October 1st, 2021, the BIG 5-0, is quickly approaching! Today, we welcome Donna Kay to the series. She shares her heartfelt memories of Walt Disney World 2003.
Walt Disney World 2003
Tears filled my eyes when I saw the Walt Disney World sign for the first time on a very cold January morning, January 17, 2003 to be exact. You see, I had waited almost 40 years for that moment. To be totally honest, I didn’t think I would ever see Walt Disney World with my own eyes. And now, I was there- I was really there!!
Trying to pinpoint my favorite thing from the trip is difficult. But I would say my fondest memory is walking down Main Street USA for the first time. There is a real sense of being taken back to a simpler time there. The storefronts are like a scene from a Christmas Village, and the smells coming from the bakery are heavenly. It was someplace you wanted to pick up your family and move to, it was comfortable, like those favorite pair of shoes that are broken in just right.
There is no question that Peter Pan’s Flight was Mike’s favorite during the trip. As a matter of fact, I know we rode it at least three times- possibly four. It transported him back in time to the first time he rode it with his mom and sister in 1973. The view of the streets of London complete with Big Ben and the car lights below was simply mesmerizing. The mermaids were beautiful lounging in the lagoon, and the Lost Boys were just as adorable as they were in the movie.
Dakota was in love with Tigger and Buzz Lightyear, both of whom he met while we were there. A very special moment happened while he and I were in Disney-MGM Studios waiting for Ash and Mike to ride The Great Movie Ride. We spotted Tigger walking to his “Meet & Greet” spot. Dakota’s eyes lit up, he couldn’t believe it! He ran up to him and gave him a bear hug Pooh would have proud of! The fact that Tigger was as excited to see Dakota as Dakota was to see him was pure magic in the eyes of a 5-year-old!!
Wishes Nighttime Spectacular Debuts in Magic Kingdom
Ashley was thrilled she got to meet her favorite princess, Cinderella. As a young girl, she would watch Cinderella over and over again. We waited in line forever to see the princesses, due to the cold weather they had taken them inside tents for “Meet & Greets”. There’s no such thing as a line too long when it comes to meeting a Real Princess!!! And you’re never too old to meet your favorite princess, there was pure joy in her eyes even though she was “all grown up” at fifteen.
As for Dakota, he didn’t mind the wait so much when he got kisses from all of the princesses. By the way, his favorite was Ariel, he left her lipstick print on his cheek for the rest of the day. The Magic of the Happiest Place On Earth was there for each and every one of us. My kids are older, and we have been on lots of other vacations, but this still reigns as a favorite. You never forget the magic of seeing the Walt Disney World sign for the first time, do you??
50 Days to 50 Years
Please follow Donna @DisneyDonnaKay on Twitter. You can also follow Donna’s Disney fashion boards at @MouseEarsandMascara! Tomorrow, another great Disney pal steps up to shine a light on a year of Disney magic. Mouse Fan Diane, will bring us 2004.