The Happiest Place on Earth

Joy Is Not Just for Kids


Mrs. McHugh, personal photo

Mrs. McHugh and her family, such as her daughter pictured here, enjoy the upbeat feeling and nostalgia that Disney World and Disneyland evoke. Like two of her Abington ELA colleagues, Ms. Tomlin and Mr. Cutter, Mrs. McHugh has made repeated trips to the FL or CA amusement parks over the years.

Alison Santosuosso, Staff Writer


Disney intrigues kids, but it interests adults too. In fact the English Department in Abington is full of Disney fanatics.  Abington Middle School teacher Ms. Tomlin and AHS English teachers Mrs. McHugh and Mr. Cutter have been to Disney for a combined total of over 35 times in their lives.

Pullquote Photo

Those few years then turned into every year.

— Ms. Tomlin

Ms. Tomlin, who is an AHS alum, has been to Walt Disney World more than 20 times in her life. Growing up, Ms. Tomlin’s parents were huge Disney fans, and her living room was even subtly Disney themed. She went to Disney World for the first time in 1996 and then continued to go every few years.
She said that, “Those few years then turned into every year.”  She now goes with her friends a couple times yearly. She thinks that “the fact that so much of Disney’s intellectual property is sourced from great literature is part of the reason that ‘ELA people’ would really appreciate Disney. ”

Her fellow ELA colleague, Mrs. McHugh, a teacher at AHS for 19 years, has been to Disney World 8 times and Disneyland 3 times, with 7 of those trips being in the last 10 years.

McHugh credits her love of Disney to Walt Disney himself.  She said she has “always thought of Walt Disney as an extraordinary icon of magic, whimsy, and optimism. His life and legacy have always focused on the best aspects of humanity” which is captivating to her.

As a kid, she watched “The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” every Sunday night on TV. To Mrs. McHugh, Disney World is more amazing as an adult than it was to her as a child. She said, “The characters, songs, movies, and experiences inspire such meaningful emotional connections. I’m a very sentimental person, and the nostalgia factor is always extra strong at Disney.”

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I’m a very sentimental person, and the nostalgia factor is always extra strong at Disney.

— Mrs. McHugh

Mrs. McHugh said it was good that she is able to go often, as “I always cry happy tears when I’m at Disney, and then shed a few sad tears when it’s time to leave. Luckily, I always know it won’t be long until I’m back again.”

Recently, she saw an exhibit in NYC celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 90th Birthday called Mickey: A True Original. As for upcoming trips, she’s still planning her family’s vacations for this year, but she said they’re definitely due for a Disneyland trip!

Mr. Cutter, who joined the ELA department in 2018, has been to Disney World five times since 2015. Although he has only been a few times, he said that “I keep going back because it seems like no matter how many times I go, there is always something new and interesting to do.” He added, “There’s nothing like the feeling of walking onto Main Street first thing in the morning.”

It is clear Mr. Cutter is a Disney fanatic. He has multiple Disney World tattoos on his arms: all four of the major park landmarks tattooed in a half sleeve on his left arm, and a small color tattoo of Mickey and Minnie on his right arm. He believes that “if I’m getting permanent artwork on my body, then it should make me happy every time I look at it.” Mr. Cutter added that “Disney lends itself so well to the art form.”

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There’s nothing like the feeling of walking onto Main Street first thing in the morning.

— Mr. Cutter

Although one-third of the Abington Middle-High School English Department are huge fans of Disney, all three teachers thought it was a coincidence. They said it was a positive coincidence, though, because they enjoy being able to talk to each other about something they all love, besides English of course.