It dawned on my the other day when I was watching a webcast for Disney Vacation Club on the computer with Samantha Brown about Kidani Village while the boy sat on one leg and recognized the shape of a hidden Mickey on a bird’s eye view of Kidani Village and Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge, that he is growing up Disney.
No wonder. His parents have a “thing” for Disney, not unlike other families who cheer on sports teams together, or do various recreational activities together, or celebrate in certain ways, etc. Don’t most kids grow up being involved in something their parents are passionate about? And, yes, eventually the children find their own passions, too.
So, what does it mean to grow up Disney, specifically from the boy’s point of view? Well, you might have Disney clothing in your drawer or closet. In addition to various shirts purchased throughout the years on our trips, we often purchase Disney themed clothing at other stores, too. Right now, he has a flair for pirate shirts, and amazingly, he has at least four different ones. He wore two in a row to school just last week.
Growing up Disney means you can recognize music of Disney. When listening to the “Four Parks, One World” CD’s, the boy can name the attraction, show, or location the music represents. Since we have watched almost all of the Disney “Sing-A-Long” videos, he knows other Disney songs, including songs from Disney movies. And, he can recognize songs from various nations/cultures. We were listening to music one time and he said, “Mom, that’s Irish music.” He was right!
When growing up Disney, your toys may lean towards Disney themes—even with Legos, plush characters, action figures, etc. Since Disney has teamed up with Pixar, there are even more toys that fit this category.
Experiencing Moroccan belly dancers, Japanese drum performers, Cowboy trick rope spinning, and Chinese acrobats are part of growing up Disney, as are swimming with dolphins, sea lions, and stingrays.
And, while most kids appreciate firework displays, growing up Disney means you expect them to be timed with music and create 3D designs in the sky. . . and happen nightly!
For the boy, growing up Disney has meant he has tried lots of different food—duck, oysters, clams, snails, lamb, fish, shrimp, mussels, lobster, crab, buffalo, rattlesnake, cactus, etc. He knows a lettuce salad may not be all green leaves and will taste just as good, if not better. He prefers BBQ chicken pizza to any others, will order lobster bisque as a soup, and enjoys pomegranate lemonade.
Growing up sailing with Disney means the boy can tell you the difference between the Disney Dream and the Disney Wonder and Magic. He knows what has been added to the Disney Fantasy to make it different than all the other Disney ships.
Growing up Disney means he can swim. Okay, I know this could be for any child, but with our frequency to Disney Resort pools and water parks, this was very important to us. I can recall the faces of the folks on our Adventures by Disney tour when the boy got ahead of us going to the pool at the Red Cliffs Lodge in
Utah, and he
jumped right in the deep end. He was six
at the time and the youngest person on the tour. Our tour mates gasped, saw that we were
without worry, and realized that he was young but could hold his own in the
water. The boy had been swimming for
almost six years at that point! We did
appreciate how our group had become an “extended family” of sorts, though.
Recognizing hidden Mickey’s and trading/collecting Disney pins are a part of the boy’s growing up Disney. The dentist’s office had been through a remodeling and the boy found numerous hidden Mickey’s in the pictures and sculptures throughout the office. And, he will often search for Disney trading pins on Ebay, though he hasn’t made any purchases yet!
YouTube offers numerous Disney videos of rides and attractions that the boy searches for, watches, and announces that we must do is part of growing up Disney. I started this activity as the videos helped him to know what to expect prior to our trips. Now he is watching videos of Disney parks around the world and telling us we need go and do certain things.
Growing up Disney means that the TV is tuned to the Disney Channel or Dixney XD daily.
For the boy, growing up Disney means he has been immersed in the magic that is Disney many times, and hopefully, many more. As he grows up, I hope he carries a bit of Disney into the passions that he chooses. And, I’m still dreaming of that Disney wedding! (Too soon to start planting seeds of that idea?)