lauren spitler

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Farewell, Dream Along!

Hello again! It has been awhile, huh? How have you been?

I’ve been thinking about what I wanted my next post to be, and today it became quite clear. For those of you who don’t know, Dream Along with Mickey, the long-running musical on the castle stage at Magic Kingdom had its final performance today.

Every one of my social media feeds was filled with tributes to the show and shared memories from the show today. So I thought why not add mine via my blog? Warning to all: this post will be my personal thoughts and feelings about the show and my nostalgic response to it so… if that’s not your cup of tea, no worries, but you may want to click away now!

Two years ago I attempted a post explaining why I love Disney so much. That’s quite a huge task for a blog when honestly, I could write a long-winded book on that topic, I’m sure. One of the things I mentioned was about Dream Along:
I was at Magic Kingdom in July, and while watching the Dream Along with
            Mickey castle show, which I have known the lyrics to backwards and
            forwards for a few years now, I was still swept up in the magic of it all. It
            was the strangest and yet coolest thing for me. I am telling you, I know
            that show, I really know it. I knew what lyrics were going to be sung, and
            yet while I was singing away in a crowd of hundreds, when we reached a
            certain line, completely unprepared for it, I cried. There, I said it! You think
            that’s embarrassing? I think it’s awesome!

Let me expand on that now. I was on that trip years ago because I was looking at a few schools in Florida. I have taken an unconventional college route, which I could go into another time as it’s quite lengthy in itself, but basically at the time, I knew I wasn’t happy at my current school, and needed to start looking for something else. My dad and I went down to Florida for a few days, and were able to have one Disney day, which was the coolest bonus for me! I was getting one Disney day and had to choose one park. Magic Kingdom was an easy choice, and one of the reasons was because I wanted to see Dream Along. It’s always been one of my must-dos at the parks!

“Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come smiling through.” That’s the line that had me in tears. At that time in my life, I was feeling like a failure. Looking back on it now I can tell that that point in my life was the lowest in my long depressive spell. I needed some hope, and that is exactly what Dream Along was serving up for me that day. Before that day, this line never stuck out as anything extraordinary to me, but when I heard it that day in June, the tears fell instantly as an emotional response which was greatly out of the ordinary for me.

Just the fact that I was feeling hope again was huge, but the fact that I had an emotional response of any kind was even bigger. With depression, I feel numb a lot, and for the majority of my life, I’ve not processed emotions, and definitely not outwardly expressed them. This castle show acted as a turning point for my life in a way. My thinking began to change, and I seriously credit this moment for helping me.

Dream Along with Mickey has so many great takeaways, it’s hard to keep track of them all.

First of all, it’s a celebration. What are we celebrating? Anything and everything! It’s a “magical occasion for everyone to share.” It reminds us that every day is a reason to celebrate.

Mickey tells us all that he’s brought a surprise—he’s invited some special guests to the party. Donald asks, “That’s the surprise??” To which Goofy replies, “But Donald, they’re going to bring their dreams along to share.” I love that Goofy identifies sharing our dreams with each other and living life together as something special.

Donald doesn’t believe in dreams, but Minnie tells him, “Oh, why everyone believes in dreams! You see, that’s the only way dreams can come true.” I’ve never thought about it this way, but I like it! If we don’t believe in our dreams, how can we expect them to come true? We have to keep on believing!

This musical inspires kids, and the kids at heart, to dream up anything they can think of! There is no limit to what we can dream.

Life isn’t always perfect though, and darkness finds its way in (cue Maleficent). I love that Dream Along shows that the dark side of life exists too, and whatever that may be or represent in your life, it can be defeated! I think it’s important that Donald, the once dream-skeptic, is the one to remind everyone to believe in their dreams which ultimately saves the day! Quite telling for us all.

“Every day discover dreams you never dreamed before. Make believe and let your imagination soar!” We have the power to do this. I think that is very cool.

Thank you Dream Along for the years of telling us all to seize the moment and let our fantasies and dreams set sail. Thank you for reminding us that anything is possible and wishes DO come true.

For ten years, it was the best castle party I’ve ever been invited to. (To be fair, it was the only castle party I’ve been invited to, but you know, it’s also the best!) The show’s audio lived on my phone so that I could participate any time I liked. The party is leaving the castle stage, yes, but I will still find my way to the party when I want to. Of course it won’t be in person, but rather via YouTube, but you know what? I’ll take it.

Dream Along with Mickey is a show that I will always find to be classic and timeless, and there is never a wrong time to look it up online and watch it now!

So yes, I knew the words to the songs and the dialogue, and I picked up choreography over the years, but this show gave me and so many others alike so much more—it let us celebrate the magic of dreams and watch a variety of “happily ever afters” come alive.

As they say in the show… “find a dream inside of you” and “take the dream with you, wherever you may go!”

I leave you now the same way Dream Along with Mickey ends every time, and that’s with the words of Mickey, “see ya real soon!”

x Lauren

P.S. To see many more of my photos from Dream Along, look at my Disney Instagram account: @thefantasticaldream OR this previous blog post :) 
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