As the saying goes, I’m going to need a vacation after this vacation. That’s not a bad thing, though! Namine’s first time at Disney World was tiring, but magical.

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Excited to get going!

Before we left in the morning, Namine had a princess makeover here at the village. She had gotten her nails done the other day, but they opened the spa especially for her that morning to give her a hand massage, do her nails and hair, and sprinkle her with pixie dust. (I say “sprinkle,” but a more apt word would be “douse.”)

The drive to Disney World took about a half hour. After we parked, we rode a ferry boat to the Magic Kingdom. Pushing Namine’s wheelchair, I pardon me‘d and excuse me‘d our way to the front, so she could see the castle growing larger as we approached the port.

Most people — adults and children alike — were understanding, and more than willing to let us through. Not everyone was accommodating to us, however. One man refused to budge. “Excuse me,” I said. “I’d like to let my daughter” — I gestured to Namine — “through to see.”

“We all want to see, buddy.” He glanced down at Namine, then back up at me. “That’s just life, and she’d better get used to it now.”

I refused to get angry, for Namine’s sake, if not my own blood pressure. A woman tapped me on the shoulder. “Don’t listen to that jerk. Come on through here, we’ll make room for you.” She smiled at Namine. “Come on over here, princess. You can see the castle!”

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The castle was waaay off in the distance, but we got there soon enough.

Namine’s wish was to have tea with the Disney princesses, but for reasons I won’t get into (this post is neither the time nor the place), that didn’t happen. Namine, to her credit, did not let that disappointment ruin her trip to Disney World; she was determined to visit as many princesses as she could, so we did what we could.

Jessica had hurt her knee when we were at Sea World the day prior, so we had to rent a scooter for her. It was tricky to drive, and she left a few doorways a little more banged up when we were done.

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Autobots, roll out!

We grabbed a bite to eat before starting on our quest to find princesses, then began making our way through the crowds. It was crowded, to be sure, but I think nothing like if we’d gone in the middle of summer. Namine got many a wave and “Hello, princess!” She waved and said hello in return; she really seemed to love the attention.

Disney accommodates Make A Wish kids with a special fast pass badge, which allowed us to skip past the majority of lines straight in to see princesses. If we had had to wait in line (as we normally would have done), I think it would have probably taken us three days to see the amount of princesses we were able to see in the one day.

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Ariel was but one princess visited among many.

I’m not sure if the weather took our seeing Ariel as a sign, but it started to rain. We had ponchos, and Namine thought she looked funny with her Belle dress on underneath what looked like a plastic wrapping.

On our way from princess to princess, we encountered several parades. The sight of so many Disney characters, the bouncing, lively music, and the enthusiasm of everyone around us was certainly a spectacle unlike any other. Namine bounced and danced in her wheelchair, excited and full of wonder.

On our way out of the park, Namine said something (I forget what, exactly) about the ferry boats. Suddenly it dawned on me that she was thinking of the word “fairy,” not “ferry.” I explained what it meant to ferry someone, and that they were not fairy boats. (Although it would certainly simplify things if pixie dust were an actual thing.)


A note to readers: if it seems like we have too few pictures of Namine at Disney World, fear not. Most of the pictures were taken by professional photographers for us, under Disney’s PhotoPass service. As part of Namine’s wish, Disney is making all of those photos available to us free of charge, but we have to wait for the disc to be physically mailed to us. I will post the photos as soon as I have them.

This post is part of the timeline: Namine’s Wish – an ongoing story on this site. View the timeline for more context on this post.