Last week we took Baylee to the Magic Kingdom. I admit, at first I wasn't entirely sure about taking a 3 year old. The miser in me kept wondering if it was worth the money, considering she possibly wouldn't remember any of it. By the end of the day there was definitive clarify: it was worth every penny. As the commercial says: priceless.
We told Baylee a few days before we left that we were taking her to Mickey's castle so she could meet the Disney princesses. She has a love for the princesses comparable to her daddy's for Star Wars - so expectation levels were pretty high. Fortunate for us, we didn't have to wait to get the adventure started. Immediately after we got off the tram and walked into Disney's Main Street, Snow White was there greeting kids. Baylee's eyes went huge and her smile quickly caught up - a real princess! She was able to talk to Snow White for a bit, get a hug and a picture. After Snow White we went on a search for the most important princess of them all, Baylee's favorite: Ariel. We had to wait in line for almost half an hour to enter Ariel's Grotto, but the encounter finally came. When Baylee saw Ariel she ran up and gave her the biggest hug. She got to meet her princess!
As the day went on Baylee got to interact with the other princesses as well: Cinderella, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, and Jasmine. Six down, one to go, the newest princess - Tiana from Princess and the Frog. At 4:50p we realized she was only going to be greeting kids until 5pm, so we made a mad sprint across the Magic Kingdom to find her.
When we got to the line there was a worker standing guard who gave us the bad news - the line was closed, they couldn't let anyone else in to meet Tiana. I tried everything apart from offering the guy money (though I was tempted): told him this was the only princess we didn't get to meet, she was three - don't break her heart or scar her for life, come on dude - where's your sense of compassion? Nothing worked. Baylee was upset. As we began walking away three college girls who were at the end of the line ran to catch up with us. "Sir, we're going to be around the area for a few months and are going to come back here again. Your daughter can take our spot so that she can meet Tiana." Is that amazing or what?!?! So 20 minutes later Baylee got to meet Tiana, meeting all seven Disney princesses:
At 6:30pm Jeannette had to go out to the car to get Jaxon more formula. Baylee and I went off to check out the Swiss Family Robinson's Tree House and then to watch the Light Parade. When the Light Parade was over we couldn't find Jeannette, so we decided to go find Baylee some Mickey Mouse ears (pink princess ones - of course). When we were approaching the stand to get them I saw a group of teens making a mad dash for the Pooh ride. I looked to see why, thinking a character was there or something, but no - they were making a mad dash for the ride because there was no line! Everyone was at the front of the castle waiting for 8pm when the firework show would start. No one was at the rides! We bought our ears and then made our own mad dash. In 20min we went on the Pooh, Show White, and Peter Pan rides! We were running and laughing and saying, "Let's go!" It was awesome!
Coming out of the Peter Pan ride the fireworks were beginning. We ran to the castle and elbowed our way to the front of the crowd. I sat on the ground and with Baylee on my lap we got to hear Jimmy Cricket's tale and watch a pretty cool firework show around the castle. This is video I was taking during the finale:
I stopped the video because at the moment when the big final burst of fireworks and music came, Baylee jumped off my lap, raised both hands in the air, and yelled at the top of lungs, "YEAH!!!!" I was so caught up in her energy and excitement that I didn't get video of her doing it, but I took a picture as she continued to stand their with a radiant smile on her face, looking at the castle:
But she might not ever remember it.
The thing I realized later, thinking about her getting so caught up in that final moment - expressing her feelings in such a beautiful and childlike way, is that the important thing is that I will never forget that moment.
I will never forget what a magical day she had, how happy she was.
I will never forget her seeing the castle for the first time, and her saying quietly, 'It's beautiful."
I will never forget her face when she met Ariel and the rest of the princesses, nor will I forget the college students that made the princess meetings complete.
I will never forget her meeting Lilo and Stitch, telling Stitch that we have a dog at home with his name.
I will never forget running around with her in that last half hour as we went on ride after ride.
I will never forget her jumping up during the fireworks and yelling "YEAH" - arms raised as high as she could get them.
She won't remember it - but she will indeed hear me remembering it. She'll hear me telling her what a special day we had. And that is what is most important - that she relive the day through my memories of it.
It was one of the most special days I've had with my daughter, my little princess.