Every since childhood, I have been inspired by the masterpieces of the Walt Disney company. Their stories are filled with beloved characters and memorable songs. Like most children, I wanted to be a part of the magical worlds of Disney, and the Walt Disney World parks have always been a source of great fun.
This summer, my family and I decided to take a trip to Orlando, Florida. Disney provides great adventures, but traveling with my parents is an adventure all its own.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
My mom constantly questioned my father’s awareness as he drove us, and every time he would try to assure us, “Yeah, I’m awake. I’m okay.” Next thing we know, he nearly hits a car…at a gas station! So we held our breaths to Florida, but we soon realized that driving in Orlando is a heart attack waiting at every turn.
It was not that bad when we first got there, other than not knowing where we were. All we had was a map. No, not on a phone—we had a paper map– from ancient times. Yep, you can just imagine the confusion. We finally managed to find our way to the condo we booked beforehand. We went into the quaint little condo at the Westgate Palace, but we realized quickly that there were NO coffee mugs, a television that turned off and on by itself at random times, and glass plates (Travel tip: Don’t ever microwave those!). What to do? Find a Wal-Mart, of course! That was another suicidal trip waiting to happen. Thanks to our trusty map, we drove down what felt like every road in the city trying to find a Wal-Mart. As we drove back to our condo, I asked my parents, “Whatever happened to our GPS unit?” Everyone became silent as my mother reached down and pulled it out of a cluttered box. Let’s just say that little device was a God-given blessing for the rest of the trip.
Mom and dad had to work a couple of days, but on our play day we chose Disney’s Epcot park. As I said earlier, I loved Disney as a kid. Though I am now a teenager, I still believe that Disney can somehow reawaken that inner childlike thrill of exploring its imaginative worlds, and deep down, I hoped something in Epcot would spark that magic again, but I remained somewhat skeptical. Sure, there were breathtaking rides like Soarin’ and Mission: SPACE, but nothing like seeing Mickey Mouse for the first time when I was five. The real attractions at Epcot are the different sections of the park that are based on various countries. From England to Morocco to our own “home of the brave,” park visitors can experience the different cultures, foods, and shows from several unique countries. One show that awed me was the American Adventure, an animatronics reenactment of the history of the United States. It really showcased how much we take our freedom for granted. It was never given to us; we earned it through many struggles. I walked out with even more respect for this country and its troops. I enjoyed it all, but the real spectacle at Epcot is the Illumination fireworks show at the end. A giant globe appeared in the massive lake, and when it started spinning, videos began to play on the continents. As the fireworks colored the black sky, it celebrated our accomplishments as human beings, our personal ventures, and our history on this planet. It was indeed an experience that rekindled the Disney magic within my heart.
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