My family and I are fanatics for all things Disney. Over the years as they have acquired some of our other favorite properties -Pixar, Marvel, & Star Wars- our love has only deepened. While my wife and I enjoyed Disney like most people (OK, maybe a little more than the average person, we did go there for our honeymoon!) it is our daughter that has truly pushed our interest into new heights. It seems that every project she is given at school links back to Disney. My daughter designs a new park for genius hour projects, writes A-Z creative books on the various Disney Park’s rides around the world, reads a biography on Walt Disney, researches reports on the parks and rides that never happened, creates stories where she travels back in time to help out on the opening day of Disneyland. Her love and passion inspired us to really encourage her interests.
My wife and I both had gone to the parks only once in our respective childhoods. Now, with our daughter, we go to the parks about every two years, if not more. When we are in the parks, it is more than the food and the rides. For us it is about the memories we make. I marvel at how Disney is able to create magical moments for thousands of people every single day of the year. But, more than that we love the mythology and history of the place, and the total immersion into this magical place created through the breathtaking theming and classic elements. It is so much more than just the trip, we love the planning , the months and weeks leading up to it, the countdown, and afterward the creation of scrapbooks and family movies that we look back on through the years.
When spending quality time together back home in the evenings, on weekends, and over the summer break, we found many of our events and ideas seemed to come back to our shared love of Disney. Growing up my father and I had little in common, but there were a few areas where our interests aligned. He is gone now, and I look back on those few pastimes where our interests overlapped, and they have become so much more special to me now that he is gone. I decided to take my daughter’s true passion for all things Disney, as well as my more than passing interest in it, and use it to be one of those magical intersections that would bring us together. It allows us spend quality time together, and make the magical memories that mean so much. Not everything we do is Disney related, but this blog will share some of the massive projects that are Disney related all of which grew out of requests from my daughter. I like to think Walt Disney would love what we do, not just because so much of it was inspired by him and his philosophies, but also because so much of it involves miniatures and trains, both of which were a lifelong passion of his.
When I was a child the internet was not a thing, I don’t think I even understood Imagineering was a job. It would be my dream profession today. While hanging out I would share the history of the parks with my daughter. We would read books on Imagineering, the rides, the trivia of the park, etc. We would have discussions about a variety of topics. Her love of Disney got her to read constantly. All was done in the way Walt Disney intended to educate children through innovation and fun. Each was like any other discussion a parent would have with their child, but it was also part of a larger education program exposing my daughter to the world. We look at unique cultures through Epcot, study history through the Magic Kingdom and Liberty Square, and explore exotic parts of the world and nature through the Animal Kingdom. Each was simply a touchstone or jumping off point to further discussions and learning throughout the year. By far the biggest lesson of these talks and creative endeavors was the enduring legacy Walt Disney gave us all; to have an imagination, to dare to dream the impossible, and to then set out to do the hard work and have the drive to make it a reality.
I hope you enjoy our creations and are inspired in your own ways to use your imagination, make memories, and IMAGINE your EARS however you dream to.
Until next time…
The Imagine Ears features the DIY projects, adventures, and thoughts of a father and daughter who use a shared love of all things Disney to create memories together through encouraging her interests in architecture, design, Imagineering, while exploring history and science.