Nine months into COVID, and our lives are still flipped upside down. There was a light at the end of the tunnel for our family hoping to plan a trip to Walt Disney World in summer 2021, but the uncertainty of where things will be at that point has halted our planning. With a two-year-old that doesn’t keep a mask on, it’s difficult to know if we'd be able to stay at the parks abiding by the current rules. I know there’s always the next year, but I fear our Disney clock is running out.
What do I mean by Disney clock? I mean the magical age for our kids to go. The age where they still believe in the characters. The age where it is absolute magic for them to walk through the parks. The age where they’re dancing along with the parade that’s going down Main Street, and to them, even the Streetmosphere performers are celebrities they want a picture with.
When my daughter was two, we could barely keep her from running ahead of the line to get a hug from Mickey because she was so excited to see him. In so many of our Disney family trip memories, I can picture our kids’ faces: wide-eyed and pure joy in the amazement of the magic.
Yes, I think there are different benefits of every age at Disney, but I’m not ready to give up the on age where it is pure magic and believing. My oldest is six years old, and I wanted one last trip where she truly believes that she’s meeting Cinderella. However, a trip right now wouldn’t be that pure magic trip that I was hoping for anyway. She can’t run up and hug the characters, and there is so much on pause. Don't get me wrong - I still think it would be a great trip with so many benefits, but it’s not the last trip I had imagined for when she still believes.
I know there are much more important things going on in the world right now, and the fact that our family is healthy, we have still jobs, and my kids are in school is enough to make us much more blessed than so many, but I’m still sad that our Disney clock is ticking away.
When the time is right for us, we’ll take another trip to Disney World. We’ll be glad to be rid of the diaper bags and to be able to go on more rides with height restrictions. The kids will be more likely to remember moments from the trip that we can reminisce about when they’re older. It’ll be easier to travel with kids who are less dependent. But I’m crossing my fingers that it’s not too late for that wide-eyed, huge smile face that still believes she just met her favorite princess.