One thing that makes The Main Street Mouse such a close knit community is our common love for all things Disney. We love the Mouse, Walt, the Parks, and all that Disney entails, with no judgement, it’s a beautiful thing. Did you ever stop to think where this Disney Obsession started from? Is it something that you loved for as long as you can remember, or is it something that you grew to love? This is a question that I recently posed to myself as well, and I had to stop and think….. Where did that love of Disney come from? Here’s a little bit of my story;
When I started to think about my Disney “history”, one of the first memories I had was a story book. Yep, a book. When I was little, my mom, being a school teacher, thought it was important to start buying me a collection of books from the time I was 2. Back then, you could sign up for those book of the month clubs, and usually they came in a series like Dr. Suess or Disney, which I had both. My favorite book however, was Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.” I loved that book. I remember looking at the pictures over and over again. I can still see the illustrations in my head, Aurora pricking her finger on a spindle, the rose thorns around the castle, and of course the Dragon courtesy of Maleficent. I had read it so many times, and never got tired of it. That’s one early memory.
The next early Disney recollection I have is my Mom taking me to see a re-showing of “Lady and the Tramp” at the theater. I believe it was the first movie I had ever seen at the show. The story of Lady and the Tramp is still a favorite of mine, it brings back a lot of childhood memories. Even from the very first Disney film I had seen, they had me from the beginning. I remember feeling the emotional roller coaster, even as a kid, the happy parts, crying at the sad scenes, the music, the villains (my Mom used to sing the Siamese Cat song to me) and the happy ending. I was hooked. When I was a little bit older, Disney started releasing films from the Disney “vault” on VHS (yes, dating myself there) and Lady and the Tramp was one my parents got for my brother and I. I still love it to this day.
From the time I was a baby, even before, my Dad was a musician. He always played in a band, and his drum set was always set up in our basement, along with a huge assortment of record albums. My Dad taught me to love music. I remember sitting down there with him, looking through all his records, wanting one of my own. I hadn’t thought about it in years, but last week my Mom gave me a record album that she found of mine. It was a “Mickey Mouse Disco” album. It was the first album I had ever gotten, and I thought it was cool because I finally had a record, just like my Dad! Until my Mom gave me the album, I had forgotten that one of my early “music” possessions was also Disney! So yes, my first book, my first movie, and my first piece of music that I owned….. ALL were Disney. Go figure!
Now, to complete my stroll down Disney memory lane….. I had to dig deep, and try to recall the first time I was ever at a Disney Park. I believe I was 5 or 6, so I don’t remember much. My Parents wanted to wait to take me to Disney, till I was a little older so I would recall some memories and not forget the whole experience. Sadly, I don’t remember seeing Mickey Mouse, or any parades or anything like that. What I do remember, was my Dad standing on a bridge/sidewalk near Cinderella Castle, and my Mom getting ready to take his picture. I remember I was wearing a pink floppy hat, and I started to run towards my Dad, trying to get in the picture with him. I threw my hat towards my Mom, and I almost made it. Somewhere in her boxes of pictures, she has that one. My Dad in his 80’s shorts and knee socks, and me in my pink outfit and braids, with a hat thrown in the air, I can still see it. I suppose I was a pinch obnoxious, but I was so happy to be at Disney, I had to get in on the picture too! I remember my parents talking me into going on Space Mountain. Standing in line, looking up at the “stars” and things floating in the air above. I remember thinking the asteroids or whatever they are looked like chocolate chip cookies or pancakes flying above. My next trip after that I was 8 year old, the year before my brother was born. The rest is history, I’ve been going to Walt Disney World ever since!
In thinking back to my own Disney History, I couldn’t help but look at my own children now, and what I’ve done to keep the Disney traditions going. Both of my boys went on their first Disney trips at the age of 11 months coincidentally. I didn’t take the philosophy my parents took with me, and wait till they were older. I couldn’t do that, I wanted to get them to Disney as soon as I could, and yes, we still go as much as we can. My boys first movies in the theater were when they were babies too, Andrew’s first movie was “Lilo and Stitch” and Aidan’s was “The Incredibles.” Again, I started early, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The traditions needed to be carried on, and I hope someday they do that with their own children. I’m grateful that my parents started me on my Disney journey from early on. I bet they didn’t realize exactly WHAT they started with me, but I’m glad they did it!
I hope that reading where my Disney Obsession came from will maybe give you a reason to stop and think of your own story. Some of us have Disney in our blood, it begins almost when we begin. Others learn to love Disney, and it’s something we grow into. Whether you have loved Disney from the time you were small, or were introduced to the magic of Disney later in life, it’s all good. When you “get it” and become a Disney Fan, it’s something that gets ingrained in your heart, and stays with you. I’m grateful that I have a Disney community of other people who “get it” and can appreciate the obsession that is Disney, it’s a magical thing. Thanks for reading about the start of my Disney Obsession, feel free to share your Disney journey too!