Once in a while all of the pixie dust lines up and you experience the most wonderful Disney day ever! That’s exactly what happened to Mark Krushinski (Liner name PhilHMagic) and family in today’s post dedicated to what we love about Walt Disney World.
Our family scheduled a trip to Walt Disney World in October and since we had only traveled during the summer in the past, we had never been to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We decided to purchase tickets for the party on our next to last day of our trip. Emma, our daughter, was super excited for the party and after doing much research decided that she wanted to dress up. The problem with this idea is that we were going to be getting to the Magic Kingdom around 10:00 am for a Crystal Palace breakfast reservation and not leaving the park until the end of the party – close to midnight. I told her that spending all day (including the hot afternoon) in costume would be miserable. What’s a dad to do? We compromised.
At the time, our family had been going to Walt Disney World almost annually for the past seven years and had a long running joke about families in matching shirts. We hated the idea for ourselves. So…the compromise was that we would get matching shirts as our “costume” and we would dress up as the families we always joked about. It was an inside joke at nobody’s expense. The other thing we did to our matching shirts, was have the following written on the back in Disney font: “The Krushinski Family doesn’t wear matching t-shirts.” We thought the irony was funny as well.
Our first stop upon entering the park was to get our picture taken in front of Cinderella Castle wearing our matching shirts. The PhotoPass photographer was great as he took both the front and back of the shirts in front of the castle. As soon as we were done, a Disney Cast Member named Fred came up to us and asked if we had time to answer a few questions. We always love “talking Disney” with Cast Members so we said yes. First he asked us general questions like where we were from, had we been to Walt Disney World before and what fast passes we had for the day. Then he asked the most important question, “Would you be interested in being the grand marshals of the parade today?” He said that he saw our shirts as we were walking up Main St USA and thought they were great. He was so happy that we stopped to get our pictures taken because he didn’t think he’d be able to catch up otherwise. We, of course, said that we’d be ecstatic to be grand marshals!
The parade started at 3:00. We had to meet at 2:30 near Splash Mountain where the parade starts. When we got there, we found out that we had a personal PhotoPass photographer with us for the entire parade. We rode in the special Grand Marshal car down the parade route and the photographer got some amazing pictures of us. Fred met us at the end of the parade route and led us to a roped off area for the Grand Marshals to watch the parade. During this time, many of the characters stopped over for hugs, high fives and even a conversation. The characters on floats made sure to wave to us prior to going backstage.
It was 3:40pm and we had been in the park about five hours and we thought we had the best Disney Day ever, but the fun wasn’t over. Just before the start of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, we went to the camera shop on Main St to pick up the complimentary photo that the Grand Marshals get. While we were there, a guest services Cast Member came up to me and asked if we had met talking Mickey. At the time, lines for talking Mickey were generally an hour and I didn’t want to wait that long so I never told Emma about him because I didn’t want to disappoint her that we might not get to see him. I told the Cast Member that she didn’t know about him and he asked her, “Do you want to meet my boss?” Emma looked at me and asked, “Who’s his boss and why would I want to meet him?” I said, “trust me, you’ll be happy to meet him.” Meagan, my wife, had been dealing with the camera shop cast member and didn’t know what was going on either so it was a nice surprise for her as well. The Cast Member led us through the back hallways of the camera shop and said, “wait here…you’re next.” When he opened the door, and Mickey said, “Hi…nice to meet you” Emma’s jaw dropped open in astonishment. I’ll never forget the look on her face when Mickey talked to her for the first time.
After leaving Mickey, we exited through a gift shop and the same gust services Cast Member met us and asked if we had met Tinkerbell yet (we hadn’t). He said, “follow me” and he led us to the front of the FastPass line and said, “You’re next.” We got to meet Tinkerbell with no wait. What a special treat!
The last surprise came during the Halloween Party. This was the first year that Disney created a Villains Dance Party so guests could hang out” with Disney Villains during the party. There were no special meet and greet with these characters, but you could get pictures with them on the dance floor. We stopped in to check it out and our Photopass photographer from the parade happened to be working the party. He started pulling villains off the dance floor to get them to take pictures with us.
We know that we were treated like royalty that day at Disney and not everyone will be able to get the same experience as us, but we appreciate everything that Disney did for us and all of the little magic that they provide every day to so many guests. I always say, “wedding day, birth of my daughter and grand marshal of the parade at Walt Disney World” as the three best days of my life. All of that because of a silly statement on the back of a t-shirt.
Such a fantastic day of lovely memories! Thank you for sharing them with us Magic Family!
If you haven’t had a chance to send in your memory and photos, please submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include you in this series.