We really only get to do one BIG family trip a year, and this was the year that dh and I decided we’d want to take the kids to DISNEY. I kinda feel like you have to go capslocky when it comes to DISNEY because of what DISNEY represents to me: fun, family, a sense of wonder, and something for kids of all ages. I’ve been a fan of DISNEY movies since I was very small, but the one and only time I’ve gone to DISNEY was when my parents took us to Disneyland on a trip to LA nearly 30 years ago.
So, this year is a big deal for us since it’s the first time that the kids will experience DISNEY up close and personal. My parents offered to defray some of the costs of the trip, so we’re all headed to Florida to DisneyWorld. DH has been to World before, I’ve only ever been to Land, and the kids have only seen the parks during the Disney Christmas Parade that gets televised every year. It took me about 10 minutes last night to explain to my daughter that Nick Cannon DOESN’T work at Disneyland. (“No, honey, he’s an actor. He’s married to a singer.” Her: “Who is he married to?” Me: “Mariah Carey” Her: “Who’s that?” Me: “She’s a singer. Um…I’m not sure what she’s done recently, but she was a big star when I was younger.” Her: “…”)
We’d kept the trip under wraps, so we had to come up with a big unveiling. In this case, DH took a page from the same book his mom used with him and his brother: putting the message on a puzzle. I got a 25-piece magnetic puzzle from Target, and dh wrote a message on it announcing the trip, and then we hid the pieces. Four baggies with 6 pieces each were stashed around the house, with the 25th piece wrapped in a box and placed under the tree with a clue that led the kids to the first bag. Each hidden bag had a clue that led them to the next, and when they’d collected them all they put together the puzzle.
Naturally, the kids lost their nut when they found out we were going to DISNEY, and once I was able to take the two guidebooks we bought out of hiding, dd threw herself headlong into learning everything she could about the attractions and events. Needless to say, the kids are extremely excited, and I have the feeling that this will be probably the best trip they’ve been on yet.
We wanted to wait until we thought they were old enough to remember it and enjoy it. Since ds is turning 5 this year, he’s old enough to get it – and dd (who’s 7) has been on our case for several years to get to DISNEY, just like all of her friends. It was exhausting trying to find a hotel that would work for both family’s myriad needs, but once we did, it was easy as pie getting our booking done over the phone. We’ve since been customizing pieces through the My Disney Experience part of their website and researching through the guidebooks we’ve acquired and the Disney website.
And so, it was with great surprise (and excitement) that I opened the email saying that I was picked to host a #DisneySide @Home party. I have a box that weighs nearly as much as my four-year-old coming to my house, packed with some amount of swag and party supplies, and I get to spend time with friends squeeing about DISNEY and showing off my “Disney side” (easily seen in the part of my personality that has NO shame or self-consciousness about walking around wearing dd’s sequined Minnie Mouse ears).
Mind you, I’m not someone who has gotten numb to any of this. I know people who’ve been to DISNEY so many times that they talk about it like they’re going to just any old amusement park. Honestly, I never want to go to DISNEY so often that it loses its magic for me, although A) I could never afford that, especially since we don’t live in Florida, and B) I don’t understand how you could lose appreciation for all that magic. Then again, I’m the kind of person who appreciates it when a hotel has bath sheets instead of cheesecloth squares posing as bath towels, so there’s that.
In any event, between the planning for our big family DISNEY trip and now the planning for this #DisneySide @Home party, I think everything’s coming up DISNEY in our house right now. And I think I’m okay with that…