"True Magic"

With its dazzling sights and enchanting sounds, everything about this place makes one gleam. Upon entrance, an unusual, yet glorious aroma of the decadent cinnamon churros and chlorinated water fills all five senses with pure happiness. The numerous memories of skipping down this very same road, so eager to find adventure, flood in. Looking down, tiny sparkles of what you believe to be magic lie in the cobblestone. They have been dwelling there for decades. Groups of children run by, and you know they feel like royalty just to be here. Little goose bumps prickle your skin, physically displaying the excitement, like a billboard on your body. Best of all, the music box melodies of the classic all-American musicals that you love are humming along as if they, themselves, are living here too.
The beautiful painting of it all is an antidote for any numbness you may feel. Life’s stresses simply vanish. Just the sights, the insignia, infuse rich warmth into your blood stream. Tiny speckles of rusted paint can be spotted on a few of the buildings, adding to the feeling of home. It is almost like marveling over the wrinkles on an aged woman’s gentle face, warmed by her life’s experiences. Her sacrifices, the love she has bestowed upon on others, and the lives she has made joyful are engraved in the lines of her aging body, evidence of her devotion. It is glaringly visible to the naked eye the millions and billions of giddy dreamers who have walked down this path. Some walking slowly, stroking their fingers through the flowers, so to speak, and taking time to walk through each open door and be hugged by the overwhelming feeling of love this place gifts to you. Behind every door lies a different revelation. Opening the door to one bakery may mean free refills on your delicious coffee and a practically immorally tempting pastry. The next boutique might display a variety of utterly mind blowing, to a simple mind, magic tricks and a band of joyful puppets. Their faces are forever imprinted in your memory. A common personal favorite is the grand and luxurious souvenir store which is the “Emporium”. There is regal air about it, with the shiny gloss of the paint and the intricate display of fluff-stuffed characters with cheery round faces. The expression on the visage of each friend is so inviting, and compelling, with the exception of a somber gray donkey from the “Hundred Acre Wood,” who never quite realizes how fortunate he is. A small journey down the sidewalk will take a person to the beautiful barbershop themed restaurant where a quartet treats your ears to the most eloquent sounds. The California weather only adds to the dreamy mood. It is an atmosphere full of comfort. You’ve discovered the Halcyon Days.
Others run straight on by the well-lived shops, eager to reach the castle of a sleeping princess, or experience the rush of jolting through outer space. Their hearts are always wishing, pounding hard with desire. Thump, thump, thump. Naive hopes to meet a real princess, and find everything ever wished for waiting for them, floats in the air above their heads. Such innocent hope is inspiring. Some are so engulfed in the excitement that a stream of vanilla runs down their tiny forearm, abandoning the ice cream cone it once sat upon, and dripping off of the elbow, leaving a trail on the hot cement. These types of children often sport a small backpack with some sort of stuffed animal on it, even an occasional leash attached. This leash will be yanked and fastened onto hopelessly for hours by a desperate parent. The bright eyes search desperately for new discoveries, looking far beyond; but Main Street does not care. Its arms will always be open to these free spirits, and they will always return, ready to marvel at its beauty; whether it be at the end of the day or in the years to come when they have matured.

When wandering feet return in the evening the entire street blooms in an exhibit of vibrant fluorescents. A beautiful picture is painted similar to that of a Christmas display: shining lights, warm drinks, and cozy clothes. An old marquee outside of a sleek, shiny theatre is illuminated by a dozen round little suns, and announces “Steam Boat Willie” in bold letters. This particular movie truly is the spirit of the whole park: where all the blissful moments began. One sketch of this beloved, energetic little mouse birthed the next craze in American pop culture. The very same humble mouse that stars in “Steam Boat Willie” appears in a fire station window with Walt Disney himself, just a few yards away. There is a small rumble in the sky, and heads turn to the space in the stars right over the tip of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. An explosion of color bursts after a moment, and the fireworks have officially begun. If it is November or December, small white flakes fall, and sleigh bell songs are played. Kids are lifted onto the shoulders of their fathers and big brothers: ladders to the sky. Delight is heard and seen up and down the pavement. After the large celebration, the music fades to a meek and gentle hum and shop start to close up.
All of the dreamers dance slowly away. Many have an aura, covered in pixie dust and sugar, their feet pitter-pattering slower than before, shooting their last bits of energy into the ground. Mothers and fathers smile wide, despite the bags under their eyes. It is highly likely that the tired eyes evolved from the seeming endless rides on “Small World”. They know it was worth it. Families squeeze each other and whisper, “Best. Day. Ever!” into worn out ears. Here, in this precious moment, is where the true magic lies.





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