From the time I was a young child I occasionally had this wonderful dream that I was in an open airplane with my father. My older brother, sister, and mother were sitting just behind us, in another colorful plane. The plane was unusual, because there were no controls. It was painted bright colors and was partially open. Swoosh! We dipped a little and took off. We flew over an enchanted city of twinkling lights. My stomach always tightened a little in the beginning of the dream. My mind raced with excitement, after all, it’s not every day a little girl flies through the air into a magical world of lights. Then my father whispered, “It’s ok baby girl, just look at the lights. Isn’t this fantastic? Don’t worry, I’m right here.” In the dream I pushed right up against his side and held his hand tightly – my eyes wide trying to catch every twinkle and my mouth gaping open in awe.
This enchanted dream followed me through out my early life. It would resurface during stressful times like on the first day of a new school. When I needed courage and happiness I could count on that dream. I would wake up exhilarated and unafraid, ready to tackle what came next. I chalked it up to my mind’s way of giving me comfort and happy thoughts.
In the early 90s I took a trip to Disney World with my best friend. We were in our early twenties. I had not been there since I was 5 years old. We checked into our hotel and the next day hit the parks.
First stop - Magic Kingdom. We were determined to hit every ride. The Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight… and that’s when it happened. We boarded Peter Pan’s flight and as soon as the flying pirate ship took off I was back there as a five-year-old. It was not a dream! It was this ride! It was an amazing adventure to my five-year-old self and I sat stunned as memories rushed. The twinkling lights, the glowing characters, even the feeling of adventure! I felt so much bigger, as if I were in the same dream, only this time I was a giant over a tiny country.
Stepping off of the ride was like stepping out of my own dream. I was stunned and speechless. It really was magic. It really was a dream come true. I remembered that trip from my childhood years – I remembered Dumbo, and Cinderella’s Castle and the Haunted Mansion. Only Peter Pan’s Flight seemed like a dream. I can only imagine that all those years ago, in the early 1970s, as that little wide-eyed girl held her daddy’s hand and her mouth gaped open in wondrous amazement, some pixie dust made it’s way in. When I stepped off that ride, I left Never Land, and it became a dream.
It had not dawned on me that as young as I was, this ride made such an impression, but seemed so highly unlikely to be real, it became a wonderful dream. Leave it to Disney – that’s the psychology of happiness I suppose, when it’s that spectacular, even if you are too young to organize your memory, you hold on tight to the happiness.
“You know that place between sleep and awake? That place where you still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always love you... Peter Pan. That's where I'll be waiting.”
Contributed by Judy Dulberg