Tuesday, April 22, 2008

DisneyWorld



I grew up as a diehard Disneyland fan. This sometimes surprises me because in my mind, the family I grew up in tended to steer slightly adrift of anything mainstream. But in reality, if we felt the mainstream event was well-done or culturally important we totally embraced it (think: the Olympics, Hands Across America, College Football Bowl Games, etc.). So we ended up at Disneyland a lot. A lot. And I only have happy memories associated with that place.

We had some definite traditions surrounding the park. We only stayed one day and we arrived before it opened. Mom took the toddlers or preschoolers on Casey Jr., which opened before the main park. And the older kids stood at the front of the line to race down Main Street — headed for Space Mountain — as soon as the park opened. Although you weren't allowed to run till you reached the end of Main Street, so when I say "race", I should really say "awkwardly race-walk".

The big kids met up with Mom and Dad at the castle at 12:00 for lunch and then again at the end of the day. The rest of the time we just explored the park. When we were hot or tired we picked rides like the People Mover, that had a short line, so we could relax and cool off. We loved Disneyland. We never got sick of it.


Disneyland was also part of my design education. I remember being 7 or 8 years old and standing with my mom at Disneyland, stowing our bags in a locker at the beginning of the day. She pointed out the detail in the displays — authentic vintage suitcases and travel accessories — even in a room as functional and non-event as the locker rental room. We discussed the term "mickey mouse", as in "the house I rent is mickey mouse, it's all held together with duct tape", and wondered where that term came from considering the absolute attention to detail that is so signature to Disney Parks. I remember studying everything. From the very low-tech effects in It's a Small World where glitter is the order of the day, to the up-to-date robotic distractions prepared for riders waiting in line for Star Tours.

Disneyland was, and still is in my opinion, a perfect fit for a big family looking to entertain kids of various ages. There's something for everyone. And they make it so easy.

A few years ago, when we took our then 3 children to DisneyWorld (my first East Coast Disney Park experience), we spent our 2 days at the Magic Kingdom (one of 4 parks that make up DisneyWorld), knowing it was sort of a Disneyland twin, and the experience was every bit a lovely as I'd remembered it growing up. Although the experience has changed since I was a kid — with child approved innovations like character breakfasts and mid-day parades. My little three loved it. So did Ben and I. And for the past 6 months we have been figuring out when we should take our now family of 7 back to Florida.

So you can imagine how delighted I was to receive an invitation to Disney's first ever Mom Blogger Mixer, held this last weekend. I met all sorts of lovely people and did all sorts of lovely things and found out all sorts of details to help plan our trip. I'll report on all those things tomorrow, because this post is already getting way too long. But I have to say how grateful I felt to be included. If you're curious for more info, you can read what one of my fellow attendees, the very clever Suburban Diva, has written up about our first day.


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10 Comments:

Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

It was so fabulous spending that magical weekend with you and all those other fine Mom Bloggers! I'm still trying to gather my mind from it all. And enjoying all the posts and pictures!

Steph

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 5:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Sounds like you had a lovely time! Disney has always been magical to me. I can't wait to share the experience with my daughter...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 5:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger KJ said...

Oh I'm so envious...I love DisneyWorld so much I interned there in college, went back on my honeymoon, and again last spring with my parents, sibs and spouses, and my 9 month old. Something for everyone. What a wonderful event for Mom bloggers!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 10:53:00 PM EDT  
Blogger dcrmom said...

Gabrielle, it was delightful meeting you. You are so much fun and so full of great information. I hope we get to hang out again sometime.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 5:37:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jack & Tucker-The OC Brothers said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 9:28:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Marcy Massura said...

am so depressed. I mean I am glad you had a great time...but The OC Register had called and asked me if it was okay for them to give my info to Disney (Yeah of course!)....now I see what THAT was all about! Oh- maybe next year!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 9:30:00 AM EDT  
Blogger whit. ing. said...

One of the most wonderful things about D-Land is the details. We have annual passes (because we live in Southern California) and we go to enjoy the ambiance. My husband and I go there for date night. We take our son for an afternoon. Sometimes we ride rides but most of the time, we park on a bench with some delectable treat and we just enjoy the atmosphere. They really have it down to a science.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 11:00:00 AM EDT  
Blogger wendy said...

congratulations on being chosen for such a sweet event, Gab! and congrats on being highlighted in the Wall Street Journal recently. super cool!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 2:12:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Just Pure Lovely said...

I loved meeting you! Can we go again next month? Ya think?

Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 11:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jen said...

I totally agree with you about the term "Mickey Mouse operation". The person who came up with that one obviously didn't go to Disney World/Land. These parks run with such precision and are full of so many well thought out details that it just makes no sense to say that.

I enjoyed reading about your childhood experiences. I liked the "awkward walk". That made me LOL!

Sunday, April 27, 2008 at 4:25:00 PM EDT  

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