Saluting the mouse

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

I can remember how colorful and beautiful everything was. I can remember the parades, the characters, and, as I got older, the great rides. It seemed that everything in the Magic Kingdom was bigger than life. The sun was always shining and everyone was always smiling.

So, when we decided on a family vacation to Florida this year, I was excited by the idea of taking my daughter to Disney for the first time. Even though she is not quite 2 years old, I figured there would be enough for her to enjoy for a couple of hours, and we could get some great pictures to show her when she got older. Besides, it had been years since I had been to Mickey's house, and I was eager to see it again, through her eyes.

The big day was not quite what I had hoped for. It rained lightly the whole time we were there, so the vivid colors seemed soggy and gray, and all the smiling people seemed to look irritated. When you are a kid at Disney, you are too distracted by the cool stuff to notice the frazzled parents. The carousel, on which I had looked forward to taking my daughter, was closed for repairs, and the rides my daughter could go on seemed to bore her. I was beginning to think this Disney visit wasn't going to be memorable until we heard that Mickey and Minnie were just around the corner taking pictures with kids (and a surprising number of adults).

We waited patiently in line while my daughter fussed the whole time, not comprehending the utter joy she was about to experience. We devised a plan as we got closer to the mouse: My husband would tend to my daughter, I would capture the whole thing on my video camera, and my mom would take pictures. We had all our bases covered.

When my daughter finally got to see Mickey and Minnie in person, it was everything I had hoped for. Her eyes lit up in recognition, she smiled from ear to ear and squealed with delight! It was truly one of those magical moments I will never forget, which is a good thing, since I was so focused on my daughter that all the video I ended up with was of the floor and the ceiling. My mom ended up with a great picture of Mickey and Minnie with a huge thumb in between. We had no images of the event. But all was not lost because the professional Disney photographer did get a great shot, and it is ours for a price.

They must have seen my mom and me coming a mile away!

After more than 20 years in central Ohio radio and TV, Stacy McKay left her position as a morning radio co-host to spend more time with her daughter, Olivia. Stacy now writes and speaks about the joys and humor of being a first-time mom in her 40s. Visit