When I was a kid, my parents didn’t really “do up” the Santa thing. Of course he came to my house and left presents, but I never had my picture taken with him or had any deep conversations about him.
That all changed the Christmas I was 8 years old. My mom and I were riding down the road when I looked up and saw, “Breakfast With Santa” on the marquee at Dairy Queen. I immediately told my mom I wanted to go.
My mom was flustered and taken aback for several reasons. For one, we never ate at Dairy Queen, for two, this particular Dairy Queen wasn’t even near our house, and for three, I’d never in all my 8 years been so adamant about seeing the jolly old elf up close and personal.
After some deliberation on her part, she finally agreed. I was so excited I could hardly stand it.
The morning of the breakfast came and we stood in line to order our food. We sat down at a table and waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally, dear old Santa came to our table. He spent less than a minute with me before moving on to the next group. As he left, I burst into tears. My visions of Santa and I getting to know one another over scrambled eggs and sausage biscuits were shattered.
That breakfast is not only one of the most disappointing memories of my life, it is one of my most vivid.
You see, in my literal 8 year old mind, I actually thought Santa would be eating breakfast with me. It didn’t occur to me that Santa had a tight schedule. I never factored in the dozens of other kids who wanted to meet him, too.
It’s something that my mom and I laugh about to this day. Though my mom always adds that she was reluctant to take me for that very reason. My enthusiasm wore her down in the end.
So why exactly am I telling you this heartfelt Christmas story in April? It’s simple, really. We are heading to my MOST favorite place on the planet this summer. That magical place where dreams come true.
The other night, as I sat on the phone making dining reservations for breakfast with the princesses, lunch with Disney Jr. characters, dinner with Winnie the Pooh and the gang, I chuckled at my breakfast with Santa memory.
When I told my 3 year old about the fun places we get to eat, I made sure to clarify that we weren’t actually eating with any of the characters. That they would stop by to say hello, to take a picture, maybe give us their autograph.
I have no way of knowing what’s going on in Lucas’s little head, but I would hate for him to experience that same kind of let down I did with Santa Claus.
Though the characters don’t actually sit down and eat, they are very friendly and take their time with each table. They don’t rush on to the next one (like Santa did). I’ve enjoyed many years of dining with the characters, now, and I can’t wait for my own kids to experience it.
I am beyond excited to take my children to the happiest place on Earth. I can’t wait for Lucas to meet his favorite characters- Mickey, Buzz, Woody, Belle (yes, Belle)! I can’t wait to see if he’ll be brave when he meets them or if he’ll be scared. I can’t wait to see how Caroline reacts. I’m thrilled to watch the Disney magic unfold for my family.
Most of all, I’m excited to see my favorite Disney places through the eyes of my children.
Do you have a funny, yet traumatic memory from childhood?
And perhaps more importantly, do you have any suggestions or tips for Disney World with two littles?
Life happens when we believe in magic!
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