Whenever you hear about someone getting engaged in Disney World, if you aren’t choking from the cheesiness of it, you are assuming that they did it one of two ways. They either got down on one knee in front of Cinderella’s Castle or coughed up the $300 or so dollars to get the ring presented inside Cinderella’s Castle during dinner. I can say that yes I did get engaged at Disney World but could not tell either of those previous tales. Mine is better.
I have always loved Disney in all its forms but my boyfriend had never been to Disney World. I thought this ailment must be mended if we are to ever make it as a couple. So I planned a vacation and took my then boyfriend to Disney World for the first time. Now this could have gone one of two ways for a 20-something having never been to Disney World; you either love it or REALLY hate it. We went in late summer and I got lucky in that he absolutely LOVED it. We rode every ride and stayed until closing every night. We did the dining plan and stayed at a Value resort and were already wanting to go back before we had even left.
Fast forward a couple years and we plan another trip for early October of 2010. By this time we are already discussing the idea of getting married and it is pretty much a done deal; just need to save for a ring. I dropped some not-so-subtle hints that I have always dreamed of getting engaged in Disney World BUT it’s totally up to him. No pressure. Every single female within a 50 mile radius was betting that he was going to propose on this vacation. I had set my hopes very high. My boyfriend told me before we left that he was not going to propose in Disney because he was still saving money and to not get my hopes up or be disappointed. I was, but said nothing. At the very least, I was still going on vacation with my best friend.
A couple days into the trip we go eat dinner at Cinderella’s Castle early in the evening ,as in 4 pm early, because that was the only reservation I could get for the entire week at that restaurant 6 months in advance. They bring us to our table which just so happened to be the table for two in front of the large window. This table is also known as the engagement table for those who purchase the ” Engagement ” package previously mentioned. I began to think he wouldn’t dare try and pull a stunt like this? Really? at 4 pm? Dinner came and went with no ring. I was relieved and slightly sad. Maybe he really wasn’t going to propose.
The electrical parade and fireworks show was later that night so we had learned from previous experience that you had to stake our your “spot” way in advance in order to see. We also learned that no matter what your spot was, you will have to deal with screaming children that are tired and hungry, that every mom with a stroller feels entitled to run over your toes, and that every person in a power chair feels more entitled to run over your toes. I kept asking him when we would stake out our spot but he kept brushing me off saying “Later, later.” Finally, it was less than an hour to parade time, every place was packed, and I finally stopped him in his tracks, asking what we would do now that all the good spots were taken. He took me by the hand and said “I planned ahead honey. Don’t worry.”
Now the word “planner” is not one that comes to mind when I think of my boyfriend, so needless to say, I was a little skeptical. He starting bringing me down Main Street and thought that maybe he was bringing me to the Train station to watch. We walked past it. We kept walking and walked out the park. Now I’m starting to freak out. He brings me to the monorail and go to the Contemporary resort, a nearby hotel. So now we are really going to miss the parade. We eventually walk to the lobby where he tells me to literally go find a corner and stand there until he comes and gets me. He eventually picks me up from my hideaway and walks me to a marina.
There was a little pontoon boat waiting for us. Now I know why he didn’t let me leave my sweatshirt in the room (I am eternally cold, even in Florida). With just us and the driver, we rode around the Seven Seas Lagoon and learned about the history of the Lagoon and the hotels surrounding it. A water version of the electrical parade passed by. So did a couple booze cruises with some rowdy, yet funny, pirates aboard singing away as the patrons laughed.
The night went on and the driver parked the boat with Cinderella’s Castle in center stage. The music began from within the boat and the Wishes Fireworks show began, choreographed to the music streaming into the boat. Padded seats, a great view with the camera, and not a child in sight. Perfection.
As the fireworks ended, I looked at my boyfriend who was on one knee and asked that I turn towards him. He asked if I would marry him. As the tears welled up, all I could eke out was “Yeah”. My dream had come true. Not as I had originally envisioned, but even better.
Many tears and hugs later, we eventually got off the boat. He was so subtle about proposing that the driver didn’t even notice. She was thrilled because it turned out this was her first day on the job and knew she would never forget this trip. Funny, because neither will I. :-)