ʺMommy! Look at the ducks!ʺ My 3-year-old was tugging at my hand.
We had a late start that morning and there was no way we were going to make it to the park before rope drop. My mom and dad were racing ahead to catch the boat to Hollywood Studios which was just pulling up to the dock. I was torn. I wanted to keep up with my parents but I wanted to honor my daughter’s thrill at seeing the ducks.
Waving wildly at my daughter and I, my parents won.
I tugged gently on my daughter’s hand and said, ʺHoney, we can look later. The friendship boat is here now. We have to catch up with Noni and Papa.ʺ I urged her forward.
She stopped. She let go of my hand. She stamped her little foot and said, ʺBut I just wanted to show you the ducks!ʺ
My daughter won.
I waved at my parents to go ahead without us. (They begrudgingly waited.) And I stopped to look at the ducks.
It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of Disney World. You saved. You planned. You saved some more. You waited. You counted down to this very moment.
And once you arrive there is a sense of urgency to see and do everything.
But you can’t.
When I can’t fall asleep at night I try to figure out how many days you would need to ʺsee and do everythingʺ and I’m asleep before I can come up with a worthy number. Two days for Hollywood Studios. Two days for Animal Kingdom, Three for EPCOT. Three days for Magic Kingdom? No, make that four. But wait. What about Typhoon Lagoon? And what if the boys catch sight of the miniature golf? And there’s always Disney Quest and shopping at Downtown Disney. Disney World is full of things to do and see. It’s the greatest marketing ploy around, creating so much to do you just have to come back.
Walt Disney World is more than just Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Toy Story Mania and Soarin‘. Or eating around World Showcase. Or shopping at Downtown Disney. I admit. I revel in the fact that we can ride 12 attractions, all before noon, when we follow our time-tested plan. It takes that memory of my insistent, demanding, 3-year-old angel to remind me that I may be my own worst enemy, racing through the day.
And so, when everyone is in a rush to catch the next boat or push through a crowd to jump into line, someone in our family will invariably say, ʺHey! Look at the ducks!ʺ It’s our cue to slow down. Savor. Enjoy each moment.
It’s a lesson we’ve carried beyond Walt Disney World.
It’s a lesson that bears repeating.
However many days you have to spend at Walt Disney World, remember, you can’t possibly see and do everything. Take a moment or two or three. Slow down. Stroll down Main Street instead of joining the masses toward Anna and Elsa. People watch while you munch on popcorn. Relax with a parade. Stop and enjoy the JAMMitors in EPCOT. Watch the riders get wet on Splash Mountain. Hold your child’s hand just a little tighter before they’re teenagers and rushing off to Mission Space without you.
The trip will fly by fast enough.
No need to hurry it along.
Contributed by Maureen — Mouseterplanner Blog
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