It was my first time setting foot in the most magical place on earth. Cue the orchestral fairy dust… I was in Disneyworld! We had seven days to hop from park to park at will, bask in the glory that was the Florida sun, and simply enjoy time together as a family. I was excited, I was nervous, I was sweating bullets in the heat, and I was seventeen years old.
My junior year spring break trip was a bit out of the ordinary. As a member of the Mid-American Pompon All-Star Team, I was entitled to perform at Galaxy Stage in the Magic Kingdom. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity. Unfortunately for me, neither could my loving, caring, oh-so-smothering mother and father. They decided to tag along, dragging my teenage sister too. What could be better? Well… lots of things.
After a hectic packing experience and a mostly pleasant plane ride, we were bussed via magical Disney transportation quickly and efficiently to our themed hotel. Everything was so amazingly marketed that I couldn’t help but smile. From the Herbie the Love Bug dÃ©cor to the Fantasia poolside statues, everything was Disneyrrific. My performance wasn’t until later in the week, so my sister and I convinced my parents to hit the parks. Fairly painless so far.
Deciding which park to start with was clearly a dilemma, however With seven days of parkhopper passes, there were certain parts of Disneyworld that would clearly be favored. Although we could go freely between Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom, we also had two days of possible Bilizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon waterpark action. There were way too many choices. Eventually, though, we settled on the castles and characters beloved in the Magic Kingdom. To me, the park shimmered with the very essence of Disney, and I wasn’t about to let my age hold me back. Boy was I mistaken.
The four of us took the complimentary resort bus over to the Kingdom, and as soon as we were within the park, the mayhem began. My father is a self-proclaimed amateur photographer. The only implication this has for me is that my entire life is film documented, whether I’m happy about it or not. The resulting pictures had a few strained smiles and a million fed-up faces.
Despite the barrage of what seemed like manic paparazzi, some great times were captured. The Disney resort guests were granted extra hours in some of the parks; thus we were able to stay magical until nearly three in the morning with a wristband and a lot of willpower.
We eventually made our way through five of the six amazing parks. In the thrilling Hollywood Studios, my sister and I fell in love with the Rockin’ Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror. We toured Epcot as well, with its many tastes and sounds from all around the world (my parents were particularly impressed with Italy’s fine wines). We went on safari in the Animal Kingdom, but discovered it’s for true animal lovers, not thrillseekers. A day at Blizzard Beach left us suntanned and exhausted, but it was a great way to try to beat that Florida heat. My performance on Galaxy Stage was nestled somewhere in this chaos, captured on film for later enjoyment, and certainly put on the backburner. The four of us had been left with magically fragmented memories from a jam-packed vacation, and the blessing of camera-crazed parents who caught every last moment.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.