August 11, 2011

Disney Dreaming


Millions of people love Disney. I’m one of them. Have been since the first time I walked down Main Street USA holding my grandpa’s hand when I was 7. When I lived in Long Beach when I was a tween and teen my parents would take me to Disneyland and drop me off for the day. Sometimes I would take the bus and meet my friends.

My first away trip with Cycle Guy was to Disneyland for a weekend. It was very different than it is today, but the memories of how it originally was is something we both hold dear. Before fastpasses and touring plans and staking out the parade route there was just going. Yes, even back then I had a plan on how I rode all the rides. And, honestly, not much of my plan changed when they started offering fastpasses. Always Indiana Jones first. That’s what BabyGirl knows too. Mainstreet to Adventureland past the Jungle Cruise and down the winding hallway.

Years past and while I knew I wouldn’t get married at Disney, my mind went crazy thinking about a Disneymoon. That was back in the day of the Disney Institute and when the only option available in my mind was staying at the Del Coronado inspired Grand Floridian. It would be nearly 15 years in the making before I’d walk through the doors of the Grand Floridian to be welcomed as a guest. But that wait was worth it.

I’m a bit of a ‘go big or go home’ kinda girl sometimes. While I’ve been to Disneyland over 500 times, my first trip to Walt Disney World would need to be everything I ever dreamed. And that included staying at one of the deluxe resorts. So when the time came, it was not as I had anticipated. There was no year-long planning or decision making. Instead, my family was in need of an opportunity to forget the villains and walk into a magical world where goodness always prevails.

When you call a mere 3 weeks before you intend to spend a weeklong vacation at Walt Disney World, you may not get exactly what you want. Instead of the Grand Floridian we stayed at The Beach Club because it was closer to Epcot and we wanted to spend more time there. Not that it was a downgrade by any means, but it wasn’t The Grand Floridian. That would wait a year.

My first trip to Walt Disney World included meeting my friend Shifra. An online friend turned real live friend who is more like a sister than a friend. It was just meant to be because her husband had a business meeting in the area at the same time and decided to make it a family trip just so Shifra and I could meet. Now that’s an awesome husband!

This year we’re heading back to Disney World thanks to my grandmother who knows the power Disney Magic holds for her great granddaughter. We’re not going back to The Grand Floridian because we’ll be slummin’ it at The Contemporary. I know, I know. Not really slummin’. But it sounded funny to a friend of mine and it’s become a bit of a joke. Oh, and guess who’ll be in Orlando at the same time? Yep, you guessed it – 5 years after our first in real life meeting, Shifra and I will meet again. *Magic!*

BabyGirl really isn’t a baby any more. She’s growing up, creating her own memories. And yet she still believes magic, real princesses, and the ability to dream big stretched out over hundreds of acres are just waiting for her. Walt Disney was a visionary. And in his vision each of us would feel the softness of pixie dust sprinkled upon us helping to transport ourselves to a time and place where happiness was the currency.

A lot has happened to my family and me since we first decided to visit the Most Magical Place on Earth. But one thing has been constant. My belief that if I can dream it, I can do it!

Where will your dreams take you?



Sarah @ The Will to See August 11, 2011 at 6:59 am

I too love Disneyland. Unfortunately since moving to Seattle in 1998 I haven’t been back to the happiest place on Earth. We are going to take our first family trip there after Thanksgiving this year. We are going to try to surprise our 6 year old like they do on the commercials. I hope he lives it as much as I did my first time.

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang August 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Oh, just thinking about Main Street USA makes me want to walk back down those streets! I just love everything about Disney! Hugs to you!

Julie August 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm

If you didn’t say… I totally would have though Shifra was your sister! 🙂 And I am SO SO SO jealous of your 100’s of trips to Disney. I think I’ve been there 2 times in my life. I want to go back.

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