The Disney experience seems to be one of the very few things the entire world can share. Whether from the tasty Mickey soft pretzels or Cinderella’s captivating castle, Disney has seemed to have created a culture of its own. A culture so exciting, people come from across the world to experience it. The fireworks, the parades, the balloons, and the characters all combine to transport children into their dreams and adults into their youth.
I am lucky enough to have spent the last 7 days in Disney World and got to experience it from an entirely new perspective. Staying at the Shades of Green resort at Disney with 2 close friends and my awesome girlfriend, I got to do what every 20 year old should experience. After a year and a half of military training, work and school, I found that I was so busy adulting that I wasn’t living. My solution? Disney World.
Disney World came to mind because my girlfriend and I enjoyed it on our senior trip but we vowed to comeback together and do it our way. No itinerary or deadlines and no waiting for people who can’t show up on time. Not to mention my girlfriend loves Disney so much that she is practically a Disney Princess herself and my best friend Chris swears he’s Simba. So we came together, planned the trip, and worked our butts off to make it happen. These people are awesome because they aren’t the flakey friends that you hesitate to even make lunch plans with in fear of cancellation. They mean business and because of that, I knew this was going to happen.
Since Chris and I are both in the military, we both have a similar mindset and I think that played a big role in the success of our trip. Yet it wasn’t only our mindsets that made this happen. While most talk about education and travel benefits of joining the military, things such as the Shades of Green resort seem to be kept hidden. This resort is an exclusive military resort that provides room rates based upon the pay grade of the soldier making it extremely affordable. Not only is there a discounted resort but along with that came very discounted tickets.
This trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity. What I learned was that Disney is best experienced as a 20 year old. Being old enough to appreciate the beauty of this awesome place while being young enough to power through the hot and humid air of Florida, most of the downsides didn’t even seem to phase us. As young adults, we were able to make our own decisions as to when we waited in line, when we ate, and most importantly, when we napped.
This trip was not as much about Disney as it was pride, for it was a prize that we had to earn on our own. As millennials, we need to remember how good it feels to earn something and not take that for granted. I write this piece as encouragement that there is always a way. It might not be through the military and it might not be to Disney World but if you work hard and put in the time, you will find a way. Trust me when I say earning it yourself is the catch. When you see people who seem genuinely happy, it is not because they have everything in the world. They are happy because what they do have comes with pride and appreciation. Nothing is more exciting than that.