ORLANDO –Walt Disney World is where dreams come true, and Cordarrelle Patterson had a hand in one fan's dream last week.
While in Orlando for the NFL Pro Bowl, Patterson spent a day visiting the Magic Kingdom. Patterson had been at the park for fewer than 30 minutes when he spotted a young fan sporting a purple Patterson jersey.
The timing was perfect. Patterson walked up behind the fan just as a Disney representative pointed out the wide receiver.
Eric's eyes grew wide in excitement as he met his favorite player, who shook Eric's hand and offered to sign his jersey, which Eric had purchased during the season at U.S. Bank Stadium. Patterson spent a few minutes speaking with the family and came to find out their trip to Disney had been arranged through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as Eric is dealing with a chronic illness.
"You just brought the magic," the Disney representative told Patterson. "Usually it's Mickey and Minnie Mouse who do that."
Patterson smiled and responded: "I'm Mickey Jr. today."
The special moment was just the start of Patterson's tour through the park with his mother, brother and sister, and three friends.
View images as Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson paid a visit to Walt Disney World during his week in Orlando for the Pro Bowl.
Patterson went on a number of rides, from the Mad Tea Party spinning teacups ride to Splash Mountain.
"I'm at Disney, the best park in the entire world," Patterson said. "I got on some roller coasters and whatnot, and they had me on these little kiddy rides. I guess they think I'm still a kid.
"Deep down in my heart, I'm a kid," he added with a laugh. "I'm having fun out here and just enjoying the time with my family."
Patterson's favorite rides included Space Mountain, Splash Mountain (which he dubbed 'Flash Mountain') and – on a trip to Disney's Hollywood Studios later in the day – Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.
"I love roller coasters," Patterson said. "I love getting scared."
While Patterson loved seeking out the thrill rides, he equally enjoyed touring all the areas of the park and meeting with fans throughout the day. Patterson ran the Vikings Snapchat account and posted several videos of his experience, including an invite to any Minnesota fans to come find him at Disney.
"I have to shout out to the Vikings fans that are out here," Patterson said.
"I guess they try to get out of cold Minnesota – I can't blame them," he quipped. "It's good to see those fans out here showing support to the team."
Patterson, who contributed on special teams for the NFC in Sunday night's Pro Bowl showdown, said he appreciated the privilege and the opportunity to participate in the week's events and make an impact on fans in addition to recharging after the season.
"I have my family and friends down here, just enjoying it," Patterson said. "I'm trying to relax a little bit, put on a couple of pounds, just having fun. It's the offseason – just have to enjoy every moment."