In celebration of Walt Disney World’s 45th Anniversary, the WDW Radio Blog Team members are sharing their Walt Disney World “love stories” about the moment they became lifelong fans.
Confession: it was not love at first sight for me and Walt Disney World. Don’t get me wrong, I took my first trip when I was 10 and had a great time, but, to continue the relationship metaphor, I was just flirting. By the time I was in high school, our family trips had grown to be almost yearly, and my affection for that 43 square acres had grown as well, but it wasn’t until I started planning my honeymoon that I truly fell in love with Walt Disney World.
We were talking one day about Walt Disney World and she, not for the first time, reminded me that she had never been. All of a sudden it was like a light bulb went off. “I’ll take you,” I said.
She was apprehensive about the idea, mostly because of money, but once I assured her that we could make it happen, she agreed it.
“How hard can it be to plan a Disney World honeymoon?” I thought to myself. “My parents have done it for years.”
(For the record, I can hear your chuckling right now.)
I bought a guidebook and starting planning but quickly realized that it would take more time than I thought. Then I found out we would be there during one of their Star Wars Weekends. I spent more time planning our Disney trip than I spent planning our wedding, but I loved every minute of it.
Reading the guidebook. Finding websites online. Listening to podcasts. I’m pretty sure there were little Hidden Mickeys in my pupils by the end of it, but I was hooked. And we weren’t even married yet!
The whole trip was a lot of fun, but there is one moment that I will always remember. Planning a trip to Disney requires sacrifice. You are not going to be able to do everything, so don’t try. Ride what you don’t want to miss, and everything else is icing on the cake. For us, Peter Pan’s Flight was on our sacrificed list. My wife isn’t a big Peter Pan fan, and there is so much to do at the Magic Kingdom Park that I figured we could wait for another trip.
As we were walking by it; however, my wife points it out and says, “What is that?”
“That’s the Peter Pan ride. You ride in pirate ships and the track is above you so it feels like you’re flying through the skies.”
She looked right at me with a big smile on her face. “Can we ride it?”
Well, I just wouldn’t be a good husband if I refused to let my new wife do what she wanted, right?
Happy 45th, Magic Kingdom, and thanks for the memories!
(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)
Chris grew up during the Disney renaissance of animation and took his first trip to Disney World when he was ten. Even though he has loved Disney his whole life, his obsession didn’t start until he began planning a trip for his honeymoon. Right now, his primary job (at least the one that doesn’t pay the bills) is to indoctrinate his daughter with his love of Disney while at the same time convincing his wife to move to Orlando so he can become a tour guide in the parks.