My children have grown up Disney and it has been a wonderful ride. Now that they are grown, I am sometimes slammed with the reality of how my life has changed. The other day, I sent my youngest two a text with a very simple question. I already knew the answer but I was thankful I wouldn’t be able to hear laughter through the text messages.
Question: Do you want to go to see Disney On Ice – Toy Story 3, which is coming in April?
Replies: “Uh, I don’t think so – but thanks” and “Uuugghhh can I let you know later?”
I am not senile yet so I know they are too old for that now. Every once in a while I have a little glimpse of hope that they might actually indulge me. But alas I was reminded of the realization that until one of my three has children of their own, my Disney On Ice days will have to remain “on ice.” The lesson from me? Don’t take even one second for granted when your kids are young and share all of the wonderful Disney memories you can possibly share: Disney on Ice, Mickey’s Magic Show, etc. Take your kids to all of them if you can and thoroughly enjoy your time together because in what truly seems like the blink of an eye they are grown!
As you might guess, there are some adjustments that have been required when planning our annual Disney trips as they have continued to get older. I sometimes get a little melancholy when I think of all the things we used to look forward to that they won’t do again for a while, such as my youngest son’s previous obsession with Tomorrowland Speedway. Somehow when you start driving, the novelty wears off – go figure. There are a lot of things that have changed in the way we visit “The World.”
When I plan our trips now, I look for things to incorporate that we weren’t able to do when they were small. This year I happened upon a gem. One of the things we enjoy doing as a family is volunteering. So, we are really excited about the possibility of serving as voluntourists during our upcoming trip this December. We will be voluntouring with Give Kids the World.
Volunteering to help make wonderful, memorable, once-in-a-lifetime trips for terminally-ill children and their families will be such an honor for us. I am not sure this is something my kids could have handled emotionally when they were younger, though, so I think it was better to wait. The age requirement for most service positions is 16 and up, although there are several for 18 and up and a few with opportunities for kids 12-15 with an adult. My youngest will be 18 before our trip so we will have a wide variety of tasks from which to choose. This year will be a great time to be able to give at maximum capacity and we are all very excited about it.
A little adjustment is necessary when planning your trips to Walt Disney World as your kids get older. There are so many different activities, rides, resorts and events that it makes incorporating new things pretty easy. I do miss sharing Disney with them when they were young, but I am very thankful for the new opportunities to share in wonderful experiences together even now that they are older.