There is a super-sized
plastic badge pinned to my office bulletin board. Against
a white background I see Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Pluto
cavorting in front of the castle made famous by Disney. In
big bold blue letters the badge reads, TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY.
what a birthday it was...
65, my soul longed for more than gooey cake, trendy
apple martinis and loads of generous gifts. Been there.
Done that. Instead I planned an intimate event that
proved to be a wonderful, magical, celebration of life.
No, I did not choose to climb a mountain in some exotic
local nor did I spa in the Indian Himalayas, cleansing
and renewing for the next phase of my life.
To celebrate this
milestone I gathered those people most precious to me
and extended an invitation for four days of cavorting
in Orlando Florida’s Disney World. The guest list
was tiny -- six people in all -- my two adult daughters,
their husbands, and two grandchildren under the age
of five. In retrospect, it was the absolute best party
I’ve ever thrown.
strokes for different folks...
Disney World for my merrymaking? As the party organizer
I understood that each of the three generations in my
family had very different needs. If this celebration
was truly going to be a run-away success, everybody’s
‘happy place’– from the youngest to
the oldest - had to be considered. For that, I put my
money on ‘Walt’ and I won –BIG!
grandchildren had only two expectations for this party.
Four year old Josh had long ago given his heart to Cinderella.
On this trip his goal was to meet the beautiful blonde
haired princess in person. Lotus, my three year old
granddaughter checked every nook and cranny of the park
for Pooh and Mary Poppins (whom she sweetly referred
to as, ‘Mrs. Pop’). How easy it was for
Grandma to fulfill both these little peoples’
dreams. My heart soared with every shriek of happiness
as they recognized yet another Disney character strolling
down magical Main Street.
the adult guests...
my own daughters everyday life is extremely hectic.
Like most young professionals they work hard to balance
childrearing with hours spent at their hectic jobs.
I felt that some well-planned time within the magical
world of Disney could (and, did) temper their childrearing
fatigue. As busy, responsible parents, this holiday
was definitely the best of both worlds for them. They
delighted in their own kiddies’ delight and they
were able to do some cavorting on their own as well.
Grandma this trip simply meant sharing uninterrupted
quality time in a delightful environment with the most
important people in my life. I looked forward to bonding
with them and creating in my mind’s eye a plethora
of joyful family memories that I would draw on for years
to come. Disney World is such a happy place and there’s
nothing better than watching those you love laughing
and enjoying themselves.
sponsors a photo contest...
make sure that we would have a complete picture album
recording this special event, I sponsored a family photography
contest with prizes offered in three categories –
(1) Best Disney Spirit, (2) Best Birthday Photograph
(3) Best Two/Three Generation Souvenir. Disney makes
it so easy to find the perfect background for your shots
by posting signs around the Parks that identify a 'Kodak
Photo Spot.' Just position your group against this backdrop
and click, click, click for perfectly magical memories.
It was highly amusing to watch the adults conspiring
and maneuvering with the kiddies to get the best shots
of the trip. They all took the contest very seriously
and the results were fabulous! Click here to view Grandma's
want to worry about carrying a camera? Another foolproof
way of recording your Disney World Vacation is to use
the services of Disney's Photo Pass powered by Kodak.
Simply have your photograph taken by any of the Disney
PhotoPass photographers in any of the theme parks. They'll
give you your own Photo Pass card which you can use
over and over again. When you get home, just enter the
number of your card at their website (www.DisneyPhotoPass.com)
and all your photos will be displayed for you to enjoy
and/or purchase. Check their website prior to leaving
on holiday to see if this is a viable option for your
Find out why
Mickey called each morning...