I have to start by saying that yesterday's article by Pete Pirone is certainly a hard act to follow. If you didn't catch it already, definitely check out The Disney Bubble Burst—It’s Time to Stop Giving Them a Pass.
The new year is already throwing us a curveball or two, with the world facing concerning times. As I watch on from my home here in Australia, I am buoyed by my opportunity to write about what I love here on The DIS, despite being so far away. I was torn on what to write about this week. The topic I had in mind seemed so trivial compared to the current state of our globe and yet, the escape of Disney, a place we all hold so dear, is so vital at the same time. I decided to switch gears a little, saving my latest satirical take on Disney park-goers for another time, and instead cover that very notion of importance.
This article isn't going to be a long-winded lecture about love, togetherness, and all that jazz; actually, it is something much more selfish.
I've seen several replies on Disney-related posts recently to the effect of 'who cares about Disney in times like these?' I don't engage, because really, we all have different priorities. Nonetheless, it got me thinking about how we cope with stress and maneuver ourselves past the challenges we all face. When all the stressful stuff is swirling around us, that is when the little things step in and keep our heads above water. They aren't irrelevant in times like these; they are the most valuable practices of all.
It's the Disney bubble effect. You know, that feeling you get when you stroll down Main Street USA, past the barbershop quartet singing Cruella de Vil, past the bakery where the smell of chocolate chip cookies wafts enticingly through the air, forgetting about all the negative pressures of the outside world? While you reside inside the friendly gates of Disney, you feel untouchable. And yep, I am going to say it, it feels good.
Even if you aren't on your way to visiting the parks, connecting with the people who share your passion gives you an emotional break. Sharing memories, debating the best and worsts, or taking in the DIS team's excitable news; every part is serving a purpose. It is the existence of our opportunity to escape the real world that allows us the mental capacity to process our everyday lives. It isn't frivolous; it's self-preservation.
Disney attracts people from all walks of life. Our fandom doesn't discriminate against religion, race, or any other factors that can divide us. All are welcome as we move past our differences and look forward to the things that unite our families. This passion connects us as a different type of community; not isolated but brought together by a love of something positive and captivating.
If you find yourself up against a naysayer, trying to burst your Disney bubble in the name of reality, remember how lucky you are to have made such a strong connection to a place that brings you joy. Smile at them, understanding that even though they may not have a place they can go that makes everything else melt away, you do, and now is the time to celebrate it.
Don't worry, I will be back to my usual sarcastic self next week, but I just wanted to take a moment to remind you that it is okay to indulge in your distraction. It's encouraged, even. It means more than just a vacation, it's a chance to remind ourselves and our children of a better tomorrow.
*Feature photo credit: Michelle Perrin-Crawford