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Our “BRAVE” Day and Magical Moment with Jessie

Our little Miss Emily celebrated her 12 Birthday last week, and I wanted to share with you some of the awesome highlights that happened on her special day- enjoy!

For one, the girl wanted her “Shake it Up” party supplies, so check, we found them at Party City in Lakeland. We also made it a cupcake theme and bought all cupcake gift bags, along with baking cupcakes instead of a cake this year. She actually already had a cake during our Bay Lake Tower Birthday surprise for her. With all the lovely cards and gifts our friends sent her, we laid everything out to surprise her when she woke up. We even let her open one the night before, from Diane Welch, which was a “Bella” doll from “Shake it Up”- yeah, the kid was in Heaven!!

Mom and Bob took the day to relax while we headed into the Magic Kingdom to find a very special Princess. Merida, the newest Disney Princess, is now camped where Rapunzel used to reside. Befor going to see her, we HAD to get Emily the very important BIRTHDAY BUTTON which she proudly wore the rest of the day!

Merida’s line was short at 10:00 a.m., and they let us in without any wait- SCORE! I loved the celtic music playing, reminded me of the Renaissance Faires, and we were all set in line to meet her. You can practice archery with one of her friends, but Em was focused on meeting her first. Emily bought her bow and arrows a couple of days before, so with those and her BRAVE shirt on (Thanks to Thadine for that!!) she proudly stood ready to meet her.

We all know those parental moments that just tug at your heart strings, and this was one of those. Special, I could have wrapped it all up in a bow it was so sweet. Emily walked right up to her and hugged her like she knew her all her life. She was so kind to Emily, said Happy Birthday to her, then we took a bunch of pictures. The three bears reside right behind her, and they even follow your line of sight as you walk out. Quite memorable.

On a side note, check out the Merch Monday section on the blog to see all of the new Brave merchandise!

As we walked around to see what Emily would like to do on this very awesome occasion, Craig mentioned she should go visit her favorite cowgirl, Jessie. What a cool idea, never even thought about it. It would be a first to see her on Emily’s birthday, so away we went to Frontierland.

Now, if you have never visited Jessie here, a word of warning. It is in a very hot spot in the MK, and from experience, people can get heat exhaustion just standing there waiting for the characters to come out. Grab a couple of ICE WATERS which are FREE at any Disney Stand- but at this point get them right across at Pecos Bills, and THEN stand in line. Trust me , you will thank me later!

After 30 minutes or more in the scorching heat, we were finally up to meet her. We love Woody, but its not who she came to see. Emily whispers in my ear to remind Jessie of who she is and why we need to see her. I tell Jessie that Emily had her Jessie doll in all of her cancer treatments and that she is a very important person in Emily and our family’s lives.

I have been here before, Jessie seems shocked and holds her hands to her heart and mouth several times. Well as I am telling Jessie the story, Woody walks off because he thinks we dont want to talk to him. Jessie and Emily walk over to get him, and it plays out so sweetly and it was actually more funny than anything else.

Jessie and Woody come back and I tell Woody that we all love him, but this is why Jessie is loved so much by our family. Woody looks taken back, and they both hug and squeeze the poor thing that it was adorable to watch her be loved by them so much. We take lots of pics, thank them, and head towards Pirates.

On the way, we stopped to chat about lunch, and what we wanted to do. We are all still geeking over this amazing moment we just had. As we are about to leave, we hear running behind us, and its JESSIE and WOODY!! They came and followed us and hugged her some more, they wouldn’t let her go! We now had a large crowd around us, and all I could do was wipe the tears away from my eyes. It was such a cool moment, on top of what was already meaningful to us- all I can say is the power of a hug can do ENORMOUS things in a child’s life- dont EVER forget that!

The rest of her birthday we swam at home with Nana and Bob, then chilled out with cupcakes in her tummies. It was a great day for Emily, and I am SURE she will never forget the day she was followed by Jessie and Woody in MK and hugged in front of everyone.

I leave you with this… You’ve Got a Friend in Me..never truer words than that day.

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!



  1. Wow! That was awesome. I love the extra mile cast members go. Emily, you are so blessed and don’t for get it.


  2. What an awesome day for Emily and you! Again, this brought tears to my eyes, never underestimate the magic of Disney! 🙂


  3. Wow! What a wonderful birthday! I am all teary eyed. I cannot wait to go back to Disney this September.

    I do have a question, you mentioned that ice water is free at the stands. Is that all the time or just in the summer? I didn’t know that they did that and that is a great tip to know.


    • Thanks! I learn something new everyday. This will keep me from using my snack credits on water so I can use them for more delicious things like a Mickey Head or Dole Whip.

      Thanks Again!


    • And, another fun tidbit: If you have kids who are still drinking from sippy cups, you can ask them to put the ice water into a cup with a coffee lid. They work VERY well as a temporary in-park sippy cup!


  4. Thanks for sharing this amazing story. It brought tears to my eyes. It sounds like you had a magical birthday Emily!


  5. I’m glad to hear that Emily had such a special and magical 12th Birthday! Moments like those are what make Disney so magical and different from every other place. It is so great to hear about all the magical moments you continue to have even though you are able to go to the parks so much more since you live near them now. I’m glad to hear that the magic never stops!


  6. Loved! Loved! Loved! Seeing these pictures, and reading about your experience! Emily is such a special young lady, and she deserves to be treated like a princess!! 🙂 So glad to see she had a wonderful 12th birthday!!


  7. Emily, Happy Birthday, I am glad that your day was so specal. My daughter is almost 10 so you are about the same age and she also loves Woody and Jessie and Disney World. Maybe you two can meet one day. She also cannot wait until we can see Brave….
    Disneydad Paul, Indiana


  8. I just want to say that first off I love this blog to death. I never really get the guts to comment haha! Living in Chicago you don’t get much Disney magic so I have to depend on the internet and my once in a while trips to Disney World (planning on doing the 5K family race this 2013 year with a friend now!). This post in particular nearly brought tears to my eyes. I am a 21 year old college student who has grown up with Disney and Toy Story and I am too a huge Jessie fan. She’s just this high spirited, brave cowgirl that sets the bar as a great role model to girls. She’s the first character I run to when I go to Disney World. Moments like this one will forever be etched into the heart of your daughter. Happy Birthday to Emily and here’s to more fun times on you and your family’s totally awesome-well deserved new life in sunny Florida. =D And once again, I love this blog and hope that you guys have a wonderful future with your new home. Thanks for sharing your experience!


    • I love the inspiration that everyone provides on this page. I would love to meet up next time I’m there. It’ll probably be in January for the race. =D Take Care!


  9. I am heard you talk about the Jessy and Woody story in chat, but reading it again made me teary eyed. What a wonderful day!!!!


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