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Like most of you, I don’t live close to a Disney theme park. Instead, I spend a great deal of time wistfully wishing that I were there instead. I miss the Most Magical and Happiest Places on Earth so much that I’ll sometimes close my eyes and pretend. Here’s a list of my Disney fantasies when I’m not at Disney.

Those lovely words…

Image: DisneyI unashamedly maintain a child’s love for the monorail. I never feel more at Disney than when the doors close and I hear these words for the first time on my trip:

"Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas."

Yes, the English version comes first, but “Please stand clear of the doors” isn’t quite as catchy or memorable. It’s the Spanish that reminds me of that glorious moment when the monorail transports me to the Magic Kingdom. So, that’s the first thing I think about when I’m fantasizing about Disney. But I have soooo many more.

Ooh, that smell

Image: DisneyI’ve joked on more than one occasion that my idea of Heaven is spending every day at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This place has my favorite monorail restaurant, pool, and proximity to Epcot via direct monorail. What the Polynesian also has is that divine fragrance that you smell when you enter the Great Ceremonial House. I never want to leave the lobby because I love it so much. I’ve purchased countless candles and machines to recreate the smell, but there’s nothing that quite matches the real thing.

The drive-in theater…

Image: DisneyMy favorite restaurant at Walt Disney World requires a bit of time travel. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I can go back to the 1950s and watch movies projected on a giant drive-in screen. These films aren’t high-quality offerings by any stretch. To the contrary, they’re some of the worst ever made…and that’s what I love about them.

The throwback clips example a lost era of television when late-night and weekend viewing involved whatever the local cable channel could afford…which wasn’t much. When I watch the film roll at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, I’m remembering why I fell in love with movies in the first place. Even the lousy stuff is entertaining in its own way, and that’s why I think about this restaurant a lot when I’m not in Orlando. 

Kawaii shopping…

Image: DisneyNot everything that I love about Disney is because of me. I’m in one of those disgusting relationships where my partner and I really like each other. You know the kind. We finish each other’s sentences and whatnot. It’s gross.

I take a lot my satisfaction in life from pleasing my wife. One of the purest forms of joy for her is shopping at Mitsukoshi Store at the Japan Pavilion. She can destroy a credit card limit in the blink of an eye here, buying everything from kimonos to home decorations to all of her favorite anime and videogame merchandise.

Her love of Mitsukoshi is why I never struggle to find good Christmas presents. It’s also why I watch every shopping video of this store, always searching for new gift ideas.

Riding in a scary vehicle…

Image: DisneyI’m listing these Disney fantasies in order of how often that I have them. And one of my favorites involves a ride through a Haunted Mansion. Whenever I board the Doom Buggy and hear the voice of the Ghost Host for the first time, I know that I’m about to feel entertained. By the moment that the bar lowers itself and I set course on a supernatural adventure, I’m giddy with anticipation for all of my beloved high points from the attraction. Haunted Mansion is one of the greatest rides ever built, and my exuberance starts with the Doom Buggy.

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