From enfant to elder, there’s one thing we can all agree: Disney Parks are the happiest places in the world. Using the elements of childhood to appeal to the masses, Walt’s genius has created a world phenomenon that allow many of us to time travel back to our childhood when reality gets overbearing. While living in France, it was my friends and I’s priority to visit Disneyland Paris. We wanted to experience the evident cultural difference of the parks, but also the commonality amongst all of them: Embracing youth!
Formerly known as euro Disney, Disneyland Paris’s petit structure, has a special feeling to it. It appeals to the masses, just without tons of crying babies, long lines, and severely hot weather, which made the experience so enjoyable. One of the most enjoyable points of the trip was being in a fairytale world, but still being able to study french.
Every character, parade, and each show all in french(which seems a little obvious now.) While riding tea cups pretending to be seven again, I was still studying abroad. Constantly thinking to better understand each setting i was in. Hearing Elsa, La Reine des Neiges, sing “Let It Go” was a spectacular moment! It was also unique to see parents interacting with their children, using high pitched voices and cute expressions to build better relationships with their children. With so many differences in culture, it really put into perspective how similar all humans are when it comes down to the bases of life. To love, to laugh, to build relationships, and to be entertained.
I spent most of my day freaking out. A 20-year-old, with my backpack and water bottle chasing after belle to get a photo (failed rip :/ ) Running after Jessie yelling “Andy’s here!”And even the little things like wanting an ice-cream, or buying a stuffed animal. These are moments beyond being childish, but simply embracing the freedom of a life without stress. From the Aurora’s pink castle, to it’s a small world, in this parallel universe it is impossible to have sadness as the aura of positivity is expressed throughout the park.
What I learned most of this trip is:
There is absolutely nothing wrong with embracing your inner child. Children are the light of the world. Whether in the States, France, or anywhere else, in childhood lies the answers to prejudice and inequality. We can learn from children what it means to be kind, creative, and openminded. To be fearless.
Much like adults, in childhood lies creativity, honesty, ambition. But what’s different is children are able to express these aspects of themselves so humanly without suppressing others feelings or ideas, simply just loving one’s owns. This is what we can learn from children. Children are not fogged by opinion, prejudice, and egoism. Once this is taught to a child, childhood is lost. The magic of a child lies in their ability to freely think, be brutally honest, but have an innocence within that is rooted with kindness and joy.
What we all find common in these Disney movies is the human yearning to go beyond the reef. They speak to love, kindness, conquest, MORALITY. Childhood. All of these inside of us as we were once children, but have been tarnished throughout the course of life. We should be more child-like when it comes to being open to everything, afraid of nothing. These are childish moments that I will always embrace, because they’re the most important tools to human experience.
Adults try so hard to teach children how to function as humans, but I think the children should be teaching us.
“The magic, the wonder, this mystery, and the innocence of a child’s heart are the seeds of creativity that will heal the world.”