Have I mentioned yet how psyched I am to be going to Florida in a couple of days? You know, where the Happiest Place on Earth is? Yeah? Well I’m going to be getting into it again.
I haven’t seen my older sister, Joanne, and her family in a while. And by a while, I mean two years. Two effing years.So getting to spend the week with them will be great. My mom will probably be stressing the whole time—because that’s just how my mom is—but I will be relaxing and spending some quality time with the fam.
As much as I love them, and have missed them, I can’t deny my excitement for Disney World.
Yep; I’m twenty-two years old, and have been jumping up and down like a five year old about this trip. This is my first time going to Magic Kingdom since my parents were still married. That was more than ten years ago, people! Your girl is ecstatic.
I’d say I’m a Disney Kid at heart, although I’m pretty sure just about anyone who has ever met me knows this. I still have all my VHS’s hidden in my bedroom, and the Cinderella dress my grandmother made me when I was a little girl.
Let me tell you the story about this dress. First of all, I’m not the biggest fan of Cinderella (I have personal reasons for this), so it still shocks me that I wanted a Cinderella dress so badly. My dad’s mom, who us kids call Oma, took me on my very first trip to Disney.
I was about four years old at the time. My aunt, Margarete, and cousin, Christina, lived in Florida at the time, and came to Disney with us. And you would think that someone who constantly says that they don’t remember much wouldn’t remember something from when they were so young, but let me tell you: I remember a good amount of this trip.
Everything was so magical, between the characters around the park, a safari ride with the animals, the rides, Cinderella’s castle…I loved everything about this trip. I guess you could assume this was the root as to why Oma’s my favorite human being. I don’t remember much of our trip outside of the Disney premises, but I still have dreams about the Peter Pan ride.
I remember going to see a show for The Lion King, and having to leave, because the sight of Scar scared me so much. I remember sitting in front of the landscaping of Mickey Mouse’s head and getting a picture taken with Christina there (a photo that Oma gave me a couple years back, which I still have). I remember meeting Goofy, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, and Pluto. And I especially remember meeting the Little Mermaid for the first time.
Ariel was my favorite out of all of them.
But when we were in a gift shop, I saw Cinderella’s dress, and I was with a grandparent. Everyone knows grandparents will give you literally anything—especially when you’re a child. I wanted that dress so bad, but Oma couldn’t afford it. Instead, she got me the matching shoes and gloves for it. I threw a huge fit.
When we came home from our trip, Oma got right to work. Oma knew how to work her way around a sewing machine; she’d only been using them for how many decades before I was born. She surprised me with a replica of that Cinderella dress, and that’s what I was for the following Halloween. I loved that dress.
So I guess you could assume that I’m also Oma’s favorite.
The next time I went to Disney, the time with my parents, I was still so star struck by this place that had all my favorite characters on TV. Well, except Barney, but that’s a whole thing in itself. I specifically remember meeting Ariel again, in her grotto, and getting a picture taken with her. And going on Space Mountain. And, of course, the parade.
Disney has had a special place in my heart basically my entire life. And I will be returning to Main Street in less than a week.
And in honor of that, I’m going to share with you, some of my favorite Disney characters of all time.
Ariel, The Little Mermaid
Like I said before, Ariel was my all-time favorite. And she still is for the most part, but I can’t help but get annoyed at her “I’m an adult” speech to her father when she’s only supposed to be sixteen. I don’t remember exactly why she was my favorite, it might have been the red hair, or the fact that she could actually sing, but you can bet your ass that I know every word to this movie forwards and backwards.
Okay, it might be the redhead thing. In my personal opinion, the characters and the music to this film is underrated and underappreciated. I can watch this movie literally every day and not get sick of it. In fact, I did watch it every night before going to bed for months on end (a couple of months ago). Hercules is freaking awesome. And the majority of the characters are part of Greek Mythology, which I personally always liked. Hercules was the reason I got into mythology, actually. I also have to state that if you don’t know the words to I Won’t Say (I’m in Love), we can’t karaoke together. Like, ever.
