Thursday, September 23, 2010

Turning 50

Laurie, 53, Biloxi, MS
Turning 50It was one of those dreaded birthday milestones and I admit that the closer it got the more I dreaded it. When you couple that with the fact that our son had just been deployed to Afghanistan with the Army, this was proving to be one of the worst birthdays I have ever known. Then my husband decided that I should have a special gift and made all the arrangements to take us and our other son and his wife to Disney World.

At first I was reluctant to go as I felt as if I were too old to go (the over-the-hill feeling was nicely settling in!) He refused to take no for an answer though, and a day before my birthday found the four of us on a plane headed to Florida. As we checked into the Grand Floridian, I could begin to feel that "too old to have fun" feeling begin to thaw a little. We checked in and then all of us went over to Disney World. It was just like all the commercials I had ever seen, where everyone you met and everyone who worked there smiled at you. I could not help but smile back and at each step, I could feel the 50-year-old become a 5-year-old little girl come to the surface. I was filled with the awe and enchantment of a child and the appreciation of an adult.

I woke up on my 50th birthday to a gift from my husband of a silver slipper charm with my birthstone inside. I truly did feel like Cinderella and the rest of the day and evening was filled with fun, happiness, love, and the most fun I have ever had. I realized, thanks to Disney, that turning 50 meant nothing at all, as any age is the perfect age when you can still feel the awe of a child and the walking endurance of an adult. Thank you, Disney, for bringing out the little girl in me that I thought was lost forever. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Magical Love of Walt Disney

Marcy, 40, New Orleans, LA

Walt Disney 
I was born and raised in Argentina. Walt Disney's magical world was a very big part of my happy childhood. Now in my 40s, I still admire the visionary mind and genius that created this loving place where dreams come true. My husband and I are always finding excuses to go to Disney World even if we can only go two or three days a year ... it just fills our lives and hearts with the magic that we love and need until our next visit. Spending a few days in Disney World is like going to another country as the outside world disappears — no cell phones, clocks, or worries. It's just 100% pure magical fun. To say that we love Walt Disney and his fascinating vision is an understatement!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lots of Memories of the Disney Parks

Rebecca, 18, Brooklyn, NY

Lots of Memories of the Disney ParksEven living in New York, I frequently visited Disney World as a child, starting as a baby in diapers. I was surely the child mascot for Disney, as I was a full believer in all the magic. When I was a young child, I would constantly run up to various Characters and say "Hi, it's Rebecca, I am back." I used to chase my shadow like Peter Pan and believe that I could pick it up.

A favorite story of my mother's is that when I was still a little baby I used to think the Swan Hotel was my grandmother's house. Various Characters at the Parks were extremely kind and made every moment memorable.

As I have gotten older the magic still hasn't left me. I collect all the pins I can get my hands on and the thought of traveling down south to the warmth during the cold season makes me scream and yell with delight. I enjoy Disney World so much!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Real Wish Come True

David, 40, Jeffersonville, IN

A Real Wish Come TrueMy story starts in May of 2005, when my son was born with a congenital heart defect called HLHS. Basically the left side of his heart didn't form so half of his heart doesn't work. It has taken four surgeries to correct the problem but all is well now.

On David's third birthday this year he got his wish to see Mickey Mouse and Goofy thanks to "Make A Wish," "Give Kids The World," and Disney. If it wasn't for the generosity of such a wonderful place, my son might never have gotten to visit Disney World. Everyone there treated us like royalty and there was nothing more we could have asked for.

I went to Disney as a child and I hope and pray his children will get to do the same. Thanks Disney for helping my son's wish to come true. God bless you all. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thanks a Million, Walt!

Rose, 51, Allen, TX

Thanks a Million, Walt! 
From the time that I was a little girl watching the original Mickey Mouse Club with my mouse ears on (I wore them in an airline terminal while changing flights too) to the first time I watched the color TV show, "The Wonderful World of Color." When I lived in FL, we went to Disney World at least once every year on my honeymoon and several anniversaries, including our 25th! Guess where we are going on vacation this year? Disney World of course! Walt built a world that has touched both young and old and stays with you for life. We passed this love of "all things Disney" to our now grown children. Thanks a million, Walt!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Magical Proposal during IllumiNations

True Love!Who knew work and a first visit to Disney could be one of the most magical times in one's life? I had no idea what was about to happen, but my now husband Tim had every idea.

