This post is sponsored by Disney. All opinions are my own.
It was my daughter’s first trip to Disneyland and all she wanted that day was to meet the Disney Princesses. And while the line for their autographs was long and the day was warm, I couldn’t say no to her. She was three years old, after all, and the Disney Princesses were her world; she read Disney Princess books and played with Disney Princess dolls and watched Disney Princess movies and wore Disney Princess dresses every chance she got. She loved those princesses enough to wait in a two-hour line to meet them, and for a just-turned three-year-old, that’s saying something.
At last, it was time to make our way through the Princess receiving line. Wouldn’t you know it, the first Princess was my daughter’s favorite — Belle. My daughter was shy with strangers when she was small and saved her hugs for her immediate family, but when she saw Belle, she gasped, let go of my hand, and ran to her as fast as she could. And then this happened:
Nine years later, I still remember this moment like it was yesterday. This hug was pure magic — it lasted a good 30 seconds. And when my daughter finally let go and posed for a photo, the look on her face was unmistakable.
She was smitten. Plain and simple.
My daughter is 12 now, but her love for the Disney Princesses endures. New princesses have made their debut since she was three years old, and they have only made the Disney Princess mystique even more appealing to her adventurous spirit — and to mine, to be honest. We both adored spunky Rapunzel in Disney’s Tangled, determined Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, and courageous Merida from Brave who isn’t afraid to always be true to herself. As she got older, the beautiful warrior Mulan also emerged as a favorite — The day we caught up with Mulan in Epcot, both my daughter and son had to meet her in person.
Now more than ever, each of Disney’s Princesses uniquely encourage my daughter to dream big. Their stories show her that princesses come from all backgrounds and have different strengths and weaknesses, yet they ultimately prevail by setting their sights high, making use of their unique abilities, and believing in themselves.
At 12, my daughter is just now coming into her own and beginning to recognize what she has to offer the world. She has many big dreams — She’s an avid reader and writer, hard at work on her first novel. She’s passionate about dog rescue and eager to start volunteering at our local Humane Association when she turns 13 in a few months. She is an avid hiker who loves challenging her endurance on new trails. She’s a loyal and devoted friend and daughter, always looking for opportunities to spend time with the ones she loves. She’s becoming a seasoned and enthusiastic traveler, excited about the many new experiences my travel writing is offering our family. She still loves visiting her beloved Princesses at Walt Disney World each year, and is excited about boarding the Disney Wonder next month for the first time on a cruise to Castaway Cay.
Dream Big, Princess. Who knows what new horizons you’ll discover?
I’d love to hear about your own family’s big dreams. What’s on your agenda for this year?