For most parents, the day a child is born is one of the happiest days of their lives.  For me, it was one of the worst.  Following an unexpectedly complicated delivery, my oldest son, Reagan, came into this world with no heartbeat and very little blood left in his body.  After 9 ½ long minutes, I heard one of the NICU doctors say “We’ve got a heartbeat.”  That is a long time for the brain to go without oxygen, and by that time, the damage was done.

The next few days were very touch and go.  We were told that there was little chance of survival and if he did survive, Reagan would most likely live in a vegetative state.  We had to make some really tough decisions.  I had to come to terms with the realization that Reagan was God’s child and that if I had to let him go, I had to let him go.

We were blessed that God let us keep Reagan, but the road for him would be a long and winding one.  The traumatic birth left him with Cerebral Palsy and a seizure disorder.  Following years of therapies, gut wrenching painful surgeries, hard work, the support of family and friends, and determination, Reagan finally walked at the age of seven – a true miracle indeed!  For a child who can’t talk, his story “speaks” to everyone he meets.  Reagan has a smile that will light up a room and warm your heart.

Photo Credit, Allison Valdes

Now, many of you reading this have likely heard of a little something Disney World has going on within the walls of the Magic Kingdom.  Okay, I’m kidding, because of course you’ve heard of it – and it’s huge!  The Fantasyland Expansion Project will nearly double the size of Fantasyland, but the completion of this project won’t be realized until sometime in 2013, which may seem like an eternity at this point.  Until then, we’ll say good-bye to several attractions that we’ve loved for years, and some attractions may close for refurbishments during this time.  We’ll continue to see construction walls and tarps covering buildings and facades during the renovation process.  But for thousands of guests who don’t have the convenience of living next door to Disney World, and who therefore cannot visit on a more regular basis, it can be disappointing and frustrating to visit a park that appears incomplete or feels like a work in progress.  After all, most guests save all year for vacation, and they want everything perfect when they are finally on that vacation, right?  Sure they do – me too!

Okay, so you’re probably wondering how in the world my precious son and the Fantasyland Expansion Project are related.  One word comes to mind immediately – patience.  Just as we had to be patient over the years while Reagan worked his heart out to walk, we have to be patient while Disney transforms a Fantasyland that is filled with some old favorites, while bringing to life some amazing new adventures.  As much as we’d like the Fairy Godmother to wave her magic wand over our lives and make things happen immediately, we must always remember . . . even MIRACLES take a little time.

Contributed by: Allison Valdes (NDM#367) Allison is a DDL Parenting Blogger and proud member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. Visit the Walt Disney World Moms Panel for help planning your Magical Trip. She is not a Disney employee. The postings on this site are her own and do not necessarily represent Disney’s positions or opinions.


  1. Sweet Allison, thank you so much for sharing the story of your incredible son. He is very blessed to have YOU for his Mom and was born into such a wonderful family. Having met your precious Reagan, it is clear what an amazing little guy he is. I’m so blessed to have you for my friend. Love ya.

  2. Incredible story Allison–you are an inspiration to everyone. Thanks for sharing. Good reminder….we all need to practice more patience!!!

  3. I love your little miracle and love watching him grow under that loving touch of “magic” known as Ron, Allison and Jake, Reagan’s family. Miss C

  4. Allison, Thanks for sharing. The Valdes family has shown all of us a great deal about courage, determination , and faith.

    Langley , Sr

  5. Thank you for sharing the story about your beautiful son. So even the Mom’s at Disney are the best! Thank you again.

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