Recently, my 18-year-old daughter, Lauren, returned from college for her first visit home. The highlight of the visit was our family’s first viewing of the re-released Beauty and the Beast DVD. The Disney version of Beauty and the Beast was released in 1991, roughly one year before Lauren was born. It quickly became her favorite movie–at least until the release of The Lion King in 1994.
As Lauren’s taste transitioned from “Be our Guest” to “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” Monica, her younger sister, became obsessed with Beauty and the Beast until she decided that Cinderella was prettier than Belle. Despite Lauren and Monica’s fickleness, Beauty and the Beast remained a family staple and was played in our house literally hundreds of times over the years.
Our VHS version of the movie lasted about 16 years until the tape stretched and was eaten by our even older VHS player. When our VHS Beauty died, we tried to procure another copy but soon found that nearly every existing version of the movie had some technical flaw that prevented it from being adopted into our very discerning Disney-obsessed family. We just could not tolerate a less than pristine version of the movie. So we gave up our search and impatiently waited for Beauty and the Beast’s release from the Disney vault.
Our wait ended a few weeks ago! We prepared to watch Beauty once again, just as we had years ago when Lauren and Monica were little. This time, however, we were joined by Marin, my 3-year-old niece who is just beginning to discover the joys of living a Disney Driven Life. Marin, snuggled between Lauren and Monica on the living room floor, watched Beauty with intensity beyond her years. She moved only during the mesmerizing “Beauty and the Beast” ballroom number. She summoned her father, who was several rooms away, by shouting, “It’s the dancing part, Daddy!” Marin and her dad “waltzed” to Mrs. Potts’ serenade, as I had done with my two girls many years ago.
Marin, her mom, her dad, and several other family members will be joining my wife Karen, Lauren, Monica and me for an all-out Disney Vacation Club extravaganza in the summer of 2012. Our initial plan is to rent a 3 bedroom Grand Villa in Old Key West. For many in our party, this will be their first Walt Disney World visit. In future blogs, I plan on sharing our vacation planning and preparation experiences as we work toward this “Grand Adventure.”
I am humbled by the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful website. I hope you find my contributions informative and entertaining, and I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.
Contributed by: John M. (NDD #172). John is our resident DVC expert.