Growing up Poor and Disney

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Growing up, my mother gave us everything she could, but she wasn’t rich. We were definitely poor although she did her best to not let us know.

March break to me meant reading, playing video games, and maybe going to the movies. Summer vacation was much the same but with biking, yard sales, and maybe a trip to Ottawa. The trip to Ottawa was an 8 hour drive and us staying with family.

I remember the first time someone I know went to Disney. I was in first or second grade and everyone thought it was awesome. As I grew older I noticed that only the richer families took their kids to Disney. Then I started seeing Disney World on television. The characters in Full House, Roseanne, Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and many more. It re-enforced to me that only the wealthy went to Disney.

Don’t get me wrong. There are ways to do Disney on a budget but for a kid of a poor single mom in Northern Ontario, it seemed impossible. I went for the first time with my in-laws when I was 28.

My first time at Disney meeting Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too.

In the decade since, we’ve gone to Disney World 3 more times and Paris Disney.

Even during my most recent trip I still got the excitement of being able to do something that young me would never believe I could do. There’s a thrill to getting to experience everything.

Walking around Disney and doing all the activities, eating the food, and meeting the characters is amazing and cheesy. Everything is shiny and cool (except the dinosaur section in Animal Kingdom… yikes) and it all feels like an accomplishment. There’s this feeling of having somehow snuck into an exclusive club where I’m not supposed to be.

Going with my in-laws was great, but getting to bring my children was amazing. It’s ridiculous and silly but being able to give them an experience that I couldn’t have makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

However, and this is a topic for a future post, bringing my children to Disney wasn’t about them, it was about and for me. The experience of going to Disney at 7 months isn’t something either kid will remember, and I’m fairly certain that my 3 year old’s memories will fade too.

There are experiences that as a kid I romanticized as “rich people” things. Some were disappointing (looking at you caviar and taking a plane) but Disney wasn’t. Maybe because I built up the vague notion but didn’t really know any details, maybe it was the excitement and childlike wonder on my wife, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law’s faces.

Whatever the reason, it was magical to be able to go to Disney after growing up thinking I couldn’t.

Later Days,

Éric

Dear Pegasus and Dragon – Disney 2020

Hello My Mythical Brood,

We recently came back from a two week vacation in Florida. We rented a house, with Grannie and Granddad, and visited Disney World, A LOT.

Pegasus, you started teething not long before and kept us up at night. (Mum and I mostly.) You fell asleep on rides and mostly seemed confused as to why we were standing around and not letting you crawl. When you weren’t annoyed you spent the time smiling at people and making their hearts melt. You have a way of looking at people, with your big blue eyes, like you’re judging them and then releasing a massive smile. It makes anyone caught by it ridiculously happy.

Dragon, you will probably not remember this trip. At 3 you’re still very young, but if you do I hope you remember the joy and excitement you felt on the rides. The first time you took a rollercoaster, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the fireworks started as we were climbing. It was beautiful. I’ll always remember how you would get super excited to meet a character and then completely freeze, and the smile you would have every time you saw something exciting.

The two of you had your ups and downs (Same with us). Some days were harder then others but you did great being dragged around the parks and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

I also hope you remember the quieter times at the house talking and playing with Grannie and Granddad. Without them, this trip would have been impossible. They are truly remarkable helping with you and everything else required in a big trip. We don’t always agree on everything, but I wouldn’t have wanted to take this or any Disney trip without them.

In the end, Pegasus and I got a cold but years from now I hope we’ll remember the good things.

I had a wonderful time with you, Mum, Grannie, and Granddad.

I love you both very much,

Papa

Disney World 2020

Disney World packages will be available to book as of June 18, 2019! This is for bookings from January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020.

Image from yourfirstvisit.net. Please go check out the link. It’s a pretty great assessment of the parks for the next few years.

Have an urge to go to Disney World for Christmas 2020? Book early and save with early booking bonuses.

We’re hoping to go at the end of January 2020, when the crowds are quieter. We’ll have to wait and see what the deals are for Canadians – we’re hoping for free meal plan again. 😀

You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

D23 Disney Parks Announcements

A lot of news coming from Disney Parks in the past few months.

Here’s a quick bullet list of the cool things coming:

  • Rock’n Roller Coaster will be re-imagined as an Avengers themed ride.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Epcot will be one of the largest enclosed roller coasters in the world.
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, along with a new Beauty and the Beast sing along, will be added to the France Pavilion in Epcot.

  • An updated version of O Canada! The 360-degree show, will be debuting in the Canadian Pavilion in Epcot
  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios will feature the Millennium Falcon and life sized X-wing fighters.
  • John Williams will compose new music for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios.

  • Disney’s California Adventures will get two new Pixar rides: the Incredicoaster and an unnamed Inside Out ride.
  • The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios will be remade into Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway which will feature a new Mickey and Minnie story.
  • A new resort is being built at Disney World called A Disney Lakeside Lodge and will be a deluxe nature themed resort.
  • Inspired by the European grandeur Walt Disney experienced in his travels along the Mediterranean coastline, Disney’s Riviera Resort is projected to open in fall 2019. This proposed resort will be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property. (Disney)
  • The new Skyliner in Disney World will start operations in Fall 2019.

References

Destination D 2018 reveals details on new experiences coming to Disney Parks: https://attractionsmagazine.com/destination-d-2018-parks-details/

Breaking News About Disney Parks and Resorts from D23 Expo Japan 2018: https://d23.com/breaking-news-about-disney-parks-and-resorts-from-d23-expo-japan-2018/

John Williams to Compose New ‘Star Wars’ Music for Disney Parks Attractions: https://variety.com/2018/biz/news/star-wars-land-disneyland-john-williams-new-attractions-1203031846/


Are you interested in travelling to a Disney Park? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

New Disney Updates

I am a big Disney fan. Anyone who knows me can tell you that. So when I heard that the two North American Disney parks were adding Pixar content, I got incredibly (get it?) excited.

Disney World (Florida)

Toy Story Land, in the Hollywood Studios park (possibly soon to be renamed again), is opening on June 30, 2018 in Florida. There will be a roller coaster (Slinky dog), swirling saucers (Aliens), an expanded Toy Story Mania, and Woody’s lunch box fill this new space. I’m sure there will be more coming, as well. There’s lots of room for expansion.

Disneyland (California)

Image from www.travelweekly.com

June 23, 2018, Pixar Pier in the California Adventures park will be officially open! If you don’t want to wait that long, however, there will be a preview of the Pier during Pixar Fest starting April 13. Rides you will find include a roller coaster (Incredibles), Toy Story Mania and neighbourhood, “something” from Inside Out, and a complete re-theme of the pier with images and characters.

You can read more about the changes in Florida here, and California here, here, and here.


Are you interested in travelling to Disney? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca