Earlier this year, my husband and I took Anders and Danica to Disney World. It was a decision made spontaneously. We had a little extra money saved and when my friend Brittany said that she had rented a place in Florida big enough for two families and invited us along we decided why not? We could all use more Mickey Mouse in our lives.
We waited until the morning of the trip to tell the kids where we were going. I have never been so thankful for child safety restraints as I was in the 12 hours following that announcement. It was the most fidgety, hyper-active, ‘are we there yet?,’ ‘how about now?,’ road trip of our lives. Florida is just on this side of close enough for us to drive without stopping to stay somewhere overnight. Instead we made a pitstop for aspirin and a couple of bribes for peace and quiet masquerading as ice cream cones.
Car ride aside, I was excited to experience the magic of the park with my children, but in particular I was looking forward to a special moment Brittany arranged for our 3-year-old daughters. She happened to know a dancer in the Beauty and the Beast Live show and had set up a private meeting with Belle for the girls.
We were both certain that the moment would be one we would all treasure forever. We imagined them star-struck, hanging from Belle’s yellow gown, asking her adorable questions.
“Can we try on your crown?”
“What does the beast’s fur feel like?”
They would hug her and curtsy and reluctantly wave good-bye, happy tears standing in their eyes and Brittany and I would, of course, be the best mothers on Earth. They would probably erect a statue in our honor. Needless to say, like most plans we have for our children, that moment went nothing like we imagined. Toddlers are unpredictable at best and instead of running to hug her and beg her to twirl her skirt with them they just kind of stood there like they were waiting at the subway station to catch the train. I think Danica may have even rolled her eyes and pretended to check her watch while Gigi yawned.
Meanwhile, Brittany and I were all “Your crown is so pretty. Can I feel your dress?” It was a complete role reversal. Beauty and the Beast came out in theaters when Brittany and I were about 7 years old and loving Belle was part of our childhood. For our 3 year olds the car show we watched later held more of the ‘Oh my god! Things are on fire!’ vibe they were looking for.
The following week when I sat down at my computer to look through all the memories I had captured on our trip I laughed out loud when I came across the photograph of my daughter during her private meet and greet. There she stood, arms crossed. I could imagine her little foot tapping. It was my favorite picture in the whole bunch and one of my favorite memories of the trip.
Do you have a favorite Disney memory?
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