The morning shone bright, the trees swayed in the wind, and the laughter of a charter bus of teenage students filled the air. After six hours of traveling from Austin, Texas to Orlando, Florida, we found ourselves only minutes away from our destination: Disney World. As we approached the gates, the laughing ceased and the awe began to set in our hearts. Ten minutes later we were off the bus in the parking lot of this place we had been dreaming of for weeks beforehand; laughing, jumping, excitement ringing sifting through the breeze.
â–º Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
I walked over to my group of friends; Alec, George, John, Elijah, and Carlisle. We immediately began planning what we were going to do first before lines became so long we spent more time standing than walking. Upon being released from the chaperones, we ran to the ride named Space Mountain. The line there already suggested a thirty minute wait.
While standing in line, we began to talk about our pasts; previous trips to the park and other parts of the world, family, friends, women, and the future. Before we knew it we had reached the front of the line and were anxiously awaiting our seats in the next carts. The ride lasted maybe a minute and a half (probably less). The ratio of waiting compared to the ride itself was unfair in itself! This became the topic of our conversation as we headed for the next ride: Buzz Lightyear Star Command. We were met with a line of an estimated two hours upon our arrival. Behind us, however, was a ride with no line in its midst at all: The People Mover. This simple ride took us around the park in two small carts, doing little more than allowing us to enjoy the view of the park. Yet, this ride, as simple and uneventful as it was, became the host for many of our jokes and most engaging talks of life.
After leaving The People Mover we began walking around the park, searching for some other form of entertainment. After walking for what seemed like hours and waiting in lines for rides that offered little satisfaction, we took a break, deciding to eat at a seafood restaurant on the far west side of the park. Here we began contemplating what it was we were going to do for the next two hours before the park closed. We had already done everything there was to do in the park; the shows, the rides, the sights. It was then that Carlisle suggested we return to The People Mover; that simple ride that had offered us so much joy.
We finished our food and headed back in the direction of the ride. Again, as it had been earlier in the day, the line for the ride was nonexistent. We boarded the cart and took our turn around, leaving only to come straight back on again. We repeated this process for an additional eight times. It was during this time that I realized why we had enjoyed this ride so much: for its simplicity. This uncomplicated ride personified the little things in life that bring us joy. There was no grandeur; only us six friends passing time together, talking about days we could still remember with the vividness of the present. It could revealed to me my own simplicity; how even if I had any and everything I could ever want, it would mean nothing without the friendship of a group of such amazing people.
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