Yesterday I shared a few highlights of the Magic Kingdom’s size-doubling transformation, but today I want share pictures from some of Disney’s time-honored classic rides and traditions that have been updated from time to time but are basically unchanged since the inception of Disney Land back in the 1950’s, when I tracked around behind my brother Wolle and sister Annie with a coupon book in hand. A generation later, after I married Alan and we had kids, “It’s a Small World” was often one of the first rides we’d take our kids on, and it was pretty much traditionally always the last ride, since we liked leaving them with images of happy children from all over the world singing together. Jonathan was riding Star Jets by the time he was 3-weeks old. It’s now called the Astro Orbiter…but it’s the same high flyin’ fun! One new ride,that’s really a blast is “Buzz Lightyear’s” galactic ride. I usually do very poorly, but one year I maxed it out at 999,999…although I have no clue how I did it! 🙂Another somewhat recent addition are the flying carpets of Aladdin…rather like Dumbo, but for those of us with a passion for flight…still magically fun! By mid-afternoon, it’s usually pretty hot and sunny, but keeping hats on is a challenge!There’s also the traditional melt-down where kids “hit the wall.” Carl and Kathy are such good parents! They took Iris home for a nap, but Alan and I still carried on our tradition of stopping at Main Street’s Ice Cream Parlour for a snack and a rest before watching the 3:00 pm parade. I know a 12-hour marathon of fun is too grueling for the smallest fries, but for those who can handle it, the afternoon parade, evening electric parade, and end-of-the-day fireworks are truly unforgettable highlights. Of course, if you’re going to stay until 8 pm, dinner has to be on the agenda at some point, & our favorite spot is the Harbor House.The Magic Kingdom’s electric parade is a visual feast with hundreds of thousands of brilliant colored lights illuminating floats and people, all synchronized with playful music. One of the most recent and most eye-catching additions is the bejeweled train of the 7 dwarfs loaded down with sparkly gems.The electric parade starts at 7:00 pm, and just minutes after it ends, the laser show begins. This is one of the marvelous “something news.” Cinderella’s castle becomes a canvas for images exploding with color and choreographed to visualize a potpourri of romantic Disney love songs. The grand finale is a fireworks show that leaves you smiling and a little breathless! There seems to be a quiet contentment among the crowds as we moved slowly toward the exit, and
somehow the glowing full moon above the harbor was the perfect benediction of peace and goodwill! I know that Disney is about “fantasy” and not daily “reality,” and I also know that on this earth we mere humans will never be as fantastic or exotic as Disney, but God does call us to be lights shining in the darkness and beacons of peace and goodwill on earth. No matter how humble, may we let our lights shine…”not purloining [robbing], but showing all good faithfulness, that they [we] may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:10).