Disney World through a Toddler’s Eyes by Guest Blogger Courtney Popper
Franklin is two and half years old and is obsessed with Mickey Mouse Club House. We decided in March to go to Disney World as soon as we knew what our schedules would be like and aimed for end of October. It wasn’t until about 2 weeks before when I was getting things out and ready for the trip (though I didn’t actually pack until 2 days before) that Franklin finally understood he was actually going to meet Mickey and Goofy.
Fast Forward to October 18 once we finally got to Magic Kingdom. Franklin’s eyes lit up and he got the biggest smile on his face. Of course, we didn’t see much that night due to getting there closer to 8, but just that moment made all the problems we had that day fade away. We took him on Pirates of the Caribbean; I wasn’t sure how he’d handle it since it’s a rather dark (as in not lit) ride. He absolutely LOVED it! After that, he saw Aladdin’s Magic Carpet ride and wanted to go on that and he had a blast; he had never been on rides before this night and he was just ecstatic. We found a spot for the Electrical Parade and sat – by this time, he was fighting sleep, but he was a trooper and was pointing and waving at characters and smiled/giggled when they waved back.
Fast forward again a little bit after fighting enormous crowds, as there was a show on the castle walls everyone was stopping to watch. We put him on our shoulders so we could keep walking and he could watch. Went to Casey’s for a quick dinner, sat and watched Wishes… his eyes at that were enormous. They were loud, so he covered his ears and still was in awe. After the crowds died down, we stayed for Extra Magic Hours. He was so good and stayed up until we were walking out of the park and daddy carried him so he could sleep.
Sunday, October 19, we got up early to be at Magic Kingdom at open. We got there in time to watch the greeting and he jumped up and down seeing all the characters and kept saying “MY MICKEY!! MY MICKEY!!” I’m not going into detail on this day besides his reaction to the characters. First up was Ariel he was excited until he got up to her… she was totally amazing and understanding… she did what she could to get him to talk, at least she got a hug and a “thank you, Ariel” out of it.
We then went to see Gaston, only cause we stumbled onto him while getting Lefou’s Brew and a Cinnamon Roll, he talked to him about the castle, which Gaston was bragging about helping Prince Charming build it and other such. Franklin then said something about fireworks, and Gaston said “Yes, the castle lets off fireworks, which I helped put together as well”. He was stronger with his “thank you” this time when he got his book signed.
Next up, talking MICKEY MOUSE! OH MY GOODNESS ! We had a fun time trying to keep him in line waiting for the people in front of him. But when it was his turn, did he run up and hug Mickey! He didn’t want to let go. Period. I definitely had tears in my eyes during that one. He had a huge smile on his face and couldn’t talk; he just kept staring in awe at meeting his favorite for the first time. We got family photos for that.
After a show on the castle steps as we were waiting to be seated at the Crystal Palace for Winnie the Pooh & lunch he kept saying “My Mickey! Minnie!! Goofy!! Come here!” and beckoning them. When we sat down, Pooh was the first in line. He doesn’t know Winnie the Pooh very well, but he was still ecstatic about meeting those characters. Tigger was next to visit, then Piglet. Piglet “kissed” his nose, which he did as well.
Then Eeyore (I wasn’t around for that one, he had an accident), so we got back and daddy had gotten the autograph, so I just had to get photos. We also saw Goofy, Donald, Daisy, and Minnie that night. He had the same reaction as with Mickey.
All in all he had the best time. We watched the 3 o’clock Parade and he had a blast waving at the characters and told me whom each one was if he knew them. That night was the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Franklin rode Goofy’s Barnstormer twice! We got some candy and stayed for the Boo to You parade and fireworks before heading back to the hotel. Everything we had hoped with him came true. From his reactions to his behavior we are truly blessed as his parents.
About Courtney: Hello Mainstreeters!! This is my first guest blog with hopefully more to come. My name is Courtney Popper – yes, you often see my husband posting blogs and he used to do the daily Disney quotes. Anyway, I am soon to be 28 years old and originally from this city of Evansville, IN, which is where we are currently residing. I’m not currently studying anything, but hopefully we will move to Florida by May and I’ll look into St. Petersburg Community College (if we are moving there) and pursue my Healthy Information’s Technology degree and hopefully get back into my niche of the office job environment. I am obviously happily married since Nov 2009 – been together since May 2006, and have one smarty-pants of a son, Franklin.