Our final park day of our first family trip to Disney World came all too quickly. Miss O had one more day to finish her mission to collect all the Disney Princess autographs. We had amazing success in Animal Kingdom, our first day at the Magic Kingdom, and Epcot. Even though Hollywood Studios wasn’t a hit, we still met a few friends there, too. When we started, I was hoping Miss O would get one or two, but wouldn’t push her if she didn’t want to. Now we were determined to meet our final Princesses and maybe find a few extra friends. After four long, fun-packed days, I hoped we’d all make it long enough to see it through.
When I scheduled our character breakfast at Akershus in Epcot, I had no idea if Miss O would want to meet the Princesses or not, let alone have half our autograph banner filled by the time we got there! While I was over the moon with our success so far, I still wasn’t pushing her into meeting characters as a priority of our trip. As it turned out, Miss O was on a mission to fill that banner and meet every Princess Disney had to offer.
At six years old, Miss O was starting to grow out of her obsession with all things ruffly and sparkly, including her devotion to Disney Princesses. She could also still be terribly shy. With our first family trip to Disney coming up, I started to worry that she wouldn’t want to do any of the character meet and greets I scheduled during times when the rest of our group was thundering and splashing down mountains. I prepared myself not to get upset and not force her to do anything she really didn’t want to do. This trip was for her and my nephew, Mr. A, and while I was determined to honor that, I still hoped the Disney magic would find her for just a little longer.
I have been looking forward to Miss O’s first visit to Disney’s Magic Kingdom for ages. It’s my absolute favorite park. I hadn’t been since senior year of college, way before the new Fantasyland expansion (yes, that’s a long time ago, kids) and I could not wait share it with Miss O. I knew our day at Animal Kingdom would be a success because ANIMALS, but I worried Miss O may have grown tired of princesses. I knew Mr. A could care less about them and I worried about his influence on her. There’s a lot more to the Magic Kingdom than princesses, but is there enough? Did we wait too long to share this part of the magic?
People love to bring things for Miss O when they visit and she relishes every opportunity to rip paper from boxes and toss tissue in the air with wild abandon. She now understands that receiving gifts is part of the standard ritual for being in her presence and now welcomes everyone into out home with a heartfelt, “Surprise for ME?!”