Not too long ago, we were blessed by the dreamiest gift. Like a make-your-dreams-come-true gift.
A gift I don’t even think I could have dreamed up if given the chance.
We were given – our entire family, y’all – a one-week trip to Disney World.
A fellow-adoptive mama, as she was planning her own family’s trip to Disney World last fall, thought of our family. And just how much we would love a trip to Disney World. So she spoke to her husband and they decided to oh-so-generously gift our completely unsuspecting family with the trip of a lifetime.
And was it ever.
In an effort to do my best at memory-keeping and treasuring this overwhelmingly extravagant gift, I’m going to share each day separately – trying to journal thoughts that we had or things we especially loved – so that we can all look back and remember. Remember the gift, the sweet Shook family that so graciously gave it, and the lavish, gift-giving God that inspired it.
(I’m including links to videos I took as well – again, more for my kiddos to look back on and giggle than anything.)
It was more than six weeks ago that we were there but, as I look back at these pictures, it feels just like yesterday.
On arrival, on our first day at the Magic Kingdom, was a parade… right in the middle of Main Street. With a carriage and horses and footmen. And Disney people dancing and singing and twirling.
After composing myself, and pinching myself a few times, we made our way back to Fantasyland for a meet and greet with Tinkerbell while Chris took the bigger kiddos to Peter Pan’s Flight.
I wasn’t sure how the girls would feel about a face to face with a character but thought Tinkerbell might be a great place to start.
Magnolia was super excited in line, before officially *meeting* her; Clementine was more reserved.
But once Tinkerbell actually came up to meet them, it was Clementine who was all smiles and hugs and squeals.
In fact, Clementine was happy to get the hugs for both of them.
In between character meet and greets and rides, this was the backdrop. Seriously, at 48 years old, I was actually at the Magic Kingdom, staring at Cinderella’s Castle.
Then we met up and headed to Tomorrowland for Chris and the kids to ride Space Mountain.
This ended up being one of the most controversial of all the rides during our five days with several of the kids absolutely loving it, and several absolutely not.
I hung out with the littles so cannot speak to its scariness, but the opinions were flying.
Evidently Sophie, Vivi and Poppy are not fans of super fast and frighteningly dark rides. Duly noted.
But everyone else, including Lula? Loved it.
And a little more love for the backdrop at this place.
Next up was meeting Elena. None of my girls were familiar with her before this moment, but by the looks on their faces, I think they were a little gobsmacked. I mean, that dress, that tiara, that ambiance? It can get to a girl.
(P.S. Lula’s hair. A Space Mountain aftereffect, I guess.)
(Y’all, I might or might not have secretly wished *I* could hug Cinderella.)
Again, this was Clementine’s fave. She love, love, loved the character meet and greets.
And Cinderella thought Clementine was pretty cool, too.
And then off to Prince Charming’s Carrousel. (Why they gotta spell Carousel like that?)
A definite favorite for everyone.
Yes, it’s just a carousel. And yes, we’ve done carousels before.
But these are Prince Charming’s horses. All right next to Cinderella’s castle.
I think it made all of us a little giddy.
Then a quick, impromptu nap for this girl…
While the rest of us took a ride on Dumbo’s Flying Circus.
By this time Magnolia began signing “fun” on the rides she liked best.
Dumbo’s Flying Circus? A definite thumbs up.
Next was our turn to ride the most-anticipated of all the rides at the Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Cannot even put into words how unprepared I was for this ride and how it would turn my sweet Clementine’s smile upside down. It was a fast lesson in how my girl feels about roller coasters – even tiny ones.
There are no pictures of this ride, as I didn’t want to have to worry about my big camera while riding with Clementine, but I did capture it all on video (part 1 and part 2).
Which I think Clementine will some day appreciate. As long as she keeps her great sense of humor.
Magnolia was too tiny to ride the Mine Train – which I’m not sure was a good thing or a bad thing. Turned out she was a big fan of the bumpier rides, but this one might have been a bit much even for our wild girl.
Thankfully, and just in time to assuage a bit of my Mine-Train-mama-guilt, next up was the ride that became Clementine’s favorite, “it’s a small world”: part 1 and part 2.
And, because of the aforementioned mama-guilt, I might have taken her on this ride over and over and over again during our days at the Magic Kingdom.
Which worked out just fine since pretty much everyone else loved it, too.
A little more carousel-ing. Okay, maybe a lot more.
Some lollipops for sensory overload.
A jam sesh in front of Cinderella’s castle.
And another trip to the carousel for the littles. (While everyone else rode the Mine Train. Again.)
We all met up at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
Which turned out to be another all-around favorite.
Then one last trip on the Mine Train while Asher – with a bag full of candy – hung out with the littlest…
We tried to stay for the fireworks but, surprisingly, they brought on the very first tears of the day for sweet Magnolia – which lead to a bit of a hasty exit for us. But it was okay.
What a fun-filled, beyond-our-wildest-dreams kind of day.
And we knew we’d be back again very, very soon.
Day 2 coming up next…