On a scale of 1 to completely obsessed, I'd say we are at maybe an 8? a 7.5? While we don't exclusively have Disney Christmas decorations or dress in Disney apparel constantly, or go to the park yearly (although we all totally would), we will massacre you in Disney Scene It! or other any other Disney trivia game, quote Disney movies regularly on our group chat, and rush out to see the newest Disney flick at the movie theatre. We also relish an opportunity to talk with ANYONE about how much we love Walt Disney World.
This affinity for Disney definitely came from my mom. She went to Disney World shortly after it opened to celebrate her high school graduation and fell in love. She loved it so much, in fact, that she dragged my dad there on their honeymoon- a man who hates crowds, gets motion sickness on even the wussiest ride, and is terrified of flying in an airplane. I followed right in her footsteps celebrating my honeymoon at Disney World also. When I learned that Josh had never been, there was no other discussion of where we would go. Luckily, I have turned him into a pretty big Disney lover too ;)
|My guy with Mickey Mouse Ears- November 2007 (our honeymoon)|
Since we got married 11 years ago, we have been lucky enough to travel to Disney World 3 times and have also been to Disneyland and Disneyland Paris (because if you're close to a Disney park, you HAVE to go, right?!).
|Disneyland (Tower of Terror is our favorite ride), Summer 2010|
|Disneyland Paris, Summer 2012|
My dad is extremely frugal while also being one of the most smartest managers of money I have ever known (this is lethal combination). He has always been very transparent with me about money and managing money. I know when we were younger, my parents didn't have a lot of extra money- raising five kids is expensive! When my parents were saving for our first Disney trip, it was a huge deal. I remember them talking often about the cut backs they were making, putting a little money aside each month, and planning, years in advance it seemed, to take this trip.
It was spring break of 1992 and I was in second grade. My brother, Eric was about to turn 6, and my sister Colleen was almost 3. I know this is going to sound cliche and super expected, but that trip was one of the most magical experiences of my entire life. We watched parades, saw fireworks, rode everything we were tall enough to ride, and even though I'm sure there were tough moments where we were cranky and tired and throwing tantrums, I remember it only as perfection. I was also seriously obsessed with Minnie at the time and we went to a character breakfast and when she came out, I was so overcome with joy and happiness that I cried. My mom had hooked me too- I was a Disney fan for life.
|Disney World, spring break, 1992 (do you see all the people?! How did my parents get us a bench to sit on during a parade?! Also, check out my brothers neon fanny pack)|
|Disney World fall 1995: Me-12, Eric, 9.5, Colleen 6.5, Laura 3.5, Rachel 1.5|
If that doesn't make Disney special enough to me, I will always have the memory of being at Disney World, over Christmas in 2010, just 9 months before my brother died. We didn't know it at the time, but that would be our last full family vacation.
|Disney World, December 2010|
|Disney World- December 2010|
I have always dreamt of being a parent and taking my own children to Disney World. Josh and I have been talking about how excited we are going to be for that moment for YEARS- back when kids were just a thing in the far off future, back when kids were a serious reality we were discussing and trying for, and back when kids were a hope and dream we weren't sure we were ever going to get.
The time has come and I can't even believe it.
We will be at Disney, all of us, soon.
You may have thought I was crazy when I wrote about being the expectant mom sobbing during birthing class. You may have thought I was crazy when I wrote about crying so hard in Target shopping for my baby registry that I had to leave. This Disney trip will have NOTHING on those. Nothing.
I will certainly openly weep several times during the trip- at the beauty of things like Cinderella's Castle, at the magic that only Disney can provide, at the overwhelming sense of gratitude that I can be in this special place with the children I have always wanted and prayed for, and at the wonder and awe of watching it all, this time, through my kids' eyes.
Disney World, here we come!