Thursday, June 23, 2011

My preschooler's 9 trips to Disney World

On my family's most recent trip to Disney World a couple weeks ago, I found myself thinking my oldest son had now been to Disney 10 times.

And I was a little shocked. So I started thinking about that.

He is four and a half, so that averages out to be about two times per year. Going to Disney World twice a year doesn't really sound that impossible. Disney World is a three-hour drive from our home ... our boys don't like to sit still for long trips ... Disney is a kid-friendly place to go ... we get Florida resident, seasonal pass holder and Disney Visa card member discounts.

Does it sound less outrageous now? I hope so.

My preschooler's first trip to Disney World was when he was 15 months old. He discovered the splash pad at the now-defunct Pooh's Playful Spot in Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom:

I had to buy him a new outfit in the gift shop across the way at the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride because my boy was soaked through, and it turned out to be a cool evening.

My family liked going so much that we decided to make it an annual holiday-time trip. We love Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party!

So we went back the next holiday season (when he was two years old), and I was pregnant with his little brother. It was cold, but we waited for the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party parade to begin:

...And the next holiday season, after my big boy had stopped being afraid of costumed characters (and was now a big brother):

We returned a few months later, and we always, always have to ride the train at the Magic Kingdom:

We went back again in the spring, when he was three and a half:

(That trip would be my baby's third trip to Disney World before he turned one year old!)

My family returned to Disney World for our annual holiday pilgrimage last year. This time, my preschooler got a special certificate from the engineers for the Animal Kingdom Wildlife Express train:

And he was wearing the same train shirt the next month (this past January) at Epcot:

This past May, my family visited with the hope of meeting up with some of the moms who got into the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. My boy was fearless in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids play area in Hollywood Studios:

And we visited the Magic Kingdom a couple weeks ago for one day because we happened to be in town. Here's my boy on the It's a Small World ride:

I don't know when my family will go back to Disney World. We will likely keep our holiday-time vacation tradition, but we might visit before then (maybe around my son's fifth birthday?). Whenever that 10th visit mark is, though, I know it will be just as magical as the first visit!