Your Disney History


#1

I’m not sure how to phrase this so I hope it doesn’t come across crazy. Since some members have history listed in their signatures I was wondering what some of the details were.

Did you grow up going there? Are you new to visiting WDW? Did you normally stay onsite or offsite? Did you eat in the parks or leave for and return for lunch or dinner? Were you a park commando or take it slow? Did you do character dining? Did you visit other Disney attractions like Water Country or Discovery Island? Any other history growing up or recently…

My history is pretty straight forward. I have been visiting WDW since I was about 7 and we always stayed offsite or at a relatives house that lived about two hours away. I was raised as a true park commando and stayed in the parks all day until it closed; just riding rides was by far the focus. We ate at the counter service restaurants in the parks but as a teenager I do remember eating one sit down dinner in Japan at Epcot. Never did any character dining and to be honest I don’t remember seeing many characters and we didn’t visit other attractions other than the main parks. Past trips were pretty plain compared to my trips as an adult.


#2

My first visit was my honeymoon at age 25…liked Disney but didn’t know a lot about it. Stayed at Dixie Landings. My love of Disney grew while my marriage didn’t. (thats okay I’m much better off):blush:

Fast forward 11 years…I took my boys and grandma too! in 2007 (Riverside for 10 nights), 2008 (Pop for 8 nights, and we leave Wednesday (6 nights BLT/ 5 nights BCV).:happy::happy:

We’ve always flown, always taken ME to and from resorts. We spend most days in the park, only allowing for 1-2 “down” days which we spend at DTD and swimming. We get to the park whenever 10-11am ish and stay all day. We do it all. Rides, shows, parades, people watching. We’ve done a few extras…MVMCP, Fireworks Cruise, Illuminations Dinner at the Oddysey, HDDR…doing Pirate Adventure and Mickeys Backyard BBQ this time…

We have done the dining plan all three times and have done character meals, buffets, fantasmic dinner package…this time trying new places, Mama Melrose, Teppen Edo, T-Rex, Ohana, Whispering Canyon, and Crystal Palace.

The best thing is everytime we go we get to do something we’ve never done before…It really is the happiest place on Earth:cool:


#3

I was 35 the first time we went to WDW and the USA. DD was just 3 years old. We stayed at the Grosvenor Resort the first time, believing that we could never afford to stay at a Disney resort. It was the start of a lifelong love affair.
We have returned every year since, sometimes twice a year and have stay at CBR and Dixie Landings and now the renamed POR.
We do character dining, CS and table service and we are always keen to try somewhere new. We love nothing more to look back at our photos and although they have a similar scenic background, how we have changed and grown older.
As International guests we know there will come a time when we are no longer able to fly such distances, and that is a day we dread, however, we hope our Disney history has still many new pages to be written.


#4

Dixie I was 35 on my first visit also!

I had no interest in Disney. I know about Disney from watching ABC World of Disney growing up and stuff.

We have really good couple friends that we hung out with all the time (when we were neighbors) who are personal long time (from middle school) friends with one of chief animators at Disney. They had signed frames and of course watched the Disney movies. They planted in my DW head that we should go to WDW for a vacation.

So my DW said ask for this week off we are going to Disney…to which I protested.

Well grudgingly I went along pretty sure that I was going to have a miserable time. Long story short. I got hooked as soon as I got off the bus at the WL.

Since then I have been to WDW more then I can remember (spend 41 days on property in 2006). Been to DL twice. I now live 45 miles away with AP.

I have become the go to guy in my group of friends when someone is planning a trip to WDW and I’m always being asked to “tag” along in the parks “because of my vast knowledge”.

Because of Disney I have also reconnected with a number of friends from college and high school.

I use to want to work at WDW but now I just want to work like Walt Disney. I am happy visiting his creation.


#5

I can’t remember my first visit to Disneyland. I grew up about 20-30 minutes away, depending on traffic…and how fast I’m driving…hehe:blush: So, I guess you could say that I grew up at Disney and it’s been a life long love affair:happy: My family visited at least twice a year when I was young and then I got an AP as soon as I could afford it:happy:

Though I used to beg…BEG my parents to take us to WDW, they never did:blink::glare::crying: So…when we were older, my sister and I went on our own!:cool: My first trip to WDW was when I was 22 years old. We fell in love with WDW!! We came back gushing about how wonderful it was and that one gets totally immersed in Disney when you are there. We visited again and again…and then finally convinced my parents to go with us. My dad fell in love too and is always itching to get back. My mom likes it, but doesn’t have the same love for it.:closedeye So, I guess my dad carries the “Disney gene” :laugh::laugh:

