year-old couple celebrating their anniversary by defeating Zurg. Wrinkled, leathery hands on the laser gun, giggling and squealing together as Buzz Lightyear saves the day yet again. Major gave the elderly man a thumbs up when it was all said and done.

Magic is the momma who scraped and saved to bring her son to Disney. She brought their own packed lunch and used the water dispensers to fill up paper cups she brought from home. They laugh so hard together they can barely eat while they sit under a pergola somewhere in “France” for the evening. All they need is each other.

Magic is the hotel clerk who, when I asked if she had any ranch for my midnight wings after a very long day, without hesitation told me “Stay right here.” and then she ran… let me repeat… she RAN to the hotel NEXT DOOR and came back with a cup full of ranch. (We then embraced. Yes, we did.)

Magic is the momma who is weary and processing some disappointment and sadness from a long week but yet, she can’t stop smiling as she rides the most fantastic, immersive ride in Disney World. For 4 1/2 min she is riding a Banshee, soaring across Pandora and experiencing the world like never before. Nothing else matters as her kids laugh out loud and try to catch their breath right along with her.

Magic is the Grandma who knows this trip will be hard. She has a bad hip and no endurance to walk but anything is worth being present. The whole family looks up at Cinderella’s castle, except Grandma. Grandma’s attention is all on her granddaughter as her eyes light up.

The real magic has nothing to do with pixie dust and bibbity bobbity boo.

The real magic is loving someone so much you would do anything to make them smile, see them happy, hear them shout for joy and gasp in awe. The magic is being so willing to be uncomfortable and inconvenienced just to feel like a kid for a few minutes, just to feel immersed in a story for a moment in time.

As a lover of storytelling, Walt Disney World is the ultimate storyteller. What a gift.

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