The Happiest Place On Earth.


When I was somewhere around Des’ age, I was given a stuffed Donald Duck as a birthday or holiday gift. It fast became my favorite stuffed animal ever, and I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t still have “him” placed lovingly in one of my drawers, and out of the reach of grubby, tiny hands. Donald endured many injustices during our long courtship – he was puked on (it came out in the wash), had apple juice dripped onto him (the stain is still there), and had a series of “sick days” in which he developed high fevers and had to be carried around all day like a baby. Nestled in the crook of my arms, just like he should have been. My baby.

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(He hung out with Mickey a lot too, but it was always ever about Donald.)

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Donald also traveled up and down the northeast seaboard, many times over, and even went to college with me, where he was hidden away from my crazy clown roommates. He also lived shortly in San Francisco, and now resides in Northampton, MA.

He’s retired, you see.

I have always felt like Donald Duck is my kindred spirit. We’d just get each other if we met in real life and he was, you know, real and all. It was always more about him than it was the Disney princesses, although they weren’t as popular in 1984 as they are now. And I did grow up to seek having Disney princess hair, a feat I believe I have somewhat accomplished over time.

I mean, am I right or am I right? (ok, ok, this was professionally done and totally windswept by the time this photo was taken.)

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And now here, tomorrow – by the time you read this, I will be in The Magic Kingdom again. And I can’t help remembering my own three times there, at three different ages, and wondering what it might be like for my kids this time and, in the future.

– I went when I was four and my sister was six. My father had just passed away earlier that summer and maybe this was meant as a distraction for us all. Like Scarlet, I was confused by geography and location and since my grandparents usually lived in Fort Lauderdale, but here we were at a hotel in Orlando, I called it a “different Florida.” And it was. I was most captivated by the Peter Pan ride. It was closed when I went again at age 11, but I did ride it when I was 19 and it was just as magical as my four-year-old brain remembered. And isn’t that nice? When your heartened memories still ring true in adulthood.

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– I went when I was 11, as I mentioned above. My sister was 13. I honestly think we were just very cranky. I was petrified of anything outer space and she was petrified by anything underwater so we had a true blast at Epcot. Nothing like big kids crying on rides, right? Pretty sure I had a meltdown even looking at the giant golf ball thing. Disney meltdowns, Dana?

– Lastly, I went when I was 19. It was in the summer and about 100 degrees with 90-100% humidity. I walked myself to the front row of the splash deck at SeaWorld, opened up my arms and said, “Get me, Shamu. Just have at me!” And he/she splashed the heck out of me. I liked it. At the Magic Kingdom, I loved Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion and Peter Pan’s Flight. That trip was maybe the last time I saw my grandparents (pictured with me below). The whole world felt ominous to me during our time there, and I wonder if I already knew their end was near? We went to Universal Studios and at the CityWalk, I found a funky necklace for my then boyfriend. It was made of hemp but had metal spikes. Sort of hippie/metal? He loved it. Years after we broke up, he lost the necklace. I went back to Orlando in my 20’s, but not back to Disney World. We walked through CityWalk Universal and even though it had been years, I looked for that necklace vendor. I found her and there was just one left of that particular necklace. I was a romantic and even though it was probably wrong for many reasons, I bought it for him and sent it. I had intended for him to have it and maybe there was a part of me that wanted him back? The world will never know.

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What is the best age to go to Disney World? Well, circumstances will change outcomes. I always thought six or seven might be best, but the time to go is also right now when you can, and if it happens again when we get down the road a bit more, it will be an awesome bonus. I’ve been feeling like I’m revisiting my own childhood, and also making my heart heal a bit more.

Isn’t that kinda what parenting is?

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  1. Your photos and your storytelling are both wonderful – full of nostalgia and hope. How sweet is it that you called Orlando “different Florida”?:) And I love that you took Donald with you wherever you lived. Your princess hair is gorgeous. Hope you have an incredible time at Disney World 😉

    1. Thanks! It’s not so gorgeous when I don’t have an amazing stylist doing it! And today with this humid heat. Sigh.
      Thanks for visiting me! I got to learn some Italian because of you.

