Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Quiet Moment and a Parting Glance

There are those of us who are in Walt Disney World often enough that we have developed our little traditions. They are traditions such as what park we must visit first, what we have to ride first, and yes, what food we have to eat sometime during our stays. These are our traditions and they vary from one person to another, but still, they are our traditions.

For me, the “exiting” traditions are of equal importance. They play as big a role in our Disney experience as the “entering” and “during” traditions.

In time we may share the “entering” and “during” traditions. But for now I want to share how I prepare myself for the journey home.

My tradition is that I will spend my last evening in the parks in Epcot. The park holds a special place for me. It was in Epcot that my passion for Disney was reignited. The World Showcase at night takes on a somewhat mystical quality to me. Illuminations, both the current version and the pre-millennial versions are sensory masterpieces. Then there is Spaceship Earth standing there as an icon to tomorrow. It is these images, and the emotions they conjure up, that cause me to be in this place at that time.

As I walk under the geosphere and make my way through the entrance plaza I begin to recall the wonder of the visit that I am just finishing and at the same time allow my thoughts to race ahead to the next. But just before I push through the turnstile and enter the “real” world, I pause, look back, and spend a moment soaking in this last image. I whisper to myself, “I will be back.” Then I turn and walk away.

One of the beauties of Disney is how it can affect each of us differently. That is part of the magic and this is an example of that. My exit tradition places me in Epcot, but it may be that Magic Kingdom, the Studios or Animal Kingdom holds that special place for you. If you feel compelled, please leave a comment and share your tradition. Whatever it is, it’s yours and it cements your memories until you walk through those turnstiles again.

More to follow…


eaf said...

I don't have a real tradition for going or coming yet. We were always hitting Downtown Disney (Earl of Sandwich) on our first night, but last time found parking to be such a total nightmare that we want to switch that out with something else.

I guess the crying each time I leave has become the main tradition. Not girly, awful sobs, mind you, but I do often shed a tear as I think back on this trip, and all the last, and cannot determine any sort of order for "best trip to worst trip" lists. They are all outstanding. I also whisper to myself "I will be back" as I leave. I never say that I'm going home, as I feel that I'm leaving home at the same time.

-- Ryan P. Wilson said...

I love that picture, it truly encompasses that moment of goodbye. Not goodbye really, but that parting between two old friends knowing that they'll see each other again.

For me, no matter when it is during a trip, it is that last trip down Main Street U.S.A. I remember when we left Disneyland, Aileen made me physically stop and turn around because I didn't know when I would be back. It's that last train whistle, the last woosh of the monorail, the last scream from the Tower of Terror, or the last call from a creature on the Oasis. Like you said, the quiet moment.

Eric Hoffman said...

Great post. Leaving the parks is such a tough thing. We haven't made it a hard tradition but we almost always end up with Epcot as our last park of the trip.

The next morning after that wave of sadness is worn off we cruise around the property looking at different resorts (again) before finally leaving.

Then we get sad all over again.

Lou Mongello - said...

Great post, Doc! I think we all have some quiet, yet important traditions that we consciously or even sub-consciously take part in on each visit. And I agree no matter how many times I visit, I am always sad to leave.

Of course I had to smile as I could hear you in my mind looking at Spaceship Earth and saying in your best Ahnold voice: "I'll be back!!"

sambycat said...

ooooooo - great post! gives me the chills! can't wait to see everybody at mousefest!!!!!! :)

oddly, part of my disney park exit traditions have been that i am going home alone, just as i sometimes visit the parks. well, i will still be flying home alone, but this whole trip will be with more friends, new and old, then ever! i cannot wait!!!!