Where to start?
Well, the obvious place is 1972, my first visit, but I was awfully young and don’t remember a whole lot. I remember taking the monorail from the parking lot to the park. My mom wanted to take the ferry boat, but I refused (more on my old fear of boats later). I also remember some of the kiddie rides, like the Dumbo ride and the Teacup ride (which was my very favorite for probably entirely too long). I remember, without a great deal of enthusiasm, the food. I think that was the visit where we ate at Pinocchio Village Haus restaurant with a German name, which is exceedingly odd for a restaurant that takes its theme from a movie based on a book that’s set in Italy. Casa di Pinocchio would be more appropriate, I would think.
Sadder than the German theme was the food, if I recall. I seem to remember fast-food type hamburgers and not much else. I don’t think there were chicken nuggets. The chicken nugget had been invented, but no one had heard of them yet. That was still a good eight years in the future.
My parents and cousin went on the Haunted Mansion ride. I don’t think I went on the Haunted Mansion on that trip yet. I was still pretty little and very imaginative. Even though it was all in fun, I probably would have had problems with some of it, like the head in the crystal ball. That would have totally freaked me out. I do wonder who watched us, though. The oldest child in our group would only have been nine at the time. Maybe my cousin’s husband watched us.
We didn’t take many, if any, photographs at Walt Disney World that trip. I seem to recall all of the Disney World pictures in that photo album as being postcards. Our old Swinger camera was pretty bulky and really didn’t travel very well.
This was the first of many trips to Walt Disney World. We originally did it as a day trip from my cousins’ house, but one year my family stayed in a hotel in Orlando. If I recall, that hotel was the first time any of us ever saw a digital hotel room lock. I think that was the 1974/1975 school year. Since they reprogrammed the lock for every visitor, they let us keep the key and I brought the room key back to show in school. My most recent trips were in 1982, 1992, and 2003. I will likely be back to discuss them in those years.
And why do I refer to Walt Disney World as being “more or less” in Orlando? Because the resort is not actually in Orlando. Walt Disney World is actually southwest of the city limits. Most of it is in Bay Lake, Florida, and the rest is in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. But the popular perception is that it is in Orlando, so I figured I’d better reference that, rather than putting either of the other two cities as the location.
(originally posted June 24, 2015)