“There’s the whole world at your feet.” -Mary Poppins
Disney. Where Dreams Come True. A place children begin dreaming about even before they begin kindergarten. A place I had never been until my own children were all but grown! Yes, it’s true, I was a Disney virgin until four months ago. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up on Disney movies, my daughter has a collection of them now, I had just never been to Disney World. My husband and boys had been. We tried to take my mini-me when she was young but she was having no part of it. She doesn’t like people in costumes if she can’t see their faces. To this day she avoids full costumed people unless she knows the face behind the mask. However, her freshman year of high school, she joined the band for her first trip to Disney World and she fell in love. In love with the magic and wonder and all of the characters everywhere.
If you have read my earlier posts you will have seen that we decided to do a Disney trip for my daughter for her senior pictures. Thus begins my first trip into the Wide World of Disney.
We made reservations at Wyndham Bonnet Creek in Kissimmee for the week after Thanksgiving, invited our close friends who are also the parents of mini-me’s best friend, and started planning. As it turned out, we were able to leave a little earlier than planned but were unable to change our reservations, so my husband booked what USED to be a Holiday Inn near Disney. At some point between making the reservation and checking in to the hotel, Holiday Inn became a Best Western PLUS. Following a long trip and several hours in Animal Kingdom we went to the address for the hotel and found a Best Western. After driving past a couple of times, thinking we had the address incorrect, and then discovering we were, indeed, at the correct hotel, we went ahead and went in, walking into a lobby smelling STRONGLY of smoke, and against our better judgment, checked in. We made it into the room, after going up a rickety elevator and walking down an odd smelling hall, only to find out exactly what the PLUS meant. There, in what was supposed to be a clean, ready for our family, room, was a turd, just floating in the toilet. In case you are wondering, no, we did not stick around to see what else had not been cleaned in the room. The desk person downstairs was extremely rude, to the point of refusing to give us a refund, and told us we needed to talk to the manager but refused to actually let us talk to the manager. Long story short…we received a full refund and did not have to talk to the manager, arriving a short time later at the Clarion Inn, Lake Buena Vista, where we spent the night. The poor desk clerk there was gracious and understanding, even through a crying basket case, and had us in a room quickly. This hotel is outdated and has quite a bit of road noise but was clean and comfortable for the night. The next day, after enjoying a day full of Disney, we checked into Wyndham Bonnet Creek. Bonnet Creek is a complete 180 from the hotels of the previous night. Not only were we greeted with glasses of champagne, the desk clerks were professional, the rooms were clean and the two bedroom condo was perfect for our family and friends. Thank you Wyndham for saving our vacation!
Enough about the hotels. Disney World. After a couple of days in the parks my friend turned to me and asked “Do you love it?!” You see, my dear friend is everything Walt Disney intended when he created his magic. She has loved Disney and the parks her entire life. She LOVES Disney. I am pretty sure I broke her heart a little bit when I answered. For my first trip to Disney was full of crowds and lines and I still don’t like crowds and lines!!! Did I enjoy Disney? Yes, I did. I had so much fun with my family and friends. For me, that was where it ended. HOWEVER, my friend would love to know…I am EXCITED to be returning to Disney soon. I have to be careful, all of the colors and sights will be a sensory overload to my Guillian-Barre stressed eyes, and as of right now, I will have to go as a ‘handicapped person’ as I am still unable to walk on my own, but I am truly excited. Once I was able to get away and process everything we saw and did, I realized…I love Disney!