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I Fell in Love with Walt Disney World Resort Twice

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.


When did I fall in love with Walt Disney World Resort?  The answer may seem funny, but I fell in love twice, but I never fell out of love.   The first time was in 1971 when I was about six years old.  Back then there was only the Magic Kingdom Park, so visits were often short.  I can remember staying at both Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and riding the Monorail.  Over the years, we returned to WDW as parks were added, and I can remember each “first” at the various parks.  Then as I grew older, I only visited a couple of time in the 1980’s and 90’s.  As my priorities changed, like college and grad school, I had little time to visit Walt Disney World, and it may have even slipped to the far back of my memory for awhile.

first-visit-wdw2-vanessa first-visit-wdw1-vanessa

In 1997, I became a mom for the first time.  Having my son allowed me to re-explore the wonders of Disney.  We read the books aloud, listened to the music and watched the movies, even his nursery was decorated in Classic Winnie-the-Pooh.  By 2002, I was a Disney loving mom of three and started planning our first family vacation.   Once all of the planning of where to stay and what order to do everything in was finished, we loaded the van and drove down to Walt Disney World from Ohio in 2003.  After over 16 hours in the van with three kids, my mom and husband, we arrived at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort at WDW!  The following day was when the magic happened.  I can remember watching my kid’s faces as they first walked down Main Street, U.S.A., and when they really saw Cinderella Castle.  Unforgettable!



(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)


Vanessa profileVanessa has been going to Walt Disney World since 1971.  She is happy that her three children and husband enjoy Disney as much as she does.  Vanessa is an Annual Passholder, a member of Disney Vacation Club, Platinum Castaway Club, WDW Radio Running Team and a runDisney participant.   Her son Andrew writes Disney on Wheels for the WDW Radio Blog.  When she is not at Disney she is a stay at home mom and uses her masters in marketing background to raise money for her children’s schools.  Vanessa also enjoys planning her next trip home to anywhere Disney.