My love for Disney began when I was a few months old. Obviously, I don't remember listening to Disney music as I was playing in my playroom that young, but that was the start of the impact Disney would have on my life. Having been to Disney multiple times, both as a little kid and as I've gotten older, I have the ability to compare and contrast my experiences there as young as 4 years old, and as old as 18. Honestly, I have always LOVED a trip to visit the Mouse himself, but there are different parts of each trip that I have enjoyed differently as I've gotten older. I'm going to break down Disney by age and the best parts of each trip.
First Trip: Age 4
I remember my first time walking down Main Street USA vividly. My first time seeing Cinderella's Castle, Mickey Mouse and all his friends, and other kids all around me that were just as excited as I was. Within the first few moments of being in the park, one part that I remember was seeing a villain across the way. My 4-year-old self got scared, so I looked at the castle and asked to go see the princesses, and we went there right away. I was so amazed to meet my favorite princess, Ariel, for the first time. It doesn't look like it in all the pictures because I was a shy kid and didn't want to look at the camera, but I promise you, I was overjoyed to be meeting her and the others.
Second Trip: Age 7
My second time there, we road tripped all the way from Chicago to Orlando! We went over winter break, and Disney felt even more magical at Christmas time. One day when we were at Magic Kingdom, we had lunch in the Castle with the princesses! They came around to each table and seven-year-old me just loved every minute of it. When we got to wave our wands in the air and say what we wished for, of course, my wish was for a puppy.
Third Trip: Age 9
Ah, the prime age of "High School Musical"—still one of my favorite movies! One of the moments I remember from this trip was watching the "cast" of "High School Musical" in the streets of Hollywood Studios. I also remember the night we ate at Chef Mickey's with Mickey and his crew! It even more fun because my grandparents and cousins were there too!
Fourth Trip: Age 15
Sophomore year winter break was six full days of all things Disney! There was a large gap between this trip and the last one, so it was awesome to go back and see a lot of changes that they had made in six years. Since I was older on this trip, we were able to get around faster, stay up later, and get on more rides since the FastPass program was now on the app and we all had phones with the app. We spent New Year's Eve at Epcot and watched the fireworks at midnight to ring in the new year.
Fifth Trip: Age 16
Hands down my favorite trip to Disney. Ever. Why? I was with all of my best friends. My high school marching band went to Disney World over spring break my junior year and we had the best time ever. The 18-hour bus ride with my friends and all day movies was fun, but the sleeping on the floor of a bus was an experience. We went to Hollywood Studios the first day, performed and had fun at Epcot the second, left the U.S. and went on a Bahamas Cruise for a week, then came back and had an amazing last day at Magic Kingdom. It was a once in the lifetime trip that I will never forget.
Sixth Trip: Age 18
This past summer, our family vacation was to none other than, the City of Stars, Los Angeles, California! Our last two days in the California sun were spent at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland! This was my first time to Disneyland, but it was set up just like Magic Kingdom in Florida, so it was pretty easy to navigate. Even going to Disney as an "adult" was just as magical as when I was four. It was a new experience filled with new rides that are not in Disney World in Orlando, as well as classic rides that are at both parks.
I guess it's safe to say my love of Disney will never go away. Each time that I have been has been a different experience, but never short of magical. The parks are always changing, improving, and adding on, so there is something new to try every time. As I've gotten older, I've gotten to go on more rides, try more "authentic" food you can only find at the Disney Parks, and stay at the parks much longer, so the magic lasts a full day and never stops.