  2. I always thought six or seven was the best age too, until my kids were older than that and still completely enthralled. So am I – I’ll admit it. I hope your visit is meltdown free so far (thanks for the mention!) and full of creating memories and heart healing.

    1. I love creating memories and heart healing on the same day. In 75 degree sun.
      I am also so excited that I guess any age is the right age, if that’s where you want to be.

    1. Thank you! We’ve done one day at Universal and one day at Sea World and I am TIRED! I better really get my mojo back for tomorrow. It will be..huge.

  3. I have seen your photos and updates on Facebook/Instagram, so I know you are having a blast and totally reliving your childhood through Scarlet and Des. Totally what this is all about. And by the way, Emma was a gifted a Baby Donald Duck from Kevin’s brother, when he and my sister-in-law went when she was a baby. She loved Donald to pieces and still does. IT is the one stuffed animal that has always been a constant in her life. So, when I saw your pictures and you were talking about your affinity to Donald from that part of your life, I could’ help but think of Emma, too here 🙂

    1. Aww..Emma and me! Donald is so special. I always called him “Donnie.” Then my mom married my dad and his name is Donald and that confused me.
      We’re having a great time. Totally confused by warm sun. It’s..weird putting on the a/c!

      1. That is cute, but could totally see how that is confusing. And I seriously wish I could put on the AC right now, but nature’s AC will hit tonight in the form of another polar vortex!

  4. I went to Disney when I was 9, 15. 17, and 19. Each trip was magical in its own way (though nothing beats the excitement of going for the first time!) I hope to get to go back, this time as a mom, and hopefully see the magic through Eve’s eyes. Hope you are having an awesome trip!

    1. What a fun bunch of ages to go!
      I can’t wait until you go with Eve. We’ll need to go again with Des because I don’t think any of this is sinking in much! Lots of stroller naps and waiting around!

  5. Lindsay gave you “Donny” for your second birthday, I think. There has always been magic in our lives! Have a blast!

  6. Hope you are enjoying your trip! I can’t wait to take my daughter to Disney. I think she may combust with excitement because she is obsessed with Mickey and Minnie. Right after I had her, my husband bought her a stuffed Minnie Mouse in the hospital gift shop. We call it “the first Minnie”. Who knew back then how much she would love and attach herself to that toy. Have a wonderful time and enjoy the warm sunshine!!

  7. Love it and glad you are having such a wonderful time! We went a couple years ago when my girls were 4, 7, & 9. I was worried that, especially the 9 year old wouldn’t enjoy it as much because she was way past all the princess stuff. But, she loved it! They all loved it and we had a blast! I would love to take them again sometime is a couple more years~

    1. That sounds wonderful. And honestly, perfect ages! Now is great and we had reasons we had to go now because my Aunt is retiring and she works for Universal, but Des won’t remember any of this!

  8. I’ve never been to Disney World, but I did go to Disney Land when I was in my 20’s. My daughters are looking forward to going to Disney World, soon! I’m not sure when we’ll go… I know you’re having a magical time there!

    1. Thanks, we are!! Magic Kingdom is tomorrow and then maybe again later in the week. Today was warm and sunny and I in total denial that we’re coming home soon.

  9. I think every parent who loves their children tries to give them the best of what they had and the things they wanted but never got. It pretty much sums up the first decade or two of parenting. Maybe the third and fourth, too – I’ll let you know.

    I never went to Disney as a kid but I have been to Disney Land twice and Disney World twice as an adult. If I lived near to either of them I would probably be one of those people who goes all the time.

    I’m glad you get to do this with your kids now. Because every different age holds a different kind of magic.

    1. And I wonder if you’d be the type to have the Mickey ears sticker on your car with the “A P”, which means “annual pass.”
      I imagine if we lived here, and with our two kids, we’d be APers.

  10. Oh that was most definitely Disney princess hair, Tamara. I had to laugh about you and your sister’s fears on your 11 year-old trip. I’m from a family full of slightly neurotic, anxiety-ridden people and we have some funny stories about them surfacing on vacations. Some we still laugh about.

