Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Passing on my Love of Disney to my kids
If you've been to my profile, you know that I grew up in Florida. Central Florida to be exact. I grew up with everything Central Florida had to offer. All of the theme parks, only an hour and a half from the beaches, countless other tourist attractions and easy access to cruises (once I was an adult). And of course one of the theme parks was Disney World. I am not "new school" Disney. I'm "old school" Disney, when the only Disney Theme park was the Magic Kingdom. So, we didn't call it the "Magic Kingdom". We called it Disney World. I still refer to the Magic Kingdom as Disney World and then have to explain myself to everyone.
In the beginning, it was the only park. And I went through every incarnation with it, starting when I was only one year old. Did you know that in the beginning, you didn't have to pay to get into Disney World? You bought tickets to ride the rides. Then they went to passes that you wore around your neck if you were going to ride the rides. Then, they went to what they have now. Everyone has to pay one price to get in, whether they are riding rides or not. I think every theme park has gone to that. I guess it makes everything simpler.
Disney was so much a part of our lives in Central Florida that my high school actually had their proms at a Disney Hotel. I went to both of my proms at that hotel. It was so magical getting dressed up and being there. We even rode the monorail in our prom dresses. And the Magic Kingdom used to have an event called Valentine Heartbeat. You went to Disney World at night during Valentine's season and they had lots of current bands playing. We went with a group of our friends and it was so much fun. They also had Grad Nite for seniors, which I did not go to.
In the 1980's Epcot opened. My dad and stepmom actually spent their honeymoon there. I don't know if they stayed at one of the Epcot Resort Hotels or if they stayed somewhere else in Kissimee or Orlando. Obviously, we weren't with them! About a year after they were married, they took my sister and me to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. It was our first time going to the new park. I loved it. I referred to my science geek tendencies yesterday when I told you guys I loved Dinosaurs and Space when I was little. And I love different cultures. I wanted to be an exchange student so badly when I was in high school. It never happened. But, Epcot had all of that~~Science, foreign lands! I made it back to Epcot several times in the next couple years after that. But, the last time I went was actually New Year's Day in 1987. I think I'm waaay overdue for a trip back.
I can't wait to be able to take my kids to EPCOT! I did take them to Disney World last year. I think I was more excited than they were! I remember the giggles and shouts of glee when we went through the gate. And, of course, the kids were happy too.
I really would like to be able to spend more than one day at the parks. We didn't get to do everything I wanted to do and we were there almost all day. I was so excited to see the Electric Light Parade again. I think I actually cried. My stepmom asked me if it was everything that I remembered and I said, "YES! Definitely!"
I'm in some rewards programs now where I'm earning points for Disney rewards. I'm hoping to have enough points racked up to make another trip back to Disney next year. I would really like to spend at least three days next time. That would give us a day and half each at the Magic Kingdom (that's so hard for me to say!) and Epcot. Eventually, we'll make it to the other two parks as well. But, for now, MC and Epcot are my priorities. Maybe we'll even splurge and spend the night at one of the Epcot Resort hotels. The bad part about being from Central Florida is that most of my family members don't want to stay overnight in Orlando. It's only about 45 minutes from home, so why spend the money on hotels. But, if we're going to be there for more than 2 days, the hotel just makes more sense to me. Right?
Have you and your family made it to any of the Disney theme parks yet? Or, are you one of the families that make it an annual tradition?