Sunday, January 4, 2015

Disney and my Happily Ever After

My Mom taught me how to read in two ways - through newspaper headlines and through the big hardbound Disney story book we had at home. The story book contained the story of Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and many others. I loved leafing through that book since it had a lot of drawings in it and my Mom made sure I took care of the book and not tear it (I think it's still on one of the shelves at home).

So you can just imagine when they brought me to Disneyland in LA when I was just 4 years old. I was very much like any kid who goes to Disney - excited, happy, ecstatic, enthralled and I never wanted to leave. I don't remember much about what I did at Disney when I was four years old except that I always wanted to be carried or be on the stroller (at 4 I already didn't like walking around too much). We went back when I was 12 to visit Disneyworld in Florida and the only thing I remember from that trip was my Dad won a hat that had lights on it when we entered the gate (he's really very lucky!) and well we went to the shiny new Epcot Center.

I also had the chance to visit Disneyland Tokyo when I was a junior in high school when I was an exchange student. I was terribly shy then and went with my classmates. I certainly enjoyed the rides and I remember it was quite cold in Tokyo at that time. A few years back I managed to finally bring Miguel to Disneyland Hongkong when he was 12. We went with 2 of my dearest friends from high school and that was the last time I've been to Disney.

When we planned our #yolo trip to Japan we planned to make a trip to Disney the highlight of our trip (although I think the boys now think the highlight is going to Akihabara). We got our tickets online and so we breezed through the gates (skipped the long lines!) and we had the benefit of using fast pass to get in some rides without having to queue. It's winter in Japan, but the last few days the weather has been quite kind to us so we were quite shocked with the cold that greeted us at the happiest place on earth! Good thing the sun decided to go out so we managed to have a good time (clocking over 20,000 steps!).

The highlight of the day for me though was watching the parade. I felt overwhelmed with the thought that finally our tiny family has managed to come visit Disney together. My Mom keeps reminding me to go and enjoy life sometimes and not to overwork. I think the boys felt the same way because we all hugged after the parade.

We also had the chance to watch the evening show "Once Upon a Time" which was projected on the castle. Of course they showed all the movies which I grew up with Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, etc. and I realized that the last time I was at Disneyland Tokyo I was just 15 and had no idea what lay ahead in my life. I smiled widely because my second visit was with two of the most important men in my life right now - my handsome prince and my handsome baby prince, my happily ever after.

A lot of people would probably say that Disney just presents the ideal, I think though that each person defines his own happiness and I saw that in the many happy families I saw today at Disneyland Tokyo. The weather was really cold today, but the excited, happy, ecstatic, and enthralled kids (including me!) made Disney the warmest, happiest place on earth.

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