Of course, as my MB family knows, R2 and I got married in WDW in November or 2008. A dream come true!:heart:


#6

I was about 5 the first time I ever visited WDW and walked down Main Street USA. (the rest of my family were already Disney veterans!) and we went with my entire family aunts and uncles and all. Although I don’t remember all of it there are certain aspects that remain in my head and heart that I can play back like a personalized home video. Such as, I remember being to scared to ride the ToT and sitting out with my two cousins. I instantly fell in love with it. I always grew up with a love of ANYTHING Disney! So even though I’d never been to the parks, I already was in love with the characters, movies, etc!

When we went with my extended family we always stayed offsite. Originally we used to share our offsite Disney vacation with Sea World, Universal and Wet and Wild water park! But we soon went all Disney, falling in love with the ease and relaxation of on-site living! What with the theme of the hotels, the choices of pools and arcades, the ease of free transportation, and having a cafeteria to run down to or stop in on the way back from the park to get snacks wasn’t a bad touch either! I grew up going to Disney every other year (going to Myrtle Beach Carolina the other years… dad’s a big golfer!) My family soon decided, Myrtle Beach wasn’t fun enough and Disney was just too great to go every other year! SOOO we started going EVERY year. We always go in August! We started staying on site in 2000s, and we went to the Millennium celebration.

In 2005 the grandkids began to be born and I was in my teens so I really began to develope a GRAND LOVE for the company, and a HUGELY INSANE interest in the parks, at the ripe age of 13 I was considered the Disney expert in the family. I knew about everything! And explained it to anyone who would listen… hahah! :laugh: I taught my family about the dining plan and so we began to do it! And have ever since. Believe me it’s great for it’s value when you have a party of… 12 or more! haha.

I have visited Disney with my friends family once, so I’ve also been there during Thanksgiving and got to see the Xmas decorations! I’ve also since the Fall decorations that they put up during September!

We ALWAYS do atleast 2-3 character dinners, and we’ve tried nearly every one, considering there’s 5 kids under 5 in my family! haha. We always eat in the parks for both tray service and sit down dining. Sometimes we do a breakfast, but we aren’t early risers. We usually get a snack in the late morning at the hotel.

Ofcourse, we have our favorite restaurants and places to eat that we do EVERY year, but we also always try to eat or do something new. We’ve eaten at most of the places in Disney and at the resorts we’ve done a few.

We LOVE POP Century and that is where we usually stay, although we’ve stayed at some others, but POP has stolen our hearts and I don’t think it plans on giving it back any time soon! :] haha.

I recently began my journey with WORKING for the Walt Disney World Resort. I began an internship on the Disney CareerStart Program in Feb. of this year, as merchandising in Fantasyland in the MK and it was the most amazing experience of my life, but unfortunately due to a death in the family, I had to come home early. But I’ve started new plans of going to school for Art in Fall and then hopefully continuing a new program internship in Spring of next year with WDW!

While in college, I have a long term goal of writing a book on my learnings and experiences while working with the Walt Disney Company which I’ve already started!! Wish me luck! haha. :blush:

The future is still to come, and with that my Disney history will continue to grow, flourish and become even more magical!

I hope to find a wonderful boy who has a love for Disney or can be molded into it… :laugh:!! I plan to instill the love, appreciate and morals that come alone with loving Disney into my children, like my family did for me, and possibly work with Disney while I’m in college, considering I don’t plan on ever LIVING in Orlando, or FL! Disney will definitely be a huge part of my happily ever after! :]


#7

I was 18 at the time of my first trip to WDW, in fact my first plane ride too. I went to WDW on my senior class trip; proud member of the Class of 1981! We went to Grad Night and I still have my Grad Night Pooh Bear that I bought. We stayed at some dive hotel called Court of Flags. It was a great trip with great memories; I just can’t believe it was 29 years ago! I didn’t get back to WDW again until 1987 for my honeymoon. We stayed at the Polynesian and I that is when I fell in love with that resort.

We’ve been back several times, but not as many as I would like. My daughter’s first visit when she was 5 months, and she just went on her senior class trip to WDW last month.
It’s amazing how fast life goes by.


