Well, vacation is over. After not taking one in so long, I’m so glad my family and I got away from church, work and responsibility for a little while.
For those wondering, we saved up money to go to Disney World this year. It was my four-year-old daughter’s first time at the Magic Kingdom. She soaked it in as only a four-year-old girl can. She oohed and ahhed all the princesses and characters. She rode her first roller coaster (and even put her arms in the air while on the ride) and she sat in awe of all the animatronics and technical marvels of the Disney theme parks and rides.
While she looked on in wonder, I spent time in reflection. In quiet moments waiting in line or riding a bus back to the hotel, I pondered on the day at the Disney and the applications to ministry. Youth ministry has a lot to learn from Walt Disney World.
Over the next few posts, I’m going to look at Disney World ideas and put them through a youth ministry lens. A lot of what they do, with a few tweaks, can really improve the ministry we’re doing in churches today, especially in a rural context.
To kick off the series (and in honor of Laura Hannah), I have compiled my own top ten list. These are the top ten things I saw at Disney World that I’d never see at the county fair.
- A teenager in a stroller. While walking through the park, I actually witnessed this. What’s worse? The dad was pushing him. No one at a fair would ever do that without shame.
- A mom openly (and exposingly) breastfeeding in line. Quite a show for the teenagers in line. Made it difficult on me to walk through a line backwards.
- Air-conditioned rides.
- Rides that I trust that are shut down when a minor flaw is detected. (Sorry, I just don’t trust carnival rides. Five minutes before they were a ride, they were a trailer being hauled by a pick-up.)
- Multiple long lines to meet a guy in a costume.
- An electric light parade (though to be fair, Disney didn’t have tractor pulls or livestock shows.)
- A parking lot full of busses to take people back to the hotel.
- A ticket that cost more than your electric bill. (You can go to the fair for a week for the price of one Disney ticket.)
- $9 hotdogs. Fair food isn’t cheap, but it doesn’t cost $9 for a hotdog and $2.50 for a drink. You also don’t have to wait in line for 30 minutes just to get food.