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Magic Kingdom

I am no fan of Disney.  In fact, I went to far as to publicly boycott Disney due to their partnership with Barney’s for the 2012 holiday window display in New York City.  However, I felt obliged to visit “The Happiest Place on Earth” with my children to give them the experience that Greg and I had as children.  They have been asking to visit Disney since Lilah would spend day after day after day in her princess nightgowns as a toddler. 

The funny thing is.....Disney is not the happiest place on earth.  Not even close.  We had numerous issues with cantankerous, short tempered, unhelpful Disney staff; from the woman at the turnstile who lost patience with Lilah when she could not get her bracelet to light up upon entrance to Animal Kingdom, to the bus driver who snapped at Greg for being confused as to which bus would get us to Epcot from our hotel, to the woman on a scooter who reprimanded me for stepping in her way, despite sincerely apologizing to her while holding the hand of my near-tears daughter when trying to escape the Magic Kingdom minutes before the nightly parade down Main Street.  There were more incidents, but I truly want to remember the iconic beauty and the happy smiles that my daughters wore most of the time we were there.  

Magic Kingdom

The flag ceremony

Main Street

The few rides we went on

The smiles that stretched ear to ear

The color my eyes just drank in and savored to hold me through what is left of this long New England winter.


  1. Jess -- it's so funny you say this about Disney. I grew up going to Disney several times a year - since we lived so close. I loved it! Two years ago we took Anna and Grant as a surprise - my husband really didn't want to go. He said it's just too expensive, too commercial, and he also said it just didn't seem like something our homeschooled kids would appreciate. He was RIGHT. We spent two days there and my kids hated the crowds and crabby people. They hated bumping into all the strollers. Me? I still liked it! I guess everyone has a different tolerance, etc... I'm glad your girls got to see it and enjoyed it. You always have such a refreshing perspective on things!

    1. I have to sit down and blog about Epcot....we really liked that park, as I knew we would. We loved wandering through the countries and we enjoyed the fireworks. It is a much kinder and gentler park and I would go back to Epcot someday.... Our family tends to wander during our vacations. Being in a park felt a bit confining, but it was a compromise to give the girls what they wanted and me what I wanted. My part of the vacation came at the end, when we got to St. Augustine.

    2. We loved St. Augustine when we lived in Jacksonville many years ago. Loved the old town and would go very often for dinner, etc.

  2. We have ventured to the parks yet, there is just so many other things to do in FL! But we will eventually just because it is so close to us. It can't always be a happy place with that many people crammed into one spot all wanting to do the same things. It feels like total sensory overload to me, and I know my kids will feel the same. The last time my hubby and I were there we had no kids - this time will be a bit different! One of the things I love most about homeschooling is we can do things like this when the crowds are NOT at their peak, the problem is Disney is ALWAYS busy!!

    1. I have to sit down at some point today and write about Epcot. Epcot is a kinder, gentler park with more space and less stimulation. Originally I planned to only visit Epcot, but we knew the girls, especially Lilah, would want to get up close to the castle. Most of our time was at Epcot and we just loved it.

  3. Funny.. we feel the same way. We went two years ago and although the boys seemed to enjoy it, they hardly went on many rides. It was way overwhelming for Eric and I. Really not a vacation but a rush to get here and there. We did it but don't know if we will ever go back as a family. Although we do have several funny stories to tell.. so I guess there were some memories made.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip.

    1. Greg and I decided we would not rush. We would not get caught up in the mentality that we had to do and see everything...we just weren't there long enough and the girls understood. The FastPass option is wonderful and it allowed us to do most of the things we wanted to do. However, we learned the hard way that it only allowed us three rides per day, not three rides per park so Grace did not get to the rides she was looking forward to most. I don't think we will go back either, but we wanted the girls to have the experience of going. No matter what, memories are made and they are what we treasure!

  4. I'm enjoying travelling vicariously through these posts. Hope the overall holiday left you all feeling refreshed and revived - even if Disney didn't.

    1. There certainly are positives to a vacation at Disney - no driving, meals are easy (if at times hard to make healthy), the pools are gorgeous and the grounds immaculate. But we are a wandering family and we were ready to leave at the end of our three days. I have not blogged Epcot yet, which is what I was most looking forward to doing and where we made some of our best memories.

  5. We've never been to Disney. I've never been to Disney. I honestly have never wanted to go. I have always wanted to go to Epcot. And now Hogwarts. I am sorry you had some bad experiences but I know they girls will have such happy memories.


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