    1. Oh man, Shana. It still happens for me. I’m 33 and I’ve never wanted to go on roller coasters. After I got asked if I wanted to go on a roller coaster, no less than 17 times yesterday, I finally snapped (and I don’t really snap often) and I said, “I feel like I’ve been pretty clear here!”
      No one has asked since.
      And I get nervous before rides called “mild ride”. Rides I can bring Des on. Nervous. Yup.
      They’re so dark and involved around here! You can get a little claustrophobic on these rides.

  11. I have only been to Disney once, and since Cass was only a year and a half, and very sick- we had to leave immediately when she was struggling to breath so badly, became limp. Raced to the ER… terrified she was going to die. So yeah- ….that memory haunts me. SORRY!! Can I just throw some BLACK TAR on your precious Disney Parade?!!! LOL Geesh. (Erase this from your head- STAT)

    We probably will never get there- just will never foresee the finances for it. But I love seeing and reading other people’s experiences!!!!

    I hope you are embracing every moment of the magic, Tamara!!!! LOVE you!!

    1. LOVE you! And no black tar on my parade. I’m just thankful that Cass has grown up to be the amazing, charmed superstar she is. God is definitely smiling upon that girl. And you. But you knew that.

  12. So glad you’re there, where it’s warm. I’d love to take my girls someday. I think any trip to where you can share a bit of you that your kids have never seen works for both parties, you know. They’ll see you as they never have, and you’ll create a memory and benchmark for them to compare their future trips.

    And tell stories about mom and dad there.

    1. So many stories.
      And it changes. Times change, movies change. This isn’t the Disney World I remember. And that’s ok. This isn’t the me I remember either.

  13. Aw, I have a “Donald Duck” like yours except mine is a Care Bear. Seriously I have had that thing since I was 6 or 7 and I still sleep with it at night haha! It’s like that extra pillow.

    We live near-ish Disneyland so I’m still waiting when I can take the whole fam for the day. I’m just waiting until the younger ones don’t need those naps anymore so that we don’t have to worry about cranky kids lol.

    1. For my sister, it’s a Popple. Did you ever have one of those?
      We never really know what it’s going to be! Scarlet’s never had just one lovey/stuffie. Des has one he loves so much (it’s in his hands right now) that we have four backups. (neurotic, much?)

  14. My first time at DW was last year. I was 35. I enjoyed seeing it through the eyes of my kids (3, 6, & 9), but I also enjoyed it for myself. I don’t know if we’ll ever get back there, but hopefully my kids can take their kids someday!

  15. Growing up, I had a blanket that was very similar to your Donald. I called my blanket Bubby, and he went with me everywhere. I also still have Bubby, tucked away in a safe spot. It’s amazing how much an attachment we form to things as a kid.

    I sure hope everyone is having a wonderful time! I was a little worried that the weather would be cold and rainy while you were here. Of course, I guess anything is better than snow at this point!

    1. Kristen, no way! So warm and sunny today. And the day we got here. It was overcast most of yesterday but we did see SOME sun and it was warm.

  16. I think Disney World is great at any age. The first time I went I was seventeen and I loved it. I went a couple times in college and we even went for our honeymoon. Before we had kids we took my nephews who were seven and nine at the time. They had a great time at that age even if they did have a few cranky moments. Like getting upset when Pooh had to take a potty break while waiting for his autograph.

    1. ha! The nerve of Pooh. And we’ve had a lot of cranky moments this trip, which I expected, but not as many as I thought!
      That’s nice of you to take your nephews. That must have been very memorable for them.

      1. That’s great that there have been less cranky moments than you thought. My nephews had a great time, it was their first time going on a vacation, so they enjoyed their first airplane ride and the whole Disney experience.

  17. What a lovely post Tamara. The first picture of you looks like you morphed a picture of both of your kids together – amazing! I don’t remember the magic of Disney and I think that’s mostly because the most memorable time for me was when my dad took us there without my mom after they were divorced (probably as a distraction) and it was not the best trip. I am hoping to get that magic back when we take Jack there for the first time. I hope you are having a great trip!

    1. It was a distraction for us too, with my father so recently passed. I guess going again when I was 11 was a do-over of sorts, but it was emotional for me. Going again at 19 was more healing because I had really healed a lot since. And I’ve done even more healing since then. So much healing!

