Brooke & Brielle Make a Grand Entrance at Magic Kingdom Park!

Did you know that each day, two lucky families visiting Magic Kingdom Park randomly are chosen to serve as grand marshals for the afternoon’s Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade?

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Grand Marshals in the “Celebrate A Dream Come True” Parade in Disney World.

It was my dream come true. I’ve always wished to give this experience to my children and today was a very special magical day for our whole family! We met our new friend, Mr. Dean at the fire station on Main Street at 2:30pm and there, he greeted us with Mickey Mouse hats/ears with our names embroidered on the back of each and a special certificate to honor our family as the Grand Marshals of the day.

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After that, we were led back behind the gated doors to the specially designed car, modeled after a 1912 touring car that serves as the first float in the parade. The car features a few special Disney touches, including Mickey Mouse-shaped silhouettes on the tread of each tire.

Photo Via Disney Parks Blog

We were helped inside the special vehicle and found our seats and magically, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother appeared at the side of our vehicle to greet us! She gave us a handful of magic sparkles for our journey. Next, we were greeted by Aladdin and his Genie, Ariel and Prince Eric, and MICKEY and MINNIE Mouse! After lots of hugs and kisses by all of them, we were next greeted by Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder! Eugene (Flynn’s real name) showed us Rapunzel’s REAL crown inside his satchel! After a little princess talk with Rapunzel, Brooke and Brielle continued the princess conversation with Belle and the enormous BEAST! The girls were a little scared at first but Belle showed them how sweet and kind the Beast is. That helped them become brave enough to pet his furry paw and arm. Next up for hugs and kisses were Peter Pan, Wendy, Goofy, Tiana and Naveen (The Princess and the Frog), the MAD Hatter, Snow White and the Snow Prince! Then came along Cinderella and Prince Charming with the mice and the evil step sisters! Drizella asked Brielle if they could trade out sisters for a day! Brielle said, “no way!” :) Next they gave lots of hugs to Woody and Jessie the cowgirl, tweedle dee and tweedle dum, the rabbit from Alice and Wonderland, The Queen of Hearts, Mr Smee and Captain Hook, Chip and Dale, Abu the monkey and so many other characters in the parade and even all the dancers!! The girls LOVED all of the special one on one attention and hugs and kisses from everyone. It was absolutely INCREDIBLE! To see our girls SO happy made Eric and I both want to well up with tears. It was one of the best moments of my life, Eric’s life and especially Brooke and Brielle’s life.

After all of that excitement, we heard our names introduced over the loudspeaker as the Grand Marshals of the parade and the doors swept open and away we went, leading the parade down Main Street. It was a good thing I had sunglasses on because “the moment” hit me and there went my happy tears again. Our super awesome friends, Miss Kelly and Mr. Brandon took pictures and videos the WHOLE parade route for us. Miss Kelly was right outside the gates and the first person I saw and she had happy tears just like I did. :) It was such a surreal moment. We all started waving our best Princess waves (except Eric, he waved like a Prince) and I’ll tell you what - Brooke and Brielle kept their arms in the air, waving for the WHOLE parade!! To have SMA and wave your arm for about 45 minutes with no breaks is a BIG DEAL! They were really into it with their slow Princess waves and even blowing kisses to special people in the crowd. I think they won the hearts of many that day. Mr. Dean commented that Brooke and Brielle could give cupid lessons!

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Can you see our faces in the middle?

At the end of the parade route, they had a special roped off area for us to watch the parade go past. Each character made a special acknowledgement to B&B as they went past. Eric and I just couldn’t believe it.

Reflecting on our past and all the rough patches we’ve been through as a family. We know what our worst days have been, starting with Eric being deployed for training while Brooke was born, to Brielle’s diagnosis of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), then Eric being deployed to Afghanistan 5 days after her diagnosis, and then Brooke’s diagnosis a few weeks after that. Suffering through my father’s death, a clinical trial commitment for Brooke and her emergency feeding tube surgery in Utah (you can read all about that here). All while trying to learn the most we can about the diagnosis of SMA. We’ve come a long way but I think Rapunzel said it best… but for the 4 of us - that day in Disney World was the Best.Day.Ever!!

Brooke and Brielle now share something in common with a few famous faces, such as boxing champion Muhammad Ali, comedian Bob Hope and Walt Disney’s nephew, filmmaker Roy E. Disney. They have all served as grand marshals in the “Celebrate A Dream Come True” Parade in Disney World! It is a day that we will never forget!

Thank you Disney World for this very special day. We will cherish it forever!

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Our Never Give Up shirts are from the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation merchandise shop.  Get yours here! http://thegsf.org/shop

Update

on 2012-07-28 22:35 by Sarah

Miss Kelly made this super awesome video for us!  

WE LOVE IT!!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Part 1: http://youtu.be/3AODL0RthqU

Part 2: http://youtu.be/K98ruwzehpk