Sunday, February 7, 2016

Celebration, FL - My Personal "What If"

I didn't just dream of living in Disney's community of tomorrow (the real one - not EPCOT), I was obsessed. My first visit was before my daughter was born so more than 26 years ago. It was also before Celebration was born. They had not even turned a shovel full of dirt but there was a fanciful welcome center. A facade with a sales office and model inside. I was sold before I even got there.


I probably can't even count the number of visits I made in those early years. Touring model homes, eating and shopping at the downtown by the lake, mailing a letter to myself from the post office. Not to mention aggressively applying for jobs all over Disney.


Funny story, I went to what I thought was the office of the Disney Cruise Line to drop off a resume. A final desperate attempt of joining the Disney team.  I exited the elevator face to face with a receptionist at a gigantic desk. I asked if this was the cruise line and she indicated I missed my floor. As I turned to leave, the elevator opened and Michael Eisner exited. The one time CEO of Disney. Seemed like fate.


Unfortunately I never did land a job at Disney. For one thing I didn't live in Orlando but I did a lot of contract work in the area. I was working out a deal for an extended stay and had gone as far as to make a deposit on an apartment right in downtown Celebration. The unit was under construction and my contract expired before the apartment was finished. I was so sure I would pick up more work in the area. Didn't happen. I never got to live in Celebration so dream 2 shattered.


The last time I was there before this visit was 1993. The town has unfolded exactly as I had envisioned and I have little doubt I would have been happy there. My life however took a crazy and convoluted path instead. I like the way it turned out in the end but I always wonder... What if this was the place I was supposed to be. What if I was supposed to live the peaceful Disney dream instead of the five star rollercoaster life I actually lived.


While I was there I thought I might check out one of the apartments now finished. Thank goodness the real estate office was closed. Sometimes is best to let lost dreams lie.

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