Growing Up Disney and Disney Traditions a Guest Blog by Stephanie Knight
Hey there Main Street Mousers! I know we are all here for one thing and that is our love of Disney. Well I wanted to share with y’all one of my most memorable experiences with Disney. My name is Stephanie. I am 24 years old, born and raised in Arlington, Texas. Disney has always been a part of my life since I was born. Whenever I am sad or whether I am happy I always have something Disney playing in the background. There is so much Disney in my life that some people question me on if I think it is childish or not to love Disney so much.
Now I want to start off by telling you a little bit about my first trip to Disney World back in 1996. I don’t remember a whole lot about that particular trip, but then again I was 6 at the time. I do remember some specifics like on our first night there we went to The Magic Kingdom with us having dinner that night at Pinocchio Village Haus and then riding It’s A Small World afterwards. Some other things about that trip I remember was the water slide at our hotel, which just happened to be at Port Orleans French Quarter, but at the time it was just called Port Orleans.
But that trip is not the trip I want to tell you about. The trip I want to tell you about was my last trip to Disney World. This trip was a special trip for me; it was my baby so to speak of. I had begged and pleaded to go back to Disney. Finally I was able to get my parents to say yes, and not only was I going back, but this was going to be my college graduation trip. My planning for the trip started in early February 2013 during my Women In Work history class. I knew where I wanted to stay and when I wanted to go. I wrote down everything, all my plans, and options for this trip. I looked at airfare along with dining options. When it came time to present all my research to my parents I had about 18 hand written pages of notes plus 3 worksheets in an excel file. I was set and ready to present to the folks.
Now let’s jump ahead to the day of the trip. We have an early flight from DFW to Orlando and I am running on a few hours of sleep since I couldn’t sleep the night before from excitement of going to Disney. We get off the plane and head over to the Disney Magical Express bus and we were on our way to my happy place. When we arrived at the hotel, Port Orleans Riverside is when things started to come to a halt. Even after us checking in a month in advance online, the hotel was overbooked. They said they had some rooms in the French Quarter and I had agreed to that. I said yes thinking they meant a view of the French Quarter, compared to a river view room that we had booked. When I realized they meant moving us to the French Quarter I started to cry, remember I’m running on very little sleep. Luckily with the help of my mom and some wonderful cast members we were able to get a room. Only there is one catch, we got an upgrade to a deluxe resort. So with the help of Disney we got a ride over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Now like our first trip, the parents and I decided to start a tradition. Now whenever we stay at Disney our first night will always be at The Magic Kingdom, with dinner at the Pinocchio Village Haus, It’s A Small World and to recreate a family photo on Splash Mountain. As our first night drew to a close dad and I decided to stay for the extra magic hours while mom went back to the room. Mom split from the two of us during the firework show, Wishes. Towards the end of the show I started to tear up again, but these weren’t tears of sadness, but tears of joy. It was at this point and time that I knew I had achieved a life-long goal of mine, I had graduated college and I was where I wanted to be.
I could go on and on about all the things we did, but y’all have all done the same things before. However, the main highlight was my dad. Now, he loves his roller coasters, but up and down or round and round rides he’s not that fond of. It took some doing, but I got him on the Hollywood Tower of Terror. Not just once, but about ten times. One night, we got on it five times in a row in about thirty minutes. Between that and the Rocking Roller Coaster, that was one GREAT night! The trip was quite eventful from start to finish. There were highs and lows, arguments and agreements, but even with all the road blocks I knew that this trip was going to be perfect……and it was.
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