#8

I was 25 the first time I went did not know a lot about disney and thought 3 nights 4 days would be enough, well we found out that was not enough time to do it all. We stayed off site. My next trip back was about 4 years later newly married, but like Ktcheck my love for disney has out lasted my marriage, my husband did not share our children and my love for WDW. For the last 5 years we have stayed on site and will be doing so again this Aug.(can’t wait) We like to take our time, our family is very big into pin trading between my two sons, my daughter and myselt we most likely have at least 900 pins and still collectng. We enjoy the dining plan so we like a mix of sit down meals and counter serves as well.


#9

I was 8 years old for my first trip to WDW. The rule in my house was that the youngest had to be 5 before we could go. My sister turned 5 in April and we went in August. We stayed at Caribbean Beach and I don’t remember most of the trip…I think I would if we hadn’t gone so many times after that! All the memories run together. My mom decided we would go every 5 years, for the anniversary years of WDW. We always took a couple long vacations a year (2-3 weeks) and Mom didn’t want us to only experience WDW. She wanted us to see “the world”. I don’t blame her, I’m always planning a vacation, whether it’s Disney related or not. I live for vacations. Anyway, the 5 year thing only lasted 10 years. By that time we were old enough to be getting into college where we actually had spring breaks and whatnot. (no such thing in our grade school) Since then we’ve used every excuse imaginable…2004 spring break, 2005 husband and I went for our first trip alone (he was my boyfriend at the time), 2007 was an anniversary year so the whole family went (it’s still tradition for the whole family to go on anniversary years, Mom’s already planning our 2012 trip!), Feb. 2009 we went to visit my sister as she was in the cp, Dec. 2009 was a grand gathering with my dh’s family. Luckily, my dh also grew up going to WDW so he shares my love for it. :heart:

We almost always stay on site. Every time we end up off site for some reason I swear I will never do it again. I mean it this time! lol When an opportunity arises and it means WDW, it’s hard to pass up even if it’s offsite. Our trips always include at least one sit down meal a day and I’ve done every character meal.

Mom tells me on our first trip we would go back to the room for naps midday but I don’t remember doing that. Ever since I can remember we have stayed in the parks all day. Until we were old enough to miss school we always went in the summer time and I swore I would never do that again after experiencing it when it’s not crowded or hot…well, another opportunity arose for this June, so off I go again. :closedeye:laugh: Basically, if someone even mentions the possibility of going to WDW, I’m immediately trying to figure out how I can work it into my schedule. :ph34r:


#10

My parents used to move frequently because of work. So instead of buying a house where my dad’s current job was, they bought a vacation home in Orlando, Fl. And they bought APs to WDW.

So, just three months after I was born, I took my first trip to WDW! We vacationed in Orlando a lot because of our condo… several times a year.

When I was 9 years old, my dad was in-between jobs and the people that were renting our house to us wanted it back. There weren’t many other options on house rentals in the area, so instead, we packed up and moved into our vacation home in Florida. We lived there for six months, and then my dad started a new project back in Anderson, SC. We bought a house, and we’ve been here ever since. It’s the longest we’ve ever lived in one place.

When I was twelve years old, we sold our condo. We liked to vacation to other places, too, and the condo just wasn’t that great of a convenience, anymore. So, we started staying on property and have been doing so ever since. We enjoy being so close to the parks. But the condo was definitely good for us at the time.


#11

I was deprived as a child and never went. My parents were pretty broke growing up, so it was never an option for us. The first time I ever went was with my now dh, back when we were dating, in May 2007. I’d just turned 24. I was immediately hooked. We’ve gone back 3 times since then, the next time bringing our then 3 yr old ds, and the following 2 times bringing our baby girl.
We typically stay on property. We did stay off property once, during a weekend trip last May, and I felt dirty lol. I’m a Disney snob and it’s just not complete without staying on property. There’s just something extra it adds.
We always do at least one character meal when we go, and for our longer trips, usually 2-3 of them.
I’m typiclly a park commando, although that can be harder to do with kids. With younger kids, we usually stick to the parks. We haven’t done a water park yet, waiting for the kids to be older. We do usually spend time at DTD, but for the most part it’s the parks for us.


#12

I went to WDW for the first time when I was 7 years old. My parents took me and my brother with our aunt and uncle who are Disney nuts. I was able to go a few more times growing up, and DH grew up going to Disney every year. Sometimes my family stayed off-site, and sometimes we stayed on-site. DH’s family always stayed on-site, and usually at Fort Wilderness.

