I haven’t been to Disney in a LONG time and it’s been even longer since I stayed on the grounds. When we were kids, my parents took us at Christmas time. Even as teenagers, we loved strolling around Epcot and looking at all the decorations. In 96 we bought a stone that would line a walk way somewhere on the Disney grounds. Those memories always make me smile.
Fast forward 20 years… Scott and I decided to take the kids this year. This is their first time here so we wanted it to be special. We stayed at the Polynesian. As kids we stayed at the Contemporary both are beautiful but we feel like Polynesian people now. We didn’t tell the kids till we drove up the gates. I thought they would be more excited but honestly they had never asked to come so I’m not sure they knew what they were getting into.
We spent time in both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center. We ate dinner at Ohana, Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge and Chef Mickey at the Contemporary. All was great (expensive but good).
Aside from all the tactics of the trip, there were moments where I flashed back 20 years and felt just like I did then. I even remembered things that I hadn’t thought about since those trips. I would be lying if it didn’t make me miss my dad. He was always so proud of the fact that he could take us to Disney. Even if he wasn’t strong enough to do all the walking. He loved going. I can see his wide smile just thinking about it.
It’s just crazy and surreal to be bringing my kids to the same place to ride the same rides and make the same memories that we did as kids. My kids may have not gotten to spend much (or any in the case of MiniE) time with Pawpaw but it’s comforting to know they were walking the same paths that he did. If there’s anything truly magical about this place, it’s that. The fact that it spans generations, seems timeless and can take you back 20 years in the blink of an eye.
To add to the sentimentality of this trip, our room over looked the beach that connects the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian which just happens to be where our stone was that we bought 20 years ago. It feels so surreal and comforting to be here. Kind of felt like my dad was with us.
Did the kids have fun? Yeah but not in the ways you would think. The parks were not their main source of excitement. MiniE loved interacting with Mickey and characters at breakfast and dinner. E loved the pool and just the feel of the resort.
He enjoyed all the science at Epcot. He spent the entire time documenting all the little factoids that he had learned. For example…did you know 100 Million sharks are killed by humans each year? (Or so says the “Under the Sea” exhibit). I loved getting to see my dear friend G (Runner Unleashed). She’s an amazing soul. She and her son came and swam with us and the kids had a BALL.
Will we be back? I’m sure we will. May not be an annual trip but this trip, this year was the right place at the right time.
Are you a Disney family? Have you been? What are your favorite Disney memories?