General Discussions Discuss So, what's YOUR WDW story?? in the Community Center forums; We all know Walt's story, and Lou's story (as trivial as it is) continues to keep us entertained. But what about you ? In the forums and chat rooms we ...
So, what's YOUR WDW story??
We all know Walt's story, and Lou's story (as trivial as it is) continues to keep us entertained. But what about you? In the forums and chat rooms we all get little snippets of info here and there - but it's hard to keep track of everyone's backgrounds and interests.
I thought it would be interesting to share how y'all came to this place. No, not by Googling or http-ing, but what's YOUR story - what experiences did you have to implant that little spark (or flame) of Disney magic in your blood? Was it an already established family tradition? Did you watch the Mickey Mouse Club? Were you born on Space Mountain?
It's one thing to be interested in the trivia, but it's BECAUSE we all have the WDW bug - and some of us in a big way!
Here's my story!
I was born the son of a poor sharecropper... no wait, wrong story.
Let's try - Born and raised in upstate NY ~1200 miles from the World . Have lots of relatives in Tampa that we visited via Dodge station wagon about twice a year. Shortly after MK opening (I think Spring '72) we visited for first time - I have so many vivid memories of that first trip, and I was only 5 1/2 years old. Later when Space Mountain was under construction - you couldn't pull me away from the construction fence peep-hole - I was drooling.
I devoured Disney magazines, got in trouble multiple times for placing a "DisneyWorld or Bust" signs in the car window on I-95 (Dad's warnings just made me want to do it even more ), and memorized that big EPCOT preview book with all the attraction drawings and stories. I even wrote an interactive computer program on my Apple ][e with basic graphics that took you around the WDW property circa 1984 and within the individual parks (even had a little monorail car that circled the lake!). Our family routine included stuffing everything into Main Street locker in early afternoon, and slipping out to the Polynesian, change in the public RR, and enjoy a leisurely hour or two poolside (shhh - don't tell them!). Continued visits once or twice a year til about 1985 kept me up to date on all changes, River Country, EPCOT Center's birth and early evolution, etc.
Then the 'dark years' - after high school graduation I was much more on my own, resulting in relatively limited trips. I did do New Year's Eve/New Years Day '88/89 but talk about crowds - ugh! Since then (now in Ohio), I think I've averaged a trip about every 4 years, more recently associated with a business trip - so has been hard to truly relax. Last trip was Jan '05 - an intense business trip with just enough time to do 3 parks in 2 days including AK's Behind the Scenes Safari (highly recommended), and Downtown Disney on last eve.
Until the next time - I live through all your stories and trip reports, and use my witty humor(?) and sideways logic to keep me sane until my next ride in a doombuggy.
So, what's YOUR WDW story?
The first time we went to Disney World, I was 4 or 5 but really don't remember much of it. Like Craig, I am from upstate ny and 1,200 miles from the mouse. My mom and aunt, cousin and i went in 1981 and meet other family members there but all i remeber from that trip was sitting on park benchs in Magic Kingdom. As time went on we never got back to florida in the rest of the 80's or 90's.
First went back in 2000 and finally realized that the reason i always like to draw was my fasicination with Walt Disney's animation process from drawing to end result in film.
Went the firt time in 1984.. I was 4.. been back 17 times since.. This past summer on my honeymoon... loved every moment of it.. I am 1264 miles from my front door to the Disney property line... I'm also from upsate NY...
I am a writer so I tend to be longwinded but I will try to make this quick and to the point.
Dinsey represents fantasy and childhood innocence to me, and now as an adult, a well-oiled machine, intricately detailed and carried out that provides lasting memories for everyone of every age.
I discovered Disney as a young child at about 5 years old. First trip was with my mom, dad and baby sister. I fell in love. We visited almost annually in my childhood, as my father's parents had a winter place in FLA. I think I loved disney because it was a place where I could escape and just be a kid, which I did not get much of as a child. I had an alcoholic father and an anorexic mother, so I grew up pretty quick and lost the innocence of childhood.
But when I stepped on Main Street, I was a kid again. The sights, the sounds, the smells, it really was magic.
