The rising sun cast a rosy glow on the newly fallen snow outside, and a soft light started to creep into Bonnie Anderson's bedroom window. As soon as the morning's first rays filled her room, the only-slightly-asleep five-year-old girl sat up and squealed excitedly.
"It's Christmas! Its Christmas morning! Santa's been here!" She jumped out of bed, pushing the toys that had been sleeping with her aside. "Merry Christmas, toys!" she called back to them as she bolted down the hallway towards her parents' room.
Bonnie's toys began to stir, but remained silent until they were sure the coast was clear. They knew Christmas morning would be unpredictable and they listened, amused, as she awakened her parents.
"Mom! Dad! Wake up! It's Christmas! I wanna open presents! Come on! Come on!" The toys heard Mr. and Mrs. Anderson mumble something tiredly and incoherently to their daughter, and ten seconds later Bonnie's footsteps could be heard approaching her bedroom. All the toys turned inanimate and fell back into position just as Bonnie entered the room to quickly grab her robe and slippers that she had forgotten in her haste to wake her parents. "I'm opening presents now!" she announced, once again disappearing down the hall, this time towards the waiting Christmas tree.
Knowing that Bonnie would be gone from the bedroom for a while, one by one the toys started to move and gathered together on the floor by the wicker toy basket. Wishes of "Merry Christmas" were shared amongst them.
"Well, someone's excited," Dolly laughed.
Mr. Potato Head groaned. "She's going to be like this all day," he complained.
"Yeeeeeehaw! Ain't it great?" exclaimed Jessie, jumping onto Buzz in a piggy-back hug, her arms around his neck. The Space Ranger looked back at his cowgirl and smiled.
This was Andy's toys' second Christmas with Bonnie. None of the toys were too concerned about what her presents would be. The Andersons weren't an extravagant family – their house was small and they didn't indulge Bonnie with lots of toys. Instead, for the previous Christmas, the family's big gift had been a Hawaiian vacation; all that Bonnie had received besides that were beach outfits, a portable DVD player, and activity books to keep her occupied on the long flight. And for her birthday, her father had custom-built a dollhouse for her, complete with simple furniture, big enough for even her tallest toys to "live" in comfortably. The toys had spent the months since in constant debate as to who had the most rights to the dollhouse, and the matter still remained unsettled. It sat empty for now – although most of the toys were unaware that Buzz and Jessie crept into the dollhouse as many nights as they could to sleep in its miniature double bed.
Even though the toys weren't worried, they were, of course, still curious. Lacking the baby monitor used during their spying-on-Andy-and-Molly days, Mr. Potato Head had strategically hidden one eye and one ear in the branches of the Christmas tree the night before so that he could make a full report.
"She's opening the first gift!" the spud narrated, holding a hand up to silence the toys that were standing and talking around him. Hushing and shushing noises were made as they quieted down and stared at him in anticipation.
"What is it?" Rex asked nervously.
"I don't know yet! I can't see through paper! It's a box, and she's ripping off the paper now. It's...it's a pink and purple frilly dress," Mr. Potato Head said in disgust.
"Betcha it's a Rapunzel dress," Dolly guessed. She had been forced by Bonnie to play the role of Mother Gothel a few too many times recently, with Jessie in the role of Rapunzel.
"She's opening the second gift now, it's small and flat, it's a..."
"Tangled DVD!" an ecstatic Bonnie cheered from down the hall.
"Yep, Rapunzel," Dolly confirmed smugly.
"She's got another, this one is in a gift bag, it's... it's a camera."
"Guess we all better prepare to be posed for photos now," Buttercup sighed.
"Looks like there's one more, and it's a big one," Mr. Potato Head reported, as Bonnie pulled a large box, wrapped in Mickey Mouse paper, from under the tree. Rex whimpered.
In the living room, Bonnie's parents smirked at each other on the sofa while Bonnie opened this last gift from Santa. Little did she know that all the other presents she had opened that cheerful Christmas morning were leading up to this one. She impulsively pulled off the sparkly ribbon and ripped into the colorful paper. As she lifted the lid on the box, at first all she could see was crumpled tissue paper. Then, digging deeper into the box, treasures began to appear. A Disney World DVD. Maps from the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. A brochure about Disney resorts. An autograph book and pen with Mickey ears on it. A Disney World coloring book. And, at the very bottom, a little folder.
