Mom Celebrates the Me-Time That Comes With the First Day of School With Solo Trip to Disney

After dropping her kids off at school, the Orlando-based mom made her way to the Magic Kingdom, where she took an entertaining photo series with park employees.

first day of school Disney World
Lisa DiNoto/ Photo: Lisa DiNoto/

Lisa DiNoto is just like every parent this time of year: thrilled for her kiddos to head back to the classroom, so the family can get back into the school year swing of things. But there's one way DiNoto is not like your average mom or dad. The mom of two lives 1.2 miles from Cinderella Castle in Orlando, Florida, which means that the DiNotos are able to hit up Disney World about as frequently as most families visit their neighborhood grocery store. And on the first day of school, DiNoto, who blogs on, knew exactly where she wanted to go post-dropoff—to the Magic Kingdom, obvi.

In a blog post about her outing, DiNoto wrote, "This, my friends. This is what you do after you drop your kids off on the first day of school. You get yourself a pin and you walk it around Magic Kingdom like some garden gnome on a world adventure."

She told Good Morning America, "It seemed totally natural to pop into Magic Kingdom after I dropped the boys off at school to take a fun 'Celebrating Being Here Alone' moment. ... They were excited for their first day at school, and I was excited for some time alone." Because Disney has pins for just about every occasion, they have one for "Celebrating the First Day of School," which DiNoto acquired and then flaunted in photos taken of and alongside various Citizens of Main Street and other park employees.

"After I grabbed the pin, I saw some of the Citizens of Main Street U.S.A. out and about and had the idea to have them hold the pin," she told GMA. "They got such a kick out of it that I just kept going."

First Day of School Disney
Lisa DiNoto/

DiNoto's most loved moment of the day was spent with the Fairy Godmother, given her reaction.

"She was laughing so hard she was crying and we just started hugging and laughing together," DiNoto told the morning show. "She reached into her sleeve and pulled out a bag of pixie dust and handed it to me and said, 'This is for you and only you. You use it today.' It was one of those moments of connection that is really what the parks are all about."

first day of school disney
Lisa DiNoto/ Lisa DiNoto/

She also loved scoring a photo op with Snow White. "Though note that she apparently isn’t allowed to hold things," DiNoto wrote on her site. "Or mock your children for being in school while you’re in Magic Kingdom. Alas."

First Day of School Disney World
Lisa DiNoto. Lisa DiNoto/

In addition to having an utter blast during her mom self-care moment, DiNoto managed to empower another mom who was visiting the park with her family. "This sweet mom who was clearly very tired and in the midst of a lovely family trip was watching at one point, and, as she read the pin, I saw this amazing expression come over her face." DiNoto explained to GMA. "It was like a light came on. She said, 'You. You are my life goal. Have the most amazing day you've ever had and do it for all of us.'"

It used to be that Super Bowl-winning NFL players were the ones who got to celebrate by screaming, "I'm going to Disney World!" But we won't be surprised if DiNoto's "world adventure" has inspired tons of parents who are celebrating a return to school year normalcy to do the same.

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