Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse…forever let us hold our banners high! High! High! High! Who doesn’t love Mickey Mouse? I remember as a little girl, watching reruns of the Mickey Mouse Club on TV. I wanted to be one of theMouseketeers, so I could wear a sweater with my name on it and have my own pair of mouse ears. More importantly….I wanted to go to Disneyland, and I knew that if I was on the Mickey Mouse Club, my dreams of visiting the Happiest Place on Earth would more than come true!
Well, what I didn’t realize is that those were reruns, and the MMC was no longer in production, so my dreams of the perfect vacation would have to wait. Years later, I would get my trip to Disneyland, but it wouldn’t be as a Mouseketeer. My first trip would be with my family, and I believe I was around 16. Then, in 1995, I would visit again, but this time with 2 of my children in tow. We would spend the day in search of Belle from Beauty in the Beast, because my then 5 year old wanted to BE Belle! After an inordinate amount of time searching for all the princesses, we FINALLY found Belle! Ashley had colored a picture of Belle and with her ice cream smudged hand, turned the colored page over to her beloved Belle. God bless that young woman….she got down right on Ashley’s level, and in her sweetest Disney Princess voice, told her how sweet that was of her and that she would treasure it forever! I could just see the sheer excitement in Ashley’s little face as she stood there with Belle, talking of princess things, and knowing that Ashley would forever remember that magical moment. Oh, we met other princesses….namely Jasmine, who, my youngest daughter at the time, tried to disrobe because she was fascinated by the jewels on her bodice, but there were none quite like Belle. That is the magic of Disney.
By then, I had conquered Disneyland, not once, but twice and I was ready for the big time—Disney World! In 2004, we started making plans to take a big trip to Disney World in May of 2005. My whole life for almost a year was consumed with planning for the trip. If we were going to the Happiest Place on Earth, I was going to have it planned to perfection! We spent 10 hot, humid, exhausting days at the Happiest Place on Earth, and I can tell you….it didn’t seem like the happiest place on earth some of those days! Perhaps it was the millions of people, or the 100 degree temps, or maybe it was the waiting in lines for what seemed like centuries. If anyone wanted to meet Grumpy from the Seven Dwarfs, I knew 5 of them and they were all staying in my room! Now, our whole trip wasn’t a disaster…we had wonderful meals with princesses, rode the most awesome rides like Test Track and Star Tours, met every Disney Princess in the whole kingdom and watched the most amazing nighttime shows ever. I knew we would require another trip at some point in our lives to prove that Disney World IS the Happiest Place on Earth!
Fast forward to the Summer of 2011….my whole family is walking to our cars following an exciting evening at a local county fair. The kids were laughing and talking about how much fun the rides were, when my mom opened her mouth and these words spilled out…”We should all go to Disney World next year!”. Silence. We all looked at my dad to gauge the depth of horror he was experiencing at that moment, quickly calculating how much it would cost to take 17 people to Disney World, and waiting for him to keel over from the number he came up with. Then…the kids all screamed “YES!!!!”. And that’s how our latest trip to Disney World came about….
Yes, all 17 of us went to Disney World this May/June! It took quite a bit of planning on my part, but with the help of my friends at Build A Better Mouse Trip we put together quite the vacation! My mom didn’t care what everyone did during the day, but she insisted that we all meet together every evening for a sit-down meal together. I had my doubts about how 17 people were going to vacation together and come out at the end of the week still speaking, but somehow we did it. We had a fantastic time, in spite of rain, broken down monorails with no air conditioning, lots of people and hot weather. This trip was truly to the Happiest Place on Earth. My kids got to spend a week having fun with their cousins, and I got to spend a little (a lot) of time with my parents as I had the honor of introducing them to the wonders of Disney World. By the time our last day arrived, we were exhausted, but sad that we had to go home. It had been a fabulous trip and one we we’ll always remember and cherish. Special thanks to my parents who made the trip possible. I had such a great time, that I am now a Disney Vacation Specialist with Build A Better Mouse Trip, so if you want to book a wonderful trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, give me a call….I might even sing “Mic……C ya’ real soon….k.e.y….Y? Because we like you….m.o.u.s.eeeeee…….” C’ya real soon!!