disneylibrarian (NDD#270) (17 Posts)

Riley McDaniel grew up in Corpus Christi, TX in a low-socioeconomic household and one of the favorite family activites was to watch The Wonderful World of Disney (along with it's other reincarnations) on Sunday nights. Although the family couldn't afford to take a trip to Disney World made it his dream to one day see that magical world. This dream served as one of the many aspirations to do well in school and attend college. Today, Riley has a masters degree in Library Science and serves as a librarian at Red Oak High School in Red Oak Texas where he continues to give Disney as a source of inspiration to students. His family, a lovely wife, eleven year old son and seven year old daughter, lovingly refer to themselves as Disney Geeks. They can regularly be found hosting Disney parties whether it's for simply the premier of the Phineas and Ferb movie or a child's birthday party. As members of the Disney Vacation club (Wilderness Lodge home resort) the family can be found at Disney World once a year and Riley gives mini-seminars on planning the perfect Disney vacation.

I receive many questions as to what my deal is with Disney and Disneyworld (especially now that I am writing for this site): why spend all the money on those trips each year, and, last but not least, are you serious? After I share this little story concerning the first day of school maybe it will help some to understand.

One of my son’s sixth grade teachers gave her class a “Get to Know You” survey, and she gave it to them to take home for a parent signature to ensure no unwanted information became teacher knowledge. One of my son’s answers I will share at the end of this post but the two primary answers I’d like to share are his responses to 1) What is your favorite place?  2) What is your favorite memory?

Now as my son has gotten older I figured his answer to his favorite place might be the paint ball park or Best Buy (he is his father’s son), but no, his answer was Disney World (definitely his father’s son). I loved reading this! A place we go as a family, do everything as a family, and many activities revolve around his little sister (whom I think he secretly loves, more on this in a minute).

Well, as if that wasn’t enough of a Disney surprise; his answer to the favorite memory was “My first trip to Disney World”. Let me tell you, he was only four years old, so I didn’t believe he could remember much about this trip. WRONG! I asked him, “What do you remember?” Here came surprises a plenty. He remembered: his first roller coaster ride on Goofy’s Barnstormer, me getting sick after Mission Space (please don’t tell your friends), the very first thing he did after arriving at Magic Kingdom was seeing the Night Time Parade sitting on my shoulders. Remember me saying we would talk about him loving his sister some more: well, he also said he remembers how mom carried around Reagan in her tummy the whole trip, and we didn’t even know it at the time.  He told us, “it was really her first trip too.”

Isn’t a child’s memory a wonderful thing? If you ask me why we love our Disney trips so much, I think you can see my answer:  if not, I think it is time for you to visit The Magic.

Oh, the answer I told you I would share at the end, the question was, “Who is your favorite person?” His answer, “me”. Gotta love his confidence.


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