One of the things that really makes Disney our premier place to vacation is, without a doubt, the incredible memories that we make each and every time we visit. I have touched on this subject in a roundabout way before, particularly with my post “Why we go to Disney World”, that I published back on February 10th, 2011, and also in my post “What Makes Disney, Disney”, published on September 20th, 2010. However, this is certainly not just a rehash of old blog posts! Read on and I hope you will learn why the memories I’m listing here are my favorite Disney memories!
Before I get started, I want to say that these memories are not in any order whatsoever, other than being in order of the ones that I think of first. I guess that the case can be made that the ones I list first, since they were thought of first, could be my favorites. However, I think it is just as safe to say that the memory I list first may have been chosen because it happened most recently! Anyway, enough banter, let’s talk about memories!
Favorite Memory #1, Midnight at the Magic Kingdom.
Last June, during the trip when we took Stephanie to Disney with us, we spent all day at the parks. First we started at Animal Kingdom, then we went over to Epcot for dinner at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, then we went back to our resort, changed out of the wet clothes we had been in, and went back to the Magic Kingdom for the Main Street Electrical Parade and evening EMH. Even though we had been at it all day, that little break at our resort, even though it was only for an hour, really rejuvenated us, and we were ready to tackle the rest of the evening. We had never stayed out that late with Sophie before, so this was almost like a right of passage for her, and we had a great time. The highlights of the night were many, with the best being when we were able to get some great late night shots of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse riding with some park Guests on the Dumbo ride. Even though they weren’t riding with us, just seeing them make some children excited beyond their wildest dreams really made it a memory that all of us will treasure for years to come.
In addition to that awesome memory, there was really something tranquil about being in the parks past the witching hour. There had been rain during the day, so the ground was wet, but the rain had stopped by that time, and I think the bonus was that the crowds were lighter than they normally would have been. Sophie and Stephanie were inseparable, it was almost like Sophie had a big sister for the trip, even though there is 11 years between them, and as a result, Cindy and I were able to enjoy our own company, even as we walked with them. All of those reasons add up to one of my favorite Disney memories.
Favorite Memory #2, Sophie’s Reaction
Another memory that I have is one that didn’t actually take place in a park. In 2009, we gave serious consideration towards not taking a Disney World vacation that year. We were concerned about the state of the economy, and whether there would be any job cuts that we need to worry about. However, by mid summer, we decided that things were okay, and that we could take a trip, so we planned one for August of that year. The best part about it was that we decided that we would surprise Sophie with the trip, and that she wouldn’t know about it until the day we left. When we did get in the car and start to leave, we recorded Sophie’s reaction to our trip, and here it is for you to enjoy.
Favorite Memory #3, Sharing Secrets with Princess Jasmine
In 2008, we were over at the World Showcase walking through the Morocco Pavilion. As we rounded the corner, who should we see but Princess Jasmine and the Genie! Better yet, there was NO LINE to see them. Sophie had been talking all vacation that the only souvenir that she wanted was a Jasmine costume that she could wear for Halloween. So to round the corner and see Princess Jasmine with no line to wait in was a truly memorable occasion. Sophie was able to spend about 10 minutes talking with Princess Jasmine and the Genie, and we were able to grab that memorable photo to remember the visit by. In the photo, Sophie is whispering to Princess Jasmine that she is going to be getting her costume later on in the trip!
Favorite Memory #4, Celebrating Sophie’s Birthday with Riley
In 2008 we were down at Disney during Sophie’s birthday, and for this birthday, Sophie’s best friend Riley was at Daytona Beach. We were able to arrange for Riley to come to the park with us on Sophie’s birthday, so the two of them were able to enjoy the Magic Kingdom together for Sophie’s special day. For that day, we didn’t really do a whole lot that required fast paced action, we kept that day casual and leisurely. We spent some time at the Park, then we went back to our room to go to the pool for a spell during the hot afternoon, and then went back to the Magic Kingdom for dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern. That visit was when they still had character’s at the Tavern, and we were able to get this memory preserved with this photo (and others that aren’t shown here). In addition to dining at the Liberty Tree Tavern, we also took in the Haunted Mansion (Sophie didn’t like it then, but does now!), watched the parades, got locked in the stockade out in Liberty Square, went on all of the rides we would normally ride, such as it’s a small world, and really just had a great time, with all of us just enjoying the Park in a relaxed way.
Favorite Memory #5, The Animal Kingdom Nighttime Block Party
Our first trip to Disney World where we stayed at a Disney resort was in August, 2007, when we stayed at Coronado Springs for the first time. During that trip, we spent one day at the Animal Kingdom, and it was a day that had evening EMH. It was during those extra magic hours that we got to enjoy the block party over in Dinoland, U.S.A. Sophie had so much fun with the characters that were there! There was Goofy, being his normal Goofy self. There were Chip & Dale, making all sorts of mischief. And there was Sophie, putting herself right in the middle of the party, along with all the other kids and their families that were there. The block party produced some good photos, but these are the best, I think.
One of my primary reasons for starting My Dreams of Disney was so that I could keep all of the memories I have of our trips to Disney available for anyone that wanted to read them, and also so that I wouldn’t forget them myself. I hope you have enjoyed my trip down memory lane, as I remember my favorite Disney memories!