It’s no secret that Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is my favorite place in the entire world–Disney captured my heart from the very first time I stepped on the premises as a sixteen-year-old. I was entirely expecting the experience to be an amped-up version of Six Flags: thrill rides, sweaty hikes to and from attractions, mediocre food. I was oh so wrong; Disney is so magical and so special to me and my family, and we would honestly go as often as we could if the funds would allow. We love it that much.
One show (or should I say “spectacular?”) has been my favorite from the start. Wishes, a nighttime “firework spectacular” is absolutely incredible; you can expect the prettiest fireworks you’ve ever seen synchronized to classic Disney melodies and narrated by Jiminy Cricket, the cutest crooner of the quintessential Disney tune “When You Wish Upon a Star.” The show encourages its audience to always “believe in our wishes, for they are the magic in the world.” You only need a “little courage to set them free,” and, when you put in the work and muster enough faith, “the most fantastic, magical things can happen…and it all starts with a wish!”
Excuse me while I fetch a tissue. It appears that I am suffering from a sudden attack of the sniffles.
Alright. I’m back.
As you can tell, Wishes always renders me a blubbering mess. I just can’t get enough of the Disney magic.
I first saw the show when I was getting ready to head off to college. I held my mom’s hand the entire time, and cried my eyes out because I truly believed my childhood was coming to an end. Emotions were high; I was elated to start living my dream as a college volleyball player (my first real wish come true), but I was so nervous to start life on my own.
This fall, I begin my final college volleyball season. I’ve had the time of my life (I’m so cheesy today) playing the sport I love, but I’m kind of in the same boat as I was going into my first year. What’s in store for my future? I have dreams, but can I achieve them?
Fast forward to last summer. I’m an “InstaDisney” addict, and I admittedly follow a few random people if they seem to have a “Disneyfied” way of life. I came across one Instagram account last summer: The Enchanted Brush. The Etsy shop owner paints the most glorious Toms, Disney and otherwise. I vowed that I would get myself a pair one of these days, but I had no clue what the subject of my pair would be.
Of course I decided to show my love for Wishes; it was a no-brainer once I figured it out.
I anxiously waited for her shop to open this spring, and I was able to get myself a pair. I only requested Jiminiy on one shoe, and Cinderella’s castle with fireworks on the other. Cue my refreshing of the Instagram feed to see if she had started my pair; I couldn’t wait to see them come alive, and I was so incredibly excited.
Fast forward to my birthday, May 12–My mom woke me up that morning (I’m back home for awhile during the summer months) to wish me a happy 22nd birthday. I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I scrolled through Instagram.
I literally screamed when Jiminy appeared on my tiny iPhone screen, grinning and tipping his teal blue hat on a pair of natural canvas Toms–I knew that they were mine, and the appearance of that little Jiminy made me so very happy on my birthday.
As I watched them being completed in stages over Instagram, I couldn’t believe it. I was about to be the owner of the most amazing shoes. Jiminy was the perfect likeness of the original, lovable character, and the castle sparkled as if I was in the Magic Kingdom watching my beloved fireworks show for myself.
My whole life has been consumed with volleyball–getting to play volleyball was my one and only dream that I focused on for so much of my youth and adolescent life. Now that volleyball will inevitably come to an end this fall, these shoes are little reminders that encompass the very essence of Wishes: we must always keep wishing, dreaming, doing, and achieving. My dreams don’t have to end with the conclusion of my college volleyball career. It’s sappy, yes, but each day holds a new opportunity to work for and achieve new goals, new wishes.
Here’s where I give credit to an amazing artist. Go follow her on instagram (@theenchantedbrush) if you want to see some gorgeous “wearable art” that will literally make your jaw drop. She’s currently closed her shop to focus on existing orders, but she will reopen sometime this summer.
Now, as the little children’s chorus in the Wishes soundtrack sing so melodically:
Go and “make a wish and do as dreamers do. And all our wishes will come true.”