    1. I totally dig that.

      And, thanks! It was professionally styled that day. It doesn’t always look like a Pantene commercial, but every now and then.

  18. I have never been to Disney World, only Disneyland. I have to admit that part of me was mad at my parents for never bringing me when all my other friends got to go. My husband and I have talked about bringing the boys. We want to make sure Biz can ride all the rides. He’s our thrill seeker and he gets mad if he’s excluded from rides (as we learned at Six Flags!). It’s clear from your post that no matter what age, memories will be made! Can’t wait to see your photos and hear about your trip!

    1. That’s like Scarlet. She wants to go on EVERYTHING and does get upset when she’s not tall enough for a ride. And she’s..quite petite. Like 15th percentile, tops.

  19. The best age for Disney? Hmmm. Well, I never went to Disney World until I was 31 years old. Anyway, I enjoyed it immensely! My oldest has been several times, but the first time she went was when she was 6, and I think she has her most favorite memories from that time. That first time I went O bought into the Disney Vacation Club and we have been enjoying all things Disney since. Addy went for the first time this summer, and she was only 2, but while she probably won’t remember a thing, I can carry all of those memories for her and share the pictures I took with her. I am so excited you and your family are there!!

    1. Yes, you carry those memories and you take those photos! That’s what I’m doing for Des right now. And I even wonder if four is too young to remember a lot. I certainly remember a lot from my trip and I had just turned four. Scarlet is 4.5. We shall see. Tomorrow is that day!

  20. You are such an amazing storyteller…it’s like you bring people right into your past. I hope that this trip is truly amazing for you. I wish we’d brought our kids when they were younger. We brought them a few years ago but they all wanted to do different things and it was one of those cranky trips.

    1. Those cranky trips. I get that. Ours are almost too young for that because they still fall asleep when things are too intense. However, I could be wrong!
      Thanks for your beautiful compliment.

    1. Thanks! It’s kinda hard to manage down here, actually. Not sure how all of those “real princesses” have such fantastic hair in the humidity!

  21. Hello YES on Princess hair! I went to Disney pregnant with my first born – weary, sick from walking too much, and uncomfortable. At least I fit in the teacups! My husband and I had more fun kayaking out in the great state of FL’s wild than at the park. But that doesn’t mean I wont’ take my kids some day.

    1. Well hello THANK YOU! I can’t imagine going on the teacups while pregnant. My equillibrium would have been pissed at me. Very pissed.
      I went canoeing with alligators here once! That adventure to remember.

  22. I went in college and had just as much fun as I can only imagine it was when I was younger. My memories are vague from childhood but, like you said, it’s magical. I think all ages can find something entertaining. I hope the kiddos enjoy!

    I love all the old photos!

    1. Yes, going in college was magical!! We went during summer break, though, and the heat/humidity nearly did me in. I wondered why I felt so sick. Was I getting old? Nope. Just not acclimated to so much excitement. I’m better now at it.

  23. OMG! I also have a stuffed duck (I won him as a 3 or 4 year old for finding the golden egg at an easter egg hunt) I named “Ducky” and he was my fast favorite…the one I could never get rid of and though he’s seen better days- is in my son’s room (also out of reach). Ducky has also traveled with me, most notably through Europe when I was 11. Because of Ducky, I’ve also loved Donald Duck. See, I knew I liked you! I am excited for your big vacay, and I know as I write this you are having a great time with your kiddos. My favorite part about being a parent is reliving my own childhood through Dylan. Our experiences are totally different, but always magical. I love this post, have fun gf!

    1. It’s been a wonderful trip, but boy, do we tire out at the end of the day! I am vegging out with a laptop right now, hiding from my family!
      I knew I liked you too! Stuffed duck lovers unite!

  24. I think any age is the best for Disney. We went in 2008 when Natalie was 1. She loved all the characters. I thought she’d scream and cry but nope, she kept reaching for them. And then, as you know, we went last year and Natalie was 6. She still had a blast. My son was 6 and 11 when we went and he still liked it, even the princess stuff. Obviously he preferred the rides though.

    1. I loved your stories about Disney. They definitely inspired me. I remember thinking that six was such a great age. She really got it, and she’ll remember it!

