A little while ago, I ran a poll on Twitter asking what kind of posts you’d like to see more of from me. I’m sure most of the people who voted just voted on the general kind of blog posts they like reading from anyone – not me specifically (I don’t think I’m that special) but still, I like to take on board what people enjoy reading and try and cater to that. One of the most popular options was Disney. Which surprised me a little bit. I know there’s a humongous Disney community on Twitter but there’s also a humongous amount of people who aren’t that bothered about Disney or who like it but wouldn’t necessarily go out of their way to read Disney related blog posts.
I love Disney but I haven’t really blogged an awful lot about it. The results of the poll made me want to because Disney is and always has been a huge part of my life so why wouldn’t I want to blog about it more? Although I was a bit reluctant to churn out the good old, “favourite Disney movies” and “favourite Disney songs” blog posts because personally, I find those a little boring to write. Despite enjoying reading them on other people’s blogs. So I started brain storming Disney related ideas and I thought talking about what Disney means to me would be a nice post to write. Albeit, maybe a bit emotional.
So… if you don’t like Disney, probably best to skip this one! For those that do, I hope you enjoy and can connect and relate to some of the things I mention here.
I don’t participate in the Disney community on Twitter. I find it very cliquey and very, “well I’ve been to Disney more than you so I’m a bigger fan” (genuinely… I’ve seen comments like that before). I also don’t collect merch, I don’t own all the movies on DVD and I still haven’t seen Moana (okay, you’re allowed to moan at me for that one because I can’t quite believe it either). But to me, I don’t like nor understand the mentality behind that the more you own or the more times you’ve been somewhere, the bigger the fan you are. That just isn’t true. If something is important to you, it’s important to you.
So with that out the way, I want to explain why Disney means so much to me. I’ve never really thought about my answer to this question before so forgive me if this post is a bit all over the place whilst I try and coherently say what I’m thinking. Disney started when I was little. My parents allowed me to watch the Disney movies when I was a kid and took me to Disneyland Paris for the first time when I was 5 years old. Obviously I was too small to go on most things but what did I care? I was 5 and in the happiest place on Earth. I went back to Disneyland Paris again in the New Year of 2009/2010 with my parents and my best friend at the time and for the third time in 2011 with my boyfriend at the time.
I grew up with Disney and haven’t really known not liking or enjoying Disney. To me, it has and always will be very much ingrained into my very being. Disney means a lot to me because I’ve never had a bad Disney experience. The words Disney and bad don’t belong in the same sentence. And I’m just going on personal experience here of course. Each trip to Disneyland Paris was utterly magical for it’s separate reasons. My first holiday as a little kid, spending New Years Eve at Disneyland with the phenomenal fireworks, my best friend and my parents and finally, the first holiday with my then boyfriend, after I was diagnosed with anxiety.
Stepping into those parks each and every time have brought with it a sense of calm, happiness and a safe place where nothing could go wrong. Where the outside world doesn’t exist. Where characters walk around amongst everyone. Where dreams and fairy-tales are real around every corner. Disney reminds me that there is happiness in the world, that magic can be found and we also have magic within ourselves. It reminds me to laugh and that laughter is timeless. That it doesn’t matter how old you are, you should always embrace the child in you, have fun and believe in magic. Even if it’s for a short period of time. The parks taught me that and so did the movies.
Disney also gives me a very strong sense of nostalgia. A few years ago, I found the tap recordings my parents took during our trip to Disneyland when I was 5 and I did nothing but cry when I watched them. I’m actually crying right now whilst typing this, jeeeez. I realised that this was a special time for my parents and although I was too young and I don’t remember it, they do. And there will come a time where those tape recordings are going to mean a lot more to me than they do now. They also show me that I want to ensure I do the same with my kids, when the time comes.
For those that don’t know, I have a Peter Pan tattoo. I have the quote, “Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning” on my left hip. Clearly, I like Peter Pan judging by my blog but I love that quote so much because to me, Neverland is a place that we all need to have. We all need our own little Neverland; somewhere to switch off, to go to mentally when things get tough which is full of nice things and nice memories. Somewhere where we can be ourselves and not worry. Have fun, dream and imagine. And that, on a whole, is what Disney means to me. It’s a part of who I am. It’s me, it’s my childhood, my family and a lot of my memories and Disney will certainly stay with me forever.