Recently, I posted this story to my friends and colleagues on Facebook. I received such an overwhelming response of love and understand, I thought I would post it here too.
People often ask me why I am so "in love" with Walt Disney World. The truth is, I light up at the mere mention of traveling to Disney. As a child, I loved going to Walt Disney World on vacation and most of you know I did my college internship there too. But, here is a story you may not know.
When my son, Logan, was five years old, we took him to Walt Disney World for the first time. We were very apprehensive because he has severe Autism and each day is full of new struggles and challenges. We thought he may like it, but we couldn't be sure. At that time, Logan's speech was very limited. He could only use two-word commands to get what wanted like, "want cup" or "want toy."
On the first day, we took him to the Magic Kingdom with the plan to visit Animal Kingdom the next day. Logan loved the Magic Kingdom, but most of all he LOVED Country Bear Jamboree. In fact, we went to the Jamboree six times that day. On the next morning, we were preparing to go to Animal Kingdom. I went into the boys room to wake them up and I told Logan what we were doing that day. That is when the MAGIC happened. This little boy who had very limited communication and social skills looked me in the eyes and said, "I want to go see Country Bear Jamboree again, Mama." It was one of the happiest days of my life. The joy I felt in my heart and tears that entered my eyes will never been forgotten. Since then, we have made a point to take him every year and each time, he makes some type of social, behavioral, or communication stride.
Did I love Disney before I had Logan? Absolutely.
Was it already one of my favorite vacation spots? Of course.
So, why am I so "in love" with Disney? Because, for a brief moment Disney gave me my son and because of that, it will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart.
Until next time, have a magical day!