Have you ever noticed how people that love Disney are just good people? I have! Some of our closest friends are the ones we meet through our love for Walt Disney and everything he has created.
When I first met Patti, my wife and best friend, we visited the Magic Kingdom for the first time in March of 2001 and we fell in love with it. Then a few days later we visited Epcot and our love for Walt Disney World was firmly in our hearts! We couldn’t wait to return.
We were married the following year in April, 2002 and we decided on a Disney honeymoon. We stayed at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort for four nights and then followed it up with a three night Disney Cruise on the Disney Wonder!
We’ve returned every year even though we didn’t have a lot of money, even trying to stay off site. Never again will we be so dumb.
In 2006, I was lucky enough to win a four night Walt Disney World stay after eating a salad at McDonalds. It included Air Transportation, Park Hopper Tickets and we could request any resort that we wanted. The only thing we had to pay for out of pocket was for food, souvenirs and Mickey Bars!
We stayed at the Polynesian in a Magic Kingdom view room. Ahhhhhh….. the memories of that trip are great! We could see Cinderella’s Castle from our room.
Now that you know our background….. here’s a little bit about how we’ve been meeting friends through Disney ever since.
After several trips and while trying to learn more about everything Disney, I stumbled upon a Disney fan site called Intercot. I joined right away and started to learn everything I could about Walt Disney World. I was obsessed with learning and asked many questions. I think it was in early 2008.
I joined in on a page in their forum called “Just Questions” that was run by an old geezer nicknamed Drummerboy. I can say that to him because he is a couple of months older than I am. During your post, you had to include a question.
It was there that I met some of my closest Disney friends. Everyone in the group was quick to pull your leg…. and laugh or cry with you for that matter. We became very close over time.
We started planning a “Disney Meet” and a lady on Intercot, who was also a Moderator wanted to switch all our planning to something new called Facebook. She set up a private group for us and we had to ask to belong to it. Our Facebook Group grew quickly and soon, all our planning was done there.
We decided on a pre Christmas date…… December of 2008…. and we were all excited to finally meet and share a real hug instead of the virtual hugs we had shared. We had an excellent turnout with about twenty to thirty people from all over the US.
It was also right about the time a couple of Disney lovers, Beth and Angel were starting a new website dedicated to helping people with special needs while on a Disney vacation. I was honored when they asked me to be a part of it. In fact, I was the second person to post on the new website called Mouse-aid!
Most of our group that planned to be at our “Disney Meet” also became members and Mouse-aid was born as a not for profit group dedicated to helping everyone planning and during a Disney vacation, especially those with special needs.
Our Facebook group is now extinct but most of our friendships remain strong to this day. During the past few years, we couldn’t go to Disney World without meeting up with several friends.
Here’s a couple of group pictures taken during our first “Disney Meet” in December, 2008.
This picture was taken after our group breakfast at the Crystal Place. Notice we even had the “Mayor of Main Street” with us!
During our “Icebreaker” meet on the first night at Scat Cats Jazz Club at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort.
This photo was taken after our first JQU Golf Tournament at Fantasia Garden’s miniature golf course. Jerry McCullough won the first Green Jacket!
Here’s a photo of Patti, Tigger and I with very dear friends, Marilyn and Tom Michetti from Arizona. Marilyn is a great hugger!
It is a special feeling when you are about to celebrate a special birthday with Mickey and a bunch of friends decide to join you and bring birthday cakes and arrange dinners in your honor.
Last October during Patti’s special birthday we arranged another “Land and Sea” trip for her and I. We were pleasantly surprised to have two other couples ask us if they could celebrate on the cruise portion with us. Party at Sea!
And if that wasn’t enough, we had about twenty or more friends show up at Walt Disney World to help celebrate.
One was dear friend, founder and head of Mouse-aid.org, Beth Blancher pictured below rocking the celebratory glasses we gave her while watching the Village People at Epcot.
Our friends gave Patti three different birthday parties, one being at Flying Fish on the Boardwalk. This was arranged by Mouse-aids own in house Chef. As Jym says….. “he knows a guy”!
Patti will never forget all the wonderful things our friends have done for her to make sure she had a great birthday and neither will I.
During that trip we were fortunate enough to meet some new Disney friends from our Facebook Group, “We’re Going to Disney World”, that is run by another travel agent from “Up and Up Travel”, Jen Gutierrez Grandmaison and myself. It was one of my clients Mia, her mom Christina and little Jesse. It’s fun meeting clients at Disney World!
Jen and I are extremely experienced travel agents and we will gladly book your hotel stay, park tickets, dining reservations and fast passes for you. We offer concierge service without ever charging any extra. You pay the same amount as you’d pay Disney……. Disney pays us!
If you are on Facebook, come on over and request to join our group. We’d love to have you.
We also met another couple from our group. Even though it was only about a half hour meeting in Epcot near France, a friendship had been forged and we are excited to say we will be seeing Sig and Lisa again next April. We’ve recently found out we’ve booked for the exact same dates for the Flower and Garden Festival. I bet we do a dinner together….. maybe even a Mama Melrose Fantasmic package! Maybe a night at Jelly Rolls for some dueling piano’s…… maybe both!
I am proud to say that I now have dear Disney friends from all over the world. Queue up the theme from “Small World” here. Ha ha… now you’ve got that song in your head for the rest of the day!
Let me know if you need some help planning your Disney vacation from someone that has already made mistakes and learned from them. I’d be glad to help. And let me know if you’d like to be Disney friends…… the more the merrier!
Everyone sing along…………………………………
It’s a small world after all……
it’s a small world after all……
it’s a small world after all……
it’s a small, small world!