It was completely unmistakable. It was a light I had never seen in the two years he’s been on this earth. I knew there would be excitement, but to what level, I was unsure. Truthfully, I’m not sure who was more excited about the trip.
We climbed into the mini-van (something I protested from the moment we rented it, and something I will NEVER drive) and started out on our trek to the most magical place in all the land…the home of Mickey Mouse himself. That’s right, we were on our way to Disney World!
As we made our way along the winding Buena Vista Lake Boulevard, I watched as Davey took everything in. I worried he may have a small case of whiplash as his head moved from one window to the next. There were larger than life statues of Mickey and Goofy and Minnie and Donald. With each one we passed, Davey would scream with delight, “Look, Mama, it’s Mickey! Hi, Mickey. Bye, Mickey.” And so he went with each character statue we encountered before parking the mini-van.
Then, of course, there was the tram to take us to the entrance from the parking lot. Wow! That part was free (well, not really considering that it was $17 to park) and I was amazed as to how exciting it was for him. Just seeing the look on his face made the long drive worthwhile, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. The real excitement was still to start.
After entering Disney World and riding the Monorail (which definitely topped the tram) to the Magic Kingdom, I watched the sense of overwhelming excitement engulf Davey. He stood frozen for a few moments, unsure where to start. What was he to see first? Who was going to be around the corner? The vibrant colors of the shops on Main Street USA coupled with the beautiful rainbow of flowers, the singers dashing out from the trolleys in their Soda Pop uniforms and the amazing display of balloons was just the greatest thing in the world for Davey. Words can never describe what I saw on my son’s face. But that was just an inch into the tip of the iceberg.
There was breakfast at the Crystal Palace with friends from the 1000 Acres Woods. We had Eyeore and Piglet, Pooh and Tigger all join us for breakfast. There were Mickey Mouse shaped waffles and Honey Pot yogurt, bacon and eggs, cereal and danishes, custom made omelets and breakfast pizzas. It was a meal fit for a king, or more like fit for the greatest fans of the greatest entertainment empire ever built.
Davey’s face lit up with each character and at one point he yelled, “Pigwet, come see Davey. Pwease come see Davey.” I’m pleased that my boy is not afraid of the characters and eagerly hugged each one before getting autographs and pictures. Tigger was by far his favorite as he demonstrated what Tiggers love doing best…BOUNCING!
After breakfast, there was Cinderella’s castle, riding on Dumbo’s back, a quick dash on Goofy’s Barnstormer, followed by a meet and greet with Stitch, a space battle with Buzz Lightyear, parades and Pirates of the Caribbean. We rode It’s a Small World twice and even toured a haunted mansion that didn’t seem to slightly scare my 2 & 1/2 year old. A lunch of Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream bars (it was vacation after all) and a train ride through the entire park quickly summed up our morning.
There were no naps that day, no real breaks, and very few meltdowns as Davey toured through the Magic Kingdom. He cried only slightly when it was time to leave.
It’s been over 20 years since I was last at Disney World and I never experienced it as a young child Davey’s age. I guess I really never knew how exciting and wonderful this place could really be. What I wouldn’t give to have seen the whole thing through Davey’s eyes. What I wouldn’t give to know what was really going on in his brain as he sat quietly on his daddy’s shoulders and took in the Fantasyland Parade complete with a fire breathing dragon.
As the day winded down, we caught the tram back to our mini-van. Davey quickly recounted some of the exciting events of the day before finally succumbing to the exhaustion that seemed to plague all of us after a heat filled day of excitement. The day couldn’t have been better.