Hello to all of the wonderful DIS readers out there! How are you doing? Have you killed any of your family members yet while stuck with them in quarantine? No? Good job!
I think we can all agree that this has been a huge time of uncertainty for everybody. For many, such as myself, it is the most unprecedented event in their lives. This is difficult for many different reasons: some are now facing job loss; some are sick, or have sick loved ones; some have mental illnesses that make social isolation particularly hard; and many face other hardships. Dealing with these new challenges is hard. Everyone has different coping methods to get them through these seemingly endless days. My coping method is Disney (and if you’re here, then yours probably is, too).
I would like to take this time to appreciate this coping method I have readily at my disposal. When Walt Disney created Disneyland 65 years ago, he did so as a way to bring parents and children together, and to remind adults of the child still inside of them. Did he know that almost 70 years down the road it would turn into a worldwide phenomenon, with fan bases all around the world, and fan-made places (i.e. the DIS) where we could all gather to talk just about what he created? I doubt it. I’m sure he had high hopes, and Walt was nothing if not a man with high ambitions, but I think even he would be stunned to find out just how many people revolve their lives around his company.
Throughout my short 21 years here on Earth, I have found myself eternally grateful to Walt for creating a company that has become such an integral and important part of my life. But during this pandemic, I find myself more grateful than I ever have been before. Disney is lifting my spirits now, more than ever, in this time of grave uncertainty. I find myself often turning to my favorite ride when I feel like this will never end: the Carousel of Progress. The beloved Sherman Brothers song is now a mantra in my head, reminding me, when I am deep in a social isolation-induced depression, that there is a great, big, beautiful tomorrow. Arguably Walt Disney’s favorite saying also plays in the background of my mind, to keep moving forward.
Turning to more recent Disney works and ideologies has worked just as well as turning to ones Walt had direct contact with. I find myself, along with many others, turning to, some might say, the queens of isolation: Rapunzel and Elsa. I have found respite in these newer Disney works, watching and rewatching my favorite princess and my favorite queen deal with isolation. Though I’m 21, and a grown woman, I turn to these beloved Disney royals to teach me how I can get through this hard time without going insane.
I also turn to all of you: all of the contributors, readers, and, of course, the staff of the DIS. Reading everyone’s articles about using Disney to cope with the current state of the world has helped me to cope; and articles not about COVID-19 remind me of the time when this isolated state wasn’t the norm- and reminds me that there will be a time soon that this is no longer the norm.
All in all, I simply find myself full of gratitude to Walt Disney. He created this company in the 20th century to fill people, young and old, with joy and a sense of wonder and hope for a better tomorrow. While there is no doubt in my mind that he had intentions for his company to grow and continue to make people happy well into the future, he didn’t have a crystal ball. There is no way he could have known that down the line, his beloved Disney movies, characters, and parks would bring happiness and hope to a world that seemed to have none left.
I wish you all a safe and happy-as-can-be self-isolation period, and remember: there’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow- and it’s coming soon. Hang in there, everyone.