Editor’s Note: Today we’re starting a new series on The Mouse For Less Blog. It’s all about #ThrowbackThursday and periodically our bloggers are going to take a look at some of their favorite Disney memories. We hope you enjoy!
For many of us, memories of Disney park visits are some of the most special memories that we hold on to. Whether you make one trip or 100 trips, each visit to a Disney park is unique and magical. Join me as I reminisce about my top 5 Disney park memories. I hope they will inspire you to make more memories of your own!
# 5 Surprise Girls’ Trip
When I was around 9 years old, my mom pulled me out of school with no explanation. She and her friend had the car all packed and ready to go. After picking me up from school, we went to pick up two of my friends from school as well. Once we were all in the car, our moms told us we were going to Disney World!
I think this was such a happy memory for me because I was completely surprised. I had no idea why I was being picked up from school early and no idea where we were going. The best part was my brother was off on a camping trip and there were no boys allowed on this weekend getaway! We met up with more girlfriends at the park and we loved every minute of it. Perhaps this trip is why I still love surprises. This was one of the best!
# 4 Celebrating my 13th Birthday at the Polynesian
Shortly before my 13th birthday, my Dad asked if I wanted to do something special to celebrate. I asked to stay at the Polynesian and my wish was granted! I chose a friend to come along on the trip and we spent the weekend at the Magic Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon. It was on this trip that I got to ride Splash Mountain, which would become one of my favorite attractions, for the first time. It was an amazing trip and one of the most special birthday gifts I have even received. I will never forget it! I didn’t know it at the time, but it would be over 20 years before I was able to stay at the Polynesian again.
#3 My First runDisney Event: The Princess 5K
In 2015, on a whim, I asked my mom if she wanted to do the Princess 5K. We signed up that day along with my friend and her daughter. I had no idea what I was in for and nearly backed out when I found out that we needed to get up at 3:00 am for the race! We did it though and that day changed my life. Literally. The race was exhilarating and crossing the finish line with my mom was an amazing feeling. I wanted more!
At my next race, we ran fast enough to stop for character photos. After that I was really hooked and before I knew it, I was signed up for the half marathon I swore that I would never run. Running and training is now part of my routine.
The memories from that first race have kept me going and made me want to run faster and longer. No matter how much I accomplish though, nothing will ever compare to the memories I made in that first race with my mom.
#2 My First Visit to Disneyland
I have been visiting Walt Disney World since I was very young. I honestly do not remember my first trip because I was only a toddler. My first trip to Disneyland, however, is a different story. That trip, I will never forget!
In 2014, my husband and I planned a trip to California for our anniversary. Well, if we were going to California, there was no question…I absolutely had to go to Disneyland! Since we had so much that we wanted to see in California, we decided to spend only one whirlwind day at Disneyland. We were there from open to close and it was an incredible day. Though I wish we had been able to stay longer, I wouldn’t trade that day for the world. One thing is for sure though. I will definitely visit again!
#1 Disney Side Dogs’ Day Event
In August of 2014, Disney announced a dog photo contest. They planned to choose 101 dogs to come to the Magic Kingdom where they would be filming a TV show for Animal Planet. I entered a photo of my dog, Cody, never expecting that he would be chosen. I was so surprised when I got the email. Cody was going to Disney World!
We arrived at the Magic Kingdom very early in the morning and the event took place before the park opened for the day. The dogs paraded down the green carpet (instead of the red carpet) in their costumes. Cody, dressed up as Bruce the shark from Finding Nemo, looked like he was having the time of his life! Breakfast was provided for dogs and humans. We didn’t get to ride anything with our dogs (I still think Cody would have loved the PeopleMover), but we did get to walk them around the entire park. We posed for photos as the Cast Members waved and smiled at the pups.
Very little footage from the event was used for the TV show, but Cody did get his 2 seconds of fame on a promo video for the episode. It did not matter much to me that Cody didn’t get much screen time. How many people have had the opportunity to walk around the park with their dog? We had an unforgettable day!
When people ask, “You are going to Disney World? Again?” This is why my answer so often is yes. Each trip is special because it is a chance to experience something new and create new memories. As you can see, those memories stay with me always. For me, that is where the magic of Disney lies. In the memories.
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I am a Florida native and a life-long Disney fan. I have visited Walt Disney World more times than I can count, but I always find myself looking forward to my next trip! I also enjoy reading, baking, and kayaking in my spare time. Follow me on Twitter-@tinkerbellteeny