Kaylee meets Cinderella
What a fun trip to Disney World we had this past week. There were memories made there that will last a lifetime.
We went to Orlando to get away from the cold, to visit my family, and for Selena and my step-mom Michelle to wear tutus and tiaras and run 13.1 miles in the Disney Princess Half-Marathon.
Beyond the race, we knew Selena and I wanted to see the new Harry Potter land in Universal, so we went there the following day. It was brilliantly done, well worth checking out, but maybe not so much with kids – at least little kids like Kaylee.
Theme parks are just not make for two-year olds. There was very little for Kaylee to do in Harry Potter world, and not even that much in the kid-oriented Dr. Seuss landing either. At age two, she is too young to ride many rides beyond the carousel, she doesn’t have the focus to enjoy the shows, and is a picky eater (if there really is any good food to dine on in the theme parks). So what can she do?
She can meet the characters.
I worked at Disney’s Character Breakfast many years ago as Goofy and remember how many kids cried when I came to their table. The main characters are big, way bigger than expected, and that can be scary. To no surprise, when I took Kaylee to see Mickey Mouse she wouldn’t go near him and is bawling and clutching me tightly in all the pictures.
But there are more characters than just Mickey and Goofy and friends. There are characters perfectly suited to a two-year old little girl – the Princesses.
Ever since dressing up as Belle for Halloween this past year, Kaylee has taken a great interest in the Disney princesses. We read stories of them almost every night and she knows them all by name and by color and by silhouette even.
When I found the FastPass to meet the Disney Princesses I signed us up. When Selena and I took the girls into that room where Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel were waiting, Kaylee’s eyes lit up. Unlike Mickey, these characters look normal and can talk and they did, inviting our little princess (she was again wearing her Belle outfit) over to chat and take photos. Kaylee warmed up quickly, was receptive and engaging and by the end of the meet and greet was leaping, literally leaping, on her way to the exit.
Great timing allowed us to go straight from that magical moment to meet back up with my family holding a fantastic spot right as the afternoon parade was starting to come by. In the parade Kaylee was able to enjoy Mickey and Minne and friends from a safer distance, as well see the favorite Princesses she hadn’t seen yet like Ariel, Snow White and of course Belle.
A week later, Kaylee is still talking about how she met the Princesses. It saddens me to think she won’t remember this forever. I don’t think it’s possible – she’s two. I don’t think anyone can remember moments from when they were two.
But their parents can.
And that is what I mean by memories were made that will last a lifetime. Selena and I can and will treasure those moments that we saw our little toddler go from reserved to beaming as she discovered so much joy in her first real Disney experience.
Here’s a bunch of photos of the trip. Enjoy!
Selena trying Butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Great shirts from Aunt Katie outside of Hogwarts. Kaylee’s sets the Marauder’s Map in motion with “I solumnly Swear that I am up to no Good” and Ginelle’s breaks the spell with “Mischief Managed”
The family at the rain-soaked castle in the heart of the Magic Kingdom
It is not actually Kaylee’s “First Visit” so she gave the button to her doll.
Selena got in trouble for riding double on this carousel in Seuss Landing in Universal. It’s a story worthy of it’s own blog post.
Pop-pop getting a little time with his baby granddaughter
The running princesses, complete with tutus and their metals for completing the 13.1 mile run.
My dad and my daughters posing. Kaylee is already showing signs of being a ham.
Ginelle’s very first amusement park ride, in the bjorn, with her mom, on the carousel in Fantasyland.
Helping the excited princess down the steps after watching the parade.
Kaylee waving to her favorite princess Belle during the Disney parade.
Kaylee posing after meeting with Disney princess Rapunzel
Kaylee meeting with Disney princess Aurora (better known as Sleeping Beauty)
Once more, cause this was the moment the magic started, when Kaylee met her first princess – Cinderella.
Update: Answering Jeff’s comment, here’s a great one of Selena and I with he and Katie in Hogsmeade.
With Jeff and Katie in Three Broomsticks pub in Hogsmeade, Harry Potter Land.,
Oh, and bonus – because Ginelle was too young to appreciate any of this trip, we’ll be able to have this same wonderful experience of seeing our little girl discover the magic of Disney all over again in just a few years. I can’t wait.