Naperville woman, Disney superfan travels the world with GMA

HINSDALE, Ill. (WLS) -- One Disney superfan from Naperville set off on the trip of a lifetime Friday, traveling the world with Good Morning America's Ginger Zee for Mickey's 90th birthday.

Zee and the mouse himself surprised Hinsdale Adventist Academy 4th Grade Teacher Patrice Jenkins in her classroom Friday morning, sharing the exciting news with Jenkins live on GMA.

"You and I are about to go around the world, starting today," announced Zee, shocking Jenkins.

"Seeing Mickey today I was in tears...My mind is still blown. I'm like 'is this real, has this really happened,'" Jenkins said before letting out a gleeful scream.

Zee said she and Jenkins will visit all nine Disney parks in six cities (on multiple continents) in just a week! According to GMA, the duo will travel 23,464 miles throughout the journey.

Jenkins was selected from a pool of Disney superfans; a clear choice for her students.

"She loves mickey so much. She even has dresses, purses... stuffed animals," explained 10-year-old Livny Mondragon who was in Jenkins' class last year.

Jenkins' husband said that lifestyle is 24/7.

"We got married at Disney, honeymoon at Disney," said D'Juan Jenkins with a laugh.

Patrice Jenkins uses her love of "the Mouse" to spread joy and inspire her 4th graders.

"I think it teaches them to be creative and innovative thinkers," she said of the Disney brand and Walt Disney's work, adding, "If you're passionate about something, do it... Make those dreams happen."

Before she could even absorb the shock, Jenkins left her classroom and had to rush off to the airport for her first flight on this magical adventure. All she knows for sure is that she's going to be away for 9 days and that she needed to bring her passport.

As part of Mickey's 90th Birthday celebration, Disney will donate $5 each to the Make-A-Wish foundation for posts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter that show off Mickey Mouse ears (or other creative ears) in a picture. Use #ShareYourEars to help raise up to $2 million.

ABC 7 is owned by the Walt Disney Company.
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