“Disney Day”

“Disney Days” are essential to the mental health of an avid Disney fan. If you didn’t know, I’m an avid Disney fan…times ten.

I know. Shocking.

What is a “Disney Day?” It’s not just a day spent at a theme park (although it can be). A Disney Day can be any ol’ regular day with an intentional amount of magic and pixie dust thrown in.

Disney fans have a way with “fluffy” words, don’t they?

We (my family and I) had our own Disney Day this past Sunday. We declared it Disney Day from the start–we each picked out a Disney movie and sat down for hours to watch some favorites and some forgotten classics. We took a break for lunch and a treat, and we gabbed and napped throughout the showings.

It was pure, lazy, pixie-dusted bliss.

We could’ve made our day more elaborate, with treats and favors fit for Instagram. We could’ve put more thought and planning into the movies we watched. I could have started a hashtag, worn ears, done my makeup, felt like a presentable human being.

But did we do that? Nope! We just sat down and watched some movies. The simplicity of the occasion made the day so much better–free of fuss, free of perfection, free of a bra. (TMI? Probably.)

Here’s how our lineup developed:

  1. The Little Mermaid, followed by a Lean Cuisine for lunch and a trip to DQ for a vanilla ice cream cone.
  2. Aladdin with bouts of power outages due to a summer thunderstorm. It took us a long time to watch and finish Aladdin. Momma cried because she had never sat and watched it all the way through–she adored the song “A Whole New World,” and she was so proud of Al when he set the Genie free. My sister took a hearty nap.
  3. The Lion King, with bonus features included.
  4. Peter Pan whilst sorting through old photos and memorabilia. I found some old short stories of mine, written around the third or fourth grade. One piece was entitled “The Irish Setter Who Loved Golf.” An Irish Setter is a breed of dog, one I was particularly fond of as a child. It was a work of literary genius, no doubt. Find me an agent, stat! (Ha.)

While this wasn’t a stop-the-presses kind of day, it was one of my favorite. It was a Disney Day for the books–I’ve had some pretty incredible park days, but there’s something about intentionally sitting  and watching movies all day with the ones you love that makes every “monotonous” moment magical.

How would you go about your own Disney Day?


“Bright Young Women…Sick of Swimming…Ready to Stand”

I have never given Ariel, the bright-eyed, red-haired heroine from Disney’s 1989 film The Little Mermaid, any credit. I had always thought she was a naive, love-sick teenager who changed everything about herself to be with Prince Eric. She gives up her voice–literally and presumably symbolically–to try and win the heart of the handsome prince. At first glance, she’s not independent. At first glance, she’s kind of dumb (who would give up her voice for a pretty man?!).

It’s not that I didn’t like Ariel. I just thought she was a flat character, a princess only admired for her doe eyes and gorgeous flaming hair, not for what she could do or for who she was.

I thought this until very recently, and then I changed my mind about Disney’s little mermaid. I gave her signature song a closer listen–“Part of Your World” has got to be one of the best Disney songs, and it’s all about one girl’s ambition to be something other than her norm. It’s about one girl’s unquenchable curiosity; Ariel wants to “be where the people are” and “ask them [her] questions.” She asks, “When’s it my turn?” She’s tired of waiting. She wants to experience her dream of becoming human; she’s tired of being something she thinks she’s not.

Ariel has some spunk, now. I just was always blind to this spunk.

My favorite line of the entire song is as follows:

“Bright young women…sick of swimming…ready to stand.” 

Ariel is a bright young woman. She’s sick of swimming with her the mer-people, she’s sick of conforming to something she’s tired of. She wants to be her own person and experience new things. Ariel is a typical girl in her twenties (minus the fact that she’s only 16). She’s ready to venture on her own and be part of something that excites her and scares her.

Ariel wanted to be a part of the human world before she even thought about meeting her prince. Eric just happened to be a part of the package.

I can see why Ariel gave up her voice. She wanted to be a part of the world that had seemed so unattainable; with Ursula’s help, her dream was at her finger tips. She was ready to test out her legs in untested waters (irony), and she was desperate to discover a world where she knew she belonged. She’s also not immune to questionable decisions.

Ariel, I’m sorry I underestimated you. In fact, I’m a lot like you in many ways–I love doo dads (“thingamabobs”), I’m an incessant daydreamer, and I want to experience a world where I know I can belong. I appreciate my roots, like you do, but I have a thirst for adventure as well. I also appreciate a man with dark hair and blue eyes (let’s face it–Eric is a good looking prince). I want to learn as much as I can, just as you want to learn as much as you can about the human world.

Ariel, you are awesome and a role model to boot. I’m sorry it took me so long to figure that out. From now on, I’ll take your lead and venture into untested waters, be unashamedly curious, and go after what I want with a ferocity that may seem a little questionable.

The joke’s on me, Ariel. You knew what you were doing all along.