Makenzie’s Dreams Come True

by tinareale on June 19, 2012

I left you all yesterday with a little sneak peek into one of the best days of our vacation – and a moment I will remember forever.


I’m hoping she will remember it forever too. Smile

Makenzie is currently obsessed with all things princess and Disney. Daytona Beach is just over an hour away from Disney World. I remember going to the parks when I was around her age and the day trips with my family during our annual beach vacations. Those memories hold a special place in my heart. I loved the idea of sharing the same experience again, but on the other end this time. I’ll tell you something, taking your child to Disney World for the first time is an unforgettable experience.

As soon as we got to the park, we watched Makenzie’s eyes light up with excitement. Just look at that face!


She was in awe. So cute!

We got right to the attractions. I was very pleased with how Disney organizes the attractions and helps keep line waiting times reasonable. The free “fast pass” basically allows you to reserve a spot to come back at a later time for a ride or attraction. It means you don’t have to stand in the longer lines and can visit more things during the day. You can only have one reservation at a time, but somehow we worked ours out perfectly and got fast passes for all the bigger rides we planned to visit.

Now onto the fun! When Makenzie saw the teacups, she practically begged to go on them.


I would say her first Disney ride made quite the impression, wouldn’t you? Winking smile

Although, as much as she loved the teacups, it didn’t quite compare to Dumbo. Even after everything else we did that day, Dumbo reigned supreme as her favorite. 


We spent the next couple of hours riding a couple more rides – the 3D Mickey’s PhilharMagic show, the Barnstormer mini roller-coaster, It’s A Small World, and the Prince Charming Carousel – and ate lunch while waiting for our special reservation.

Princess time!

Makenzie is, dare I say, obsessed with Belle. All she talked about when Disney came up was getting to see Belle. She could not wait. When we walked into the Town Theater for the princess visit, her eyes widened more than I have ever seen and the biggest smile ever crossed her face. She not so patiently waited her turn and then visited with Cinderella and Princess Aurora, but Belle stole the show.



Confession. I totally got all misty eyed seeing just how happy my little girl felt at that moment. Disney may rob you blind in some ways, but that moment made it all so incredibly worth it.

Makenzie could have left a happy girl after that, but the day was just beginning. We stayed around for a lot more fun. Including some impromptu parades we happened across…


…and even more attractions. Makenzie was getting sleepy by this point, so we visited a lot more of the shows. We loved the Enchanted Tiki Room (a fave of mine as a kid) and let Makenzie get in a 20 minute or so nap in the Country Bear Jamboree.

Country Bear Jamboree source

Worst attraction for kids ever. I gotta say – what the heck is that doing at Magic Kingdom? It was a bunch of animatronic bears singing about “teardrops being the chaser to your wine”, “pools of blood on the ground”, “every guy who turns me on turns me down” and other comments that I don’t really think are the most suitable for a kid geared show. We only stayed because Makenzie napped through the thing…twice. I digress.

Plenty of other things made up for it – Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Monsters Inc Laugh Floor (hilarious! and kid friendly!), Peter Pan’s Magic Flight, the Jungle Cruise, Flying Carpets of Aladdin, and the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

P1250244 P1250243

We finally came to the end of the day and headed on our way to dinner. I thought to call first thing in the morning and managed to nab a reservation for one of the more reasonably priced sit-down sites in the park – The Plaza Restaurant. It was just sandwiches and desserts basically, but it was good.

I got a turkey on whole wheat with broccoli slaw and we shared a brownie sundae that was to die for.


We ended dinner with perfect timing to catch the Electrical Light Parade and then leave the park. It was quite the day filled with the stuff memories are made of. I can’t wait to go back!


Have you ever been to Disney World or Disney Land?


1 Lauren June 19, 2012 at 6:50 am

How sweet! Makenzie looks so so happy. :) So glad you guys had a wonderful time.

2 Lisa @ RunWiki June 19, 2012 at 7:03 am

It looks like it was truly a magical day. Disney is the best at making memories. You have beautiful family!

3 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) June 19, 2012 at 7:05 am

I would have teared up too seeing her excitement sitting on Belle’s lap! So sweet. It’s kind of amazing seeing such excitement from my kids. I love doing things that will create memories forever! I have been to Disney a few times in my lifetime. My boys never had much interest, but now they want to go do the other stuff there (the rides not deal with the characters). I’m so glad you had a great trip Tina!