Both DH and I loved Disney, but we never felt like it was somewhere we wanted to go together before we had children. We wanted to visit other places, not a theme park. We waited until our oldest was 5 before taking our kids, and we only went then because I had a cousin (who is more like my sister, and her mom is the Disney nut aunt who I went on my first trip with and she was pregnant with this cousin on that first trip) who was doing the CP, and we wanted to visit her and go to the parks with her. Our youngest was only 9 months old and our little boy had just turned 4, and we swore that we would not take any kids to Disney until “everyone was old enough to enjoy it.” That trip was a rare fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants thing–just a fun little thing to do since my cousin was there. We had no idea that even our little 9 month old would love it. We have some really funny pictures of her loving on Pooh and putting napkins on her head at meals.:laugh:Our kids got hooked, and DH and I got sucked back into the Disney mindset of our childhoods. We’ve gone every year since then, and last year we went twice.:laugh:It’s difficult to even discuss other vacation spots at this house because our kids are always, “But what about Disney World?!”:laugh:We always stay on Disney property, and when we get there, we usually don’t even set foot off of Disney property unless we really need something that we left at home, and then we make the quickest trip to Walmart you’ve ever seen. We live just north of Charlotte, so we always drive. DH and I both grew up driving to Disney, and it works for us. (He and I flew down once about 4 years ago for a quick little ditty for the 2 of us.)


#13

Great reading, could read these all night long!!

My inital visit to WDW happened in 1980…my parents, myself, and a buddy from high school, we stayed at a Days Inn and shuttled our way to the MK (that’s all there was back then). It was Presidents’ Weekend, and the place was packed…and I hated every minute of it…the day couldn’t end soon enough…on the shuttle back to the hotel, we passed a sign telling us that we were passing the future home of EPCOT Center, whatever that was. It really didn’t matter much to me because I knew I was never coming back!!

Fast Forward to 1992, making plans for our honeymoon, my DW to be announced (without room for compromise, mind you), that we were going to Walt Disney World!!!..NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! I told her of my experience…it didn’t matter…we were going. Once we got our literature through our travel agent, I began to get a tad more interested, we decided to stay at a place called Port Orleans…this was when POR was DL.

All it took was passing through the gates of what is now POFQ, and I began to thaw…pretty decent place, I thought to myself…and then we went to the Magic Kingdom…and laid eyes as DW & DH upon Cinderella Castle, and the rest was history. The only difference is, it’s me that makes the arrangements, and not so much DW.

We’ve been yearly, sometimes twice since 1993, and save for one not so great spur of the moment trip to Kissimmee/Disney…it’s been pure magic.

I’ve worked at the Disney Store, and through my current job as a hotel desk clerk here in Southern New Jersey, attempt to provide my guests with the same treatment as I receive while in WDW.

I simply cannot imagine my life without Disney…it really does grab a hold of you…as far as itineraries go, there is only one hard and fast rule…the first full day must be spent at the Magic Kingdom…although I do wonder whatever became of that Epcot place that I read the sign for back in 1980…:wink:

It’s really nice to be a part of an online community where people just “get it” when it comes to Disney…I no longer try to talk others into it…their loss.


#14

I visited WDW for the first time with my family as a kid. I didn’t go back again until my senior year of high school for our senior trip. I took my DD for the first time when she was three and haven’t stopped since. The first time I stayed on site was my DD’s first trip, so it was kinda like my first real WDW trip. I now will only stay on site and have never really considered staying off site.
Most of my DD’s childhood memories will be about those trips her and I take. It’s a huge part of who we are and time that is cherished. I can only hope that we always have WDW for us and at some point her children.:heart:


#15

My first trip was when I was about 6 or 7 and I went with my very pregnant aunt and her friend. I wasn’t and still am not an excitable person. Needless to say whatever sheer joy my aunt saw on my face, she was thrilled with. We stayed off site and had a great time for the 3 days we were there.

Fast forward to 1995, I go back to WDW w/ my aunt and my then 4 yr old cousin. We had a blast and stayed at ASM. It was just so WOW to me at 15.

1997 I went with my friends church group for a Night of Joy trip. We had a blast trying to ride a zillion rides in 1 night at MK.

I’ve been hooked since the 1st trip and sadly didn’t get to go back until 2008 due to various pregnancies etc. My oldest went for the 1st time in 2005, my 2nd oldest in 2007. Sadly that trip was cut short due to me finding my husbands grand father at home passed away. So my 2nd oldest missed part of his 1st trip. :crying:

Now June 9th I’m heading to WDW with my 3 oldest, in laws and niece and I plan on rocking the Mouse as much as humanly possible.

