Sorry, few followers, for the hiatus from the blog.
Since I last posted (early December—Yikes), we had visitors, moved, celebrated holidays, flew home to Wisconsin, had more visitors and celebrated a birthday. Sure, I could have posted MANY times in between all that but I didn’t. Oh well.
So I’ve come back today because we get asked all the time: Why do you guys love going to Disney World so much? Don’t you ever get sick of it? How do you do it all the time?
Well, we went for 3 straight days when my parents were here visiting for Penny’s birthday and, yes, it was a lot. But we had some incredible things happen to us during that time that made the crowds, the wait times, the heat, all worth it. We go to Disney World so often because it’s a magical place for our daughter and for us and we had so much proof of that in just 3 short (actually, they were pretty long) days.
First, my parents got in on the fun. Now, plenty of adults enjoy Disney but my parents hadn’t been for over 30 years. A lot has changed in that time and I was determined they enjoy all 4 parks while they were in town. I would have never expected that they went to Boxlunch, the ultimate nerd store, and bought Disney shirts in preparation. They say they didn’t plan that they would wear them on a specific day, but you tell me: Weren’t Up and Jungle Book shirts perfect for their day at Animal Kingdom?
So, yeah. I was pretty happy that even my parents could have a little extra fun with their outfits. (And, they got Penny to want to meet Russell! That’s something she has refused to do since her very first trip.)
Now, we had kind of a long day at Epcot and I let Penny do one of the scavenger hunts offered in World Showcase so she didn’t get bored with us wandering around. Naturally, we were too busy with our margaritas and caramels to notice that she had peeled off all her stickers from the sheet and lost a few. By the time we got to Canada for the second leg of our journey, we were missing the correct sticker. Alex, a cast member in the gift shop, decided he would write in the blank space that we still found the painting we were looking for. But Penny was not having that. So, he was going to give us a different sticker but, again, Penny was not having it. So Alex spoke to his supervisor, who ran to the gift shop at the front of World Showcase, and brought Penny a sheet of replacement stickers for her scavenger hunt. She was so happy! We weren’t as happy with the 20 minutes we spent in the Canadian gift shop, but when cast members go above and beyond like that to make a little kid’s day, you can’t really complain too much.
After we were done with lunch that day, Penny was asked to be a part of the Sunshine Seasons Band (which is apparently a thing) and march around the restaurant playing a xylophone. After their little parade, they did the Hokey Pokey and all the kids that participated got a Mickey straw. Even something like that can make a kid’s day. Penny had a smile on her face the entire time and it’s a memory that we, and I’m sure all the other kids that were part of it, won’t soon forget.
The third very long day of my parents’ trip was at Magic Kingdom for Penny’s birthday. She wore her birthday button and we tried to let her dictate most of the day. The problem was, it was incredibly busy. Like, Barnstormer having a 45 minute wait busy. Like, Space Mountain being inoperable for the majority of the day and throwing off thousands of Fast Passes busy. So, because the Space Mountain FP was unusable, Corey and my dad tried to use it for Seven Dwarfs instead but were turned away. To which the birthday girl started crying and another great cast member, CJ, overheard and saw it was her birthday. He gave her a Golden Fast Pass and we all were able to ride Seven Dwarfs, the ride with the longest wait on any given day, busy or not. Penny was so happy, she rode the whole thing with her hands up!
Later on, with just about an hour or so before we needed to leave for dinner, my dad stopped to get a soda. My mom was eyeing up the churros, debating on whether or not she wanted one with a big dinner looming. The cast member there heard her thinking out loud while my dad was ordering and handed her the churro, on the Mouse. So we all got a couple bites of free sugary dough, even Corey, who had never had a churro before!
Penny got to celebrate her birthday at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue for dinner and afterwards, we took the monorail over to the Polynesian for a drink. While waiting for some of the group to come out of the bathroom, a maintenance cast member saw her button and wished her a happy birthday. He asked if she was having a fun day, she got a little shy and so he continued walking. Our group was ready to move on to the bar, so we started on our way past the restaurant and that same maintenance worker come out with a huge cupcake and told Penny to enjoy the rest of her day. Just like that. Making a kid’s day, yet again, just because he can.
This magic making was not all just because of a birthday button. We have gotten free popcorn or ice cream just because. We have been plucked out of a crowd to be the first family to meet a character. Even the simplicity of the dozens of stickers Penny receives in any given day are enough to put a huge smile on her face.
So, why do we go to Disney World all the time?
Because it’s a unique and special experience every time. And we’re creating amazing memories for our daughter.
Don’t we ever get sick of it?
Nope. Maybe a few long days in a row gets to be a bit much, but we take a break and get back at it with fresh legs, fresh eyes and fresh Fast Passes.
And how do we do it all the time?
We pace ourselves. We let Penny make decisions. We space out our park days. We opt for a water park now and then.
We continue to go to Disney World because we love it, our kid loves it and it’s something we will always be able to enjoy as a family. No matter how old we get, there will always be something for everyone. It’s ever-changing and no day will ever be a repeat of the last. And that’s pretty special.