It my pleasure to welcome another regular writer here. Shellie will be writing for “Mouse”cation on a regular basis too. I can so relate to her Grumpy! I have one myself. See if you have one in your family. This fits my husband to a tee.
Welcome to my first blog post. I decided to give this whole blog thing a try for a couple reasons. The two biggest are because I love to write and I love Disney. I do. I love Disney a lot actually. I grew up about an hour and a half away and was fortunate enough to visit fairly often. Some of my best childhood memories are the trips to Disney, especially with my Nana. She was the kind of person who would ride the teacups 14 times in a row because I asked her to, the kind of person who rode Thunder Mountain railroad for the first time ever with me because she was afraid I would fall out if I sat alone, the kind of person who would buy me ice cream on Main Street for breakfast. She is the person who taught me to never grow up. What better place than Disney World right?
Now, I want to pass on those same pixie dusted magical moments to my own family. Except for one little thing. I fell in love, with the greatest guy a girl could ask for, he’s awesome! He’s just like Prince Charming, except maybe more adventurous like Aladdin, with a little bit of Tarzan’s ruggedness. Practically perfect in every way, but one. When it comes to Disney, he is exactly like Grumpy. Grumpy hates Disney. I was shocked!
Picture this: I am in the earliest planning stages of my oldest son’s first magical trip to Disney World. I am also newly pregnant. This means I am watching Wishes on You Tube and crying my eyes out thinking how the trip will be absolutely incredible. I decide to let Grumpy in on my plan for one last little trip before I turn into a real life pumpkin with arms and legs. He looks at me, kind of screws up his face and says, “Really, I don’t even like Disney World. That’s really what you want to do?”. Holy Cow! After some begging and pleading and potentially quite a few hormone induced crying jags, he relents. Yes!!!
I skip off and book our super fantastic vacation. In my mind I am picturing my oldest meeting Mickey and Captain Jack for the first time, soaring high above Neverland on Peter Pan’s Flight and of course, watching Wishes and tearing up still. (What is it with that little girl’s voice that makes me cry?!?) I start planning our outfits, because looking cute in all my Disney pictures is important. This took an unusual amount of effort since I would also be 6 months pregnant and wanted to look as not bloated as possible. As I was making shirts for my son and me, Grumpy walked in the room. “Daddy, where are your shirts?” my son asks. Grumpy replies, “I don’t have any matching shirts.” To which my son replied with one of the wisest things a 3 and a half year old boy could ever say, “Its ok Daddy, you just have to believe.” Not only did he guilt Grumpy into matching shirts, but he gave me a great idea. I am going to get Grumpy to believe in Disney, in all the magic and fun only a Disney vacation can bring. It was my mission. So, for all of you out there with a Grumpy in your life, here’s some of the things that won him over. Mostly. Well, not completely, but he at least likes Disney now. This mission is on going, but considering we have gone back every year since, I chalk this one up as a victory.
Grumpy loves all inclusives. He loves the idea of going on vacation and having it all paid for. He really likes eating and snacking when he wants and not feeling like he’s being nickel and dimed. He loved the dining plan. More than once he mentioned how it was like our last all inclusive vacation, just give them your card and eat. And there is a lot of food to choose from. And it’s really good. Grumpy didn’t know there was anything other than hotdogs and popcorn at Disney World. He was getting happier by the minute!!!!
Grumpy loves relaxing. His ideal vacation would be spent in a hammock, on a quiet beach, sipping an adult beverage. So I carefully chose to stay at Caribbean Beach resort where he could have exactly that. Every afternoon we took a nice long break at the resort. My son napped, I soaked up some air conditioning in the room and my husband found a quiet hammock and a cold beverage. Who would have thought that such an oasis existed just minutes from the magic Kingdom?!? This Disney vacation thing is pretty cool right?
Grumpy hates crowds. Since my son was only in preschool, we decided to travel in early May. The parks were truly almost empty. Plus, being the Disney fanatic that I am, I did a little research on the best days to visit each park. Short lines equal an even happier Grumpy. Now we were making progress!
Grumpy wants to see value. He wants top notch customer service. He wants to be catered to when he is on vacation. He wants people to go out of their way to help make his day a little bit better. Sounds an awful lot like every Disney cast member I have ever encountered. He loved that we didn’t have to schlep suitcases because the Magical Express delivered them. He loved that mousekeeping always left the room extra clean and even changed their cleaning schedule around my son’s naps. He loved that folks would kneel down to my son’s level when they spoke to him. The resort and the parks were always clean. Grumpy was coming around!
Disney is magic. It just is. And when you are a boy of three and a half and Peter Pan is your hero, Disney World is truly the happiest, most magical place in the entire known universe. After watching Wishes from the Seven Seas Lagoon, the pirate from our ship walked off the dock with us and he gave my son his eye patch (a real pirate eye patch!) because he could tell he was going to be a “real pirate” someday. Then my son met Peter Pan. I will never forget how Peter spent what seemed like forever answering my son’s questions about his adventures with Captain Hook. He showed Peter his new eye patch that proved he was ready to fly off to Neverland. I thought my son would burst as he gave Grumpy an excited hug afterwards. I remember Grumpy looking at me over the top of that little blonde head and whispering that this was a pretty cool moment that could only happen at Disney. I just smiled and said “Grumpy, is that pixie dust in your beard?”
Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Shellie grew up visiting Mickey. She loves all things Disney, but especially Tinkerbell, Captain Jack and Cindarella’s stepsisters Drizella and Anastasia. Shellie is almost as passionate about fitness as she is about Disney and is running the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2014. She visits Disney World as often as Grumpy will let her.