Mickey Ears for Everyone

Book it Danno.

We have made our reservations to take the TGBs (twin grand babies) to Disney World next December.  They will be 27 months old. Just about the same age their dad was when we took him for the first time.

Walt Disney

I was in high school and living in Florida when Disney World opened its gates on October 1, 1971. Our family visited a few weeks later, staying at a Hyatt Hotel about ten miles away. The on-site hotels were fully booked and our Hyatt was the next closest lodging. Can you imagine? Now there are approximately one bazillion hotels in that 10-mile radius but back then it was orange groves as far as the eye could see.

The following summer, my sister, a neighbor and I collected cans and newspapers for recycling to raise money for a one-night stay at Disney World.  Looking back, there are lots of things about this endeavor that amaze me.  Who knew that we a) were so “green” in 1972, b) would be allowed to go on a girls’ getaway at the age of 14 and 17 and c) would be able to raise enough money for a night at The Polynesian Resort. Today the price tag for one night at the Polynesian and a two-day park pass for three people would come to about $1,000. I know we did not collect that much aluminum!

My high school “Grad Night” was at Disney World. The park was open from 10pm until 6am and our senior class, along with those from other schools around Florida, had the run of the place. That was back in the day that Disney still used ride tickets but we didn’t have to bother with any of that. We could enjoy as many E-Ticket rides as we wanted all night long.

Fortunately, when I met and married Peter I discovered that not only was he a big fan of Bruce Springsteen, he was also a Disney fan. Phew!

Over the years, travels to Florida have included two things: visits with grandparents and trips to Disney World.

When the time came to take a family vote on the subject, “Where should we go for vacation?”, the answer was ALWAYS Disney World.

There was the trip with our son when I was pregnant with our daughter.

And the trip during which Annie chipped her tooth on the very first ride on the very first day. It was a baby tooth, there was no blood and the Dumbo line was not going to get any shorter so we soldiered on.

Once we took a Disney vacation during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We will never, never, never do that again. While festive and beautiful, the parks were twice as crowded as we had ever seen them. The Magic Kingdom stopped letting people in at 11 am on New Year’s Eve. Yikes!

It's A Small World

We’ve ridden every ride, seen every show, attended dozens of character meals, bought and worn the monogrammed Mickey ear hats and sung every word of the Small World theme song.  We’ve done it all. (With the exception of eating a turkey leg because that just looks gross.)

And now it is time to share the family tradition with the new little guys.

Chip and Dale, their mom and dad, Aunt Annie, Uncle Jerry, Peter (aka Tato) and I will immerse our selves in every ounce of Disney magic, take a million pictures and make plans to return as soon as our schedules and wallets will allow.

And I can’t wait.

Magic Kingdom


Do you have any great Disney memories? Or any tips for us as we navigate the parks with two 2-year-olds?

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  1. Your 1972 fund-raising made me remember a plane trip I took with a Scout group to the state capital in the late ’60s. The leader gave us a quarter-size coin storage tube. When it was filled up we had enough for our ticket!

  2. Sounds like so much fun, Mo. When our girls were little, we were fortunate enough to live in Cal. and FL. We frequented the parks a lot and loved every minute of it. But my husband and I always say there is no “tired” like a day at Disney “tired.” Working on my sunshine award post. Have a great week!

    • Funny you should say that, Katie. Last week when the little guys were in CA for their birthday we did a test run with a day at Disneyland. At the end of the day I realized that I am totally out of “Disney shape” and need to train before our big trip!
      Looking forward to seeing your Sunshine Award post!

  3. Sounds like so much fun! We just took our first trip ever in December 2012 and I wanna go back!!!! I was definitely bitten by the Disney bug! I’m bookmarking your blog so I can see all the wonderful pics after your vacation! 🙂

  4. i’ve never been to disney world! i’ve been to disneyland. i used to go every year when i was in high school and college, and we had an amazing grad night there just like you. i haven’t been recently so i haven’t had the chance to check out california adventures, but i hear such great things. some day i’ll get to disney world with my kiddo in tow.

  5. Watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as we speak. I don’t know why I didn’t get these dvds sooner. My 16 month old is OBSESSED with Mickey! I can’t wait until I can take her one day to see him in person-she is going to flip! You wait all your life for this moment, to take them to Disney World.

    Have fun at Disney World with the grandbabies as I am sure you will post pics, can’t wait to see them!

  6. AWWW, loved reading this! 🙂 You guys are going to have the BEST time ever!! We went once when I was growing up, and it was amazing! We took our girls on a surprise trip (complete with videotaped reveal!) about a year and a half ago, and it was fantastic! We will definitely go back again!-Ashley

    • I have always wanted to do the surprise trip thing! That must have been amazing! I can imagine the squeals of joy! And I bet the girls were happy, too! 😉

  7. Oh, you’re going to have the best time ever! I’m so excited for you guys! What’s really funny is that even though I now live in Florida, and have been visiting the state since I was a little kid, I have only been to Disney World once. And that was on a class trip in middle school! I’ve never been there with my parents.

    • One of the things I love about this trip is, now that our kids have grown up to be such fanatics, they plan the whole trip and I am just along for the ride! A true vacation!!

  8. I have so many Disney memories – going to Epcot when it opened in the early 80s, Spring Break in college, and we go every other year with the kids. This coming April will be our sixth trip, and it may be our last since the next time would be my daughter’s senior year. I asked the kids if they are sure they want to go again, and I get a resounding YES!

    • The great thing is that it can be a wonderful trip with young kids, grown kids or just with adults. There is always more to do than time allows!

  9. The Mouse misses us. We keep getting flyers with offers. The later was Disney during the school year.


  1. […] trip has been planned for over a year and was going to include our whole family. But then Annie and Jerry welcomed their first son and […]

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