We all have memories of the Disney parks. That first time you looked down Main Street and saw the castle or what about the first time you saw Mickey. These memories are things all Disney fans share but what are some of the other memories we have?
I remember when I was 6 years old (1981) and my dad told me he was taking me to Walt Disney World. I had been there before when I was younger but I don’t remember it except for pictures I’ve seen. I was excited about trip. It was just going to be me and my dad for a few days in Orlando. For weeks and weeks I remember counting down to the day we would fly there from Detroit.
What did I know about Walt Disney World? Was it any different than the park he took me to in California a few years before? Did I have any understanding of what I was about to encounter? Honestly I don’t remember. I can’t remember flying down, I couldn’t even tell you what hotel we stayed at. I know it wasn’t on property but I do remember the pool area and swimming there.
Some of my biggest memories though happened at the Magic Kingdom. I remember the first time we took the ferry to the Magic Kingdom. I remember riding on the boat and my dad pointing out what was in the distance. Off to the right side of the boat I remember seeing Captain Hook and Mr. Smee in a little boat. Captain Hook making Mr. Smee row as fast as he could to get to the ferry, which they never did. We got to the park and I can’t tell you 1 ride I rode to this day. What I do remember though is my dad bought me my first Mickey Ringer Tee. I was so excited he let me put it on right away. I also remember he bought me some 7 Dwarf toys as they were and always have been some of my favorite characters. I even have a picture I took with my dad’s camera of him and Snow White. Of course the picture isn’t that great. I cut off both of the tops of their heads, but back then there was no way to see what photo I just took, but I still have the photo. Eventually the trip came to a end and we came back home. I never went back to Walt Disney World as a child, teen or whatever you want to call it. I did get to go to Disneyland with my dad in 1991 and we had fun. This time it was me, my dad and my uncle. We spent a full day at Disneyland and I have a lot of memories from that trip as well.
Time of course has been moving and as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned more and more about Disney and what a great man Walt was. Walt and his visions and dreams made it possible for us all to have memories that will last a lifetime Now my dad is gone and I miss him everyday. I’m so thankful I was able to have those visits to the Magic with my him and I will never let them go. Thank you dad for the memories and thank you for introducing me to Disney.