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Growth Spurts: Ode to Disney and Good Attitudes

My mother-in-law recently turned 60, and how did she choose to celebrate? She and my father-in-law took my family and my brother-in-law’s family to Disney World–the magical place where celebration lingers in the air all year round!

It had been ten years since we’d been to Disney, and I’m not sure who was more excited–the kids or me? I get so caught up in the magic and fun of it all, and I find myself spending money on things like dinglehoppers and “Chip” tea cups and silly hats. With no buyer’s remorse whatsoever. I love seeing the characters, riding the rides (as many times as possible), reliving the movies, singing the songs, eating the food (especially the Mickey Mouse ice cream bars), watching the shows. Oh! And spending time with my family. They were there, too.

It’s really hard not to get all caught up in this world of fantasy and fun. Every “cast member” (a.k.a. Disney employee) seems to go out of their way to ensure you have a magical time, and they seem to genuinely enjoy working there. One of our waitresses had been working at Disney for more than 30 years! She started as a street sweeper. We met another employee who had been working at Disney for many, many years and could remember being there the day the park opened when she was a child. You could tell how much joy this place brought her!

The whole experience was a strong reminder to me of the power of a good attitude. Disney works hard to make sure that the atmosphere is a positive one, and it shows in all of their employees. (I’m sure they have their bad days, too, but they do a good job of keeping it behind the scenes.) The atmosphere that they work to create seems to spread to everyone who comes through those gates. This, in turn, made me think about the atmosphere that I and the rest of my family work–or don’t work–to create in our home. I wonder how people feel when they walk through the front door of my house? How does my family feel when they come home? Is it a positive, welcoming environment? Are they greeted with complaints and a to-do list or a smile, hug, and an “I’m glad to see you”? We parents are the ones who are primarily responsible for creating the atmosphere in our homes. What’s the old saying? “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? I’m afraid that’s something we actually need to consider, fellow moms and dads.

I am so thankful to Larry and Dorothy for taking our family on this wonderful vacation, where so many memories were made. And I am thankful for Judy Byrd from McGehee Cruise & Vacation, Inc., who helped Larry and Dorothy with all the detailed plans of our trip. Sidenote: The travel agents at McGehee Cruise & Vacation, Inc. are Authorized Disney Vacation Planners, which means they know all the ins and outs and can help you plan your own Disney vacation, and there is no cost for their services in this! Annnnnnd they’ll be giving away a Disney trip for four at our Summer Fun Expo at the Mississippi Braves game on Friday, April 22nd, so be sure to come out for your chance to win some magic!


Carrie Bevell Partridge definitely has a Disney Side. And she highly recommends the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride!

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at and

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