4 Emilia June 19, 2012 at 7:05 am

Absolutely adorable, it looks like Makenzie had a wonderful time. The photo with Belle is so sweet. How special to be able to share a trip like that! I went to disney world when I was a kid, but all I remember is that the castle was pink for some anniversary celebration.

5 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey June 19, 2012 at 7:15 am

I love the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor! It is seriously so funny. I crack up every single time. I love Disney World and I can’t wait to take kids there some day. There’s just something magical about that place – I love it!!

6 Julia June 19, 2012 at 7:16 am

Wow, what an amazing and fun-filled day for all of you!

I went to Disneyland Paris with my sister 5 years ago. Although we were 17 and 22 at that time, we felt like kids again and had an amazing time. It was during Halloween, so the decorations were sooo cool!
I am actually planning on going again this year, as DL Paris celebrates its 20th anniversary!

7 Kate June 19, 2012 at 7:17 am

So glad you had an amazing time at Disney. I remember my parents taking me when I was 6 years old and Dumbo was my favourite ride! I went back again with my other half when I was 25 and I still loved it! Disney do a great job of entertaining everyone – not so sure about the lyrics for the bear jamboree though!

8 Megan June 19, 2012 at 7:22 am

Oh man, reading that made me tear up! Disney world is such a magical place and it’s so clean and all the employees are so friendly and helpful! I can’t wait to take my daughter there someday! I’ve been there 6 times and have been itching to get back, but I suppose I’ll have to wait until miss Molly is a little bit older. So happy for you!

9 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries June 19, 2012 at 7:40 am

makenzie is just too cute! that photo of her with belle holding her hands is so adorable. i’m glad you guys got to go! i’ve never been to disneyworld, but i have been to disneyland. i’d love to get to disneyworld someday though!

10 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats June 19, 2012 at 7:47 am

We went to Disney world when I was about 5, and Disney land a couple times after that but it’s mostly vague memories. I got to go back to Disney world when I was in college for my sorority’s national convention, and that was pretty much awesome. Not as magical, but I hadn’t been to an amusement park in years so the rides were great and seeing everything brought back more memories. I do know, though, that after riding the Peter pan ride my fist time there, I had dreams for years that I could fly. Haha great souvenir.

11 Athena @ Fitness & Feta June 19, 2012 at 7:53 am

This is such an adorable post! What a wonderful trip. Also, totally agree about those country bears. They are so awkward!

12 Heather June 19, 2012 at 7:56 am

aw so glad she had such a good time. Belle is my favorite, too! What a fun day!
To answer your questions…have I ever been…hehe. :)

13 Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life June 19, 2012 at 7:57 am

Awww! Makenzie looks so, so sweet in all of those pictures! I’m so glad to hear you guys are having a great time while you’re away. I went to Disney World for the first time in 8th grade and I feel like I probably looked just like Makenzie did. ;)

14 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table June 19, 2012 at 8:05 am

So cute! We used to go to Disney all the time growing up. Those are still some of my favorite memories… and I still like to go! :)

15 Alex @ therunwithin June 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

She is precious, I am so glad she gets to experience this with you!

16 Khushboo June 19, 2012 at 8:26 am

Ahh this post makes my heart melt! So glad that your princess was able to see her favorite princess :) !

17 Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona June 19, 2012 at 8:46 am

I remember going to Disneyland when I was in kindergarten or grade one. I had a blast!

It sure looks like your little one enjoyed herself too.

18 Katy June 19, 2012 at 8:49 am

She is precious! I haven’t been to Disney in a few years but actually get to go in a few days! I’m so excited I LOVE it there!

19 Caitlin June 19, 2012 at 8:55 am

What a heart-warming post! So wonderful to read about her experience. I always have said that I hate theme parks and that I won’t deal with taking my kids to them but if I had a child in love with Disney, especially a little girl with a princess as her hero as I had in my childhood, then I have to say watching her reactions to the day would be worth any money, crowd, lines, dirty bathrooms, etc that I may encounter. Her face in these photos is just so cute and happy and I’m so glad that you had a great time!

20 Julie June 19, 2012 at 8:58 am

She is the cutest thing ever! I love this post. Thanks for sharing!

21 Allison @ Running Through Red Lights June 19, 2012 at 9:09 am

Makenzie is so sweet! Glad you had a wonderful vacation! I remember my parents taking us to Disney World for the first time–it was so much fun! We’ve been back as a family 3 times, and each time was just as fun as the last, even as a junior in high school. :) Hopefully these are memories she will cherish forever!

22 Glenneth June 19, 2012 at 9:20 am

Aww…I love seeing the pictures! What fun family time!

