I must preface this article with a dedication to The Backpack, which has been our key to Disney survival, and whose many pockets have seen countless memories being made at Disney theme parks.

You know what color reminds me of Disney? Purple. Purple is the color of The Backpack. I capitalized it because, as I said before, The Backpack is our key to Disney vacation survival. It’s gigantic and has at least four compartments. The Year of a Million Dreams may be over, but we still have a million zippers, which makes it very difficult at security checkpoints. The Backpack carries medicine, snacks, rain ponchos, water, extra shirts, umbrellas, jackets, shoes, cameras, and the rest of life’s essentials. You have a headache? There’s The Backpack. You just ate a bunch of onions and need a mint? Look in The Backpack. You’re thirsty? We have water in The Backpack. You need a safety pin? They’re in The Backpack. You could literally survive on what is in this in this bag for an entire week!

My mom carries The Backpack, and I’m glad it’s not my job. She says that she carries it so that she can enjoy more Disney treats. When filled, the bag can weigh more than twenty pounds (at which point we put some of the stuff into a locker).  During the Year of a Million Dreams, we were lucky enough to spot the Dream Squad handing out Dream Fastpasses at the exit of Tarzan’s Treehouse early in the morning. My die-hard Disney mother dashed up and down the various flights of stairs to get to them while carrying The Backpack. That was a very proud moment for me. At the end she didn’t understand why she was so tired. We laughed as we realized that we hadn’t made our trip to the locker yet and she was hauling more than twenty pounds on her back in The Backpack! She now jokes that they should use that exercise in Navy SEAL training.

When I was little, I remember getting separated from my family at the parks. I got a bit frightened, frantically looking for them. I searched for the humongous backpack, and when I saw it I knew everything was going to be all right. The Backpack comforted me and made me feel so safe.

I know about our Disney trips far in advance, but the sign that our trip is really near is when The Backpack comes out. It’s more than just a bag. It’s a symbol that we’re going to our happy place again. It’s an object that holds more memories than any photograph ever could. When I look at that backpack, I think of my mom and I sharing a rice crispy treat from Red Rocket’s Pizza Port while waiting in line for Space Mountain, a tradition for every trip.  I also chuckle, thinking of the PhotoPass photographers freaking out when my mom swings The Backpack from her shoulder to the ground near their tripod.

Our family has purchased many backpacks, specifically bought for going to the Disney parks, but none have ever come close to The Backpack. No bag will ever replace The Backpack. We’ve been using it for more than a decade, and I hope that we will be able to use it in the decades to come. Long live The Backpack!

Contributed by: Hannah N. (NDT #23). Hannah is our resident teen blogger.

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