A Disney Dream Day

by Natalie Holsten
AllEars® Guest Columnist

Feature Article

This article appeared in the August 16, 2016 Issue #882 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)

Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.

Natalie Holsten FamilyThe other night I had a very disturbing dream about Walt Disney World. In my dream, my family and I were debating whether we would go to a park. After what seemed like hours of deliberation, we decided on Magic Kingdom, but we arrived long after rope-drop (a big no-no in my book). We had booked no Fastpasses, so we went straight to a kiosk, where a cast member took forever to help us book some late afternoon Fastpasses for a parade. A Fastpass for a parade? This wasn't a dream — it was a nightmare!

So after we got our Fastpass, we couldn't decide what to ride. (Another no-no in my book — we always have a plan! There is no standing around dithering about what to do!) We decided to go on Peter Pan, and as we were standing in line, this nightmarish dream finally took a turn for the better. Part of the queue was a sumptuous buffet of the most delectable food imaginable. And it was free! And then, before we boarded the ride, I woke up.

I related this dream to my kids, and they laughed and declared me nuts, then shared their own Disney-themed dreams/nightmares. My older daughter once dreamed she was on Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and the lights were turned on, and another time she was on the Viking ride in Norway and totally creeped out by the trolls.

Most of my Disney-themed dreams are just plain weird. Or very, very frustrating. Trying to get on to a ride, only to find it's changed. Arriving right when the park is closing. Rushing to meet up with someone, and not being able to find them in the crowd. Obviously, my subconscious is dealing with something, but why does it choose Disney World, and usually the Magic Kingdom, as the location for the stressors in my life to work themselves out?

What if we could choose our dreams? Choose what our subconscious dwells on in our sleep? What if the setting were Magic Kingdom?

Here is my perfect dream. It is early October, and a beautiful warm but not hot morning in Florida. My family has arisen of their own accord, cheerful and excited about the day ahead. After a breakfast of Tonga Toast at the Polynesian (which I have never stayed at in real life, but only dreamed about), we — everyone in perfect, happy moods — take the boat to Magic Kingdom.

On this auspicious morning, there is hardly anyone at the gates. Unbeknownst to us, SeaWorld had a big giveaway to draw crowds, and most would-be Disney-goers have gone to see Shamu instead of Mickey. Bonus for us! We sail through security, as none of us have any bags to be checked (on this perfect day, at least in my dreams, there's no need for sunscreen, band-aids, ponchos, snacks, a camera, or the myriad other items I normally have stuffed in a small backpack).

We're at the head of rope-drop, and the cast members are friendly and chatty (this is usually true in real life, not just in my dreams) as we walk together toward the castle. The rope is dropped and we are free to go. There are no crowds, so no one is tempted to run (not that, ahem, I would EVER do that in real life). We leisurely make our way to Seven Dwarves Mine Train and have our choice of seats.

After the Mine Train, we make our way through Fantasyland, lingering to chat with Ariel, my younger daughter's favorite princess, and who is waiting to greet guests after Voyage of the Little Mermaid. We all go on Winnie the Pooh, even the 18-year-old, and we reminisce about riding it when he was 3.

There is a tiny queue for Peter Pan, but that is OK, because it gives us time to enjoy the interactive queue and to chat with a lovely family from England. They are so enamored by our southern accents that they invite us to stay at their home in Cornwall any time we make it to England.

We decide to skip riding "it's a small world," and that is just fine.

Big Thunder Mountain, one of my favorite rides, is next, and we ride and scream, and then go on Splash Mountain, and the only one to get doused is my younger son, who loves to get wet. The rest of us are miraculously dry.

After riding the Pirates of the Caribbean, and Jungle Cruise (with a hilarious guide), the smell of grilling hamburgers coming from Pecos Bill's reels us in. We get our food, and amazingly, there are tables galore to choose from!

After lunch we make our way to Tomorrowland, stopping to see the Enchanted Tiki Birds and climb the Swiss Family Tree House, then grab a Dole float. As we stroll along, we comment on how we can't believe how refreshed we feel. Our feet don't hurt at all, and no one is even slightly sweaty.

After touring Tomorrowland, we decide we want to ride the train all the way around the park (something I've always wanted to do, but have never done). On our train ride, we encounter a doe and her fawn, munching grass near the tracks (this happened to us once in real life, and I had to convince everyone that it was real and not animatronic).

After exploring a few of the shops on Main Street, we all get a Mickey Dars ice cream bar and sit on benches to people-watch. We see people from all over the globe, and everyone is happy. No kids are crying, babies are sleeping peacefully in their prams, and everyone from newlyweds to grandparents is smiling and cordial. Full of ice cream, we explore a few shops and each of us finds the perfect souvenir, which are all reasonably priced.

As the sun sets, we stroll along and admire the twinkling lights in trees. We walk right in to Be Our Guest and secure a table for eight. After a delightful meal, we find a prime spot for watching the fireworks. After the fireworks, we each choose one more ride to finish off this perfect day.

I choose to ride my favorite ride, Big Thunder, one more time. As our train climbs one of the hills, the view is amazing — the moon is rising behind the castle, and the sky is filled with stars. My husband leans over and whispers in my ear: "Time to wake up, my dear."

And so ends my dream, my perfect day at Magic Kingdom.

What about you? What would your perfect day at Disney entail?

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Disney Nostalgia

Also, read Natalie Holsten's previous feature in AllEars®:
What I Love About Disney World

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Natalie Holsten, a native of Savannah, Georgia, loves traveling, reading, and all things Disney. She and her husband and four kids live in Indonesia where they work with the non-profit organization Mission Aviation Fellowship.


Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.