I was not introduced to Walt Disney World until later in life. I grew up in Texas and vacationed with my family at the Frio River every summer for about 18 years. When my husband, Jeremy, and I got married, I made him promise me that he would take me on a Mediterranean Cruise before we settled down and had children. When our 4th wedding anniversary rolled around, I reminded him of his promise to me and started talking with friends about our cruise we were planning. One friend said, "Why don't you just go to Disney World?" I laughed but my husband took it to heart. The more we studied Walt Disney World, the more it made sense for us.
We planned our first trip for March of 2009. I read Birnbaum's Walt Disney World Official Guide from cover to cover. We made our dining reservations and made a list of every attraction that was a "must do," for us. When we arrived that first day in the Magic Kingdom, we had our legal pad of notes ready to go. We both had our "1st Visit" pins placed prominently on our shirts and ran to get our paper fastpasses as soon as the rope dropped. I'm proud to announce that we completed EVERYTHING on our list multiple times. We felt like Disney Heroes! Every single Disney park that we visited was strategically mastered in that first trip. On our last night of our trip, we stood at the gates of the Magic Kingdom while the fireworks were going off and we both cried. Tears streamed down our faces and we vowed to come back every single year, if possible.
As planned, we visited Walt Disney World every single year for 3 years straight. Our second trip was a 2.5 week trip with a 7 day cruise at the beginning and 3 days of Universal Florida and Islands of Adventure at the end. Our third trip was with our 4 month old daughter, Ava. When our second daughter, Greta, was born, we vacationed a bit closer to home for a few years. We made a move during that time as well. Disney vacations were then reserved for my husband and I on special occasions. He took me for a surprise vacation on my 30th birthday and again for our 10th wedding anniversary.
When our two daughters were old enough to appreciate a Disney vacation, we planned another dream vacation. This time, we went to Walt Disney World for 10 days with a Deluxe Dining Plan and 8 day park hopper plus tickets. We did EVERY SINGLE character dining experience on that trip (except Mickey's Backyard Barbecue) We visited Blizzard Beach, resort hopped, took a carriage ride, rode the fringe top surreys at Disney's Boardwalk, attended Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, and searched for Hidden Mickey's. When I took the kids back to our room at night, my husband would hop to different parks until they kicked him out! It was the best trip we have ever taken!
Little did we know that two more babies would enter our lives. Willa was born about a year after that trip, and then Prentice was born 18 months after her. Walt Disney World was put on the back burner during that time, as our family also transitioned into homeschooling. When we finally got into a routine and felt settled, we planned another trip for our family of 6! For the first time ever, we vacationed in December. The Christmas lights, special fireworks, and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party were amazing! My children especially enjoyed the hot chocolate and cookies served in the Magic Kingdom. While there in December, we celebrated the birthdays of two of our children. Disney Cast Members were so thoughtful and kind to us. It was such a nice trip that I planned a surprise trip 6 months later to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary and 3 more birthdays. In our family, every celebration deserves a Disney trip!
I joined Keys to Dream Travel in June 2018 just two weeks after our last Disney vacation. I cannot wait to make all your Disney dreams come true!
"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney