Strangers United at Walt Disney World by Emma Smith

One of my favorite parts about Walt Disney World is the massive amount of people, which is odd considering the fact that I usually hate crowds. However, there’s something thrilling about knowing that there’s literally people from all around the world in the same place as me, experiencing the same magic that I am. Maybe it’s because I’m a small-town girl, or maybe I just like the thought that I can share Disney with so many other people, but I genuinely love to simply sit and watch the people pass by.

Even more exciting is actually striking up a conversation with someone. There’s something bittersweet about knowing that you will, most likely, never see this person again in your lifetime, but you can enjoy the time that you have together right now. My mom and I had this experience with an Irish family while we were waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade one night on our most recent WDW trip. The discussion started with a comment about funnel cakes, and by the time the parade started we were chatting like we were old neighbors. I found myself watching the reactions of our new friends more than the characters floating by, and I honestly didn’t want the parade end because I knew that we would inevitably have to say goodbye. When the time came, I actually felt like crying.

The next time you find yourself waiting for a bus, standing in line for an attraction, marking your spot for a parade, whatever, try making a new friend. It’s funny how much you can find that you have in common with a total stranger. So much, in fact, that while it might just be coincidence, I like to think of it as the magic of Disney. The best part is that even though you might not see your Disney pal again, you’ll always have the memory of them. I know that whenever I pass by our Frontierland parade spot, I’ll always think of a certain Irish family that made our trip extra special just by giving us their company.

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