Thank you, Walt Disney World for sponsoring this Disney Magic moment! All opinions are my own.
This was not my first trip to Disney but it was my first as a mom. I did all the research, read tons of articles and asked in my blog circle because some of my blogging mom friends are the real MVP’s and pros when it comes to planning a trip to Disney. I thought we were prepared for our first trip to Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom as a family.
But one can never truly be prepared even when you prepare for the expected…
I’ve shared about my girl’s sensitivity to noise, overstimulation, and unexpected situations. Therefore, I was very careful about prepping for her big day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. I knew this would be the only park we would visit and I was ok with that. Aside from research, I made sure to purchase and pack things I knew would help us during our park visit.
- Sun hat, check.
- Comfortable clothes and shoes, check.
- Sunscreen and SPF lip balm, check.
- Cardigan just in case because despite the heat, she just might feel cold, check.
- A misting fan because Disney World in July, check.
- Favorite water bottle and snack, check.
- Noise canceling headphones, double check.
- Fast Pass…TRIPLE CHECK!
I didn’t keep our trip a surprise because knowing my Z, preparing her for the day is super important. I was ready and so was she.
And finally, the day came.
It started out great! She was excited to be there and to be there with her brother, sister, cousins, parents, aunts, and her Yaya. After securing our tickets and “ “1St Visit to Disney” buttons, we were on our way.
She posed for a picture (ok, several pictures because pics are her thing) in front of the castle.
There was a show happening just as we got closer to the castle. She was so excited to see the performance. But then it happened: Fireworks! Fireworks at 10 something in the morning. We were not prepared for fireworks in the morning. Nothing I read mentioned this!
Z’s internal alarm went off and she was ready to run for the nearest exit. She was able to calm down and we made our way to our first fast pass ride. The plan was to start out with Dumbo, a light hearted ride. But we got to the park later than I expected and started with The Brain Stormer instead. Z likes roller coasters so I figured it was all good. It was ok but honestly, she wasn’t fully settled from the fireworks so she didn’t really enjoy it as much I knew she would.
But then we made it to Dumbo and she perked right up.
By now it was close to mid day which originally meant leaving at 1 pm for a nap. But that wasn’t really possible and we pushed on. It was hot but Z refused to run through the water attraction near by because it was big and definitely scary to her. But she happily played around the Winnie the Pooh area while her brother enjoyed the Pooh ride. And she even perked up for the tea cups.
But then more fireworks…
And that led to a near complete shutdown, with my baby asking to go home and more tears. But what’s a mom to do when the youngest and the oldest are having a great time? Her Dad, Yaya, and aunts tried to help, but it didn’t work. She refused water, her headphones and every promise of surprises.
Then she didn’t want to leave.
Then she cried to leave.
To say I was heartbroken would be an understatement. I didn’t know what to do and in that moment I felt like a failure.
We pressed on.
She accepted the headphones but refused to ride the carousel. The Micky Experience movie was a no but I already knew that. She sat in her stroller, fan in hand, headphones on and every few minutes a tear would fall from her eyes.
Her favorite yogurt raisins brought a smile to her face through her tears and then we took a break for lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. French fries, AC, and water make for a happy 4-year-old. We were back on the bright side and since we were barely 3 hours in, I thought another 1 to 2 hours would work and then a break.
But she went back in her shell as soon as we left the cafe.
And then she covered herself with the canopy of the stroller and refused to watch the parade.
Her excitement to see some of her favorite characters disappeared.
There were more tears and a melted fruit pop all over her pretty Elana of Avalor shirt. So the decision to leave was obvious but then It’s A Small World happened.
And she was in awe and happy.
Then back in her shell. Big Sis wanted her big coaster experience and her cousin wanted to meet Tiana. I decided to take her cousin to meet Princess Tiana because her mom wasn’t feeling well. Z stayed in her cocoon in the stroller. And I was just heartbroken. I took a picture with Tiana by herself so I could add it to Z’s memory book we would be making when we got home. I told Tiana all about her and that she was having a tough day, near tears myself.
And then something happened when I went back to Z. She whispered in my ear that she wanted to meet Princes Tiana too. This is when I felt like a rock star mom because I had booked her a Fast Pass to meet the princess just in case. So back to Princess Fairytale Hall we went.
And then the Disney Magic you hear about happened. Princess Tiana took one look at Zoe and opened her arms. “Hi Zoe, I heard so much about you and I am so glad you came to see me. You are strong and brave and I am very proud of you.” Zoe smiled and posed with Tiana, headphones in place.
My baby loved her first time at Disney and it was all because Princess Tiana knew her name. Her meeting with Tiana was the perfect way to end her first trip to Magic Kingdom. She will always remember her Disney Magic moment with Princess Tiana. I will always remember the joy on her face and the joy in my heart because my girl was strong and brave.
That’s how the ever after Disney Magic works. It happens at just the right time.