Mom, Dad I’m Going to Disney World! A Disney Graduation Story

Aleisha M. (NDM#150) (47 Posts)

Growing up inn the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Aleisha has never let distance stop her from enjoying Walt Disney World vacations. From an early age, whether it be on a family vacation or tagging along with a friend on her vacation, she fell in love with the magic and the joy that Disney brought. Now making her own memories as a DVC member with a Star Wars obsessed little boy, she tries to capture the same magical feelings into every day life. She has quickly established a reputation with friends, relatives and coworkers as a real-life Belle. Always with a book in her hand and available to help others plan their magical Disney vacations. Beyond Disney, Aleisha is a lover of all genres of music; craves a good concert from time to time, considers her food allergies a blessing rather than a curse and can be seen at the good old hockey game during the NHL season.

Mickey graduation ears.


“Mom, Dad… I‘m going to Disney World!” It’s a chant heard throughout college graduations and NFL stars after Super Bowl wins alike. While I don’t need a specific reason to chant this now, come May I will. Why, you ask?

Because come May, I will be one of those college graduates. Yes, that’s right. After nearly twelve years of night school, I am finally graduating with a degree in HR Communications. The road has been tough and filled with twists and turns. I have gotten married, had a kid, gone through emergency surgeries and worked full time. But I did it. Or, I will have when I graduate in May.

No, it has not been easy. In fact there are times when I have thought about dropping out, questioning the reason for the degree. I have broken down and cried so hard my chest hurts. I have lost it all together, mentally shutting myself off from everything. And yet I have not given up. I am determined to finish.

I will finish.

I was asked the other day what is my motivation, what keeps me going to finish? The answer of my son, my husband and my determination to complete something I promised myself, came to no surprise. But the last didn’t (though perhaps it should have). “Disney World!” I exclaimed.

That is right, going to Disney World is keeping me motivated to finish. You see, for years I have gone down and visited as a student. I have brought books and papers to finish with me. Last year, I hid in my room at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and took an exam even. My mind, even on vacation in the happiest place on Earth, has been occupied with assignments and gearing up for the next semester. I have never visited and not had my thoughts on school.

That’s all about to change. For the holidays this past year, my husband surprised me with a trip for just the two of us right after I graduate. A little “congratulation gift” if you want to say. It will be the first time where I will be free to enjoy the parks without having to think about the next thing that is due.

Yes, Disney is helping me get through this final semester that is for sure. It has become my “I need a moment away from papers” reliever; my “I finished the paper so why not plan out things to do” reward. I find when I am stressed out or struggling to finish something, that is when I take a step back and hit up the website for a break. It is quite amazing just what seeing Cinderella’s Castle (even if not in person), does to the soul. For a moment, it makes things a little more okay, a little easier to breathe. It’s a promise that I will get through it. It’s also going to the local Disney Store, acting silly with my son as he tries on the Jedi mask for the tenth time, or visiting the one cast member at the store I have known for years because doing so makes me feel that much closer to home. Believe me, I am all for small rewards from time to time.

That trip has become my motivation to finish. Perhaps it is the fact that I know it’s there waiting for me. Or maybe it’s the fact that planning the trip has become a huge stress reliever during these last few weeks. Or maybe it is the promise that when I finish not only will I get the I’M CELEBRATING! Button, but the Mickey graduation ears to boot.

Either way it’s keeping me going.

You better believe come the middle of May, when I cross that stage, I too will yell out “Mom, Dad! I’m going to Disney World!”

That button had better be waiting for me.

  • Tamela Hansen

    Yeah! Congratulations! You deserve it!