A week ago at this time my family and I were packing our bags to head home from Disney World. As the kids played in the pool, my wife and I gave each other a look like we couldn’t believe we had to go back to reality. Disney had made so many great memories, so quickly, and the thought of leaving was something I wanted to put in the back of my mind until the last possible moment.
Maybe it was heading back to the daily grind. Maybe it was thinking about our regularly scheduled roles and responsibilities that we left behind when we came off that place. Maybe it was knowing we wouldn’t get to spend the precious hours together as a family just having fun like we did while we were at Disney.
But, in all honesty, I believe this look came from a place of truly knowing how special our experience was in those past few days.
And, here is the crazy thing, almost everyone I talked to about their experience at Disney as a family said a similar thing: They didn’t want to leave the magic behind.
Someone Made This
As a kid, we took a trip to Disney that I’d never forget. It’s still the family vacation that my siblings and I talk about the most. Driving down to Florida in a station wagon, staying alongside the Wikiwachi river, fighting off snakes, swimming with manatees in the river, and a two-day stint at Disney going on rides like Space Mountain and Splash Mountain that blew my mind as a kid.
Going back as an adult brought out the kid in me again. But on our second day there, my daughter asked me, “Daddy, who made all of this?”
I had to stop in my tracks for a moment.
Someone made this. It came from an idea. And now we are benefitting from it.
I looked at my daughter and asked, “Did you know that Walt Disney was a real person?”
She laughed, “Yes, I saw his statue with Mickey.”
“Well,” I continued, “this was his idea. But thousands of people helped shape the idea, build Disney World, and now thousands more help it run every single day.”
“So,” she asked, “why did Walt Disney make all of this?”
“That’s a good question, let’s find out…”
We spent that lunch searching online for information about Disney World. We saw how thousands of people work there, why he created Disney Land and then Disney World, and talked about the process.
That night, back at the hotel, after a long day, I couldn’t help but keep thinking.
Someone made this.
They went through the entire design thinking process.
First, looking, listening, and learning about the need for people to have a place to build family memories, escape the everyday grind of the world, and get back to what matters.
Then, asking a ton of questions, figuring out what really is possible and using this information from all different types of people to understand the process and problem that needed to be solved.
From there it was time to navigate ideas and brainstorm about possibilities for Disney World. What ideas would solve the problem and make it an amazing experience for everyone who came?
Next, it was all about creating. Building, designing, and making the park into a reality.
The park has gone through many iterations as Disney and others highlighted what was working and fixed what was failing.
But, if you really think about it, the magic didn’t happen until Disney and his team launched it to the world. When they shared the ideas, creation, and experience it transformed the park from a magic
When they shared the ideas, creation, and experience it transformed the park from a magical place, to a magical experience.
Magic is what you make. It’s what we make. Let’s give our students the opportunity to not only experience it, but also build it themselves inside of our schools.
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