  25. I have never been – I’m sure that all ages are great just different!!!
    I hope that it is truly magical for Scarlet and all of y’all!!!

    1. Thanks, Kim! Really can’t wait. Tomorrow is the big day although it’s been pretty big lately. During the day. At night, we veg out in front of TV, or in my case, blogging!

  26. I loved Disney as a kid and have so many amazing memories of a time there with BOTH my parents. I truly treasure those memories and could cry now thinking of how happy we all were.
    Going last year with my own kids, brother, father and stepmom was also amazing. Yes the boys may have been too young but it was absolutely magical and I would do it all over again tomorrow.
    I hope all your dreams are coming true though the eyes of Scarlett and Des! Have a magical day…

    1. Exactly. My son won’t remember this but I’m taking a ton of photos and probably a part of him gets it. And he’s enjoying as it happens! I’ll be taking him again, I’m sure.

  27. I agree that the right age to go to Disney is when you can. You know I’m dying to get my kids there – at least once, but it may not be on our time frame. I hope you are having a great time and got to see Donald Duck. And your hair looked 100% princess at your wedding.

    1. I know all about your dream, and I know you will find a way if need be! It’s tough – fighting the clock, but people keep saying that even their older kids loved it. So who knows?!

  28. There is SO much controversy over when you should take kids to Disney…I went the most when I was an adult and child free and I am happy I did, because now I “know” the parks the deals, the ins and outs, the advanced dining…all of it, so I can plan the perfect trip for the kids. I took them when they were 7 months and 3 years old. I was criticized for that A LOT! I am taking them again in August…2 and 5…and everyone will have to deal. 🙂 Continue to enjoy your trip!!

  29. I just stopped by to tell you I missed you and WHAT you are still posting from Disney!!!!! Girl you are devoted! I’m glad cause even though you are off in the warm weather enjoying yourself- I still get to read your words!

    I hope this vacation is all you could hope for!

    1. Well to be fair, I wrote all of my posts in advance and scheduled them! However, I’m still visiting when I can because it helps take the edge off when we get back to “reality.”

  30. It’s good to know somebody was there to give Donald Duck some love! My father took us when I was around 11, and I was not a lot of fun to be around. I hope you and your family are having the BEST time in Florida right now!

  31. I’ve only been to Disney once (!) when I was in 8th grade (so, what’s that… 13ish?) I loved it, although I was “too cool” to let me parents take very many pictures of me, I think I’m scowling in most of them. My favorite thing was the Muppets 3D show, although I loved Space Mountain too. Until then I’d been scared to ride on roller coasters but my dad talked me into going and it was SO FUN! A lifelong love of roller coasters was born!

  32. Have the most fabulous and wonderful time. I cannot wait to hear about it and to hear (and see!) Scarlet’s reaction. I think that I’ve been to Disney twice as a kid and once as a grown-up. Completely different experience and so so so magical bringing your kids there and I’m not even one to get excited about Disney and all that jazz! PS those photos of you as a kid are adorable.

  33. I really hope y’all are having a blast! SOAKING up that sun…. The Carolinas (they say) are supposed to get hit with snow again more to the East of me… fingers crossed. Funny story, hanging with a couple of friends enjoying the company & Disney world came up & I say “well, y’all know Sweet T is there?” like everybody in Greensboro, NC should know who you are, right??? 🙂 XO!!!

    1. That story warms my heart. Like everyone knows me! Everyone should know you too. If I talk about Amber “pickin’ and grinnin'”, Cassidy certainly knows the reference!

  34. It’s great that you have fond memories of Disney World from when you were a kid. I know I went there once when I was a kid, but I don’t remember it as vividly as you do. I went to Disney World when my oldest was nine, her sister was one and I was expecting my third child. After we moved to the west coast we took our kids to Disney Land. At the time we had four kids and I was expecting my fifth. I guess I’m usually pregnant when we go to the Happiest Place on Earth! I have no idea when or if we will be able to take our kids there again. Enjoy the experience while you can! You are creating wonderful memories for your little ones.

