Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Disney Magic at Work Again

Every trip to Walt Disney World there are little moments that just stand out for me.  My last post, Mickey's Premium Ice Cream Bar ~ The Perfect Cure for a Skinned Knee or Two, was just one of those moments.  I remember taking that picture of Emily and that exact moment.  Today I am going to share a moment that always gets me a little teary-eyed but in a very happy way. 

In 2008, we decided to take all the kids to Walt Disney World.  Joey had already been as a toddler, but it was the first trip for both the girls.  Joey was just three and a half at the time and didn't talk.  He had always been a quiet baby and as new parents, we chalked that up to him just being good natured.  He rarely cried, smiled a lot and was just a lovable little guy.  Well, at his three year check up, our pediatrician was concerned.  Joey was still not really talking and basically using hand gestures to communicate what he wanted to us.  Looking back now, we should have been more concerned about it sooner, but we'll add that to our list of lessons learned as new parents.  Our pediatrician referred Joey to the Early Intervention Program, which qualified him to work with a speech and language specialist and then enter the preschool program at our local elementary school.  He had been in the preschool program just 4 weeks when we made our way to Walt Disney World.



This is Joey showing Minnie his Lightning McQueen shirt
During our character breakfast at Cape May Cafe, over at Disney's Beach Club, all the kids were loving the characters.  I always dress them in clothes that have characters on them we could potentially meet during the day.  It always gives us great character interactions.  Hayley and Emily both happened to be wearing Minnie Mouse shirts, and Joey was wearing a Lightning McQueen shirt.  As each character came to the table, Joey would slap them five, give hugs and sometimes both.  But as Minnie Mouse happened to arrive at our table, I said to Hayley, why don't you show Minnie your shirt?  Before Hayley could even react to what I said, Joey popped up out of his seat, went right up to Minnie and said, "Minnie look at my shirt!"  I immediately teared up, because he didn't even talk like that to people he saw everyday.  It was as if in that moment something clicked with him.  The best part was Minnie Mouse showed just as much excitement for Joey's Lightning McQueen shirt as she did for Hayley and Emily's Minnie Mouse shirts.  After this trip, we saw tremendous improvements in his speech and social behaviors.  I guess we have Minnie Mouse to thank for that!  Disney Magic at work again!

7 comments:

Kelly said...

What a touching story. Thank you so much for sharing!! :0)

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

Thanks for reading! This happened over two years ago and it is one of those moments that I remember like it was yesteday. Now, my son talks so much, you would never know that he got such a late start to it! :-)

Beth said...

awww!! I'm tearing up with you!! That's so sweet!

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

Thanks, Beth! I still get chills when I think about it. Now whenever you see me in a Minnie Mouse shirt, you know why!! :-)

DebºoºS said...

Aww that's so sweet! sniff sniff
Thanks for sharing:)

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

Thanks, Deb! This was almost 3 years ago and I still get teary-eyed at how great of a moment it was. Cast members are so awesome and it is moments like these that I wish they knew just what an impact it has on guests. Something so innocent that Minnie probably gave no thought to is now one of my most memorable moments of all my trips.

Bird said...

Tearing up doesn't quite cover it... they're quite literally running down my face! What an amazing moment for you as a mother. It's so awesome that Disney could do that for your son.