Ryan Trares: On the way to the house of mouse
Finally, it will finally happen.
We are going to Disney World.
The family prepares for Turkey Thighs and Dole Whips, Space Mountain and It’s a Small World.
For my wife, Marci, Disney truly is the most magical place on Earth. She and her parents have been going to the House of Mouse since she was a child. They all know the tastiest snack stands, the shops with the best souvenirs, the shortcuts to get through traffic.
Marci still cries when she sees Cinderella’s castle and has a collection of Mickey ears for each day of the week.
If there is a parade planned, they know where to stand for maximum character viewing which is also a bit shaded. They know which bus, monorail or boat to take to get to exactly where they want on the sprawling campus. They are Disney stars.
So since Marci and I are a couple, I have also been integrated into the mix.
I must admit that the first trip they took me was a shock. My family had taken us to Disney once when I was a kid, and it was great fun.
But as an adult, my idea of a vacation involves a beach, a book, a cold drink, and a whole lot of nothing. That…wasn’t that.
They had a term for their approach: “run and shoot”. The only way to get the most out of their trip was to move as quickly as possible through the parks to hit as many hits as possible. From the opening of the parks until the last carousel or fireworks, we took full advantage of it.
And that makes sense – you want to do everything you can in the short amount of time you’re there. I just hadn’t prepared enough; this is perhaps the first holiday that I leave more exhausted than when I arrived.
We have been back several times since that first trip, and each time I have adapted better to the pace. We have created great memories there over the years.
This trip is going to be unlike anything that’s come before, though. For us, this holiday revolves around Anthony.
Not that this is his first time at Disney. We brought him shortly after his first birthday. For five days, we were that group trying to navigate crowds with a stroller, doing everything we could to keep our red-faced baby happy (and hydrated.)
However, he does not remember this trip at all. From now on, it’s an opportunity to experience the magic of the place through his eyes.
Thanks to his mother, Anthony is a huge Disney fan. From “Cars” movies to “Toy Story” to Mickey Mouse cartoons, he loves it all. Now that the Marvel Universe and Star Wars are thrown into the mix, he’s becoming more and more familiar with all the different characters he’s about to meet on our journey.
Having had the chance to choose a special pair of ears to wear in the park, he went with Baby Yoda. He is ready.
It’s going to be sticky and swampy wading through Orlando’s mid-summer weather. The crowds are going to be, well, Disney crowds. There will be queues and waits and everything will be overpriced.
But it’ll be worth seeing Anthony’s face the first time he walks into the park, bites into a mouse-shaped ice cream bar, or comes face-to-face with Mickey.
These are moments we will remember for years to come.