To say that Disney was a huge part of my childhood almost seems like an understatement. I grew up a few hours away from the parks, and my parents prioritized so that we could have season passes most years. While I am sure they did this in part because they knew it brought me joy, I hope that they also did it for themselves. My dad had severe strokes before I was born, and for the most part as a young child, I was pretty unaware of his differences from other people. It's only now that I'm older that I can better imagine what life was like for them at times.
Dad and me at the Magic Kingdom a couple of decades ago.
Plus, it doesn't hurt that Disney is just awesome and I love it. The parks, the movies, the characters, the music. I loved it all as a child. I loved it enough as an adult to join the College Program. I loved it enough to stay on afterward and work for several more years as I made my way through university and graduate school. I loved it enough that an undercover group of reporters wrote very nice things about me in the Orlando Sentinel. (I didn't love it enough to limit my dating to other Disney fans, so poor anti-Disney El Hub tolerates it for my sake. Oops. Sorry, honey. I also didn't love it enough to prioritize for buying my own pass after leaving my Cast Member days behind. Sorry Disney, you are expensive.) I loved it enough that I knew from a very young age that if I was lucky enough, I wanted to be able to introduce a child of mine to Disney. And now I have had the opportunity, thanks to a wonderful friend.
Going to Disney is not like it once was in my carefree baby-free days. El Hub and I psyched ourselves up for it the night before, packed what we could, and steeled ourselves for not knowing how our crib-loving two-naps-a-day kiddo was going to handle the outing. We loaded up everything first thing in the morning, and that was when it hit me. DISNEY! That is what I randomly exclaimed in El Hub's ear several times during the car ride to the Magic Kingdom. DISNEY! DISNEY DISNEY! Don't you want to ride in a car with me on the way to the parks? It's a real auditory experience.
The Magic Kingdom takes an extra bit of psyching yourself up. There's the parking, then there's the walking to the monorail or ferry, then there's the actual ride to the park, and then you get to enter the magical destination. And what happened right when we got to the ticket gate?
I couldn't find the tickets.
To be continued. Spoiler alert: this story has a magical ending. Here's a sneak peek.
Edit: Click here to see the follow-up to this post!