Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It was the Impromptu Moments that made our trip to Disney World Magical

You'd think with the high-tech rides, elaborate shows, incredible firework displays & ornate parades those would be the highlights of a visit to Disney World, but since we returned home from a recent trip I've found it has been simpler things we experienced that have made the most significant memories for my family.  When telling people about our adventures, my wife, kids and I have all focused on the impromptu moments we experienced that left us with great memories of our stay at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida.  A kiss from Cinderella's evil step-sister, painting the streets with a custodial worker, playing the part of a horse in the story of Beauty and the Beast were all thrills that my children enjoyed on their first trip to the Magic Kingdom.

Many of the costumed characters at Disney are now in staged areas where you need to pay an exorbitant amount of money to eat a meal with them, or to see them for free you need to make advance reservations ( aka FastPass) or wait in long lines to see them.  For example to see the sisters from FROZEN the FastPass reservations were sold out weeks in advance of our trip and there was a 420 minute wait to see them in the standby line [People were amazingly waiting in the standby line - we just never mentioned to our daughter that they were there to meet].  We waited in a few lines when they weren't too long so the kids could hug some of their favorite characters and used a few FastPasses to meet Mickey Mouse, Belle, and Cinderella.

On our first day at the Magic Kingdom though as we were wandering through Fantasyland we just randomly came across Cinderella's step-sisters Anastasia and Drizella, along with their mother Lady Tremaine.  We have all three Cinderella movies on DVD and my kids instantly recognized the ladies and ran over to them.  My wife and I thought they'd say a few words to our kids and we'd take a picture, but Anastasia and Drizella engaged in a really in-depth back and forth conversation with my children that lasted about 10 minutes.  As a crowd started to gather, I thought they would wrap things up but the actresses stayed in role and they initiated keeping the conversation going with our kids.  Just as I'd thought the encounter was done and we were starting to walk away (I'd put my camera away) Anastasia called my son by his name to come back to her for a minute and than gave him a kiss on the cheek.  He turned bright red, but had a huge smile on his face.  Oh I wish I'd acted fast enough to get my camera back out!  My kids were talking about their conversation with Cinderella's sisters during our whole stay plus throughout the two day drive back to Michigan on the way home.

On the next day of our visit, while waiting for a parade to start one of the custodian workers cleaning up the route stopped and started chatting with my children.  Than she asked them if they'd like to help her with a special project and let them come out onto the parade route with her.  They began drawing a mickey mouse face in the middle of the was pretty cool (and I couldn't get a good angle for a picture of it before the parade started).  I guess this bucket art by janitors (mostly college workers for the summer) is a new fad at the park where they paint some great images using their sweeping brooms and water.  Check out this article about it by Yahoo News.  My kids were thrilled to be street artists!


On another day while walking through FrontierLand in the Magic Kingdom our kids were swept up into a whirlwind square dance party with Disney characters and staffers.


My son loves horses so he was really excited to be picked to act out the part of Phillipe during the Belle Princess encounter.  While he is normally somewhat reserved in public he really came out of his shell and had fun during his role and while meeting Belle.  He enjoyed the experience more than his twin sister who loves Disney Princesses!


The kids didn't let anything slip by them during our visit and quickly pointed out to me there were Star Wars props hidden away in the Hollywood Studios tour.

So remember despite all the things going on during a trip to Disney World don't forget to enjoy those special impromptu moments during your visit...those most likely will be some of your most memorable long term memories!

1 comment:

  1. I really love this post! I have had similar thoughts about our recent visit a few months ago - it was the events I didn't plan and the few surprises that we had (despite me seriously over researching) that were the most amazing moments. Looking forward to meeting you next week at OTR in Chicago!