Life is but a stage.
For the last 30 years I have been luckily enough to visit many of the Disney World resorts. Each time it never feels less magical than the first, it really doesn’t matter what age I am when I go.
This year I was lucky enough to be able to book in for the behinds-the-scenes tour at Walt Disney World in Florida and, far from taking away any of the magic, it just reinforced my views.
It’s got me thinking recently, especially with all the Disney movies being shown over Christmas, that life really is like a show.
When Walt and Roy Disney and their Imagineers designed the parks all the smallest details were considered.
Did you know when you walk in the park the first thing you see is the station, almost like a welcoming curtain about to lift on the magic beyond. Then as you pass through the entrance, the first thing you see is a popcorn seller, just like in the movies. Each shop window along Main Street is a dedication to a Disney team member and a glimpse towards the magic castle at the end.
Probably one of the most poignant things for me is the almost understated wooden bench with Roy Disney and Minnie with a space next to them. At the opposite end, underneath the castle, Walt stands with Mickey pointing towards the bench, apparently explaining to Mickey that he should join them as Walt sadly died before the park was completed. Always brings a tear to my eye even thinking about this.
So why am I talking about this? I watched Mary Poppins yesterday, like a lot of people did, and it got me thinking. What would those children have grown to be had Mary Poppins not taught them to respect themselves? All it took was just a spoonful of sugar you know!
As we wake up in the morning we prepare for the show. We make ourselves look human enough to face the day. If we don’t want people to think we’re OK for some reason, we change that appearance; we leave the make-up off and change our posture. We probably even self-believe we’re not OK and that just reinforces it in our mind.
Walt realised that we are all like actors living our lives by scripts created by our own Creative Director, our own mind. He tried to put that sprinkle of magic back into us. Yet we sometimes choose not to see it or want to change it.
So first I challenge you to act as if you are OK - shoulders back and make-up on. The show must go on.
Then comes the walk down your own Main Street. With your head held high you’ll notice so much more, the details that hiding your face in the floor would have missed. Where do you want that street to lead? I know I want mine to lead to Cinderella’s Castle, even if it’s a long walk.
Finally if life and events get in the way, make sure the magic continues. The most important person in your life is you. You can’t help anyone else if you can’t hear or just ignore yourself. The Disney brothers were thought of as insane for buying swampland for a $180 per acre. He had a dream and he believed in it. Now his dream brings so many more dreams to fruition in the world.
So if you’re trying to make it down your own Main Street, or maybe not even made it through the opening gates yet, listen to that inner voice. Dream, believe and never give up.
As Walt Disney once said “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”.
See you on Main Street or maybe even the Castle.
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