I’m already planning the next trip. Dh is ok with Disney and will go if prodded. He did after all accompany our oldest on 4 trips. The kids are total Disney nuts and are dying to go at Halloween and Christmas. So my goal is Halloween by 2012, Christmas by 2013.

I’ve become the official Disney Junkie in my family and am proud to admit it.


#16

Wow, here it goes. I was born in California in 1961 and was about 5 on my first visit to DisneyLand. We went about once a year. Moved to Florida in 1969, 1st visit to WDW was in 1972, went every October. Lived about 3 hours away. We stayed Contemporary or Polynesian, they were the only hotels on site. At that time you bought tickets books, each attraction required a ticket to go on. In October, they would let you go in the Haunted Mansion for nothing.

During high school I marched in the parade with the band, Grad Nite, just going with friends. I am amazed how I never got sick of the Magic Kingdom as a teenager, always looked forward to the next trip.

After high school I met a great guy, DH, that had only been to Disney a couple of times. After our first trip together, he saw the light. We went to WDW a few times a year during our 5 years of dating, then went on our honeymoon in 1985. We would go several times a year with the FL resident pass, always went for our anniversary. It was exciting to see the new parks, hotels, everything that has happened there.

We brought our DDs when they were about 3 months old. They still love to go as much as we do, DD-15 and DD-12. We usually stayed on Disney property when money allowed. We moved to Georgia in 1998, 7 hours away, but we go every summer for our anniversary.

This will be 25 years of celebrating something wonderful at the most magical place that you can think of. People think we are crazy because we keep going back, and we bring out daughters. Every trip is a new experience that we want to share and hope they will continue once they have families. Going to WDW gives us a feeling that can not be explained, we just know that is where we want to be. As the date gets closer we get more excited, like waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

Our DDs have danced at MK and Downtown Disney, that was so great to see them perform where we love to be. Going with the dance studio you get a great discount on the tickets through the Youth Program. Because of the savings, we decided to go to Universal last year after WDW. As much as our DDs love rides, they only want to go to Disney. As we drive away from Orlando, we always start talking about the neaxt years trip.

As many times as we have been, there are places and things that we have not been or done. We have our favorites that we do every trip, but we do try to do something new each time. Can’t wait for all the trips in the years to come.


#17

Sharon and I got our start very differently from each other. She started going to DL and WDW in the late 60’s and early 70’s when she was in the service. She would just take weekends and go. She sort of fell in love with it then.

I went to WDW for the first time in the early 80’s. For me, it was a nice place to visit, but that was about it. Nothing magical.

When we got together in the late 80’s the rest as they say is history. That is when her true addiction came out, and I have been trying to at least keep her in check for just over 20 years now.

Long term plan / goal: Retire to FL in about 8 years. That is when the REAL trouble will begin.


#18

I went once as a kid back in the 70’s with my family. Moved to Florida as a teen but never went during that time. Moved back to NY for my senior year. Got married and had a daughter( that equals another 10 years). Took us till she was 7 to go again. Fell in love again through her and went several times a year for 3 years. Had some major demographic changes in the family unit. It took me and my daughter about 6 years to make our way back. Now I am just trying to fit in as much time with the two of us before the demographics change again. I imagine she will let me tag along with her family though. Its been fun with just the two of us, never needing to be in a hurry, but still fitting in everything that we want to do. Took us some time to get back but you never forgot the feeling!! Gotta love Disney.


#19

My first trip on an airplane was to WDW when I was 7 yrs old and my brother was 5. We stayed offsite and we had a great time. By the next trip my youngest brother was 5, so I was 12 and we stayed at the Poly.

The next time I went was on my honeymoon and DH and I stayed in a castleview room at the GF! We were hooked after that and visited many times b/f DD was born. DD’s 1st trip she was just about 3 and we stayed at the Poly (had booked POFQ but they bumped us to the Poly b/c of renovations!!!) After that all 3 of us were hooked and no matter how hard we try to skip a year - we end up going once a year. We just can’t stay away! I try to get as good as a deal as possible to justify the cost - but I usually go anyways w/o a deal.

We don’t do character meals much anymore, but we like doing a few sit-downs and have found many counter service places that have much more than burgers.

We enjoy our family trips together and love how much WDW had become a part of DD’s childhood. Our dreams came true when we were able to sleep in Cinderella’s Castle for a night, so that proved to us even more how anything can happen at Disney World!!