The magic of Disney World for individuals on the Autism Spectrum is indisputable, but what exactly is it about Disney World that has so many differently-abled individuals enchanted for life? Reddit user Rei_Ayanami_00, a 22-year-old woman with autism, discusses the sense of belonging she feels when at Disney World in a recent post. Here are a few of our favorite excerpts:
- “All of a sudden I’m universally accepted, universally understood.”
- “The safety. The security of being around familiar visuals, familiar characters that you’ve known and grew up with since birth. Familiar faces who never change – Mickey will always be Mickey, Aurora will always be Aurora.”
- “And the entire time, the staff is there looking out for you, watching, caring. Understanding. Showing a kind of patience and courtesy you could never get anywhere else… but which means the world to somebody like me who gets so little of it every day.”
- “And the escapism itself… The way that Disney allows you to be someone other than yourself. You don’t have to be an autistic woman who bumbles through life, who has no job or viable future, who is often seen as a burden or a nuisance. You can be a princess. You can be a warrior. An astronaut. A time traveler. An explorer.”
- “These are characters you know, that have been a familiar sight to your for as long as you could remember. And you can approach them with the knowledge that they will never reject you, never push you away, and never be unkind.”
If you consider Disney to be your home, like Rei_Ayanami_00, what makes it so magical for you? And how can that magic be harnessed after leaving Disney World? Comment with your thoughts below!
Click here to read the rest of Rei_Ayanami_00’s story (H/T to Reddit).