I didn’t care much for Mulan when I was young. I was too into the frilly, stereotypical princess type. But as I got older, I really started to appreciate Mulan and the badass she is. And honestly, if Ariel isn’t my number one, Mulan is. Not only does she deliberately disobey her father’s wishes, she breaks Chinese laws, and actually puts her life in danger by pretending to be a man, just so her father didn’t basically kill himself as a soldier. And she manages to make some friends and save China, too. I want to slap seven-year-old Amanda for not looking up to that. (But also you can’t forget that I’ll Make A Man Out of You is one of the best Disney songs.)
Woody, Pixar’s Toy Story
As a kid, when my aunt Roxanne still lived at Oma’s house, I would go into her room every morning and ask her to put Toy Story on her TV for me. And I am proud to say that this is no exaggeration. I probably know every single word to this movie, as well. I would get really into the film, too, because I would sit there and quote along with it as a kid. Not to mention one of my favorite actors of all time voices my favorite deputy from the film. (You’ll be hearing about my love for Tom Hanks soon enough.) And just about everyone that watched this movie as a kid cried at the end of Toy Story 3, right? It wasn’t just me, right?
Ursula, The Little Mermaid
Not only is Ariel my favorite princess, but Ursula is my favorite Disney villain, hands down. For one thing, she has the best villain song with Poor Unfortunate Souls, in my opinion (but I can’t lie, Scar has a pretty good one, too). And she transforms herself into a human, just to steal Ariel’s man! She could have done some type of spell to make Eric fall in love with Scuttle if she wanted to, but she definitely made him fall in love with her to hurt Ariel even more. If that’s not pure evil, I don’t know what is. You have to give her some type of props for that!
Similar to Hercules, I used to watch Pocahontas on a daily basis. And I think she’s completely underrated and under appreciated as well! Like, come on: she was actually based on a real person (although we all know that she was around twelve years old when she met an adult John Smith—so, sadly, their relationship was completely inaccurate). Pocahontas is just plain awesome; for one thing, she’s really in touch with nature, and for another, she’s super intuitive. And it isn’t everyday you find yourself having to stand up to powerful people (who may or may not include your father) for what you believe in.
Belle, Beauty and the Beast
I mean, how do you not like Belle? She’s somehow outcasted from the rest of the townspeople, for what? Educating herself? Doing something other than sit around and wait for some dude to sweep her off her feet? Belle wasn’t having any of that. She wanted more than that. She wanted to travel, and be her own person, without judgement from all the small-minded people in her town. Belle was badass in her own way: the girl saves her father from imprisonment, didn’t take any of the Beast’s shit, and stood up to the biggest, baddest guy she knew. You go, girl.
He might also be on here because he’s another redhead, but I have actually been fascinated by him and the idea of Neverland for a very long time. Hell, I’m still waiting for an animated version of how Tink met Peter and brought him to Neverland. I have watched almost every version of Peter Pan that there is—including the play with Cathy Rigby. I even have a tattoo with the second star to the right. And if that doesn’t convince you how much I love this character, I don’t know what would.
Even though Moana is one of the newest Disney movies, I fell in love with this film faster than you can say Pua (the really cute pig’s name which, by the way, is barely in the film—and that is my only complaint). And honestly, I was hype for this movie when they first started releasing information about it, solely because I knew Lin-Manuel Miranda was involved. And I think everyone knows by now that the guy is a genius. Just everything about this film and its main character is flawless. The animation, the graphics, the voice actors, the music, the little details—everything. The internal journey Moana goes on is so moving, and Auli’i Cravalho, who voices the titular character, has pipes (not to mention she’s only a teenager herself). I literally cried to this movie the first time I watched it like three different times because it was so good.
Prompt: List some of your favorite Disney characters.