Monday, February 12, 2018

Disney Post 1: Being Grand Marshals of Festival of Fantasy Parade

So, if you read my last post, I gave a hint about something amazing that happened to us at Disney World. Yes, we were selected to be one of the Families of the Day and we were the Grand Marshals of the Festival of Fantasy Parade! More on that in a minute. So, we decided back in the summer of 2017 that it was time for another trip down to Disney World. This would be our third family trip there. We've gone every other school year since Sadie was in Kindergarten. That probably sounds like a lot, but honestly, this is one of my favorite vacations. When you hear people say things like "most magical place on earth" or "magic of Disney," I know it sounds corny. However, it is true! Disney is a place where you truly can see your children's dreams come to life. IMG 8125 For this trip, we decided to surprise Sadie for her 10th birthday. That's right, we had to keep this whole plan a secret for MONTHS! That was probably the hardest thing about the experience. On the morning of her 10th birthday, we dropped her off at school like a normal day, but then we picked her up at lunch and surprised her with the news that we were going to Disney. Today. Like, we are headed to the airport RIGHT NOW. IMG 8127 It was an amazing moment we will all remember forever and she was truly blown away. We had a special birthday dinner in France at Les Chefs de France. I don't know that we will ever top her 10th birthday! IMG 8146 IMG 8151 IMG 8153 Les Chefs did an amazing job making her feel special. Kevin was our favorite waiter the entire trip! IMG 8191 IMG 8221 IMG 8238 We had the best trip. You know how something always goes wrong on every vacation? Well nothing really went wrong the whole time, including our flights to and from Orlando- they were both on time! That's a miracle in itself! We spent 4.5 days in the parks and had an absolute blast. I'm telling you, if you want to feel young, just head on down to Disney for your birthday. And wear the Birthday Button-- every where we went, people said to me, "There is no way you are 40! You look 29!" Well, hello, you are speaking my language. And I don't even care if it's all a lie to make you feel good. IMG 8331 IMG 8337 IMG 8360 IMG 8365 IMG 8382 IMG 8442 On our last morning, we were a little later getting to Magic Kingdom, which normally would make me nervous, because I always have a plan of attack for our days at Disney. However, we were taking our time getting some fun photos when we were approached by a Disney employee who was asking us a little about our trip. As we were talking about some of the best spots in the park to watch the midday Festival of Fantasy Parade, we were shocked when he said, "Would you like to be our Grand Marshals?" We didn't need to think very long about that! Leading the parade at Disney? What a special experience on my 40th birthday and on our last day in the park! IMG 8434 At 3:00, we met up with the Cast Members who lead the parade, where we were given very special Mickey Ears that were personalized for the parade AND we had our own photographer assigned to us. We rode in a fancy car that was open so we could wave to all the crowds and had an awesome driver who made us feel at home and also made us laugh continuously. IMG 8457 IMG 8458 IMG 8460 IMG 8463 IMG 8465 After making our way through the crowd, we were given a special VIP location to watch the parade, right at the entrance to Magic Kingdom. We were so close to the floats we could practically touch them. Our photographer documented the whole experience with over 200 photos for us (Thank Goodness we had purchased the Memory Maker!) IMG 8467 IMG 8469 IMG 8470 All in all, it was an amazing experience and it was truly magical. We enjoyed one last dinner at Be Our Guest and then saw one final fireworks show as we got ready to leave. Probably the best possible way to end a Disney Vacation. IMG 8472 (Some Gray Stuff!) IMG 8477 I've got two other Disney posts planned. I'd like to do one post spotlighting some of the awesome food we ate, and another telling how we made the most of our time (and avoided lines)! Stay tuned!


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