And my father, who wasn't around much, also loved Disney, and it was one of those places where we understood each other and got to have great experiences.
I re-discovered disney again when I became a parent in 1997. When my son was 3, I took him to Disney, and saw the wonder in his eyes, and I will never forget that feeling! I am now the mother of three, and our disney trips are always some of the best times I have with my kids. And each experience is new and different!
We live in Michigan and getting to Disney is not so easy, but I save money so that I can "treat" myself and my kids to this magical place-and it is always money well spent.
I am in need of some Disney magic!!
Above all else, that's my story - I think the way Walt intended it!
Originally Posted by DissyLove
GREAT THREAD Craig!!!! How did I miss this one????
you were too busy saving the CoP!!!
Originally Posted by disneydreamer98
I was lucky enough to have Grandparents who lived in Florida when I was growing up. Otherwise....who knows if my deep love for Disny would have ever been nurtured to the extent that it has. My very first trip was at the age of 2 one month after WDW opened! I remember riding on Dumbo with my Grandma and Grandpa and wish so badly that I could have those days back! We pretty much made a trip a year down from Michigan to visit Grandma and Grandpa and therefore WDW. When I was in high school my Grandparents moved to Alabama and therefore our yearly trips to Florida stopped short in Alabama! It was a few years before I made it back to to WDW after I graduated from high school and then it was another wait until after my Brother was in college and doing a co-op job at Nasa in 1992 that I got to return. After that there was no stopping me. I was an adult and making my own money so the WDW trips were back on!!!
My DH and I spent our Honeymoon at WDW on the land/sea package and had the most amazing time!!!! Then with the arrival of our first Son, Parker we really kicked it into high gear! Parker is a Disney boy through and through! I have definitely groomed him with my obsession! We took Parker for the first time in 2002 when he was 2 years old and that is where my best WDW memory comes from. I will never forget as long as I live first stepping onto to Main Street USA with him and watching him start dancing. That was it. I was done, put a fork in me!!! Parker is 5 and has been 4 times and that was without making a trip at all in 2004 while I was pregnant and on bedrest. We took Tanner for the first time this past June and at only 8 months old it was great watching the world through his eyes!!!
To me, WDW is truly the happiest place on earth and it is the place that makes my Husband forget about work and just enjoy himself which is a HUGE thing for him to do!!! All in all, I'd rather be no place other than WDW!!!!!!
Rocketeer-you are correct, I think that is the story about Main st as Walt would have intended it! It really is magic!
I am in need of some Disney magic!!
From upstate NY also, first time was in 1979, pre EPCOT!, My grand parents live in New Symrna Beach, so I remember visiting them and going to WDW...I was 5. I clearly remember being scared going the HM!! I think thats real funny now, That has to be one of my favorites!..........Fast forward to the spring of 2001, married, daughter, take a vacation, stay off site,, have a blast........9/11 happens, and WDW offers all NYPD/FDNY personnel vacation packages, 1/2 off resorts, and free admission! Yeee Haww ! lets go!, stay at The Floridian! WOW now I think is when the bug bites me! There is nothing better than staying on site!, and I really start to appreciate the place even more! The reaction on my daughters face, and the excitement she shows is priceless!! Spring 2005...lets go again!!! Poly this time,, and the disease gets worse! now I have a specific Disney bank account for the next trip!!! I need help!!
Wow! Great stories everyone!!!
My first trip was when I was 4 (early 81). We were living somewhere in Florida at that time (I believe Sarasota) & my mom & Godmother took me there. I have only a few memories from that trip. I remember the Swiss Family Treehouse being "Under Construction", pitching a fit & getting a spanking. I remember the ballroom in the Haunted mansion where I'd looked down to see the ghosts dancing. I remember walking in the parade with Jiminy Cricket & rolling on the ground with Pluto! That's about it for WDW for a loooonnnnnggg while. I didn't go back for another 10 years. That was when I learned I had a little WDW history running through my own veins. As we were walking under the train station, my mom told my sister & I that our grandfather laid the tracks there at the Magic Kingdom. That's how my Daddy had been able to go "under ground" and walk around all of the tunnels before the park opened. Anyway, I got to go to WDW twice that summer (92): once with my family & once on a church trip. Since then, I've been pretty often, or at least tried to go as often as possible. But there was more to my "disney bug" than WDW. I remember my mom taking me to see Disney movies since I was old enough to go into a theater & sit quietly. I have always had a love for the mouse & have been given gifts that bared his grin for many years. I can't say that my first trip to WDW is what did it, I think it was a combination of all of the magic put together.
