The reason for our exhaustion is simple: Disney World.
We love Disney World. We geek about it. We jones for it. We are manic in our enjoyment of it (see above weight loss results). Commonly heard on our vacation: “There’s only a five-minute wait for It’s a Small World. Let’s GO!!”… “C’mon, we’ve ridden Star Tours three times, and the day is still young!”…. “Look! There’s Mickey! Let’s get our picture!”… (And these are merely the quotes from the adults in the group.) The kiddos are right along with my husband and me, thrilled and excited and drinking it all in like giddy camels preparing for a year’s drought of complete wonderment and awe.
Disney World has become our family Mecca, and our annual pilgrimage to celebrate the Mouse is much-anticipated. Where Disneyland claims to be the Happiest Place on Earth, Disney World is Where Dreams Come True. Though I’m still waiting for my Gerard-Butler-as-King-Leonidas-Poolboy dream to come to life (Can’t you just picture it? Wearing nothing but a leather loin cloth and a piercing gaze and declaring “This. Is. A MARGARITA!”), we find Disney World’s claim to be fairly accurate. I’m not saying it is perfect — even Eden had that darn snake, and Leonidas had Xerxes — but you would have to be a real Debbie Downer just looking to find fault to have a bad time within the reach of Disney World. When the cast members greet me with a cheerful "Have a Magical Day," I know I will.
No, this isn’t a paid advertisement for Disney. There is a point here. I love Disney like I love Las Vegas. Take away the gambling and drunken debauchery of Vegas (sigh), and add in the opportunity to create memories with my children (yay!), and the two places are rather the same. When visiting either Disney or Vegas, I know without a doubt that I have been away from home. I have been transported to a place which transcends the daily hum-drum of life. I get to spend time in a fantastical world where they take everything to the Nth degree, and where anything is possible. A place where dreams can come true.
I get to inhabit a world and experience things otherwise unimaginable in my life.
In this aspect, Disney World is rather like the books we write and read. I know my reasons for reading and writing is to escape to another world — whether it’s a small-town romance or an intergalactic space opera. As a writer, I want to make dreams come true through my stories. I take heart in this endeavor from Walt Disney’s own words: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Who better to inspire my creativity and ambition than the man who embodied his own? And, use whatever adjectives you want to describe Disney’s marketing, I think we all have to admit it has been exceedingly successful. I would love for someone to sprinkle me with some of that fairy dust!
As a book reader, my desires are much the same. I want to be transported by the words on the page. To inhabit a location I might not otherwise know and meet characters I might not otherwise meet. Books are thrilling and exciting and full of wonderment and awe. After I’ve finished a book, I know without a doubt I have been away from home. I have transcended the daily hum-drum of life for a while. I have been on a mental vacation to my imagination… And especially true for romance stories, I have been to a place Where Dreams Come True.
And, even better than when I visit Disney World, when I finish a book, I arrive back to reality well-rested (if the same weight). Where do you go to have a "magical day?"