By Angie Roberts Harris
Recently, while at a family dinner, Paper Bear asked our four-year-old granddaughter, Elizabeth, if she had a boyfriend. Her eyes shined, cheeks turned pink, and cute dimples popped out as she tilted her head and replied, “uh huh,” with a little giggle.
“What is his name?” Papa Bear questioned.
“Gaston”, she replied. I glanced at her mom who then informed us that ever since we got back from our Disney trip, Elizabeth had been telling everyone that Gaston was her boyfriend.
Five months prior to this confession of love, Elizabeth was celebrating her fourth birthday at the Magic Kingdom during our family adventure. She and Tante Leah were at the fountain outside of Gaston’s Tavern, looking at the larger-than-life statue of the self-absorbed Gaston when Elizabeth informed Tante Leah that Gaston was her boyfriend. Well, Leah had been watching Gaston in front of the tavern and was quite smitten herself, so the conversation could be heard, “Gaston is my boyfriend,” stated Leah. “No, he’s my boyfriend,” argued Elizabeth. They went back and forth for some time until young Elizabeth finally found the solution; “Gaston is my boyfriend, the beast is YOUR boyfriend.”
The infamous Gaston can usually be found allowing guests to be in his presence outside of his tavern. He is quite impressed with himself and it is worth the wait in line to experience his hilarious interaction with the crowd. He must have something going for him because he totally charmed our two girls!
Inclusive in the magic of Disney is the enchantment of the characters. Each member of my family had individual preferences which made for some entertaining and unforgettable moments during our trip. These are the top love interests from our Disney family crew:
1. Smalls and Pocahontas – We were waiting to see Pocahontas in a wooded area in
the calm and peaceful environment of Animal Kingdom, and our little guy, two-
year-old Smalls, was almost asleep. Suddenly, he spotted Pocahontas from the
back of the line and throwing all sleep and caution to the wind, he broke free and
ran towards her. Pocahontas lovingly pulled him into her arms and then passed
him back to me in the line. When it was our turn, Smalls would simply not let go
of her and his heart was full of love for his Pocahontas.
2. Agnes and Tarzan – Sweet little Agnes was almost one and I was cautioned by many not to take her because she wouldn’t get anything out of our adventure. I strongly disagree; Agnes LOVED Disney World and she found her first sweetheart in Tarzan! Perhaps it was his guttural tones, short syllables, or hand talk that Agnes understood but at that special moment, he was truly Tarzan and Agnes was truly Jane.
3. Kevin and Anastasia – We were privileged to be guests at a royal ceremony celebrating the wedding of Cinderella to Prince Phillip while eating dinner as a family at 1900 Park Fare. The wicked step mother, Madame Tremaine, and her two awkward daughters, Anastasia and Drizella, were also invited to this special occasion. The selfish and spoiled sisters were obviously there to find a husband and Anastasia immediately began flirting with our own handsome Kevin from Arkansas, to the shock of his wife and kids. Anastasia was not shy about her love interest and she nearly had him but alas, his wife and children took precedence.
4. Papa Bear and Madame Tremaine - While Anastasia and Drizella were busy
fighting over Kevin from Arkansas, their socially obsessed mother was interviewing for her next husband and was set on our Papa Bear. Her eyes lit up when he introduced our family until he came to me, his wife. The wicked stepmother looked down her nose
at me and said “OHHHH.” Another close call for a Disney wedding although I won!
5. Our children and the princesses – Her royal highness, Elizabeth, was over the top with excitement on the morning of her appointment at the Bippity Boppity Boutique inside Cinderella's Castle. The park was not yet open and except for cast members, Main Street was empty; as we made our long journey towards the castle, Elizabeth stopped and bowed to every single cast member.
Following a dazzling make up, hair, and nail makeover by the Fairy Godmother In training, Elizabeth donned her gown and was ready to be presented to the princesses. When Cinderella saw her, she gasped, put her hand over her mouth, knelt down beside
Elizabeth, and genuinely talked with her. There was no rush, and the Disney photo
cast member also knelt and captured all the special expressions and moments. Cinderella was AMAZING!
During the rest of the week, whenever Elizabeth met Cinderella in different locations
around the park, she would beam and say “I saw you yesterday or this morning…” The
best replay on Cinderella’s part was “Yes, I remember you and that beautiful dress.”
Elizabeth’s face lit up as she shook her head and confirmed, “Yes, it is a beautiful dress.”
Even our eight- year -old and thirteen- year -old boys grinned, loved the
princesses, and would point them out from a distance. Without a doubt, our whole
Disney crew was enamored.
"A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference." -- Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh)
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Angie Roberts Harris has been Going Out The Door to Disney since 1974 when she was 11 years old. Today she travels to the ‘happiest place on earth’ with her husband and their crew of 5 children and their families.