Alex Anderson

Spiritual Experiences at the Happiest Place on Earth

2014-02-17 Alex AndersonFamily

Our family just concluded a very successful trip down to Southern California. We spent a couple of days in the Disneyland Resort parks, took a jaunt over to the San Diego temple, and in all had a wonderful time. Not only that, but quite a good deal of pent up stress was relieved (that’s a really long story which I might get into later).

Disneyland has been a very cherished place for our family for some time. It’s been our “get away” location when we’ve wanted a vacation and had the money to spare. We know the park like the backside of our hands, we’ve gotten into a rhythm with which rides to go on at what times during the day, and of course, we top every trip off with at least one viewing of Fantasmic.

Fantasmic is a great, 15 or so minute production which is put on nearly every night on the banks of the Rivers of America. Our hero, Mickey Mouse, is caught within his own imagination as it begins to run wild with all kinds of nightmares. Pyrotechnics, water-screens, and incredible choreography all culminate in the climactic end scene. But before I get to that, I’d love to share a quick story of my childhood. It’s actually about my father, when we used to live up in Logan, UT.

At the time, his life wasn’t going in the direction he had intended. He was happy enough, with a wonderful wife and four kids, and yet he felt like there was more out for him. He felt trapped in his world with know idea of how to escape. The family took a trip down to Disneyland and watched that final scene, when the evil dragon-form of Maleficent bears down upon Mickey, breathing flames down his neck. Out of nowhere, Mickey pulls out a magic sword and says, (spoiler alert) “Now wait a minute! This is MY dream!” With that, he slashes the sword through the air and electrical energy zap-fries the bad guys, and the day is saved, along with the dream. I’m not sure my dad was even paying attention to those details. He was so fascinated by those words, “This is MY dream.”

It was a Joseph Smith moment - he was hit with the Spirit, which just kept on repeating those words with a little bit more meaning attached. My dad realized that this life was his, and he could do what he wanted with it. He had no reason to be bound down to just one thing. He could go off and explore new paths, seek his happiness and fortune in new ways. It was then that he decided that it was time to move his entire family. For those of you reading this right now, you probably wouldn’t be if it weren’t for that trip to Disneyland. I would still be in Logan, and never would have met any of you. Remarkable, isn’t it? As we watched it tonight as part of our Family Home Evening, I could feel that the whole show still had the same significance to my dad as it ever did. Cheers!

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R. Alex Anderson

Alex Anderson is a husband, student, React web developer, Latter-day Saint, amateur rock climber, hobby chef, and spaceship enthusiast. He enjoys learning new things, teaching inspiring things, building cool things, and doing fun things.

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