We've been called over the top parents - excessive moms with too much time on our hands.
We've been accused of spoiling our kids; of providing them with an unrealistic perspective.
Yes, we've been judged. But that's okay, because it's all worth it!
- We take our kids to Disneyland weekly, sometimes a few times a week.
- We encourage them to explore the park like it's a new world waiting to be chartered.
- We support dress up days and we light up when our kids want to be a prince or princess for the day.
- And yes, sometimes we even spend hours designing and making original handmade Disney costumes.
My husband and I have had annual passes to Disneyland long before our kids were born. We had our first date there. We were engaged at Snow White's Wishing Well. I walked off labor pains with all three of my children there. Our kids were fated to grow up there. We've had magical times in the parks throughout the years. But recently we have seen a growth in dressing up to the nines at Disney. I didn't pay much attention to the kids that participated in dressing up until we were invited to join in. Our good friends from Designer Daddy, brought extra costumes for our girls to join in on dressing up. It was an incredible experience.
When my daughter slipped on that first gorgeous Victorian style dress and glided down Main St like a princess, holding hands with her best friend.. the magic of Disneyland jumped to a whole new level.
Many of us look forward to Halloween all year so we can dress up in our favorite costumes and to take on fun roles. We brainstorm and plan, allowing our creative juices to flow and explore the possibilities. Well, Disneyland makes it possible for us to experience that excitement with every visit to the happiest place on earth.
I LOVE being an "excessive" Disney mom with Disney kids! Here is why:
In all honesty, dressing my kids up for our trips to Disneyland has provided us with unforeseen benefits. I've noticed some very valuable skills my children are developing.
I have seen a significant growth in confidence in my babies. Not necessarily because they are wearing frills and sparkles, but because I encourage them to dress up how they like and to hold their heads up while they strut their favorite outfits. Too many times, I remember being told not to look too confident or people would think I was conceded. In hindsight all I can think is.. not cool! All that resulted from that were insecurities and reservations. Fear of confidence is not humility. Quite the opposite. Insecurities are fuel for resentment and disdain. I want my girls to love themselves without any fears of what people think. It has helped them to realize that every girl is a princess and every boy is a hero.
From the very first day my kids dressed up at Disneyland, they started receiving lots of compliments and kind comments; even requests to take pictures with families. The first few visits, my girls would sometimes clam up, hide behind my legs, or mumble "thank you" after I had coaxed them to do so.
A few months later, "thank you" is a natural response. They have learned to say "hello" to people with a smile. They are also usually glad to pose with people for a quick photo. I am so glad to see that these experiences have given my kids loads of practice communicating with people and making friends everywhere we go. We've even been able to make good friends with a circle of other Disney families who regularly attend the parks. It's been a wonderful network.
For those who argue that dressing up and going to Disneyland all the time isn't preparing kids for real-life, I have to respond with, "Rubbish!" I am tired of the ongoing cynicism that runs rampant in the world. Because "real-life" is obviously a relative term. Not long ago, I was limited by the concept of conventional "real-life." It limited my goals and my thinking, until I started surrounding myself with amazing people! The amazing people who question the norm and strive to make miracles happen. Those are the people who encourage the extraordinary. They are the innovators, artists, and optimists. They are the Walt Disneys of the world!
In pursuing these extraordinary days at Disneyland, my girls are learning that dreams can come true every day. And we as a family are learning that the fun can last forever.
It didn't take long for my 5 year old to start throwing out ideas on what our next set of costumes should be. She even started contributing design ideas. She started enjoying playing the characters and exploring her theatrical abilities. Before we started dressing up, she refused to dress up like a villain. She has now dressed up like a villain twice and loved it. Through these opportunities to play at Disneyland, my kids have been able to broaden their imaginations.
All these qualities thrive in the Disney atmosphere and they have even inspired me to pursue one of MY life-long dreams! To produce videos! The first time I gathered footage from a Disney trip and all the kids were dressed up, the beauty and magic awoke an urge in me to create and to explore video editing technology, like I did when I was a kid. I've had the time of my life visualizing different scenes and providing the right costumes and settings for the kids to play with. We've ended up with fun videos as memories, and a way for me to express my art. I've recently branded my art Disney CopyKids. There is no way for me to monetize my results on YouTube due to copyright laws, but it is something that I love to do and I plan to continue to do so. The smiles I see and the comments I receive on my videos are plenty of compensation. ;) However, please visit my Patreon link for more info on how to support my dream in other ways:
Here is one of my favorite projects!...
I must give a resounding thank you to supporters of our activities! We have nothing but immense gratitude to Disney and to friends and family that have been encouraging us along the way. I love being a Disney mom! Nothing but good things.