Disney World – Magic Kingdom’s Flag Retreat


RM-Flag-Retreat1Better than the Hall of Presidents, more heart-melting than The American Adventure in Epcot, the Flag Retreat, if you haven’t seen it, is a must-do for your next Disney World visit!  The Voices of Liberty may give you goose bumps, but the Flag Retreat will touch your heart (and maybe make you cry)!

Disney World – Magic Kingdom’s Flag Retreat

On Disney’s website, the Flag Retreat doesn’t sound like something worth stopping for.  They describe it this way, “Pledge allegiance and hear patriotic songs as the flag is lowered, folded and a special Guest is selected to participate.”  It’s so much more that that!  A veteran is pre-selected to gather by the flagpole at the beginning of Main Street U.S.A. with the uniformed Color Guard members who lower the flag.  On the day we were there, The Dapper Dans were standing by to bring their special musical flair to the solemn and extremely patriotic 15 minute ceremony.  The veteran chosen that particular day had served in the US Coast Guard and he stood at attention, eyes on the flag, as the Color Guard slowly and carefully brought the flag down and meticulously folded it.RM-Flag-Retreat3

At this point in the Retreat, the announcer invited guests to join the Dapper Dans in singing God Bless America (one of my most favorite patriotic songs) and I tried – I wanted to sing with the Dapper Dans and the rest of the gathered crowd, but a huge lump had moved from my chest right up into my throat and I could feel the sting of tears in my eyes.  I watched those very serious and reverent cast members hand that flag to the serviceman, moving in uniformed precision and I couldn’t sing a single note.  Moments later, a certificate was slipped into the veteran’s hands behind the flag.  The announcer introduced the special guest and the ceremony concluded as the Color Guard, veteran, and other Cast Members marched away.

RM-Flag-Retreat5I’d been hoping to see the Flag Retreat for a long time.  We arrived after the Pledge while the National Anthem was playing and when I realized what was happening I practically ran over to see as much as possible.  This short, seemingly routine daily activity is a wonderful opportunity for Disney guests to remember those who have fallen for our freedom and show appreciation for those brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.  I encourage you to put this 15 minutes of extra-special Disney magic in your plans for the next time you visit the Magic Kingdom at Disney World – you won’t be sorry.

Thanks to Facebook follower Deborah W. who requested more details about the Flag Retreat.  Deborah – thanks for asking and thanks for following!


Just Back From Disney World – 10 Things I Learned

RM-WDW SignWhat an amazing, surprisingly unusual trip to Walt Disney World we just had!  I knew it was going to be different because I was participating in my very first runDisney events, but so many wonderful and unexpected things happened that have forever earned this vacation a special place in my heart.  I’ll be writing individual reviews on restaurants, attractions, and activities over the next couple of weeks, but if you read anything here and you have questions or want more information – shout it on out in the comments section and I’ll do what I can to oblige.

Just Back From Disney World – 10 Things I Learned

1. The Walt Disney World sign still makes my heart beat faster – Even after all these years, there’s nothing more thrilling that visual proof that you have arrived at your favorite place to be (away from home).RM-Frozen-5K-2015

2. It can be freezing in Florida in February – I live in Louisiana, I know we get an occasional cold snap, but in Florida?  I honestly wasn’t expecting wind chills in the 20’s.  Luckily, we packed for just about every possible weather and were prepared.  I only wished my homage-to-Donald “costume” for the Frozen 5K (appropriately named, for sure) had included a bit more coverage for my knees.RM-Flag-Retreat

3. The Flag Retreat in Magic Kingdom makes me cry – I’ve heard about it for years and have never found myself in the right place at the right time to experience this unbelievably touching, patriotic ceremony.  I tried to sing along to God Bless America with the Dapper Dans, but I was too choked up to croak out even a few bars.  This is a must-see and you should put it on your Disney to-do list right now.RM-Lisa-and-Glass-Slipper-Sign

4. The hype you hear about runDisney events is well-deserved – I have participated in dozens of races over the past 17+ years and some of them were pretty amazing and well organized.  Nothing – not even in my wildest imagination – could have prepared me for the truly magical execution that makes a runDisney experience far superior to any other event.  Unless you have your heart set on a personal record, then you should know, that goal would be very challenging during a runDisney race.RM-Fiesta-Donald

5. Donald Duck is still my favorite Disney character.  And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

6. Il Mulino at the Swan is an absolutely fantastic restaurant – This place was so special – everything about it was perfect to us and a full review of our dining experience will be written very soon.

7.  Being Stranded at Walt Disney World induces euphoria – I’m sure for some people, being iced-in and unable to get home, even from Orlando, would be a major inconvenience.  For us, at this particular time, it was the gift of not one, but TWO extra Disney days to enjoy – and enjoy them we did!  Ferris Bueller-style, we packed so much extra happiness into those two days, you won’t believe it…story to follow, so check back.RM-Polynesian-Village-Resort-Lobby

8. The Polynesian Village Resort’s renovated lobby is gorgeous – I’m not insensitive to the long-time Polynesian fans who are heartbroken by the changes to their favorite resort, but to me, the new Poly is a beautifully improved Poly.  I think the colors, furniture and décor, and overall feeling of welcome is lovely.RM-Hat-Shopping-Downtown-Disney

9.  Disney Springs is coming right along.  Sure, the construction walls are a big ugly pain to maneuver around, but something in the atmosphere has changed – there’s now an air of expectation and excitement.  We can tell the Downtown Disney area is going to be better than it ever was before.  The new hat shop’s a gem – of course I’ll write a post on that too.RM-New-Tree-of-Life-Roots10.  Animal Kingdom is starting to reveal what the future holds – and if the new details to the Tree of Life are any indication, this park (that I love SO much) is going to be even more incredible.

Please let me know what you want to hear most about in greater detail.  Check back over the next couple of weeks for more scoop on what made this latest visit to Walt Disney World a truly extraordinary Disney vacation.