Welcome back to "Stars Fell on Disney Fans from Alabama!" This week I have the pleasure of introducing my friend Amanda from Bitten By The Disney Bug. Her blog is so much fun! I think my favorite segment is her "Five on Friday" where she lists her top (or bottom) five things that have to do with anything Disney! Amanda and I both participated in several Disney blog hops together before I ever even realized she was from Alabama! She lives with her husband and son outside of Birmingham. This past summer, I posted about a memory from the school where I once taught and Amanda had a little sister in that same school! Talk about "it's a small world!"
My Disney obsession did not start like many others out there. I didn't grow up going to Disney World every year, or even every 5 years. We only went to Disney World once when I was younger. It was a quick trip to the Magic Kingdom for one day only during a family reunion in Orlando. I was in second grade and the only 2 things that stick out in my mind from that trip are riding Dumbo (still one of my favorite rides and I have passed this love onto my son!) and waiting for a VERY long time to see the nighttime parade. Actually, while we were waiting they had a shuttle launch and we could see it in the air - even if it was tiny!
So my love for Disney didn't really catch on then. Of course, we had every Disney movie that came out and my sisters and I loved watching them and pretending to be the princesses (I always loved Belle, my middle sister loved Ariel and my youngest loved Pocahontas - although she isn't technically a princess). It wasn't until 2010 that I was truly bitten by the Disney bug and fell in love with all things Disney, especially Disney World.
In early 2009, my MIL told us that her and my FIL wanted to take all of us to Disney World. None of them had ever been and she really wanted to experience it with her grandkids. I was thrilled and set right to work learning all I could about it. The summer before they had been in Orlando visiting family and done a time share where they got a free week to try it out, so that is what we were going to use. Although, we weren't going to be staying on-site I was still really excited. I researched and learned as much as I could before the trip. Finding a great price on tickets for all of us (9 total: 6 adults, 2 kids and 1 infant by Disney standards) and learning all I could about ADR's and what rides everybody could and wanted to do. Unfortunately, I had not found all the wonderful Disney blogs and the DISBoards yet, so unknown to me, I still had a lot to learn. Even so, we went and had a wonderful time! We spent a little time in every park, some days going from open to close! With 3 children 5 and under - that was a great feat. Thankfully they were all great and slept in their strollers when they needed to nap!
There was a lot I learned on that trip and it totally got me hooked. As soon as we were leaving, I wanted to start planning our next trip! Thankfully, I wouldn't have to wait as long as I thought I would to get my wish. We have very close friends that go to church with us and we have been on many vacations together. In the fall of 2010 a wonderful lady at our church offered us a week of her time share together - so of course we decided on Orlando (my friend's family is DVC members and have gone at least once a year most of her life). We wanted to go in the Spring of 2011 and it ended up being the same week we went the year before! I was so excited to share this trip with our friends, who have a daughter just a year older than our son.
On that trip, I learned even more about Disney, since we were traveling with a Disney veteran. We had a blast and got to try out new things (the Kitchen Sink) and eat at new restaurants (Whispering Canyon Cafe)! We all had a blast and really enjoyed our time at Disney together. Of course, as soon as it was over I was already planning our next trip (September 2012)! It was after this trip where I found all the wonderful Disney bloggers that I know now and decided to start my own blog! I have truly enjoyed reading about all the wonderful trips and fun things everyone else does at Disney and feel blessed to be able to share all our memories with others as well!
I think the thing that made me fall so in love with Disney is the fact that no matter how old you are, you can go there and truly experience the magic! I was able to watch as my 2 year old son met Mickey (one of his favorites!) for the first time. And as my 50-something FIL sat with all 3 of his grandkids and enjoyed Wishes after a long, wonderful day at the Magic Kingdom. I will never forget these awesome memories and I look forward to making many, many more!