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Grandkids at Disney

February 21, 2008 by  

Mimi rides with the grandkids — RJ and Kyra

Taking the grandkids to Disney is as much an American ritual as the World Series; the planning process as complex as compiling baseball statistics. DisneyVacation.com, their website, overwhelmed me. But in the end, it’s as simple as sliding your credit card for a grand purchase.

Expectations run high–Mickey promises The Year of a Million Dreams. So we anticipated magical moments, character greetings and family togetherness. And the mouse roared.

Meeting Buzz Lightyear

RJ gleamed as Buzz Lightyear stamped his autograph book. Seeing Kyra’s star struck face as she watched the Princesses dance across the castle stage was, to quote the commercial–priceless.

Kyra gets a kiss from Minnie

I predicted a few meltdowns from these three and five-year-olds, but we only encountered whines. It’s understandably hard to resist the bombardment of everything Disney in ALL those shops. Walt’s marketing predecessors have soared to infinity and beyond.

At the moment, the Princess phenomena reigns supreme. Little girls indulge in royal make-overs, including hair, nails and a head-to-toe ensemble– for a king’s ransom. Fortunately, we brought a costume for Kyra which included her own simple crown. The fact that she wore the dress with her striped sneakers was unimportant.

Kyra and Sleeping Beauty

Meeting the fairy tale heroines was paramount and again Disney delivered, albeit after waiting in an-hour-long boring line. The Princess Pavilion hides within a Toon Town Tent where entry seems almost secretive. Once you are finally given an audience, it’s a photo extravaganza with Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Belle (of Beauty & the Beast fame).

The young ladies portraying these characters are polished professionals, truly charming, sweet and obliging. Professional paparazzi snap frames at the rate of about three per second. Of course, the Disney Photopass permits you to view and buy these pics through your home computer. My daughter-in-law, Amy and I shot our own.

I purchased the deluxe food plan which entitled us to more meals than we could manage. We dined with Winnie the Pooh characters, enjoyed BOMA’s Animal Kingdom African buffet and ate a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious breakfast in the Royal Floridian. Last morning, we met Chef Mickey and Minnie at our hotel, The Contemporary.

The nighttime parade and fireworks were truly awesome and as we walked toward the monorail, we spied four cast members (as employees are called) each holding a placard. The cards spelled out “See you real soon.” An extra touch and just the stuff that makes Disney memories. They must be doing something right, because we left with plans to return.

Fireworks behind the Castle

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