pretend grump. 
vegan icecream!
Where do I start to describe the best day ever? It was perfect. The only thing that could have made our spur of the moment trip better is if I could have shared it with more of the people that I love. Other than that, it was perfect. I’ve always known, but I see it more and more as I get older, my dad will always be my favorite Disney partner. He’s the only one I’ve been with that knows the park better than me… he could probably (definitely) navigate the boat of the jungle cruise, and tell you every scripted joke, and then some. I’m pretty certain he will be one of Marlowe’s favorite Disney buddies too. 
At the risk of sounding crazy, I cry every single time I visit Magic Kingdom. I never want to, it’s just the way my mind and body works. Over stimulation, joyous overstimulation. I turn numb with sadness and I’m a self proclaimed “non-cryer”, but give me a moment of happiness—- especially for someone else, and all that goes out the window and I’m fighting the tears. I want to cry at the  site of happy people hugging at the airport, I cry at strangers weddings, and I cry at Magic Kingdom. To be able to step into a park with so many beaming kids… and walk up to this large fairy tale castle that can resonate with so many of my own childhood memories, with Marlowe ecstatically proclaiming she wants to give everyone (especially cinderella) hugs, it’s this feeling of over-stimulation that just gets me— luckily behind dark sunglasses. 
The park was crowded— really crowded. Being a last minute trip— and being with my dad who never plans or looks into these things (I rarely do too), we didn’t know we would be stepping into a huge event weekend with the park, for the first time ever, being open until the early hours of the morning. It was hot, very hot. Think mid 90’s. The lines were long, 45 minutes to Peter Pan. And we were with Marlowe, a toddler, in the heat, and the people, and the lines, with no nap and no stroller. And you know what? It was awesome. Really awesome. I hoped for no melt downs for no problems, and better than that, I got not one whine out of the little girl. Not even one complaint. I’m always proud of her, but especially in these situations, I’m just blown away at what a good kid she is. She stayed by my side with my hand or on my hip the entire time. Sometimes she would let my dad or brother hold her, but usually not– which was fine for me. Each line, I explained that if she wanted to do something fun, we would have to take turns, and wait in line, and she did. We danced, she sang me happy birthday, and she was cool. For her first ride ever– she went on dumbo with my dad and I stayed planted on the ground, because really, rides aren’t my thing. I mean, I love me some Peter Pan or the Haunted Mansion, but give me something that flies, spin, or drops, and I’m out. Marlowe and I went off with just the two of us for a bit, so my dad and brother could enjoy Space Mountain. Just the two of us, hightailed it across the park, waited in line 45 minute, and both experienced the little mermaid ride, for the first time ever. She met Goofy and Donald and gave them both hugs. Her choice– she passed on Minnie. We lived off junk food. She had french fries for two meals. She had popcorn. She had lemonade. And she had chocolate ice-cream (thank’s disney for a vegan option!). If we had known the park was open 24 hours, I probably would have brought the stroller, just to give her a nap and stay into the late hours, but it didn’t happen that way, and it worked out just fine. It was perfect. I can’t wait to go back. Alex and I are already planning a September birthday trip for her. I can’t wait. 
Marlowe’s hat c/o urban baby bonnets.


  1. I was there that day- we stayed the entire 24 hours and IT WAS AWESOME! I have an Annual Pass, but still tear up every time I see that damn castle. Glad you had a great time.

    • jealous! was it super packed the whole time? How were the waits? what time did you leave?!

  2. Haha I work at an airport and get teary EVERY time I walk through baggage claim where people are hugging and greeting. Especially when there is a returning soldier? Holy crap, waterworks.

  3. Aw such a perfect day! I remember vividly going to Disneyland in Florida when I was about 8. Even though I did spend most of afternoon in the medical tent because I ate too many oranges at breakfast and puked everywhere…but that too was a fond memory, of the way my Mum stayed with me and held my hand in the cool of the tent.

    I too am a crier at happy moments, if I see people helping someone out, or a kind gesture, or a mother embracing her child or someone performing music it makes me well up!

    Glad you had a such a lovely time and made good memories too!

