My last trip was to Florida for eight days with the BF and his mother. We went to one or more of the Disney World theme parks seven of those eight days. It was the most insane vacation I've ever been on. Which is not to say it wasn't fun, it was. It was fun and insane.
I had never been to Disneyworld, but for about five wonderful years in my youth I lived near Disneyland and would save up my allowance every year to go. I have cherished memories of those trips with girlfriends and cousins, memories of standing in long lines and eating enormous lollipops. Disneyland is a place you can navigate in a day. Disneyworld is that times a gagillion.
The bf's mom is an absolute expert on the place and knows exactly what place in which park at which time you should go to for maximum experience opportunities. On the first day, we arrived at the Magic Kingdom before opening and hit 5 rides in one hour. In all seven days, we never stood in a line for more than 12 minutes, and often it was more like 3. The maximized experiences continued each day until I needed a cold beverage break (my San Francisco weather-wussedness was no match for the Florida sun and heat) or a chance to calm my motion-sick self. I felt a little like I was in training for the strangest marathon of my life. On the 4th day I got sick (sinus infection, still suffering from it) and had to start moving slower. I'm glad I did because that's when I could finally start to enjoy all the details in each park.
Walt Disney was a man of amazing imagination. The worlds he created and inspired in each park overflow with rich, satisfying details. Each store front is a building portraying some story. Each ride is replete with setting details that rival the place they are portraying. Drinking in these incredibly thought out sets made me think about how I could draw the same level of imagery in my stories. What if I tried to evoke as much through details that a reader could experience a similar transportation to another time or place?
Each corner of each park evokes a sort of story (some rides of course evoke actual stories, like Peter Pan or Splash Mountain) creating a heightened experience for the visitor, an elevating of their imagination. Nothing is left out, there are even sometimes piped in smells (seriously, one ride has an added chili dog smell at a particular point). It's almost ridiculous how much thought and care is put into each scene and crevice. It definitely inspired me to revisit the importance of details and place setting in stories.