I am so excited that I am finally going to be writing about Walt Disney World! I am a Disney fanatic. I thought today I would let you know a little bit of my Disney history so that you can see my “qualifications” for writing this column.
My first visit to Walt Disney World was in 1972, I was 8 years old and we flew down from Massachusetts to spend a week at the Magic Kingdom. We spent one day in each land and left no stone unturned. We returned a few more times in the 70’s. In 1980 we moved to Florida, less than 2 hours from Walt Disney World! We would visit the Magic Kingdom and later EPCOT Center whenever relatives and friends came to visit from up north. In 1983 I auditioned to be in the “Kids of the Kingdom”. This was before Disney had the sub-categories dancers who could sing and singers who could dance. I am a singer who could dance but back then you had to pass a grueling dance audition before they ever heard you sing. I made it to round 2 of the dance auditions and that was it. Two of my friends from college did get hired and one performed at Disney for several years. The 80’s were filled with Disney trips for Grad Night, Magic Kingdom in heels and a dress is not my favorite way to go. Night of Joy events several years in a row and weekend trips with friends were also part of that long ago decade.
I got married in 1991 to a wonderful man who, other than an annual trip to Night of Joy with his buddies, didn’t grasp the love of all things Disney. This of course translates to my dream of a Disney honeymoon did not come true. We did visit Disney together before we had children and then when we had 1 child and then 2. My husband’s 1st big Disney breakthrough was in the fall of 1997. Disney ran a ticket promotion for Florida residents 97 days for $97! The ticket was good any and all of the days from mid-September thru mid December. We went for 4 days as a family in September and then 3 days just the 2 of us in the beginning of December. Once he was surrounded by the magic that is Disney at Christmas, he was sold!
We have been seasonal passholders on and off ever since. We have logged over 100 stays on Disney property, not to mention the times we stayed off property. Our children have been giving out of town friends and relative tours of all 4 Florida parks for years. We have celebrated birthdays and anniversaries with Disney. We have travelled with groups as small as 2 and as large as 13. We have stayed in Value Resorts, Moderate Resorts and Deluxe Resorts. Between the 4 of us we have ridden every ride currently on Walt Disney World property except for 2. We have attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival, and many other special events.
Our favorite thing to do at Disney is show first timers around. There is nothing like the wonder on the face of an adult or child when the magic kicks in. My hope with this column is to help those of you who have visited Disney World to remember the magic and those who have never been to want to be a part of the magic. If you have specific Walt Disney World park, hotel, dining or vacation planning questions please feel free to leave me a comment and ask. I’m here to spread the magic the best I can.