A Letter from a Client
Mouse Unlimited sent Daniel Merritt and his family to Walt Disney World in late July for a magical vacation filled with lasting memories. Daniel was so moved by his visit to the Magic Kingdom that he felt compelled to write about it – and we’re sure glad he did.
Below is Daniel’s entire letter entitled, “Reflections on my Trip to the Magic Kingdom.”
Dreams do come true no matter what your age. I remember back in the late 1950s, as a young lad not too far removed from being the twinkle in my dad’s eye, watching with fascination as a mustached man named Walt Disney came over the airwaves of our black and white TV and talked about a “magic kingdom” where dreams come true and, no matter your age, you were still a kid. The place was called Disneyland in California. As the show Disneyland, then later The Wonderful World of Disney was beamed into our family’s North Carolina living room every Sunday evening there was always a picture of Tinkerbelle flying over, what I thought, was the most beautiful castle I had ever seen. It was Cinderella’s castle.
Walt Disney’s enthusiastic voice always captivated my young heart and the amazing castle would visit me in my dreams. As the fireworks burst over the castle, even though in black and white, it was vividly colorful in my mind’s eye. Every Sunday I daydreamed of going there someday, but knew it was just that… only a dream. In 1971 Florida became home to its on “Magic Kingdom” as Disney World opened in Orlando. While Cinderella’s Castle was geographically closer, it still remained a far away dream.
Decade after decade passed and my boyhood fantasy of seeing Cinderella’s Castle remained unfulfilled. Entering my sixth decade of life, and now with two grandsons, I got to thinking if my childhood dream is ever going to become a reality it must be now. Life is too short and passes by too quickly. It was time to cross-out one of the items on my “bucket list.”
The last week of July, my wife and I, my daughter and her husband and their two sons, took flight to the Magic Kingdom. Some may think I am over dramatic, but on the morning I stood before the entrance of what was once a dream, my heart beat within my chest with all the excitement of a little kid. Before the gate was opened a thrilling opening ceremony was held with all the Disney characters present to celebrate a new morning filled with new opportunities. As the gate at last swung open that would lead me inside the Magic Kingdom a booming voice filled the air, “Now let the memories begin.”
I guess I have become a softy in my old age, but as I with anticipation made my way through the gate and saw for the first time Cinderella’s Castle I had seen hundreds of times as a boy on TV, I must admit I was overcome with emotion and my eyes became moist. A flood of childhood memories washed over me. It was as if I was a kid again. A dream I never thought would happen was actually unfolding before my misty eyes. For me it was an awe-filled sight that I cannot describe. Maybe only someone from my generation can fully understand the emotions that welled-up within me. The whole week I was like a kid locked in a candy store.
After a week’s stay, the last night at Disney World was, to me, as moving as the first day. Gathered in front of the castle, along with a sea of people, we waited with bated breath for nightfall to come so we could see the closing-day fireworks. As the fireworks exploded over the castle in a kaleidoscope of colors I once again welled up with emotion. It was truly a sight to behold. As I walked away I was filled with both excitement for what I had seen and sadness that it was over. Though it was time to say good-bye, I was most thankful that dreams do still come true.
The Magic Kingdom was everything I imagined it would be and more. It was a trip filled with wonderful sights and sounds that will forever be etched on the canvas of my mind. It was a vacation all too short. I would encourage anyone and everyone who can make their way to Disney World to visit the Magic Kingdom to do so. It is truly a magical experience you will never forget.