(sorry that was so long!)
"What ARRRRGH you doing?"
"What are you
"No, What ARRRRGH
"I'll try anything once or twice, that's the kind of mouse I am"
Cap'n Jack lives again!
I'm Todd, and this is my Disney Story...
My parents first took me to the world shortly after it opened, sometime in 1973, I was about 3 years old. Of course I don't remember much, but my parents wanted to take me since they had been to DL a few years before, and wanted to see the "new" park. Fortunately they like it and they took us (my brother, sisters, and I), to either WDW or DL, just about every year until we were well out of high school (I graduated in 1989, my baby sister in 2001(?)). My brother and I visited DLP in 1990. My wife and I had started dating a couple of months before and I found out she had only been to WDW once or twice in her life!!!! That almost ended the relationship right there, but fortunately for her, she said that she REALLY wanted to go back. A couple more family trips thrown in there with my wife and my brothers wife tagging along. We even stayed up all night planning a WDW trip and we were still awake when my Dad got up to go to work at 5:00 AM. Lots of great memories from those family trips. My wife gave me the honor of being her husband on April 12, 1997 and we spent part of our honeymoon in the World. We even ate at King Stephan's (VERY expensive for us at the time). Now we have two beautiful daughters of our own and have made 2 trips since they were born. I love surprising them by just driving under the gates without them knowing before hand (our parents did the same thing when we were growing up). Their joy is so infectious. Then after going through security and seeing the first characters and their faces lighting up. It gets me choked up every time.
Every time I step under the train station onto Main Street, I get a lump in my throat. Then at the end of the day, while I'm sitting there with one girl in my lap and one in my wife's, watching the fireworks, Fantasmic, or Illumination, I get choked up again. Sometimes I even feel a tear or two run down my cheek.
I am very lucky to have parents who sacrificed alot to make our dreams come true with trips to WDW. I hope that I can do the same for my girls.
Thank you Walt. Thank you.
"You shouldn't play leapfrog with a porcupine. You might get hurt." - Eliza Breakey, Age 4
I HATE being back in the real world!!!!
Wow! i feel out of place - NOT. seeing that most of you have been to the world over and over, and at very early ages. Me, I didn't go to Walt Disney until I was what 22 or 23 when my husband and I took he then 6 year old daughter, she is now 17. The first time for all of us, and i was amazed at EVERYTHING. I wanted to do so much, see so much, and just to look at my daughters face with amazement. We did the character breakfast at chef mickey, and was thirlled at all of the characters. Back then The Lion King and Pocohantas had just recently came out, so they had a lot of characters out for that. The parades and shows... Then, we went back in 2001 with 2 children, 13 and 4, and the excitement on my sons face was priceless. So as you can see I'm not a veteran like most of you, but I just love Disney, and we will be going back in June of 2006 with a 17, 9 and 3 year old.... And the fun we are gonna have, and I am going to take as many pictures as I possibly can. I'm stocking up on film right now...
April 23rd, oh yeah it's gonna be ON!
Regardless of our backgrounds and experiences, we're all infected with Disney, and specifically WDW (forget that bird-flu stuff!). Yes, I grew up on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, but I've now got a whole new saga ahead - that with my (now but growing) 10 week old daughter... I bet I'll be as giddy as she is when we stoll down Main Street (or rather, I'll probably pick her up and dash towards Adventureland, cut through into Frontierland and hop on the ... oh, I hope she'll be big enough for all the rides!)
Originally Posted by butlers
ahh, thanks Craig, and you just wait, she'll be 4 before you know it and you and her can get on It's a small World together.... Just take lots of pictures because they grow so quick.
April 23rd, oh yeah it's gonna be ON!