  35. For a moment I thought I had missed 2 of your posts but luckily I didn’t. I try not to miss any. I love the flashbacks, love the photos of you as a child and just like you I loved Donald Duck. Madison is all about Minnie from watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse but it was all about Donald for me. It was Goofy for my son Kyle and Mickey for my son Mikael. TBH I have no idea when is the best age and think just the way you do. Whenever you can! We had plans to go to England this year but canceled after getting 2 weeks at my brother’s Orlando condo and I plan on taking Madison then in the summer. It really is the Happiest Place on Earth and you can never feel sad there. You do feel sad that you have to leave. I can’t wait to see all the photos that you took!

    1. I thought have known we’d have a Donald connection. I saw him today and my eyes filled up. So many hopes and dreams and wishes and memories. That’s what it’s like going back.
      (and I get TIRED more easily.)

  36. How wonderful! It will be so fun for you to see Disney through their eyes and even maybe have a glimpse back at your own childhood.

    Can I just say how much Scarlet and Des look like you? I never noticed until I saw these pics. It would be fun if you got some of them doing similar poses. You know, just for comparison.

    Have a wonderful, wonderful time!

  37. You’re just like Scarlet in your photos! I can see why you’re so excited to bring your kids to Disney since you’ve experienced the magic several times. I think it’s wonderful that you kept Donald as you grow up and it’s cool that he was a witness to so many memories you have. Can’t wait to see your Disney photos! 🙂

    1. They’re coming! I’ll probably have about three posts referring to the trip. I’m still trying to figure out how to break it up so it’s not information overload.
      And seeing Donald Duck in the flesh ( the costume, anyway) totally made tears come to my eyes!

  38. I’ve gone to Disney throughout my childhood, as a teen, early twenties, and once with Arielle. I thought it was the best in my early twenties when I still felt like a giant kid, before I had kids of my own. I was carefree, just discovering the world as a young adult, but still let the magic take over. Hope you have a wonderful, magical time!

    1. I went at 19 and that was a blast! I still saw so much of the magic in Peter Pan’s Flight. I didn’t see it as much this time around. Maybe it’s because the line was long and hot, and it was such a short ride. Or maybe it’s just a different perspective with kids. I certainly felt magic on other rides, though!

    1. Thanks! They used to call me “gush gush girl.” And I totally call Des my “gush gush boy.” I wonder how long I can get away with that one.
      I hope you get back there one day!

  39. I was older when I went to Disney World and Disney Land too! I was 16 when I went to Disney World with my teenage older cousin and her friend and I was like 19 or 20 when I went to Disney Land when I was with my family for the first time in LA and me and my cousin (who seemingly did everything together) had a blast with our younger cousins. 🙂 I agree with you just going when you can. I didn’t regret either time going as old as I was lol. I had so much fun both times. So fun that you can relieve your time there while spending time there with your family and taking Des and Scarlet there for the very first time. I hope you are having a blast. Miss you!

    1. I missed you too! I’m BACK! So happy to be back. However, I had a great time. And there will be updates/photos/posts, of course.
      I loved going at 19. I felt grown up enough to do my own thing and finally say no to all of the rides I hated being dragged onto as a kid. However I had nothing holding me down either! I love my kids and I chose this life, but it’s nice to remember times spent alone too!

  40. I remember doing Disney when I was around the 5th grade…I also went with our school around middle school. Our honeymoon was in Orlando, but we didn’t the actually Disney Theme Parks, but we did do downtown Disney and some other sights. We are doing a Disney cruise this year, and will probably maybe one day in addition at the park, I haven’t made that decision concrete yet. We will DEFINITELY be doing it full throttle next year though!

    1. Oh, I can’t wait to hear about that!
      So fascinating to go with your school. I did see a lot of field trips with kids going to Universal Studios. Dream field trip right there! And educational? Maybe?

  41. dear tamara, what a sweet post! you’re such a wonderful mom, tamara!

    hope you and your family are having a great time in disney world. take lots of photos! okay? i can’t wait to hear about your trip and see your pictures.

    big hugs~

  42. Love this, Tamara. The childhood photos are such a treat to see! And it’s so interesting to document yourself at different points in your life, in the same location. Funny how who we are shapes each experience!
    Can’t wait to hear all about your trip 🙂

    1. I love the way you looked at it. It just kinda sprang to my mind but I never really thought of it at first as documenting myself at the same place four different times, but that’s EXACTLY what it is and what it turned out to be.
      And all of those other times swirled all around me and helped to build/shape this experience, at least somewhat.

