Day 5: Animal Kingdom
On the drive into Animal Kingdom, I began to look forward to seeing Disney's Tree of Life. This larger than life spectacle sits dead center in the biggest of all the parks, with the rest of the attractions rotating around it. Animal shapes carve out its exterior, seen in better detail as you get closer to it.
As I said in my last post, I was already missing the castle of Magic Kingdom. However, I began to remember from a visit 9+ years ago that there was something kind of intriguing about this symbol. I couldn't put my finger on it until I realized I'd felt this way about every park we went to.
The expectations of people who come to Walt Disney World seem to be arguably higher than when they do anything else in their life. It's not about the money or the vacation factor - Disney promotes itself as more than a normal theme park - it's its own world of wonder that captures hopes and imagination and finds a way to make them tangible. Parents become kids again, and kids seem to stay kids longer.
I think this is what the icon of each park represents... a physical and visual anchor of what you hope to experience in that environment. The castle is "magical" and adventuresome; the Epcot ball is intriguing and unifying; the hat in front of the Chinese theater shows the many hats Disney wears in entertainment; and the tree of life has an earthy quality that makes you remember the natural resource the world is.
I've started looking around home, work, and play to consider this:
- What in my house represents "home" to my family? Is it the soft red blanket everyone craves when they're feeling sick or tired? Or the purple door on the front of our house that accents our landscape? Perhaps the "A warm Myles welcome" sign in front?
- Around our church, does the color scheme play into how people feel when they walk in? Is our use of crosses too little or too much? How about the people I see take communion on weeks we don't take it all together - is there something important about always making it available?
- Where I play, does the recreation center family locker room represent more than where my boys and I swim every week? Will they have fond memories of that smelly chlorine smell, not because of its odor but because that's "dad" time?
Never underestimate the power of icons. What you see as a piece of matter, may in fact matter to someone else and give them peace.
- Part 6 coming up.