Wednesday with Walt: Happiness Is…

Walt Disney said, “Happiness is a state of mind, it’s just according to the way you look at things.”

Disney fans know all about happiness. Merriam-Webster describes happiness as “a state of well-being and contentment; or a pleasurable or satisfying experience.”  All we know is that it is the sheer joy we feel when we visit the most magical place on earth. Happiness is manifested in different ways for different people. What is funny to me is that Walt said “it is in the way you look at things,” and I think our perspective actually changes just from being at Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

I went to some of the happiest Disney people I know, the Chip & Co writers, to get their opinions on where happiness comes from during their visits. This list is not all-inclusive but I am sure you can get the idea.

It’s in the memories

Looking back on past trips with our families and watching our children grow up in the pages of our photo albums makes us happy and proud.

It’s in a child’s eyes

The sheer joy in a child’s face when she sees her favorite characters is worth a million bucks.

It’s a walk down the street

Not just any street; it’s our first walk down Main Street USA. This brings joy to many people; whether it is the first walk or the 50th makes no difference at all. It is the fact that we are finally on Main Street. For others it is the main street in any of the parks.

It’s a seat with a view

Finding the perfect seat for viewing the Magic Kingdom night parade is an easy shot to sheer joy.

It’s in our daily lives

Having pieces of Disney scattered all around our daily lives keeps many of us in a happier place. Mementos, pictures, collectibles are all things that remind us of happy times we have had or will have in the future.

It’s under the arches

No, it is not under the golden arches, but the ones you drive under when you are finally entering Walt Disney World. You know them.. and hopefully you will be seeing them again soon.

It’s in our wish for a better world

Disney guests and cast members alike take the time to treat each other as individual people. The kindness is infectious and it creates a sense of “home” like no other. It’s a magical feeling.

It’s in our interaction with cast members

Watching the Citizens of Hollywood at the Studios is a lot of fun and puts a smile on your face that will last all day. There are some special people I call cast members extraordinaire that have really made an impression on me at WDW.

It’s in the joy of the ride

Riding the Tower or Terror, Expedition Everest or Rock N Rollercoaster, just to name a few, takes you back to being a kid again. It is wonderful to feel that kind of youth and free-spiritedness again.

Riding the monorail and boats says “welcome back” and that is a fantastic feeling as well.

It’s the sounds and sights of a water parade

Watching a time-tested and treasured tradition such as the Electric Water Pageant can bring you nostalgic happiness – Walt’s favorite kind.

It’s in a special treat

Each bite of an ice cream cone on Main Street or a sundae at Beaches and Cream makes you happier and happier.

It’s in a hug from Mickey Mouse

The moment you walk up to Mickey and he puts his arms out for a hug is a time that love overflows from your heart. Be sure to snap a photo so you can feel that feeling over and over again.

It’s in the joy of knowing Disney friends from all over the country

As I said, I got much of the information for this article from my fellow writers at Chip & Company. Thank you to all of you for your input. I know and love these friends through a Disney bond, even though I have never met them in person. My happiness comes from friendships with people who have this special connection in common across the globe.

Another thing Walt said was, “We create happiness.” Well yes, Walt, you definitely did create happiness and we thank you very much for that.

He gave us the tools; we just have to use them!


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Chip and Co Past Writers and Friends