Disney World – thanks to Papa & Nana

This blog post is a tribute to my cool parents. Papa and Nana are madly in love with their family. I’m the youngest of four, 2 older brothers and an older sister. We have the coolest brother & sister in laws in our family and 14 amazing grandkids/nieces & nephews. Bear & LoveBug are the youngest in the group, with the oldest at 15 years old.

Well, my parents decided to give the most generous and adventurous gift ever – a trip for the entire family to Disney World for a week between Christmas and New Years. What an amazing time.

Okay, the reason for the post is to unveil where I get some of my idiosyncrasies from…both my mom and dad.

For starters, they are over-planners. During the 6 months of planning – my parents sent out emails taking requests…you know, “what does success look like during our trip to Disney.” What restaurant requests, favorite characters, things people want to see and do? Speak now…because schedule here we come!

To no surprise, because my parents believe “all things are possible”…they made every dream come true for all 14 kids (and the 8 older kids too…us) while we were at Disney World. We later learned they had an internal Alias at Disney.

It all started at our first dinner when Bear met Cinderella. The moment was quite priceless.

After dancing with Cinderella Bear came back to the table and said; “Mom, I can’t believe she is real! Isn’t her dress beautiful?” That rhetorical question made her remember something, so she jumped out of her seat, ran up to Cinderella and asked to see her glass slippers. Classic and a memory not to be forgotten.

If that wasn’t enough, how about:
• A luau at the Polynesian
• Our own private bus tour for the African Safari at Animal Kingdom
• Ringing in 2010 with Champagne & Fireworks on the Beach Overlooking the Castle
• Private Dining Room with Mickey & Minnie
• Lego World & lunch at T-Rex
• It’s a Small World ride with our entire family (a Celine Dion spotting)
And yes…85% of the time we stayed together as a large group.

My mom loves the fact that we stay together and the only thing she loves more than that are “premiums” for the trip.

So of course she designed a logo, and made t-shirts and back packs for the trip. Inside each family backpack – gum, mini first aid kit, a laminated schedule for the week, and more. And she likes to easily identify our group so we had matching black jackets and white Disney Hats to collect autographs. We were quite the sight.

This was actually quite controlled compared to our last Disney Trip (6 years ago) when we started every day at 6am and had matching shirts EVERY day.

The in-laws on this trip, my husband, Annette & Julie (sister-in-laws) and Joe (brother-in-law) –did a lot of smiling. Because…they are patient, endure a lot and never complained once during this action packed week.

And, we even had our own jobs: our Guide was my brother who gathered us at the entrance every day, held the map up and outlined our first 3 rides. My other brother was Fast Pass Leader – identifying every morning what were the hot rides and he would get the Fast Passes. My sister ran point as the chaperone for the Crazy Rides with the older kids – Space Mountain, Frontierland Roller Coaster, and more. And I ran point with the Pin-Traders and the little TinkerBell fans seeking the real Pixie Dust Septire.

It sounds crazy I realize. But I will say we laughed to the point of tears, reminisced, reconnected, watched the kids in awe and gave thanks for our health – love for each other – blessed family – and the ability (and desire) to be together.

It was an amazing trip that deserves more than a million thank yous. Papa and Nana – you rock!

How about a Disney Cruise in 6 Years?

What are some of your favorite family vacation stories?

Graco Contributors

Graco contributors...


Get the latest updates on news and subscribe to our feeds
By submitting, I agree to receive emails from Graco Children's Products Inc. regarding news, updates, offers and promotions regarding Graco's products. I understand I may withdraw my consent at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

6 Responses to “Disney World – thanks to Papa & Nana”

  1. Lindsay Lebresco February 2, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    Well you’re right- I see where you get it! Nana & Grandad are actually taking Chris and I and the kids to DisneyWorld in 3 weeks but in stark contrast to your trip, it’s only the 6 of us, we don’t have matching hats, and so far our plan is to wing it. I’m sure we’ll pull out the personalized Disney maps I ordered (I did do something!) Saturday night when we get there to at least give our park visits some thought. The 4 adults all did Give a Day, Get a Day volunteer work so we have 4 free park passes coming to us which is nice. I know it’s going to be an amazing trip and you’re right- just thinking about the trip already has me thinking about how lucky we are to have each other, our health and the ability, especially in this economy, to be able to afford such a luxury. I hope our trip is as good as yours! (and I’ll be checking Facebook for more pics!)

  2. Marsha February 2, 2010 at 7:57 am #

    What a great vacation! I am up for adoption! Do you think your family could adopt me?

  3. Kim February 11, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    You are already part of our family. The day we came home with our baby girls and saw Pink Balloons on the mailbox and dinner in the freezer…Aunt Marsha was part of our family forever!

  4. Michele Brown February 17, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    I love your family. What wonderful memories for you all. Everyone looks exactly as I remember, expect all the grand-kids. There was only one when I met your family, and it is incredible that she is 15—WOW. Wish them all well!

  5. Evelina Meja August 5, 2010 at 5:47 am #

    I stay in Glasgow and I am as far north as I wish to go, but if that’s what you like there is lots to see, but as you have been told some places in Inverness can be few and far between and most of the hotels etc are booked well in advance, Aberdeen has a nice City for shopping but if its nature and green fields the east coast of Inverness is probably the best petrol at the moment in Glasgow is 117p per litre.

  6. Lara Haspel December 2, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    This really is this kind of a wonderful useful resource that you are offering and also you give it absent free of charge. I love seeing internet sites that understand the value of offering a quality useful resource for free. It?s the outdated what goes around arrives about routine.