My “Disney addiction”, as some have called it, started when I was five years old.
After two years of battling cancer my baby brother, Robbie, finally succumbed to his brain tumour. A few months later my parents felt it would be a good time to get away from the stresses of real life so we all headed to Walt Disney World (WDW). It was a wonderful, magical experience for me and where I felt happy for the first time since Robbie’s death. I learned to smile and laugh again on that trip as I made my parents nauseous spinning my cup as fast as possible on the Mad Tea Party ride.
One of the few pictures I have of Robbie smiling was of him in his walker with a pink stuffed elephant. At the tender age of five I equated that elephant with Dumbo and absolutely had to go on that ride as well. Both of these rides are now a must do on every trip I take to WDW.
Since that first visit I was hooked and have gone back to WDW so many times I’ve lost count. As a kid I travelled each summer with my grandparents and they would ask me where I wanted to go. The answer was always the same, WDW. Being Canadian it is no quick trip to drive to Orlando and back so I didn’t manage to convince them every year but more times than not I was successful.
I remember one particularly boisterous trip when I was sixteen. My mother agreed to drive 4 giggling, teenage girls to Florida for a week and we absolutely had to visit WDW. All the other girls had never been before so it was fun acting as a sort of tour guide around Magic Kingdom. I thank my mother for her courage to brave that trip even when everyone thought she was crazy; including the border guard who took one look in our van on the return trip and decided there was no way he was searching through our mass (or more accurately mess) of stuff.
I now have two kids of my own and will never forget that look of wonder in their eyes as they walked down Main Street for the first time and saw Cinderella Castle. My husband was equally excited since he never had the good fortune to visit when he was a child.
All these cherished memories and so many more that were created at WDW with my family are the biggest reasons I keep returning. Things and people come and go but memories stay with you forever; and there is no better place for making memories than at Walt Disney World.