Disney and Me

Posted:  Parks Recreation

I can remember the first time I saw Cinderella’s castle. It left me speechless, as it does to this day. Even though we were surrounded by people, it seemed as though everything stopped. All I could see was the castle, and I could smell the Main Street Confectionery, and everything else didn’t matter. From that moment on, I was hooked!

Cinderella Castle

As I am sure many of our readers can relate to, my family and I love Disney. We have traveled to Walt Disney World so many times that we know exactly where the cameras are on the rides and pose accordingly.

Team Member Alyssa and her family on Splash Mountain

My parents had their honeymoon in Walt Disney World, and one of the greatest moments of my life happened right in front of Cinderella’s castle.

Team Member Alyssa’s Dad with Mickey Mouse

Team Member Alyssa’s Mom with Mickey Mouse

Team Member Alyssa being proposed

Yes, I have been traveling to Walt Disney World with my family since I was about 10 years old. As a child, having only seen Walt Disney World on commercials and TV shows, I remember being excited but not really understanding what we were going to see. Nothing I had seen on TV could have prepared me for what we were about to encounter.

Walt Disney World sign

Everything was so much bigger than I could have imagined. In comparison to our yearly town fair, these rides blew us away! The Barnstormer and Mad Tea Party were two of our favorite rides, and we loved being able to visit Mickey and Minnie’s houses to see how they lived.

Tea Cup from the Mad Hatter Tea Party

We have almost always traveled in the summer to Walt Disney World, and even the hottest of days could not stop us. We would wake up at the crack of dawn and close the parks almost every night. I applaud my parents for traveling with three kids in the Florida heat, and not losing their minds.

Team Member Alyssa and her family

When we were in Disney, nothing else mattered. There was no school; there were no chores. My sisters and I didn’t even fight while we were in Disney. Everything was perfect.

This wondrous memories were the reason my parents kept taking us back. After quite a few trips, we started to develop some traditions. Our first full day on property has to be at the Magic Kingdom. Our trip does not feel like it has really started until we have seen Cinderella’s Castle.

Another thing we have done since our very first trip is dining at Crystal Palace. In the beginning, my parents enjoyed the escape from the heat and the distraction the characters gave us.  Now, our trips don’t feel the same unless we stop there on our first day, and we still love the characters!

Team Member Alyssa and her family with Winnie the Pooh at Crystal Palace

Over the years, my family has seen a lot of things change at Disney. We saw Disney-MGM Studios change to Hollywood Studios. We saw the addition of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid. We saw “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience!” turn into “Captain EO,” and “Maelstrom” turn into “Frozen Ever After.”

While we watched Disney evolve, we changed with it. My sisters and I got older, and our favorite rides changed to Splash Mountain and Expedition Everest. Some of the rides we were most afraid of as kids, like Dinosaur, are now ones we cannot miss (even though it may still scare us).

Team Member Alyssa and her husband on the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom

I was even able to introduce my now-husband to Disney when we were dating. I was worried that, even though my family and I loved Disney, the magic would be lost on a 25 year old man going for his first time. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

My husband embraced everything Disney has to offer and enjoyed every second of his first trip. To be fair, we were very open about warning him that we were non-stop for the entire trip and that he needed to keep up with us. He did great and even agreed to go back with us every time since then.

Team Member Alyssa and her family at the Magic Kingdom

Disney is a huge part of my life and has helped shape me into the person I am today. I cannot wait to be back in my favorite place and cannot wait to see how Disney will continue to change!





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