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Finding DIS*Similarities in the World Around Us

It’s that wonderful times of year….  when the kids are home, the days are long, and the vacations are planned….  So many families flock to Walt Disney World at this time of year, taking advantage of the long hours and the freedom from school-time obligations.  Knowing so many people are enjoying the magic makes it harder for those of us at home, who will not make it to the most magical of destinations this year… or maybe even in the next few.  Many of us live vicariously through our friends, through Facebook posts, and through blogs.

I am one of those people, always yearning for a Disney vacation.  So, I thought, “why not turn things around?  why don’t we find Disney where we are?”  And so, this blog theme was born:  with your help, we are going to start unearthing the Disney magic in the world around us.  Rather than dwell on not going to WDW this year, we are going to look at our world and find DIS*similaities.  Hold on… what?  DIS*Similarities. I am taking Webster’s dictionary and turning it on its ear.  I know that “dissimilar” means unalike… But DIS*similar will now come to mean something more.  It will refer to those places, events, people, sounds (and even smells) in the world around us that trigger a happy Disney memory because they are similar to something in Walt Disney World.  And because they make the magic feel, well…. not so far away after all!

I recently was blessed to travel to Virginia for a vacation with my family.  While there, I searched for DIS*similarities, and found them all around me!  I will document them for you in these first two blog installments.  I invite you to join me–to find DIS*similarities in YOUR town or while you are on vacation.  I will post my DIS*coveries (ha!) along the way as well.  When you find a DIS*similarity, take a picture (or 2 or 3 or 4!) and send them to me (with a brief description of where you were) at Christy@WDWRadio.com.  I will post your pictures and we can all share in your fun!!

In the meantime, enjoy my first DIS*similarities.  Hope they trigger a happy memory for you, as they did for me.

DIS*Similarity Adventure #1: Massanutten Resort and Luray Caverns, the greater Harrisburg, Virginia area

When we arrived in Virginia, I knew I hoped to find DIS*similarities, though I wasn’t sure if I would be successful.  My fears were allayed, however, when we spotted the water park, which immediately reminded me of the Imagination Pavilion.  What do you think?

Once inside the water park, my children and I found other sights that reminded us of our favorite Yeti.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Disney-related trip without some hidden Mickey’s.  (I am going to assume Steve Barrett would not like these, but they made ME smile!)

Outside the water park, I encountered this street sign, which brought back a flood of memories of Disney events and vacations.  Does it work for you, too?

The bungee dome offered a reminder of that beautifully geometric symbol of EPCOT, Spaceship Earth.

A final DIS*similarity came back at the water park… this one came in the form of a sound….  it was the sound of the water that falls inside the Polynesian Resort.  It was so distinct, so exactly like the Polynesian, it made me stop in my tracks.  I took a picture, and I hope you can imagine the sound as well!

We ventured away from Massanutten mountain one day to Luray Caverns.  I did not hold out much hope for DIS*similarities in a cavern, but was surprised to encounter two striking Disney references.  First, meet “Pluto’s Ghost,” (their name, not mine.)  The stalagmite is named for the Roman god of the underworld, and our guide was quick to mention it was not named for Mickey Mouse’s pet.  The name, though, made me smile.

The next DIS*similarity is courtesy of my daughter, who when seeing it said, “Oh, Mommy! It’s just like the city of Atlantis!”

Hope you enjoyed our first set of DIS*similarities!  Our next adventure will take us to Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  I know.  Don’t get me started about it not being a Disney park.  But I had great fun finding the DIS*similarities there (and there were some REALLY GOOD ones!!)

Have a great week, and don’t forget to find those DIS*similarities around you, too!