I adopted my daughter when she was three and a half years old. She was born in a former Eastern Bloc country and placed into the orphanage system in that country. These orphanages were not nice places at that time, and she still suffers from some emotional difficulties from her early childhood. After bringing her home in 1999, I bought her a Lady and the Tramp VHS video. I bought the video on a whim, thinking she might enjoy it, and enjoy it she did. We still have it, but she’s watched it so many times she literally wore it out. It brought her a lot of comfort. She now has a huge library of Disney DVDs – including Lady and the Tramp.
I’m sure you’ve heard this claim before, but my daughter truly is the World’s greatest Disney fan. I took her to Walt Disney World for the first time in 2003 (it was also my first time). She was in Heaven. The first night, we had dinner at Chef Mickey’s; she was so excited she barely ate a thing. She couldn’t believe that Mickey, Minnie, and the other characters were coming to see her at her table. The rest of the trip was just as magical for her. She met many more of her favorite characters. She rode rides and went to shows based on her favorite movies. We, of course, had dinner at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant – a must for her. To say that she fell in love with Walt Disney World would be a huge understatement. I knew this wasn’t going to be our last Disney vacation. We have been back to Walt Disney World; it remains just as magical to her as that first visit. She’s also visited Disneyland which she described as “Incredible”. We go to any Disney shows that are in our part of the country. Those are always a huge treat for her. Her latest Disney adventure involved a Disney cruise, followed by a visit to Walt Disney World. Mickey and Minnie called her on Christmas Day to tell her that she would be joining them on a Disney Cruise. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but she was grinning ear-to-ear while listening to them. The cruise was something we both enjoyed immensely. Walt Disney entertainment, in all its various forms, has been an important part of her life. It’s no exaggeration to say it’s been a huge part of her emotional healing process.
-Dana Young, 50, Lamoine, ME
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