"It's a bunch of brochures and books and stuff, and maybe a DVD," stated Mr. Potato Head.
"What does that mean?" Rex shrieked, wringing his little hands in a panic.
"I don't know yet!" Mr. Potato Head shouted, while trying to stay focused on what was going on in two rooms at once. He closed his eye and peered through the other one in the living room as Bonnie carefully pulled the mysterious contents from the box.
"Disney World?" she questioned. A look of puzzlement clouded her features until she opened the cover of the little folder and saw three plane tickets to Florida. Bonnie's eyebrows shot up and her eyes widened as she turned to stare at her parents, who were grinning widely at her.
"Santa got us tickets to Disney World?" Bonnie exclaimed, letting out a shriek. Her parents gasped in mock surprise and quickly looked over the box's contents which they had purchased in the last month.
"Huh... it says here we leave tomorrow morning," her father said quizzically, as if he was studying the tickets for the first time. With this news Bonnie was even more thrilled. She leapt up and started jumping up and down, unable to contain her joy.
"We're going to Disney World tomorrow?" she asked, barely believing it could be possible.
"Yes we are, Bonnie," said her mother, happily. She wrapped her daughter in a hug and whispered, "Merry Christmas."
Even from down the hall the toys could hear Bonnie's excitement and couldn't help smiling at one another.
"So the family is going to Disney World. They must be making a winter vacation a tradition, after Hawaii last year," commented Woody.
"Let's just hope Ken and Barbie don't try to tag along this time," said Slinky. "We can't build 'em Disney World." Woody nodded his head.
"The weather in Orlando averages in the 70s in December and January," Hamm stated matter-of-factly. "The parks will be crowded this week, but it'll be better than being here in the snow."
"Do you think she'll get to take any toys with her?" asked Trixie.
"I don't know. She wasn't allowed to bring any to Hawaii," Dolly pointed out.
Before the toys could discuss the possibility of their own vacation any further, they heard Bonnie scurrying back towards her room. The family had finished opening presents and she had exciting news to share. In a mad rush, the toys jumped up onto the bed or shelves they had been left on and froze just as Bonnie entered her room again.
"Guess what, toys? I'm going to Disney World! Tomorrow!" she squealed as she dropped her gifts on the floor of her room. Her parents had kept the plane tickets; but before long the maps were unfolded and strewn across the floor. Bonnie took her portable DVD player off the shelf and began to watch the DVD about the parks, consulting the maps to see where all the different attractions mentioned in the program were located. She shared everything with her toys – pointing out Frontierland to Woody and Jessie, Tomorrowland to Buzz and the Aliens, and the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom to Rex and Trixie. The morning was spent daydreaming of all the fun adventures that were soon to come.
"Bonnie, get ready to go to Grandma and Grandpa's. We're leaving in a half hour," her mother called from her bedroom." And don't put on the Rapunzel dress, save it for Disney World," she added.
Bonnie exhaled a loud, exasperated sigh. "Okay."
Reluctantly Bonnie turned off the DVD player and started to get dressed in a Christmas sweatshirt, leggings, her favorite tutu, and furry snow boots. She looked over her stash of presents and grabbed her new camera and coloring book before heading for the door.
"See you later, toys. I'll have a lot of packing to do when we get home!"
The toys could hear Bonnie and her parents gathering their extended family's presents from under the tree and putting on their coats, in preparation to leave for Bonnie's grandparents' house across town. The trio was discussing plans for their trip as they headed out the door.
"Mom, can I bring some of my toys to Disney World?"
"I guess that's okay. But you can only bring what will fit in your carry-on bag, so choose carefully."
With that the family was out the door and Bonnie's room burst into a whirl of excitement.
"I'm firing up the computer!" declared Trixie. "Forget this DVD, I wanna find a video of the Dinosaur ride on YouTube!" She raced out of the bedroom, and after a brief search had found what she was looking for. "Yes! Hey, Rex! Come check this out!"
"Will some of us really get to go to Disney World, Woody?" Jessie asked hopefully, holding tight to Buzz's hand and squeezing it even tighter in her eagerness.
"It appears that way," answered Woody. "But there's no way to tell which of us it will be, or how many of us will even get to go. So it's best we don't get our hopes up too high yet."