I am a huge Disney fan. I was actually at the opening of Disney World when I was a toddler. I then got married there 15 years ago. Disney is a magical kingdom!

23 Kelly June 19, 2012 at 9:33 am

Awesome! I have never been to Walt Disney World but I hear it is amazing. I hope to one day be able to take my child there. I think it would be amazing. When we were kids my parents took us to Disney Land and Universal Studios in California….which was pretty cool in its own right.

24 sarah k @ the pajama chef June 19, 2012 at 10:06 am

awww, fun! i love disney :)

25 Sharla June 19, 2012 at 10:12 am

Those smiles are totally worth losing your life savings!!

26 Heather (Heather's Dish) June 19, 2012 at 10:12 am

i’m tooooooootally crying right now…makenzie is SO CUTE and i just can imagine how excited your sweet little girl was! i can’t wait to take Wes to disney :)

27 Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) June 19, 2012 at 10:31 am

This whole post just warms my heart! It also makes me excited for the day I get to do this with Hailey. So glad it was such a wonderful time :)

28 Kerry @ Half Healthy, Half Nuts June 19, 2012 at 10:33 am

Aww I loved this post! I got a little misty eyed as well when I saw the pictures of Makenzie and Belle! I’m from Orlando and we go to Disney all the time, so I kind of take it all for granted. It’s so great to see the pure excitement and joy for the first timers! Awww!

29 jobo June 19, 2012 at 10:39 am

Oh my Gosh, what a cutie pie!! I was practically misty eyed seeing how happy she was!! totally worth the ‘robbed blind’ feeling, I am sure!! I remember loving the dumbo ride too hehe! and those bear things are downright CREEPY!

30 Jess June 19, 2012 at 10:46 am

Oh man, the look on her face is utterly priceless. She is SO CUTE!! I am so glad you had the chance to show her something so magical, what a perfect age to get her into Disney! I love it.

31 Heather June 19, 2012 at 11:21 am

What a cutie. Seeing your kid so happy is the best feeling in the whole world!!
I’ve been to Disney World, and it looks like I’ll be taking Colin in January – we both can’t wait for Harry Potter World! :)

32 Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food June 19, 2012 at 11:42 am

So cute! Looks like she had the best time! I’ve never been to Disneyworld, but if I become a mom someday, I would definitely plan on taking my kids there!

33 Lisa June 19, 2012 at 11:42 am

This is the cutest! It’s so funny, because my sister would ONLY ride the dumbo ride when we went to disneyland the first time, she was so afraid of everything else, including its a small world. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but for her it is ;) I think we rode Dumbo at least 200 times. This whole post made my heart happy, so glad you all had a fab time!! When we went to Disneyland we also met Robin Williams so that was a nice treat hah.

34 Megan June 19, 2012 at 11:53 am

I love this post on so many levels! The teacups hold a special place in my heart as well – my dad would spin us so fast we could barely hold our heads up! I love the smile on her face – and the fact that you had a smile on your face even more! :)

35 Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run June 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Momma, I cried SEVERAL times at Disney World with the girls. lol We watched the fireworks…I cried. We saw princesses, I cried. lol (Of course I didn’t SOB, but you know what I mean.) I LOVE M’s face meeting Belle!!!! She’s so stinkin’ adorable…and looks like such a little sweetheart. <3

36 Leah June 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I love how she’s sitting with her legs crossed on Belle’s lap. Such a little lady! She looks so excited!!

37 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile June 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I love this post! So, so adorable. It was probably the best day ever for her :D

38 [email protected] June 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Aww ..the first visit is the best. I completely went verklempt when my girlies first saw met the princesses. They COMPLETELY believed they were the real, actual princesses!

We are headed there again next week!!! So excited. This time it’s my little guy’s first time. Looking forward to making more memories :)

39 Lauren (@poweredbypb) June 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I love DisneyWorld! My parents took me when I was 11 and 14, and we had the best holidays ever, so much fun! I would happily go now at the age of 24, and I am sure I would enjoy it every bit as much!

40 Charlotte June 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm

SQUEEEE!!! I still remember my first trip to disney when I was a kid. A memory of a lifetime!!! btw, she is SO STINKIN ADORABLE


41 Julia H. @ Going Gulia June 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm

I’m convinced that Disney World will always be fun for everyone on this planet, no matter what age. I went every year in high school with my marching band because we got to march/play in the parades (including the Electric Light Parade!!)…seriously the best trips ever. I’m a senior in college now, and my best friend & I are planning on going back to celebrate after we graduate!

