It’s Time For An “Emergency” Disney Trip

Disney Fireworks

I dedicate quite a bit of time on this blog to helping you, my faithful readers.  I love helping people, especially when it involves them seeing the world.  But, sometimes this blog is just about me or our family.  Some might argue I should stick to “travel news”.  But, I suspect a few of you stick around for the stories.  And, I just enjoy writing them, even if nobody’s listening.  So, here’s why it’s time for an “emergency” Disney trip.

Okay, so there’s no such thing as an emergency Disney trip.  But, I think this story is a great example of how you can use points and miles to plan a quick trip somewhere without breaking the bank.  I saw an article come across my e-mail a short while ago about the announcement of new shows at Disney World.  New shows are great, right?  We love new Disney stuff.  But, it’s what’s going away that has my attention.

“Wishes” is the evening fireworks show at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.  It’s been that way for as long as we’ve been bringing our kids.  The current show started in 2003 and will have its final performance on May 11, 2017.

Disney Trip


A fireworks show may not be memorable to most.  But, Disney is great at creating experiences.  We lost my aunt to cancer in the fall of 2010.  She was the glue, the matriarch of our family.  She loved Christmas Villages, princesses and, most importantly, her family.  She was a surrogate mother to me, and I always imagined taking her to Disney World with my family.

With her passing fresh in our minds, our family took our first Disney trip right before Thanksgiving.  I can recall sitting with our daughter, Catherine and watching the parade.  She was so happy.  My father (Toni’s brother) was there, and we were both still feeling the pain of that loss.  But, Catherine was having the time of her life.  As kids can do when you most need it, she took our minds off our loss here and there throughout the trip.  There were a lot of memories made in those whirlwind few days where we tried to do everything Disney had to offer.  Side note to those who know me, you can only imagine how much I tried to pack into that trip.

One of my fondest memories (along with that parade) is the evening fireworks show, set to a song called “Wishes”.  You can find it on the iTunes store if you’re not familiar.  We won’t go all the way to “sappy dad land”, but hearing her sing that song as we’ve returned to Disney numerous times over the years is pretty heartwarming.  It’s the simplest of dreams for a little girl, to have her wishes come true.  And, on those nights when the loss of my Aunt was still fresh, seeing Catherine stare up in wonder while singing about her dreams coming true was, in a word, perfect.

Disney Trip

The Final Two Pennies

There’s no question we wouldn’t be taking this trip if we had to pay (cash) for everything.  4 airline tickets, a hotel room, not to mention theme park tickets!  We’d reminisce about it from afar, and I’m sure that would be fine.  But, this wonderful world of miles and points gives us the opportunity to capture one more memory.  Some might argue there are better “values” for your points.  Not for me on this one.

If you happen to be down at Disney World in the near future, you might hear a 10-year old girl belting out the lyrics to Wishes.  You might hear an oldish man singing them with her, decidedly off-key.  They’ll have big smiles on their faces.

Oh, a world of wishes.
A world where dreams come true.
So make a wish, see it through.
Dare to do what dreamers do

We’ll make a wish, and do as dreamers do
And all our wishes (all our wishes)
all our wishes
will come true

The post It’s Time For An “Emergency” Disney Trip was published first on Pizza in Motion


  1. So Rivers of Light Dining Packages just opened for booking today. Got it booked for my March trip. Good to know about Wishes we actually arrive at WDW on May 11th so will maybe we’ll get one last show in before the change over.

  2. We went over MLK weekend so happy we got to see it one last time. There is so much renovation and new stuff coming to WDW in the next several years…lots to be excited about!

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your aunt.

    A few years, right after we sadly had a miscarriage, we where getting hit with backup back massive snow storms. Feet of the stuff I tell you, and we where stuck inside with nothing to do expect watch Disney videos online. So, one morning we woke up and heard another feet dropper was coming at 8am. We decided to drop everything, throw hand fulls of clothes into the car (no time for luggage) and grab the bathroom basket with all our daily things in it, and within about 20 minutes, we started toward Walt Disney World. No hotel reservations, nothing was ready, no FPs, no meal plans or reservations. Just go and happy fun. So we did! I had to be on the phone for a conference call at 8am, and I did that while driving through Kentucky. Sometime in Tennessee we made our reservations. It was something like a 14 hours drive. This was, for us, our emergency trip to Walt Disney World to save our sanity. We had a great time! One of the best trips to WDW we’ve ever had.

    1. Les, what a happy ending! While I’m very sad to hear about the miscarriage, I love the spontaneity! We have lots of “happy places” around the world, but WDW is one of our favorites. I’m glad you guys were able to make such a special moment.

  4. Living in Orlando, I have a bunch of friends who work at WDW. I’m sharing this with them as I am sure they would be humbled to know of how that visit has become a part of your family history.

  5. I personally think Disney is great. I have quite a few fond memories. Perhaps, way too many to bore you with. But, my fondest from an #AvGeek perspective was the “other” Disney (DisneyLand) meeting my wife who was on a business trip… traveling with a 1+ year old and a 3+ year old (or something about in that range). TWA ex-JFK in first class to the west coast, during a really bad TWA work stoppage (or some labour movement). The memories are foggy, the connection in STL was tense… and I arrived many hours late at LAX… with two kids that were sound asleep. I feel like I need a nap just thinking about it.

      1. Victoria and Albert’s was a thing for us. We really liked it. And Grand Floridian. Also stayed at the Dolphin in a very nice suite shortly after it opened (which I believe was a “big thing” back in the day). My wife’s company sponsored one of the Epcot rides, and they had a VIP welcome center at the ride. That was pretty neat (or I thought so, at the time). Many many great memories. We actually were at Disney right before our deferred (we were only 22) honeymoon cruise from Tampa.

        1. We’ve enjoyed Disneyland as well. When we first started going to WDW, I thought we’d only want Grand Floridian. Instead, our kids have enjoyed bouncing around to the different themed hotels. We do like Dolphin as well, though suites are a lot harder to come by these days. BLT is probably our favorite, though mostly because of proximity and being able to watch fireworks from the roof.

  6. Thanks for posting. My family loves Disney. We’re planning our first trip with our young ones this fall. We’ll use our companion pass to get there. Where do you recommend staying with points?

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