In a world of increasing tensions, violence, uncertainty, division, and doubt, the parks of Orlando (and for others, the world) often offer us a feeling of escape. We enter the gates of WDW or UO and feel like we are transported to another place where "dreams come true."
As I enter the MK, I feel an optimism and a hope. It inspires innocence, family, stability, and imagination. EPCOT inspires hope for the future and the unity of the nations. Animal Kingdom stirs passions to care for the conservation and protection of our planet and our animals. UO and other parks tell stories of heroism, impossible accomplishments, and the triumph of good over evil.
Theme parks always leave me feeling hopeful. But when I reenter the "real world," I always have to struggle to maintain that hope for the future. Is it possible that the messages of the parks can actually lead to change? Does AK actually lead people to seek to care for the earth? Does Epcot actually open people's minds to other cultures? Does the MK really encourage people to dream up new possibilities? Or are they merely nice escapes that disappear as soon as people leave the parks?
I know this post seems sappy, but it is an honest reflection I have had. I am a seminary student who loves theme parks and I just found myself wondering if the messages of the parks could actually leave a lasting impact on the hurting world around us.Tweet
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