A scream came from down the hall. "NOOOOOOO! I'm not going! You can't make me! Those dinosaurs are REAL!"
"Guess Rex wasn't impressed by the Dinosaur ride," Hamm chuckled.
"We have to take into consideration the other things Bonnie might want to bring with her," Buzz reasoned. He knew how likely Jessie was to get her heart set on something and how devastated she'd be if she wasn't chosen to go. He wanted to lessen the blow, just in case. "She might want to take her DVD player to watch movies on the plane, or books and crayons to pass the time. It will all depend on how much room is left in her carry-on bag."
"I figure those of us who are soft toys have the best chance. We can be squashed to fit," added Dolly.
"I don't see what the big deal is," Mr. Potato Head grumbled. "That place looks like way too much happiness for me."
"You wouldn't even want to go for your boys?" his wife questioned, as the three Aliens picked up the map of the Magic Kingdom.
"Space Mounnntainnn," they read in unison.
The toys went on like this for the remainder of the afternoon, each stating their reasons why they should – or in Rex's and Mr. Potato Head's cases, why they should not – be chosen to go to Disney World. They studied the maps, watched the DVD, and browsed the internet for more videos of the rides and resorts. All the while, their anticipation was building for Bonnie's decision.
Finally Buzz and Jessie got their turn to sit down together and peruse the maps, with Bullseye peeking over their shoulders. "Buzz!" the cowgirl cried out, pointing feverishly at the map she had just picked up. "How come nobody noticed before? You have a ride at the Magic Kingdom! There's a Buzz Lightyear of Star Command ride!"
"Really?" Buzz asked. The usually calm Space Ranger yanked the map from his girlfriend's hands so he could get a better look.
Jessie stood. "I'll have Trixie find it on the computer," she suggested, as Buzz continued to survey the maps. "Nobody's been able to pry her off'a there all day!"
While Jessie went to make her request to Trixie, Buzz grabbed the brochure about the different resorts and started flipping through it. This really was a fascinating place, he thought, no wonder Jessie and the others want to go there so badly. As he waited for his cowgirl to return from the kitchen – where she wasn't having any success getting Trixie to turn off the video tour of Disney Quest – he read the brochure from cover to cover, and one thing in particular caught his eye and his imagination. What if he and Jessie were in fact the ones to be chosen to go to Disney World? Would it be possible? No, he was the practical one, she was the dreamer. They would just have a nice week at home together, free to do whatever they pleased while the family was away, and he would be perfectly happy with that.
With sunset and shadows descending upon the room, the toys knew that the Andersons would be coming home soon. Their flight was to leave early the following morning, and Bonnie hadn't packed a single thing. Trixie logged off the computer, and the brochures and DVD player were restored to where Bonnie had left them. Moments later they heard the family's car pull into the driveway and they became inanimate just as Bonnie and her mother entered the bedroom.
"Get your suitcase out of the closet and bring me the clothes you want to take," Mrs. Anderson instructed her daughter. "Don't forget your Rapunzel dress," she added with a smile, as Bonnie raced around her room and sifted through her closet and dresser drawers. In no time, Bonnie's wheeled suitcase was sitting ready to go by the doorway and the little girl was changed into her nightgown.
"Here's your carry-on bag." She handed Bonnie a canvas tote bag. "It's up to you what you want to have with you on the plane. It'll be a three-hour flight. Pack it before you go to bed. "
Mr. Anderson peeked in the door to check on their progress. With a hug and a kiss both parents bade their daughter goodnight. "Sweet dreams, Disney girl! See you bright and early!"
Bonnie had been thinking all day about what she wanted to bring on her trip. She quickly found her portable DVD player and placed it in the bag along with her Tangled DVD. Her camera was next, followed by her park maps, her Disney World coloring book and a box of crayons, and her autograph book and pen.
The little girl glanced at her scattered toys and paused before making her final decision."I'm really sorry I can't take all of you," she said regretfully. "I promise I'll take lots of pictures and tell you all about it when I get back." She walked around her room, tucking some toys into bed and setting others in their usual spot on the shelf. Except for the lucky ones who would get to go – those were carefully placed in the canvas carry-on bag.
That night, five very happy toys didn't get much sleep. As they lay awake, their minds racing, they could barely imagine the adventures that were waiting for them.