Fantasmic!: The Power of Imagination
Fantasmic!, the spectacular nighttime show on the Rivers of America remains, after 20 years, one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland. Special effects, water-screen projections, giant animatronics, a fantastic soundtrack, and a pirate ship set the stage and aid in the telling of an exciting story.
The show takes us inside Mickey Mouse’s imagination, and sure enough, it’s full of beauty and wonder—and some strange things involving dancing elephants, Pinocchio, the aforementioned pirate ship, and more. But the Disney villains, especially the Wicked Queen from Snow White, can’t let this stand.
The Magic Mirror tells her, “In Mickey’s imagination, beauty and love will always survive.” She challenges that notion, though, entering Mickey’s imagination with Maleficent (human and dragon forms), Ursula, Chernabog, and others to show him that good will not always triumph over evil.
All seems lost until Mickey remembers, “Wait a minute. This is my dream!” and he uses the power of his imagination to defeat the dragon and celebrate his “happily ever after.”
Is it any wonder that the main stage is Tom Sawyer Island, a place that was built to celebrate and cultivate imagination?
All of this is set up before the show officially begins, as the narrator tells us this:
“Nothing is more wonderful than the imagination, for in a moment, you can experience a beautiful fantasy or an exciting adventure. But beware, nothing is more powerful than the imagination, for it can also expand your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare.”
As it turns out, we have a lot in common with Mickey Mouse. At its best, your imagination allows you to look beyond your circumstances, beyond what you can see, to what is only possible. You can dream. You can discover. When combined with prayer, studying God’s Word, and living in obedience, faith becomes a kind of imagination—rooted in something (or Someone) solid, but still, “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
That’s the positive side, but just as it was with Mickey, our imagination can be powerful when we allow it to focus on our fears. I’m sure if I asked you to list your top fears (don’t worry, I won’t), most of us could list 10 or 20 without even having to try. But how many of those things you fear have actually happened to you? And of the ones that have, how many of them were as bad as you imagined?
Fear is normal, and in many cases, healthy. What is unhealthy is when our imagination gets involved and “expands your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare.” Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear is focusing on what can go wrong and how bad it can be instead of on God and how good He is.
When fear preoccupies us, we call it worry. When worry fills our minds and hearts, we take our eyes of of Jesus and fix them squarely on our circumstances. What if Mickey’s imagination had been invaded by the Wicked Queen and he did nothing but pay attention to her? What if he had allowed the fear to consume him when the obstacles seemed insurmountable? What happens when you do that?
The lesson of Fantasmic! (intended or not) is that fear can destroy us—from the inside—but we have a choice. We don’t have to fixate on our fear. We can choose to use our imagination—or faith—to instead focus on the future that God has for us, where “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
It’s your choice: beauty and adventure or an overwhelming nightmare. Both can come from that place of imagination. Which will you have today?
Question: When have you had a Mickey Mouse, “Wait a minute. This is my dream!” moment, when you intentionally chose faith over fear and worry? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.