42 PavementRunner June 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Fantastic! Her face lit up so much that they probaly asked her to be in the electric light parade. Congrats on the wonderful experience/memories.

43 Leonor @FoodFaithFitness June 19, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Precious! She looks so delighted!

44 Stephany June 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm

This is so cute! Makenzie looks so happy & joyful. :)

We took my nephew to Disney World (he’s 3) for the first time in January and oh my goodness, even as an aunt, it was special to watch his utter joy & glee at being there & seeing all his favorite characters. He was most excited to see Buzz Lightyear and ah, just adorable!

So glad you guys had a fun time. Disney is such a fun – if exhausting! – place to visit. I live about an hour and a half from Orlando so visited a lot as a kid. :)

45 Divya @ Eat.Teach.Blog. June 19, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Your daughter is ADORABLE!
I’m fortunate to live only 20 minutes away from Disneyland. But I can honestly say that, despite being there numerous time, it doesn’t lose its magic! =)

46 Cait @ Beyond Bananas June 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm

How fun! I am sure she will remember it!

I went to Disney for the first time when I was in 3rd grade with my parents! I went again in middle school and then in HS with my soccer team (which was SO much fun!).

I really want to go again though! Trying to convince my fiance that it would make a good trip next summer! :)

47 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More June 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm

That is super adorable and I can only imagine how happy you all were that day. Sounds like the perfect day! :)

48 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) June 19, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Aww, this makes me happy! I didn’t visit Disneyworld until I was 7, I can only imagine what it’s like going as a real youngster. And just think of the fun you guys’ll have when Braedon gets a little bit older!

49 Heather June 20, 2012 at 1:18 am

soooo adorable! i got a huge smile on my face just reading this! i’m so happy you had a great time.

my whole extended family always used to vacation in long boat key, which is a few hours away from disney. one time, my dad took me out there and we stayed overnight and spent the next day at disney – definitely unforgettable!

50 Jen June 20, 2012 at 1:32 am

WOW – that is one happy-looking (and, as always, adorable) little girl!!! She is so lucky to have such amazing parents & I have no doubt that these memories will last a lifetime!

Oh, and the Country Bear Jamboree…hahahaha! I cannot even remember if we attended that particular show when I went as a kid (although I do have many fond memories of the trip), but your description made me LOL! :)

51 STUFT Mama June 20, 2012 at 3:17 am

I can’t stop smiling. Those picture Tina- so precious. I can’t wait to take the boys to places like this. I’m so glad it was such an amazing family trip. I just love her (and your whola darn family). :)

52 Miz June 20, 2012 at 5:45 am

I havent with my daughter.
this post made ME TEARY too.


53 Lee June 20, 2012 at 8:05 am

I’ve been do Disney World twice, once when I was 7 and once when I was 13.

Tell Mackenzie that Belle is my favorite princess too!

54 Sara @ The Foodie Diaries June 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Oh I’m so happy to hear that Makenzie was able to have her first Disney experience! My aunt is an auditor for Disney so she can get four people in for free at any time during the year, and around the Christmas time she gets extra passes and we all have a family Disney day! There’s 17 of us who all spend the day at Disney together. I always have a great time, but I have an even BETTER time watching my younger cousins (who are a 4, 5, 7, and 8) have an absolute BALL. It truly is watching their dreams come true!!

If you ever get the chance, go during the Christmas time! The atmosphere is UN. BE. LIEV. ABLE. And the entire castle is covered with tiny lights and it lights up when it’s dark outside. Completely amazing :)

55 Ali @ Around the VeggieTable June 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

This is so sweet :) You can really see the sheer joy on her face in all of these pics!

56 Amanda June 25, 2012 at 9:18 am

I had to laugh during your post and can so relate, I got so choked up watching my 2 1/2 year old daughter meet her hero, Tinkerbell. The look of an awe on her face was priceless. She was awestruck and asked, “Can I see your fingernails?” We had just painted my daughter’s fingernails as a boredom buster one afternoon and she wanted to compare colors with Tinkerbell. Fortunately, Tink was more than willing to oblige. I got so choked up, too, which caught me off guard! What is about that place that brings on the tears?

Same thing with Winne the Pooh where the first thing she said to Winnie was “I like honey, too!” Like, “We have so much in common!” Just pure love.

57 tinareale June 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm

So precious! It really is so touching even though so commercialized too. Obviously Disney knows what they’re doing. Sucking kids and parents in…but making it mean something as well. :)

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