To be fair, this trip was never intended to come within a few weeks of our returning from Russia. We actually hadn’t planned to take the kids until they were a bit older. Although I knew Walt Disney World like the back of my hand after living and working there in college, I wasn’t sure I was ready to share the experience with a pack of preschoolers. But then we found out Bret had a conference there and the room would be free. I also had an aunt there I hadn’t seen in years and my parents agreed to go with so we could all visit. Little did we know while planning all of this, that our referral would come from Russia shortly before were to leave.
For reasons I no longer remember, I decided that we weren’t going to tell the kids about the trip. I guess I thought it would be more fun for it to be a surprise. I couldn’t imagine the looks they’d have on their faces when they met Mickey for the first time. After all, what did it matter that our new daughter couldn’t even understand English – Mickey is universal! Or so I thought.
The morning of the trip arrived and we had an early, early flight. I decided to add even more fun to our trip by playing The Lion Sleeps Tonight loudly over the stereo system to wake up the kids. When they came running out of the bedrooms in excitement (okay, stumbling really), I announced that they needed to hurry and get dressed, we were going on a grand adventure! Our oldest, four at the time, ran to the window, open his blinds and yelled back, “we can’t go on an adventure, it’s dark outside!” It was in this way that The Lion Sleeps tonight became our theme song as a family and the way that our very first family adventure was born.