  4. Ha! I'm a crier in those situations too. Looks like a fun trip! I love Marlowe's bonnet. I may need to add that one to my collection. Any other vegan options other than the ice cream that you found there and can share? We're heading there next week and I've been trying to figure out what my family is going to eat.

  5. Ha! I'm a crier in those situations too. Looks like a fun trip! I love Marlowe's bonnet. I may need to add that one to my collection. Any other vegan options other than the ice cream that you found there and can share? We're heading there next week and I've been trying to figure out what my family is going to eat.

    • First off, I don't know if all the ice-cream spots have a vegan option— i know for certain the vintage ice-cream parlor, when you walk in on main street (to the left) has it. I know theres a mexican place in the park too, where you can get a burrito, ask for no cheese. I read that the veggie burgers (and buns) were vegan on a site— I decided to trust it. The veggie burger was def. a veggie patty—- like it seemed like a bunch of vegetables smashed together and fried— it didn't seem eggy to me at all.
      Outside of the park— I know you can request special diet meals at the disney restaurants. I've called ahead of time and did that last time I was there, about 5 years ago.
      If you're looking to explore a bit more– downtown orlando has some of the better vegan options in florida. check out for the list.

  6. I am happy to hear I am not the only emotional Disney-goer. Your blog always finds me thinking and appreciative. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Sounds like a great spur of the moment trip!
    I went to Disney World for the first time ever, a couple years ago, and it was great. It's probably better if you're a kid, to truly enjoy the magical experience, but it's still good memories to look back on.
    And gosh, your little girl is awesome! NO whining, or crying?! You have a great girl there!

    • Seriously— I was such whiner growing up, I def. got lucky with her!

  8. Wow, it looks fantastic. So glad you had an amazing time. Hope you have a good week.

  9. Disney is the best for birthday trips. Took my daughter for her 9th birthday, also in September, such a great time to go, no long lines. They give you a pin to wear that says it's your birthday. At every ride the cast members said or sang "happy birthday" to her. In Liberty Square the town crier rang a bell and sang to her. And yes I cried like a baby. Glad you had a great time!

  10. This is where my husband and I honeymooned and I got all giddy looking at your pictures! It was easily the best week of our lives and not use because it was supposed to be. We have a 15 month old and regularly look at each other and say 'screw waiting until she's old enough to remember – let's go now!' I think I would love there if I could. . .

    • especially because it's free for them anyway! As long a you don't plan on going any roller coasters together, it totally makes sense to bring a little!

  11. We just went to Disney two weekends ago, and yes it was SO hot. My son loved Magic Kingdom and just seeing his reactions to the shows and the rides just melted my heart. You really don't get how magical Disney is until you have your own kid and see the joy on his/her face. I didn't notice the vegan ice cream when we were there, although I would have loved that. Not many veg options, but you do what you can!

    • I only knew cause I started googling all my options on the way up. I def. would have not noticed it on the sign otherwise.

  12. Oh my gosh! These pictures have my heart so happy. You look so much like your dad, too!
    Peter Pan at 45 minutes is actually a pretty decent wait time; usually it's 60+ minutes. I frequent the parks 1 to 2 times a week and I ALWAYS tear up over something. It's the happiest place on Earth! 🙂

    • I've def. been there for the 60 minute waits! At one point the wait was 75 minutes, but at that point we decided we weren't going to do it. We did the speed pass and it told us to come back at 9…. um no. I'm so jealous of your closeness/annual pass.

  13. Where in the park did you get the vegan ice cream???? We will be down there in about 10 days and I would love to get vegan ice cream at disney!! 🙂

    • When you walk in, before the castle, on main street, to the left. It's the old style ice-cream parlor!

  14. so awesome!! we are planning on taking Lily for her 4th birthday in november and i can't wait. i will for sure cry. i cry almost every day as is. you will have to give me some pointers. i have never been there.
    ps- love the b&w shot of you and M with Donald. DONALD!!!!

  15. we took our boys to disney in march. i hadn't been since i was 12. i didn't plan to cry either, although i thought i might. it's just so magical….as cliche as it sounds. and i loved seeing your pictures because our trip is still fresh in my mind. 🙂