On our first trip to Walt Disney World I almost killed the entire family. I know this is not the best opening line for a blog whose intent is to encourage you to visit WDW but the truth is the truth. You see, I went commando. I was convinced that our first trip to WDW in 2001 was probably also going to be our last, that we would never get to visit there again. We were there for five days and we were going to do it all in five days. Oh, how foolish we can be. I don’t know that there was a day that did not include someone in tears because of the pace we were keeping. Remember at this time Allison was nine and Matt would not be five for a few weeks. There were magical moments for sure, we did eventually go back, but I learned that it is more important to enjoy what you do than trying to do everything. One of my fondest memories of our first trip is at the food court in the All-Star Music Resort.
We had been hitting the parks hard all day and it started to rain. We bought a large pizza and settled in to watch Disney movies on the TV in the food court. We laughed; we enjoyed our pizza and enjoyed each other. When we got back to our room we watched the local news and saw how many local streets were flooded where it had rained so hard.
The next day the world was fresh. I gave the kids a choice between visiting Disney-MGM Studios and going back to the Magic Kingdom. They chose the Magic Kingdom, a choice that boggles their minds today as now trip would be complete now without Hollywood Studios, the Tower of Terror and the Rock ’N’ Roller Coaster but they were young at the time. Since it was our last day we drove to the Magic Kingdom and parked in AAA priority parking and had a glorious last day at WDW.
Our next visit was 2004 and it was an extended affair, 8 days at WDW to be exact with stops in London, KY, Atlanta, GA, Clearwater, FL, Tampa, FL and St. Petersburg, FL along the way, in total, a two week trip. Everyone slept as I drove from Clearwater to WDW and I had about 90 minutes to think about this trip and how it would be so much better than the first one. We checked into Pop Century and hopped a bus to the Magic Kingdom. Proceeding to the train station at the end of Main Street, USA, I huddled everyone together and shared the theme of this trip and every Disney trip thereafter, NBD.
Everyone looked at me like I was an alien (the kids grew up thinking I actually was an alien and that I used to watch the “Price is Right” with Elvis and Bigfoot… it’s a long story) and asked, “What does NBD mean?” Folks, I told them what I am about to tell you. The grand secret to enjoying WDW and the secret that has made my life in general much easier. When life gets out of control, I can always return to the touchstone, NBD. No Big Deal, whatever you want to do, it’s NBD. Whatever you don’t want to do, it’s NBD. Wow was our trip better. To this day, I say it was our best trip, no dining plan, no cruise, and no hassles, just NBD. The kids argue that our first trips with the Thompson’s might be the best, our trip this year with Austin Muncy might be the best, our two trips with Tonya Hayes might be the best but there was something special about realizing that WDW is to be enjoyed not conquered. My kids made me an NBD keychain, I used it until I almost wore it out and then they made me another one, no big deal.
What can you enjoy today?
Samuel E. Wright was born in 1948. Mr. Wright is one of those people that you might never recognize until he speaks. He is the voice of Sebastian the crab in The Little Mermaid, in the movies and on television as well as the original lead actor for Mufasa in The Lion King on Broadway. Another, more obscure, connection is his work as the voice of Kron in Dinosaur. I actually got a free copy of Dinosaur from Disney Movie Rewards and I like it so hit the Animal Kingdom and rush over to the Dinoland area and ride Dinosaur. You won’t regret it.
Actress Ming-Na, the voice of Mulan, was born in 1963 on Coloane Island, Macau, China. She also supplied the voice for Dr. Hirano in a 2008 episode of
Phineas and Ferb. You can celebrate both at EPCOT. Meet Mulan at the Chinese Pavilion and help Agent P in his adventures around the World Showcase.
Today is National Absurdity Day. Just look at this picture. That should be all the motivation you need.
If you're at Whispering Canyon, be sure to ask for Ketchup.
Here’s a bonus for you. How about an excuse to take a Disney Cruise? On this date in 1929, Salvador Dali had his first one-man show. Dali was a surrealist artist and his viewed much of that surreal sensibility in Walt Disney. They worked on a short together called, Destino. We had a chance to see Destino after it had been recovered, restored and prepped for release in a sneak preview of sorts on the Disney Cruise we took in 2008. You get all sorts of unique experiences on a Disney Cruise. Also, I mentioned Clearwater, Florida earlier. Over in that area of Florida there is a Salvador Dali museum. Check it out.
Remember your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.