Monday, August 29, 2011

Recapturing the Disney Magic At Home

One of the few detriments to living in the Rocky Mountain region is being so far from a Disney theme park.  Disneyland in Anaheim is 2 hours away by plane while Disney World in Orlando (my personal favorite) is 4 hours away.  Add to that the high cost of flights and the limited vacation time I have at work and you can understand why I get to the parks much less frequently then I would like to.

Because of this I've often tried to find ways to keep the magic alive at home.  Of course there's podcasts, youtube, social media, all of which I use regularly, but I wanted something more.  For me that something more is my monorail set.  We've all seen these sets.  They're in all the parks and resort gift shops as well as Downtown Disney.  When I first began visiting the Disney parks as an adult I found myself becoming fascinated with these things.  Not only did you have the monorail itself which is an HO Scale battery operated monorail with a decent length of track, but there were many accessories to this set.  Some accessories like the Astro Orbiter set and the Mad Tea Cups set attach to the monorail line and activate when the monorail goes by.  Others like the Tree of Life and Spaceship Earth are more stand-alone and they fit with the monorail set but are there just for "atmosphere".

At one time Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney in Orlando had an outstanding display for all the monorail toys.  It had all the accessories as well as several monorails zooming around and between them.  That, I think, is was finally got me hooked.  Of course I fought the urge for a couple of years saying that it was an expensive toy for kids, but the more I went to Disney parks, the more my inner child took over.  Long story short I bought a monorail and have subsequently been working to collect all the accessories.  Unfortunately Disney has retired most of the accessories so I'm paying much more from sites like eBay than I would have if I just got it when I first wanted it.  I think the moral of the story is to give in to your inner child.

The set has now taken over my home to the extent that I finished my basement to make what I call "The Happiest Room on Earth", my Disney room.  I'm just getting started on the layout but a funny thing is happening.  As I plan the layout in a room full of Disney attraction posters, collectibles, and streaming Disney park audio, (thank you MouseWorldRadio), I'm finding that the inner child joy I feel when I'm at the parks is creeping into me at home.  That feeling is to me what Disney is all about.  That feeling of happiness and contentment.  That feeling of being a kid again.  I've got a long way to go on the monorail set.  I'm going to build an enormous table for the set and build all of Magic Kingdom including the Ticket and Transportation Center and the Seven Seas Lagoon that proceeds it.  But the project can go on for years and I'll be quite happy because I've found a way to get the Disney magic at home, and that's all I really wanted to begin with.

My Monorail Collection

Happiest Room on Earth

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