As the Happiest Place on Earth is also in Orlando, I decided to spend some of my vacation time with my boyfriend Tim, who had never been to Disney World. I was excited to let him see why I loved Disney so much. Excitement got the best of us and we planned a week's vacation for the fall, our favorite time of year.

We were able to spend the entire week enjoying all of the parks, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween, and Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival. It was a full week of walking, laughter, and pure enjoyment. By the last day, we were anxious to kick up our feet and relax.

To my amazement, Tim wasn't so relaxed. After spending the day in Future World, we had worked our way over to the World Showcase to see some of the sights and have dinner in Japan. However, Tim decided that he wanted to go back to Future World and buy some wine from the shop there. I dragged my feet a bit, but then gave in. A debate soon followed (white vs. red, screw cap vs. cork, etc.) before agreeing on red wine with a screw cap. He bought two bottles and we headed back to the World Showcase to watch fireworks before dinner.

Tim then wanted to stop in Germany (he's part German and has a love for the country) to buy wine glasses. Though I put up a good fight (in a bratty kind of way!) about how we didn't need them, he insisted on buying two glasses that he really liked. I gave in, noting that he had to carry all the bags since I didn't understand his last-minute purchases.

After Germany, Tim and I rushed over to Japan to find seats before the fireworks began. The unplanned stops prevented us from finding a great spot, so Tim insisted we sit near the koi pond. I thought it was too far away, but he said the rocks provided enough elevation to see everything. I sat down hoping I'd still be able to see the show's water display.

Tim proceeded to unwrap the new glasses and open a bottle of wine. I thought he was acting crazy! After all, it was the International Food & Wine Festival and if he wanted a glass of wine that badly, he could have walked to the kiosk a few feet away. But he insisted that the wine we bought was perfect for watching fireworks. He poured me a glass but I refused. The brattiness continued ...

After several attempts to have me join in his toast, I finally agreed. The wine was fantastic, as were the fireworks and company. I have to admit I couldn't be a brat any longer and apologized for my mood. We enjoyed the moment, relaxing and loving our surroundings. As I heard clinking in my glass, little did I know that a life-changing moment was right around the corner.

Nearing the end of my drink I saw a shimmer of light and froze. Tim looked at me and I at him. He simply said, "What's that? May I see it? I have something I would like to ask you." I immediately started crying and smiling, while Tim took my beautiful Tiffany engagement ring and got down on one knee. During his proposal, the fireworks went off and all the magic in the world surrounded us. Of course I said yes and we savored our moment together as the show ended.

With all of the emotion, I was unable to eat at the restaurant and asked Tim if we could just cancel the reservations. There were so many phone calls to make! We proceeded to walk through the park, where I was telling anyone and everyone that we just got engaged! I was still crying and people were congratulating us with every step.

As we neared Germany, Tim said that we should just sit down, eat, and make phone calls. So we went to the German food kiosk, where the fantastic Disney staff congratulated us and provided complimentary food and drinks for our celebratory moment. They too were telling everyone in the facility our great news and it felt like we were surrounded by close friends.

I have always loved Disney World for all it's worth. But that one magical night, held in the most magical place on earth, changed my life forever. I married my best friend the following year on September 29, 2007, and we honored that special moment with Disney mementos throughout the wedding. For those who didn't notice the subtle details (think hidden Mickeys!), we wore it on our sleeves. Well, more like our heads!

And now? We're living happily ever after, remembering our vacation together!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A "Secure" Disney Pass

Linda, 56, San Gabriel, CA

My husband and I flew to Nebraska over Thanksgiving week to be with family, while there my husband lost his wallet, needless to say you need a picture ID to get on the plane. As I was checking my wallet to see if I had anything with his name on it I realized that I had his Disney Pass in my wallet. I pulled it out and gave it to security and asked if this was good enough. They all got a good laugh and said it would do along with the other information I had. Without it I think it would a little more difficult to make it through security.
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