Keeping (Disney) Magic Alive

Elizabeth Sabatini

Disney has been a huge part of American culture since Walt Disney debuted Mickey Mouse as “Steamboat Willie” in 1928. Because of Mr. Disney’s imagination, many have a special connection to a Disney movie or two since childhood that still brings them happy memories today. Ever since Disneyland, Disney’s first park, opened in Anaheim, California in 1955, Disney lovers have been able to relieve happy memories from their youth while still being an adult.

“I think Disney is a great place for [college] students to visit because Disney is for all ages,” said Teagan Ortense, 22, journalism major from Secaucus.

With six theme parks and two water parks in the U.S. and six theme parks overseas, located in Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and an upcoming park in Shanghai, Disney has a lot to offer those in search of a good time across the globe. If you feel like you need some relaxation and good times, visit the Walt Disney World Resort located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, just under a three hour plane ride from New Jersey.

Melissa Mondanaro, 21, art therapy major from Bayonne recommends trips to Disney, “Because in a world where you are stuck being an adult, it’s good to let your inner child run free for a bit.”

Disney World is a massive property covering 27,258 acres. Its four parks include Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and If you are craving some of that infamous Disney magic, visit the Magic Kingdom and escape to its six uniquely themed lands: Main Street U.S.A., Liberty Square, Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Visit 999 happy ghosts in the Haunted Mansion, chat with Magician Mickey on Main Street, or dine on French inspired cuisine at Be Our Guest, a restaurant themed as the Beast’s castle from the 1991 award winning film, Beauty and the Beast. Magic Kingdom is the perfect place to reminisce on simple childhood pleasures.

“They don’t call it the happiest place on earth for nothing!” Ortense gushed over the resort.

Want to explore the world in one day? Then head to EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, where you can visit World Showcase. The Showcase is home to eleven pavilions, each representing a different country around the world. Here you can learn about different customs through its many attractions or by talking to the World Showcase cast members (Disney employees) who actually come from the represented countries. You can even eat and drink “around the world,” as EPCOT boasts a variety of great restaurants. So take a Mexican boat tour on Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros, hug Duffy the traveling Disney Bear, and grab a beer and eat delicious German food at Biergarten Restaurant, where every day is treated like Oktoberfest.

For thrill ride lovers, there’s Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, which boast some of the most intense rides on Disney property. Visit Asia in the Animal Kingdom and conquer Expedition Everest, a roller coaster that is 200 feet high and propels you backwards, all during an encounter with a yeti. If you are feeling brave, take a trip into the Twilight Zone on the Tower of Terror located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios. This 199 foot tall “dark” ride drops you down a haunted elevator shaft and reaches speeds up to 30.7 miles per hour.

A time as good as this could come at a price, so be on the lookout for the deals that Disney offers throughout the year. Many times on their website,, you can find special promotions such as free dining or a percentage off your room stay. Bringing friends is a great way to keep costs down as well. The magic you will experience is well worth the price. Have a magical time and eat a pineapple dole whip in Adventureland for me!