It All Started With A Mouse…Err-Bear

It All Started With A Mouse…Err-Bear by Guest Blogger Judi Sifuentes

IMG_4513It all started with a Mouse…err-Bear, Winnie-the-Pooh to be exact. My love of Disney started with my introduction to Winnie-the-Pooh when I was a little girl. I was and still am in love with that “willy, nilly, silly old bear”. Growing up I had everything with Pooh on it. The photo included in this blog is the dress I had as a little girl that adorned Winnie-the-Pooh. I was pleasantly surprised to find out my mom saved many of the childhood things, one of them this dress. Of course I had a little stuffed Winnie-the-Pooh that mom swears is in their attic.

Looking back that stuffed animal is probably where I began to understand the “magic’ that is Disney. Like many of you, I can remember my first trip to Walt Disney World. I was 3 and the park was only a few years old. Our family was staying at the Contemporary. Even after all these years traveling through the Resort in the Monorail is like a travel back in time. I board the monorail as an adult, but the second we arrive inside the Contemporary I’m 3 years old again. The sounds of the monorail traveling through, the slight roar of family conversations hanging in the air of the Atrium don’t change. It’s as if time stood still. The mosaic designed by Mary Blair is the same as it was 40 years ago.

Like many children, I had a favorite stuff animal to sleep with. Winnie-the-Pooh was my toy of choice. As my mother reminds me when she tells the story, I was reluctantly allowed to bring “Pooh” on vacation with me. One night after a long day at the park we came back to our room for bed and I could not find my “Pooh”. I was not about to go to sleep without him so my parents placed a call with housekeeping. We believe he was left in the bed my sister and I shared and was scooped up in the sheets when the room was cleaned earlier in the day.

Housekeeping invited us downstairs to peruse their lost and found collection. I could not believe how many stuffed animals and toys they had, but sadly none were mine. Not only was the nose worn on mine, but my Pooh was missing the stitches that bore his name on his vest. I was heartbroken. I woke up the next morning and a new bear was sitting on my bed. My parents told me after my sister and I had fallen asleep someone from Resort came to our room with a brand new Winnie-the-Pooh to replace the one I had lost. I was happy to have another Winnie-the-Pooh, but he wasn’t the same worn in model that I had loved. Fast forward to 1989 the Disney Store was hiring at our local mall. When the hiring manager asked me “why I wanted to work for Disney” I answered without skipping a beat, “I wanted to find my Winnie-the-Pooh that I lost at the Contemporary when I was a little girl” I don’t know if that is what landed me one the coolest part time jobs I ever had, but I don’t think it hurt.



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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 6553 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele


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