As your time at Magic Kingdom draws to a close, I feel the need to take this time to thank you for existing and bringing magic into my life.
I never believed in the power of wishes until the first time I saw a ‘star’ bursting over Cinderella Castle. The first set of lyrics (and the entire soundtrack, to be honest) are forever engrained in my mind:
When stars are born, they possess a gift or two. One of them is this: they have the power to make a wish come true.
I mean, honestly- just cue the tears.
I watched intently, completely captivated by the powerful score and equally as beautiful fireworks. I listened as one of my favorite movies, Hercules, got a little spotlight, which inspired me and made me feel like I could go the distance. I felt as though I was watching my childhood play out right before my eyes and it moved me in a way I’m not sure I could ever accurately describe. I wiped away tears and felt a sense of belonging, watching this unfold among thousands of people that I didn’t know, but I felt close to.
It’s okay if it didn’t move you, but it moved me. It’s okay if it didn’t speak to you, but it spoke to me. It’s okay if it didn’t change you, but Wishes changed me.
There have been many points in my life where I have felt lost, unsure of myself and just, well…down. Walt Disney World quickly became my escape and Wishes became my confidant. I would stand on Main Street and every time a star would arch over the castle, I would make a wish. Sometimes I’d say it in my head, sometimes I’d whisper it out loud. I know it sounds stupid, and perhaps a little cliché, but it worked. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of wishes that have come true for me in the last few years, wishes that I made watching this very show.
There has never been a time where I went to Magic Kingdom and didn’t watch Wishes. It didn’t matter where I watched it from- I had to see it every time I was in the park. I bought the CD and learned all the words and I always sang along. I even sang along with the track that plays when the show ends, when everyone is scrambling to leave the park I’m sure people stared, but it didn’t matter. It became part of who I am.
Wishes gave me the ability to believe in myself, and magic, again. It helped me realize that I could do anything I set my mind to. It gave me the ability to dream.
You grow up and, sometimes, you lose your way. You give up your dreams because you think they’re unattainable and instead…you settle for things that seem practical, even if your heart isn’t fully in it. But is that any way to live a life?
My favorite line comes from Jiminy, who has a plethora of wisdom that is sprinkled throughout the entire show:
“You see, it’s just like I told ya. Wishes can come true, if you believe in them with all your heart. And the best part is, you’ll never run out of wishes. They’re shining deep down inside of you. ‘Cause that, my friends, is where the magic lives.”
YOU have the power to make your dreams come true. YOU are capable of anything you set your mind to. YOU are the only thing holding yourself back. Everything you need to be successful is inside of you, so believe in yourself, believe in your dreams and believe in your ability to truly create magic no matter what you do.
That is what I took away from a 12-minute fireworks show. It’s deep, it’s powerful and it’s inspiring.
This may be goodbye, but your message will carry on and continue to inspire generations of Disney lovers from the young to the young at heart.
Thank you, Wishes, for telling a story that I could relate to.
Thank you for helping me find my way.
Thank you for giving me the strength I needed to believe in myself again.
Thank you for showing me how important I am.
Thank you for allowing me to escape reality for a little while every night.
Thank you for making me feel empowered.
Thank you for existing.
“See what a little wishing can do?”