Making Disney Memories
I had no idea that when I went on vacation in December of 1999 that I would be starting a lifetime of family memories!
My boyfriend and I thought it would be fun to take a trip to Walt Disney World over the Holidays culminating with a trip to Magic Kingdom on New Year’s Eve 1999. We visited every park, enjoyed the beautiful decorations, and felt like kids every time we saw a character.
On New Year’s Eve we got up before 6:00 am because we were told Magic Kingdom will close due to capacity before 9:00 am. I remember lining up for the monorail and looking back at thousands of people. We were in the park around 7:00 am and instead of going right to a ride, my boyfriend made me walk around the castle. I thought it was a little strange, but hey we saw lots of people setting up camp for the Fireworks and met some very nice people. One man in particular stands out because his plan was to sit in a spot directly in front of the Castle until the Fireworks at midnight, and it was around 7:30 in the morning.
Our day went on, we rode the rides, saw people napping everywhere, ate lots of food and had a fabulous time. Around the time of the Electric Light Parade we were at Casey’s Corner. The parade came to an end and we found ourselves in a group of people following behind the parade. All at once, right in front of the castle this mob of people stopped and simultaneously sat down. We looked around and saw the man in the folding chair that we met early in the morning. We were sitting right in front of him!
The atmosphere before the Fireworks was electric as everyone was excited about the new millennium. We talked to the man we met earlier, Bob, and I was so caught up in the Disney Magic that I didn’t see my boyfriend fumbling around in his pocket during the Fireworks. At about 1 second past midnight he pulled a ring out and asked me to marry him! I was in shock!! I screamed, said yes and gave him a big kiss!
A year after our wedding we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. When she was 9 months old we took her to Disney World for the first time. As we made our way toward the Castle we stopped at “our spot” to tell her the story.
Our next trip to Disney World was after our son was born, he was not quite a year old. Magic Kingdom had made some changes around the Castle and our spot on the curb was gone, but we could still stand where the curb had been and tell both kids about our engagement. Our then 2 year old daughter rolled her eyes and asked to go see the Castle!
We have been back to Magic Kingdom many times since 1999 and always visit “our spot”. We’ve also added many, many more memories celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. My favorite part of every trip, even after all these years, is feeling like a kid again! I cry every time the train rolls up to the station and Mickey opens the park. My heart skips a beat when my now 11 and 13 year old children grab my hand and make me run to get in line for a ride.
We have now been to Disneyland as a family and look forward to going back soon. I am excited to add our Disneyland experience to my arsenal so I can help families plan their visits to the “Park that Walt Built”.
Originally published at juliruss.com on February 24, 2016.