Here it is, the moment I’ve been waiting to live for the past 101 days.
Briefly, the backdrop of our family’s first trip to WDW goes like this. We’re a Disney family. I worked at Disneyland as a Jungle Cruise skipper right out of high school. DW and I raised our kids (DS13 & DD19) on Disney movies and frequent trips to Disneyland. They love the Disney magic and soak up the legends and tall tales that make up the rich Disney lore. Through great friends within the company, we’ve visited the studios in Burbank, the archives, and lived the California version of the Disney dream.
Like many a Disneyland local, we never dreamed we would ever go to WDW. In fact, to protect ourselves from envy or longing, we’d naturally developed a disdain for WDW thinking we would never want to go there anyway. Disneyland is Walt’s park, that other Orange County is just a copy. But when I had a chance to visit the bubble for one day in 2013, I became convinced that there’s another “happiest place on earth” that my family would one day need to experience for ourselves.
For the past year, DW and I have been planning a trip to Europe for our 20th anniversary (celebrated last week). But back in September, we started thinking that our 20th anniversary is really the 20th anniversary of our family, not just us. So we decided to drop Europe in favor of a family trip to WDW. Besides, there’s Europe at Epcot, right?
Despite our (and Disney’s - see I’m Pretty Ticked) efforts to spoil the surprise, DS and DD had no clue that we were going to bless them with the vacation experience of a lifetime, just one week before DD leaves for study overseas.
We pretended that the first present (tickets to see U2) was the big one, before casually giving them an unassuming shirt box to open together. Here’s the chaotic and emotional result I’d hoped for. Enjoy.