Leave It Outside the Berm


When Walt Disney and his team built Disneyland, they wanted to insulate guests from the outside world, so they constructed a "berm" to create this separation. The berm is a dirt wall that surrounds many Disney parks (particularly castle parks such as the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World) with the goal of visually separating the outside world from the one of fantasy and adventure within. While this structure certainly provides a visual barrier, it can have an impact emotionally on visitors as well.

Entering a Disney park can fill you with excitement, anticipation, and joy… but it can also provide you the ability to leave behind things that are hindering you and dragging you down. For a period of time, you are able to leave those things "outside the berm".

Castle with mickey ears

This year is off to a rough start for me – a health scare with my mother, elevated levels of stress at work, continued stress with trying to raise three kids – and, while none of that fully goes away, the sharpness of the emotional pain and the immediacy of that stress can be pushed aside…

It can be left outside the berm.

For my kids, they too have had challenges recently. Be it pressure from peers or from school and expectations to excel at all they do (which I am sure I am contributing to more than I realize). While at Disney, they experience less pressure and they also just seem to get along better with each other - sharing laughs and moments of awe. All of the elements that can push down their positive energy....

Can be left outside the berm.

While the internet and apps can be powerful tools (including Disney now pushing the use of the My Disney Experience app), they can also create negativity as it is easy to compare your whole self to only the parts of others they are choosing to present of themselves. The constant encroachment of social media, the news of catastrophic events around the world, the noise from the battle of opposing views on any number of topics…

Can be left outside the berm.

When you are inside a Disney park, just being you – all the positives and negatives – is enough. The attention and focus on what you aren't, what you are told is wrong about you, is less relevant….

And can be left outside the berm.



When people ask me why I continue to vacation at Disney, I often mention all of the things that the parks give me, all that I get out of them, and all of the memories made… but what can be even more meaningful is not what I gain, but what I shed. Fears, stress, insecurities….

All of these can be left outside the berm.

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