Disney World has, and will always be a special place for Liz and myself. In fact, on our first coffee date Liz asked “what character would you be if you were a Disney Character? To some this might be a curve ball on a first date, but for me this was a great question. “Goofy of course!” Satisfied with my answer, she smiled and said, “Disney is pretty awesome!” Later I would find out that Liz moved from Idaho to Orlando to work at the Disney World Parks, and she spent years in training and operations at the Splash Mountain attraction.
Fast forward a couple of years, and the two of has had made several trips to Disney together. During that time we had enjoyed all 4 Disney World Parks many times on separate occasions. However, back in 2011 we were planning a trip in December to celebrate the holidays & Liz finishing graduate school. We were short on time for this trip but we wanted to see everything (of course), so we decided that we would go on a mission to complete all 4 Disney World Parks in one day! One way to help us achieve our goal was to stay on property so that we could take advantage of the extra magic hours in the parks, only available to resort guests. Those extra hours in the morning and night (with less crowds) would be very helpful in hitting the main attractions at all the parks.
After our plan was set, I figured I could make this trip even more special. So I decided that this adventure and this place would be perfect to dive into our future together. We left the hotel bright and early so that we could get to the Hollywood Studios right at 8 am. Since we would be gone all day I needed to bring the ring with me, but I only had my pockets!
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The box wouldn’t fit, so I had to take a chance and put the ring in my pocket…hoping that my pocket would not grow a hole and loose this ring! After each ride I would check my pocket in hopes of it still be there. I thought that Liz would catch on by the time we made it to our second park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I thought after riding Expedition Everest that I had for sure lost it.
Our third Disney park of the day was at Epcot, and by this time I needed a beer. A big Beer. My plan was working out perfectly. It was late afternoon and our favorite time to be at Epcot. With our love of travel, Epcot is enjoyable because we love to walk around The World Showcase visiting each country, sampling food and drink. It always feels like a quick trip around the world. During the holiday season, it is made even better with cultural decorations and information on traditions around the world. We even had some time to listen to Trace Adkins narrate the story of Christmas along with the choir at the Candle Light Procession show.
The sun had set and we did an energy level check to decide if we were up for park number 4. At this point, we had ridden everything we wanted to and we were coming up on 12 hours. Even though Liz’s feet were killing her, we agreed that we had to keep going…we made it this far! So we hopped on Disney’s iconic monorail and headed to our last Disney park of the day, the Magic Kingdom. Even though we arrived after 8 pm, with the Extra Magic Hours at this park we had plenty of time because the park was open until 2 am! So we didn’t feel rushed, and many of the non-resort guests were on their way out.
With this ring burning a whole in my pocket by now, and after a couple of those beers from around the world at Epcot, I was feeling that this was going down soon. Guys you know what I’m talking about. After watching the parade, the fireworks, and riding a few of our favorites (and multiple checks of the pocket), we found ourselves in front of Cinderella’s Castle. By now, it was midnight and my nerves were shot.
It was time for the highlight of this epic journey through 4 Disney World parks. 16 hours into this adventure at Disney, we posed for a picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle and as the photographer (who was in on my secret) distracted Liz by taking a bunch of different pictures, I reached into my pocket, knelt down, and I asked my best buddy to marry me.
She said YES!!!! Feeling relieved yet excited, we headed out to ride Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster. No longer having to worry about the ring in my pocket, the two of us rode our first coaster as an engaged couple. So on to the next chapter of our adventure together… and “Peanuts or Pretzels” would soon come into our lives. Our journey continues.
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