Winter is one of the times of the year that I miss Disney the most, simply because frigid air and snow are about as far as you get from Florida’s sunshine and palm trees. I try not to think about the parks too much, but they find their way of sneaking into my life with pictures, familiar scents, the occasional sound, and food cravings that come out of nowhere. This week, I thought I would share some of the things that I miss the most about Disney using four of the five senses.
The Sights: Disney is full of unique and breathtaking sights. The first view of Main Street, U.S.A. with Cinderella Castle gleaming at the end of the street as I enter Magic Kingdom fills me with a sense of belonging and complete and utter happiness, as does the sight of a bright blue Florida sky spotted while zooming around on the monorail on a sunny day. Seeing the tip of spire on Cinderella Castle from a WDW bus on the way to Magic Kingdom is enough to make me want to jump out of my seat with excitement. Similarly, the first shot of the Welcome to Walt Disney World after a long drive or flight is one of my favorite things in the world. In the springtime, the Flower and Garden Festival makes Epcot come alive with beautiful topiaries and flowers so colorful, they almost look fake. Although cameras can capture some of these one-of-a-kind sights, pictures will never be able to do the real places complete justice.
The Smells: Sometimes, when I’m out and about doing my daily business, I’ll catch a whiff of a certain smell that instantly takes me back to a specific spot in Disney World, which usually makes me feel like crying right then and there. Some of my favorite smells exist in Disney World, like the tangy citrus smell of oranges mixed with Christmassy pine in Soarin’, the musky, smoky scent of the water at Pirates of the Caribbean, and sickeningly sweet candy being made in the Confectionary. I also always have to inhale a huge lungful of air as soon as I walk into The Land in Epcot, since the food from Sunshine Seasons makes the entire pavilion smell amazing. If it were possible to bottle up scents, I know I would try to record as many Disney smells as I could.
The Sounds: Even though many sounds heard at Disney are not exclusive to the parks, it’s just not the same when you hear them somewhere else. For example, the soundtrack from Soarin’ will almost always bring a tear to my eye, but it’s even more effective when I’m actually experiencing the ride myself. The howling wolf that can be heard from the Haunted Mansion queue and the Liberty Square Riverboat sends shivers down my spine, while the chime of the doors in Star Tours makes me lean forward in anticipation of the adventure to come. When I hear the Magic Kingdom train whistle tooting I know I’m really home, and the sound of the Test Track cars whooshing by on the outside track is one of my favorites. On Main Street, the clangs of the trolley from the trolley show conjure up images of Judy Garland singing the same song in her 1944 movie, Meet Me in St. Louis. The first line of Wishes, paired with the small pop of the first firework, immediately makes me tear up. A silent Disney just wouldn’t be the same, and I miss hearing these noises when I’m not there.
The Tastes: It’s no secret that I’m in love with Disney food. There are just so many choices of cuisine, no matter what park you’re in. I have tried to recreate some Disney foods with recipes I found online, but nothing ever tastes the same as the real thing. Among my favorite dishes of Disney are the incredible taste of Pizzafari pepperoni pizza, the first bite of a Ham & Swiss sandwich (without the swiss) from Earl of Sandwich, and the peppery, mouthwatering flavor of the carved turkey sandwich from Be Our Guest. One of my personal favorite desserts in WDW is Norwegian school bread from Epcot. The mixture of sweet coconut and sugar icing with spicy cardamom bread and thick vanilla custard is enough to keep me a happy camper for the rest of the trip! It would be amazing if Disney could find a way to open restaurants with some of their most-loved dishes across the country, so we could enjoy a taste of the magic any time.
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