Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when their Los Angeles-bound plane took off from Florida on time: Their biggest hurdle was now eliminated for achieving their goal of visiting six Disney parks on two coasts in one day.
They succeeded Wednesday, visiting four Disney parks in the Orlando, Florida, area and two in Anaheim, California, with a 2,500-mile cross-country flight and two time zones in between, all within 20 hours.
The media interest in their Disney pilgrimage after an Associated Press story about their plans was published. As they traveled from park to park, they were bombarded with calls and texts from radio stations, TV outlets and newspapers, wanting to know where they were on the journey.
A camera crew from Disney World’s publicity office tracked them down for an interview, and they were stopped by Disney guests who recognized them from media reports.
They also updated friends and fans of the Disney parks throughout the day, with posts on a Facebook page for Heather Ensminger’s travel-agent business.
The trip was planned for their 10th wedding anniversary, but it also marked a sadder occasion: the first anniversary since Heather Ensminger’s father had died. Last year, a few days before the Ensmingers planned to visit Walt Disney World in Florida for a vacation with her parents, Heather’s father had a fatal heart attack.
The Ensmingers love all things Disney, and even though they live in Tennessee, they are annual passholders to Disney World. At one time, they were visiting the theme park resort six times in a year.
Before leaving Disneyland, they sat down and just soaked it all in.
“We took five minutes to just look at each other and say, ’Wow we did it! What a great day,” Heather Ensminger said.