A Story about Finding God on the Streets of Disney Life – Part 1

I’m dodging the Lenten practices post again, haha. But this time it’s because I want to share a story of something that happened to me recently, which you may find amusing, possibly cute, but perhaps thoughtful as well.

As most of my friends and acquaintances know, I’m a very big Disneyland fan (being fairly tall, that’s both a literal and figurative statement). 😛 There are many interesting layers as to why that is, but I’ll save that for another time. Anyways, recently I went to Disneyland to hang out with a couple of friends who shall remain nameless, but will no doubt find the retelling of this story amusing, and could probably throw in a few extra details as well. Since we’re all AP holders, it was one of those kick-back-and-relax evenings at the parks: instead of rushing to get through as many attractions as we could, the night was pretty chill, eating dinner at a sit-down place, visiting rides with short lines, including cramming my long legs into a friggin’ teacup >.<

At some point in the evening, we went to one of my favorite low-key places in the Disney California Adventure: the Disney Animation building. The Animation Courtyard is a great place to hang out and enjoy clips from various Disney and Pixar animated films, which also include original character sketches, music, and lighting effects. The building also hosts the Disney Animation Academy, where artists teach you how to draw some of Disney’s most popular animated characters. We got there and found out that the “class” had already started, so it’d be 15 minutes to the next one; so ok, cool, the Animation Courtyard is probably the best place to wait for anything anyways 😀

So we’re hanging out, enjoying our favorite animated clips, music, and songs. Personally, one of my other favorite activities to do there is people-watch (actually, this is true wherever I go), and on that end there was a lot of interesting things to see: a guy making a silly dance video with his friends, a mom running after her toddler, a dad holding his baby and moving to the music. In the visual and audial symphony of it all, I barely noticed a fairly pretty young woman, maybe early 20s, step into the courtyard. I give her a quick glance, think that it’s a bit odd to see a girl by herself at Disney, then go back to watching clips (or other people, I forget).

A few minutes later, as I’m glancing around the room again, and I notice that young woman again, and this time she’s singing to the song currently playing, and very much “in character” (that kind of starry-eyed expression that certain Disney songs have the power to invoke) …and it’s hard to describe what went through my mind, but it was like I was actually seeing her for the first time, as though something in me had registered something that I hadn’t noticed before. “I wondered why I didn’t see it there before!” (Beauty and the Beast reference). In that single moment, she became that girl, and from that time on, until we entered the Animation Academy, I would try to distract myself by looking at other people, the screens, my phone…something else…anything else…but my eyes would always return to take just another glance at that girl.

Now, there’s a bit more to the story, but I’ll come back to it; instead I want to pose a few questions: what was it about that moment that drew my gaze? What did I notice then that I hadn’t noticed before? What is it about that experience that has caused my mind to drift back to it, again and again, day after day, during times of idleness (and I’ll be real, even when I’m busy)? For the love of God, Mary my Mother in Heaven, and all the angels and saints, what is it about that infinitesimal fraction of my life span that is driving me to spend time writing about it on this blog?!?

If you want to find the answers to these questions, stay tuned for my next post, coming soon! (a.k.a. this will be more readable if I break it into two parts) 😛

[edit:] here’s the link to part 2 http://wp.me/p2eERS-1R

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