The Reluctant Mouseketeer: Discovering the Disney Magic
|by Nicole Courson, PassPorter Guest Contributor|
Last modified 9/10/2009
PassPorter.com > Articles > Walt Disney World > Planning
The first time I visited Walt Disney World I was nine years old. To even call it Walt Disney World is a bit of a stretch, because the year was 1979 and the entire resort was made up of the Magic Kingdom. Disney had actually just broken ground for Epcot during our visit. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom were no doubt stars in some Imagineer's eyes. But to my younger brother Jimmy and I, those days spent endlessly spinning in the teacups and screaming on Space Mountain with our parents were unforgettable.
If we could've gone back, we would have, but as the years went by there were always reasons not to: too busy with soccer/school/family, we were saving for college, and we'd "outgrown" the whole Disney experience by the ripe old age of sixteen, surely.
The truth? I never stopped wanting to go back. In my head I planned a trip for my high school graduation, then for Jimmy's high school graduation, and finally, my college graduation. Except then I decided to get married immediately following college.
Enter the Reluctant Mouseketeer.
We'll call him Mike. He was my Prince Charming, a handsome, kind-hearted man with green eyes and dreams as big as Fantasyland. We dated several years before he joined the military, and following our engagement I told him that I'd secretly dreamed of honeymooning in Walt Disney World for years.
His reaction wasn't what I expected.|
"I don't get the whole ‘Mouse' thing," he told me, seeming as shocked by my wishes as I was by his lack of interest. "We're adults, isn't that the kind of thing to do with a family someday?"
His reasoning, coupled with the fact that we'd need pretty much every available penny to set up housekeeping in a foreign country, seemed sound. So I agreed, somewhat disappointedly, but still secretly planning a trip in the not-to-distant future.
So I asked again following his next assignment, back in the States. Again, the look of surprised confusion, and he said, "But we don't have kids yet. Why would we want to go without kids?"
Again, two years later, with our little guy Austin toddling around the living room of our base housing unit, Mike presented me with even more reasons to not go to Walt Disney World: the Florida weather, a too-big-for-our-military-budget expense, and Austin being too little to remember this no-doubt once in a lifetime journey.
I've learned the hard way that there are a dozen easy ways for people to talk themselves out of that Disney vacation: the crowds, the heat, and the expense just being a few of them. And I've also learned that there are far more reasons to go, if they'd just carefully consider their own arguments.
The last time I approached Mike with my Disney vacation plea, I had a battle strategy the size of Epcot. Our two boys were by then nine and eleven, well within the "remembering" range. I was willing to work extra hours to pay for the trip without touching our household budget. We'd stay on property (no driving) at a value resort (low cost), use the meal plan (most expenses paid for before we get there), and visit during the month of December (lowest crowds, low temperature). Our best friends and their kids were in – they'd been there three times before. My mother, my brother and his family were in, too. All I needed was Mike's okay.
Mike agreed, however reluctantly, knowing when he was beat and under the condition that he could keep any princesses that he found. I readily agreed, dizzy with the thrill of finally making our trip official. He shook his head as we made dining reservations six months out, rolled his eyes as the boys and I sang along with old Disney soundtracks in the car. But being our Prince, he boarded the plane with a smile on his face and a reminder that he was holding me to the princess promise – he'd be keeping any he found.
Our first day in the Magic Kingdom, my Reluctant Mouseketeer spotted Mary Poppins. His eyes widened. His jaw dropped. His head turned to the rest of us, a look of childlike amazement on his face.
And just like that ... he was one of us.
The adult barrier gradually wore away the next few days, as he sported our son's Stitch hat and taunted my mother into riding the Tower of Terror. He sponsored his own "Beers of the World" tour around the World Showcase, flirted with Lady Tremaine, and on our last day, squeezed my hand and said, "We should do this again. You know, before the boys get too old."
I knew what he was saying, and I know in my heart what he meant. And naïve as it may sound, I hope we never get too old to go back, because it's the closest thing to magic I've found.
And even the least likely, most charming prince of a husband can become a Mouseketeer with a little bit of planning…and the promise of a princess or two.
|About the Author: Nicole Courson lives in the magical kingdom of Pittsburgh, PA, with her two growing Mouseketeers and Prince Charming. They're planning their next trip to Walt Disney World in December of 2010 – this time, with Mike's family.|
Recent Walt Disney World Articles:Read additional articles from PassPorter.com
Top 10 Things I Love About Disney's Hollywood Studios - A Walt Disney World Park Review last updated 01-29-2015
Camping at Walt Disney World - Making Disney Affordable last updated 01-29-2015
The Fab Five Family at Walt Disney World - A Walt Disney World Planning Article last updated 01-22-2015
Our Must-Dos at Walt Disney World - A Walt Disney World Planning Article last updated 01-22-2015
My Top 10 Table Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World - A Walt Disney World Dining Review last updated 01-15-2015
More Related Links:
Disney + Disabilities = Magic! - Enjoying Disney World with Disabilities last updated 11/07/2008
Saving Money for Disney - Tips and Tricks last updated 2/25/2011
Baby Steps - Six Sanity Savers For Baby's First Trip to Walt Disney World last updated 3/7/2011
Disney Dreaming - Book Excerpt from PassPorter's Walt Disney World last updated 1/16/2009
Walt Disney World for Veteran Visitors - Finding New Things To Do last updated 1/16/2009
View all comments in forum thread
So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!
(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)
Updated 9/10/2009 - Article #271
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide.
As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!|
We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result
in more spam! We guarantee it.
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
| LEARN MORE|
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks|
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discussion forums about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel provided by PassPorter Travel Press, the ultimate Disney travel guide and book series.
Tampa airport to Disney [transportation suggestions?]
17 Jan 2015 at 8:54am
Is there a cheap way to get from Tampa to Disney. The air fare is so much cheaper for us to fly into tampa (like $800). Is there a car service that...
(click title above to view replies)
Disney travel Expert needed
13 Jan 2015 at 2:58am
Does anyone have a suggestion of a disney travel expert that can book my trip? I found one on here with our last trip in 2009 and she was wonderful....
(click title above to view replies)
Can you have both Tables in Wonderland (TIW) and Deluxe Disney Dining Plan (D...
13 Jan 2015 at 1:33am
Can you use both tables in wonderland and DDDP together? Lets say we have cocktails or wine with our food. Can we use our DDDP to pay for the meal...
(click title above to view replies)
Total Visits: 6913