I get it.
Our love of Disney World and all it offers us borders on mania, but I’m going to type a little here and tell you why it matters to us.
This morning, I walked into Magic Kingdom with my parents, husband, and two preschoolers. The very minute my feet hit Main Street (the main drag at the MK) I felt it.
It’s hard to describe how it feels to come back to a place that means so much to you and so much to your family. It’s familiar and new all at the same time. It honestly just feels like home.
It’s full to the brim of memories for me. It was one of the first places that my family took on vacation when my dad married my stepmom. I remember doctoring my littlest sister’s scraped knee in the Pirates ride while the braver members of my family (read: all of them) rode Splash Mountian.
It was the first family vacation that Dave and I went on with my family after we were married. I remember my mom telling us on the tram from Epcot at the end of the night that Magic Kingdom had extra magic hours that night until 1am and we all groaned in exhaustion. Ever the Disney Fairy Godmother, she managed to get 3 teenagers and 2 young adults (okay basically still teenagers) to rally. It was the best time. We got stuck in Small World after a ride filled with bad jokes, and my dad and brother tried to paddle us out because the singing. Never. Stops.
I remember Princess Jasmine kissing Dave on the cheek and Dave turning so red I was afraid for his health. I remember laughing, a lot.
It was the first place we ever took Will that wasn’t a family visit. I remember his first ride was that dreaded Small World, and he loved it. I remember him losing his mind when he saw Mickey and then completely melting in fear. I remember his giggles in the resort pool, his joy at the water park. And the peals of laughter from when he rubbed whipped cream between his toes when I wasn’t looking at the restaurant. And I also remember when we were at the MercyMe concert that night at Magic Kingdom and raised his hands to sing.
It’s were we brought grandma and grandpa. After the cancer was taken care of. Where she could see the Flower and Garden show at Epcot and watch her great grandson live his best life. Where I waddled about 6 months pregnant and never felt like it was too much because everywhere you turn there is a cast member ready to help. I remember Will barreling at Mickey without a fear in the world.
It’s were we brought Ruby for the first time at 14 months old. When Will climbed over my mom’s head while she was eating to get to Jake the Pirate. When Ruby bit Minnie’s nose and when we had to physically remove Will from Pluto’s body because he wouldn’t let go.
It’s this time, when Will told us he hated princesses but then grinned like a fool whenever one came to our table and kissed his sweet little cheek. Where Ruby pushed a kid out of the way to get to Minnie on the dance floor and then busted a move with Goofy and Chip and Dale. It’s where Will overcame his own fears and decided to choose fun instead.
It’s where many more things will happen this week.
Good things just like these. And some not so good things too. Because that is the truth of every vacation, is it not? I could also regale you with the rough patches we hit during vacations. The rainstorms, the missed flights, the forgotten items (like how I left my phone on the plane this time around...whoops), the family squabbles, the skinned knees, the time I had to spank Will 4 times in the span of 10 minutes. When Ruby acts according to who she is. We have hard times too. But those aren’t the stories we tell. Well...I’m pretty sure they will all still tell people about how I left my phone on the plane...but we tell the good ones most of the time. Because the good ones are the ones that matter.
You want to know why Disney is always a great vacation for us, because we choose to remember the good and forget the bad. Maybe you have a vacation spot that is like that for your family, that’s great. But ours is that great World known as Walt’s.
My dad said this to me last night when I was frustrated with Will. “It doesn’t actually matter what happens, what matters is how he remembers it.” And that’s so true for our kids and even for us.
Let’s help each other remember the beautiful things, the fun things, the color and the life. Forget the rain and the forgotten items and the skinned knees.
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