A few weeks ago, I took an unexpected, whirlwind, adults-only trip to Disney World. It was just three days. We visited Disney Springs, Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
I know Disney isn’t for everyone, but boy oh boy is it for me. I’ve been a fan since I was a kid, but my love for it has only grown as I get older. I haven’t yet taken my daughter (soon!), but I’ve enjoyed two trips there with my son, and watching the magic unfold through his eyes was invaluable.
This trip was unique (and AMAZING) because I got to really absorb and savor every moment for myself, since I didn’t need to keep any small humans alive or happy. We had gorgeous, very un-Florida-esque weather and the lines were practically non-existent. We rode, and rode, and rode. We rope dropped and stayed until park closing and milked every second of our time there. Truly, it was magical.
While watching and observing the other people there without the distraction of my kiddos, I did find something rather disheartening. Phones. Air pods. It seemed that every which way I turned, the grown-ups were face down in a device. Multi-generational families were in line, barely speaking or interacting. Newlyweds donning their groom and bride ears were standing shoulder-to-shoulder, scrolling away. Parents stood over strollers with their air pods in, squinting into their screens.
Don’t get me wrong – there were endless smiles and shoulder rides and laughter. However, the sheer number of screen-starers I observed left me pondering and more than a bit bummed out. I know that technology is SUCH a part of our culture, and I know that ALL of us are probably guilty of too much mindless screen time, myself included. I also know that much of Disney’s experience requires access to the Disney app (reservations, Genie+ selections, mobile ordering, etc). To me, though, the issue seemed compounded in a place that is dedicated to building memories with the people that we love. It just seemed to me that the moments for conversation, for playfulness, for bonding and togetherness were slipping away for so many. Plus, every little corner of Disney World is designed to delight and inspire magic – we totally miss those delights when we’re busy looking at our devices (and we pay a LOT of money for those Disney details!).
I returned from “the happiest place on earth” with renewed inspiration to limit my mindless (and even mindful!) time on my phone. It’s so easy to slip into the rabbit hole, and I want to SEE the magic in my life, not just stand in the middle of it, scrolling away. I want to be intentionally present – wish me luck!
Delighting in the details,