Writing this is a little emotional for me. I know to the normal person writing a farewell to Wishes a firework show at Walt Disney World seems so silly. You think, it is just a firework’s show. The thing is to me, to many of friends, my Disney family, and so many people I do not even know it is so much more. On Thursday, May 11th this show closes and honestly its a mix of emotions for me. It has been 10 years of Magical Memories, and for others even more since its beginning in 2003.
Wishes has been the start of new chapters, and endings of others. It has been the ending to many wonderful celebrations, reasons for random date nights, meet ups with dear friends, and a thing to always go back to each and every visit and let all those memories come back in.
I am not just your average Disney lover. I am a Disney College Program and Professional Internship Alumni, and a 3 year Disney Cast Member after that. I was engaged in Cinderella’s Castle, and some of my best friends in the whole world came from my experiences and time at Disney. Disney is home, it is special, it is a I just left there and I need to go back like yesterday kind of place. Wishes, well it is just the icing on the cake!
So, let’s talk about those new beginnings. My then boyfriend (now husband) and I took our first trip to Disney together in the summer of 2007. It was his first trip and my first time ever staying on property, and going to any park other than Magic Kingdom or Epcot. I hadn’t been to Epcot in probably 10 years or more. My love for Wishes began this trip. The music is what really gets you. I had known for a while but I really knew that trip he was the man I was going to marry. March of 2008 we went back for our Senior Year of College Spring Break. That trip Wishes got a whole new meaning! One evening while dining at Cinderella’s Castle my husband proposed to me, and just a few minutes later we watched Wishes from our table out the Castle Window. It was a new chapter for us to start our lives together. This year exactly 9 years to the date he proposed, we watched Wishes for the first and sadly the last time with our 1 year old Daughter. Getting that moment with her was so special.
The next new beginning was the start of my college program. Thanks to Facebook I was able to jump in a group with other people doing the program the same time as me. Many of these people are still some of my dearest friends. I remember after our first day of traditions as soon as we had the ticket to get in we all made plans to meet up for Wishes. I am not even kidding there were like 20 or more of us. Some of the best times ever in January of 2009, and some of the slowest times I have ever experienced in the parks to date. Oh, the fun we had! But all great things must come to end, and just like we started that experience together on Main Street with Wishes, it is also where that May we all met up at the end of our program.( and again in August for some people who extended.)Me I still stuck around. I remember those nights being filled with so many tears. Not wanting to say goodbye, not wanting “The Time of Your Life” (Disney’s marketing campaign at the time) to be over. Wishes was our thing. These weren’t the only nights we saw Wishes together but one of the few times we saw them in such large groups, as it got very hard to all meet up with work schedules. Wishes made us cry tears of happiness and sadness many times.
Then there were just memories. I spent 6 months doing my management internship in Magic Kingdom. 6 months away, and then another 3 years in that magical place. I have fond memories of heading out to the patio with an empty restaurant with some of my cast members at Pinocchio’s Village Haus. I remember the 6 months I spent at the Contemporary sneaking away to the observation deck wishing I was back in the park, but still loving the view just the same. Then I got to go back to Magic Kingdom, to Stands East. (sadly no longer a thing) At the time Toon Town was one of my areas and the Cast Members had a thing for watching Wishes in the backstage area. It was a such a great viewing spot. I remember some of my cast members making plans to watch it there one last time before Toon Town closed for the New Fantasyland expansion, and I remember watching right in front of Gaston’s Tavern with some of the very same cast members when we got to open that new location. I heard the music 3-4 nights a week and even if I was too busy to stop and watch it never got old! It was truly one of the best parts of working in Magic Kingdom.
Then I remember that last closing chapter. The one where we closed up the chapter of our Florida life. I remember the last night shift I worked and watching Wishes in front of Gaston’s Tavern, that one last time. I remember one of my very best friends surprising me my last day at work and coming down for a few days to close that chapter with me. It was special, and magical, it was tradition.
In March, we not only watched Wishes one last time with our daughter, but also several of these same people who were a part of making this show so special. How special it was to close yet another chapter with people who mean so much.
As Walt said, “We keep moving forward opening up new doors & doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. “ While I am so sad to see Wishes go, I am excited to start making new memories with the new show. With this I leave you;
“Make a Wish and do as dreamers do and all our Wishes will come true. “