  43. The first time I went all there was was Magic Kingdom – nothing else. I think I was 8

    Went when I was like 20. Went again – actually for my honeymoon. And then went like 5 years ago with my kids. I would love to go again!

    Cute pictures & I can see how much your kids look like you in those 🙂

    Hope you are having a great time

  44. I love Disney World and can’t wait to take my son. I used to go every year as a child and I think its definitely something every kid should at some point in their childhood. Of this is if the parents are able to. My parents actually took me back to Disney for my 14th birthday, just the two of them and we had a blast. They divorced the next year, so I’ll always remember going that for sure.

    P.S: I love the childhood photos, so cute!

    1. I’m so glad you have that memory of going at 14! It was great that they gave you that. And I like to think that Scarlet will still love Disney World when she’s 14. I never outgrew it. I don’t like heat and crowds, so without kids, I don’t know that I’d make my way there ever again? So glad I’ll never find out what would have been, because this life is sweet.

  45. I went to Disney World for the first and last time (until I reproduce) when I was 14. I had a ball with my sister who is 13 months younger than me and my baby sister who was 9 months at the time. Baby sis did not have a good time, lol! I agree with you…age six or seven may be a better age for children to enjoy DW!

    1. haha..poor baby sis! It’s so hard for the little ones. They can go on It’s A Small World, but does anyone really want to do that multiple times? Although it’s a great ride.

  46. When my fourth sibling was born my dad said “Eff it.” we are never leaving Ontario. And then when we had our fifth we didn’t leave our backyard 🙂
    The last time I was there was probably 7 or 8 years old. I don’t think I’d ever go again to tell you the truth. Call me a grump but I think that Disney makes enough money that it can afford to knock off some numbers off of their ticket prices. So many kids can’t go because of that and that is really sad. I’m sure my kid will beg me to go one day but he’s not into movies and sure as hell not into anything pink 🙂
    Hemp eh? Lord I remember those. I had an anklet with a mod bead thing (I think that’s what they called it). You were supposed to make a wish and it would come true when it fell off. Ummm…those hemp creations, never die. It looked god awful rotting on my ankle LOL

    1. You’re no grump. I picked up a pin for a friend. $8 for a tiny pin. A drink of water? $27! (well, sorta) I honestly don’t know how families can do it. Ours was pre-paid for by connections. It’s like we won this trip. We didn’t have to pay for much. If we had? We wouldn’t have been able to go to the Disney Store, much less Disney World.

  47. I’ve looked forward to see how you framed your thinking about Disney. We went there in November and I was reluctant to visit at first. After spending two days there, my brain went somewhere totally unexpected and I still want to write about it, I’m just not sure how. Taking my children to Disney made me feel more like a parent than ever before. I like how you traced your childhood between Disney visits. It makes such a strong impression on people when they visit because it is so magically over the top, it’s hard to forget the place and where we were emotionally when we visited.

    1. You nailed it. So magically over the top. So over the top, that it’s magical. My emotions were a mixed bag and I think I’ll be writing about three posts about it. My schedules are often loose and subject to change, but we shall see!

  48. i went to disneyland a couple times when i was a kid, but i don’t remember the experiences at all. then for some reason when i was in college, i used to go every year with a bunch of my friends. we had so much fun! it really was the happiest place on earth. disney really is for anyone, no matter what age. i think when dean and i go with our kid, we’ll probably have more fun than our kid! he and i have wanted to go together ever since we started dating. i love how you adored donald duck. i was obsessed with mickey mouse. i had this mickey mouse dress that i wanted to wear every single day.

    1. That does sound like such fun! Going every year in college. It’s hard to afford more than that, I’m sure.
      Mickey is the man. He was so awesome last week!

  49. I hope that this latest trip to Disney was just as magical for you as your previous trips and that Scarlet and Des had an amazing time!!

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