When we took our first family trip to Walt Disney World, my youngest child, Josh, was six. Next week, he will be graduating from high school and I have been spending every waking moment reminiscing about how wonderful these years have been. What a blessing it has been to raise him and just simply to have him in my life. He has grown up to be a sweet, caring, funny young man with a wonderful personality and he just happens to be a lot of fun to spend time with at Walt Disney World as well.When I look back on our Disney vacations, I reflect mostly on our spent time together. Our family vacations have been wonderful, to say the least, and I have cherished all the special moments with all my kids. Disney time is family time – time to disappear from the rest of the world and just spend quality time with our children whom we love dearly.
Since we are writing about all of our favorites this week at The Affordable Mouse, I thought it might be nice to share Josh’s Walt Disney World favorites through these twelve years of growing up Disney. Thanks to Nancy for indulging my sentimental spirit!
During our trip this past November, I caught this picture of him leaning on the rail at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. He said he was reflecting on all the memories he has of WDW and thinking about the fact that he would be graduating and going to college, but that many of his best childhood memories have been spent at the parks while he has been growing up.
- Having spray water bottle fights in order to keep cool in the parks in the middle of June.
- Riding Tomorrowland Speedway for the first time at age 6; he wanted to be Jeff Gordon when he grew up.
- Discovering real drawing talent at Disney’s Art of Animation. He has never let go of his gift of drawing.
- Riding Tower of Terror with a crazy mom who acts more like a kid than him — what a blast!
- Just Soarin’!
- Riding Expedition Everest in the rain; drenched to the bone, wearing our ponchos, and riding it over and over again in the pouring rain laughing the whole time at the ridiculousness of it all. What a memorable ride!
- Spending 10 days just having fun with his brother and sister.
- Enjoying ice cream every day and gigantic rice krispies treats at Epcot!
- Watching Illuminations!
- Acting goofy with his brother at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue.
- Having the world’s best breakfast at 1900 Park Fare.
- Awesome, huge cupcake treats at Animal Kingdom!
- Sharing Bread Pudding with Bananas Foster Sauce at Ohana.
- Being with family!
- Castle Dream Lights and Wishes!
- Cheeseburgers, fries and shakes at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.
- His new found favorite — Coffee Crème Brulee at The Wave!
- Wearing matching shirts – year after year – haha!
- Enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner with family!
- Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as many times in a row as possible!
- Renting Sea Raycers when he was younger!
- Spending time with mom……or making fun of her – whichever opportunity comes first!
- Getting hot chocolate and going to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!
- Playing around in the car on the way there and back.
- Speeding through the Rock N Roller Coaster in the back seat with dad.
- Riding Test Track over and over again!
- Making wonderful, lifelong memories with his Nannie (grandmother)!
- Getting soaked on Splash Mountain!
- Being with the whole family for the holidays!
- Riding TTA when he is tired and just wants to veg.
- Vegging out in the hammock at The Contemporary Resort!
- Visiting the parks during the holidays – when all the decorations are out!
- Bonding together during our monorail mania meals; talking and laughing together on this relaxing day of venturing around the monorail resorts!
- Staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – his favorite resort!
These are just some of Josh’s favorite Disney things! I feel so blessed to have shared those happy times with him! The relationship you build with your child on vacation is something he or she will remember much more than any rides or characters. We have created little memory stores that, hopefully, will seep out through the years.
Congratulations on your graduation, Josh! And remember, you are never too old for Disney. It’s for the kid in all of us! I LOVE YOU!
Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.