Disney World at 50… My Memories

Here come a bunch of thoughts/memories in celebration of Disney World being 50-years old this year. Please keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle! ¡Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas!

December 31, 2021

I am watching the ResortTV1 Live Stream at EPCOT. There are DJ Dance Parties all around World Showcase. It’s crazy!

DJ Dance Party in Italy – 12-31-21

I watched the New Year’s Eve celebration at the Magic Kingdom last night (they do 2 nights of it) and it was wild seeing the MK rocking out to dance music! (Tristan corrected me and said it is called EDM Music now. Yanking me into the new millennium!)

This is what it looked like at the end of the fireworks show. Spectacular!!!

MK New Year’s Eve Celebration (a day early) 12-30-21

I’ve been scanning more pictures and putting them on SmugMug (the best photo storage place ever) and can across one I had been looking for forever.

Tristan and me, November 21, 1982 … with Mickey!

Could my glasses be any bigger? Look how long my nails were! Clearly, I was not typing on anything yet. And I was so, so, so tired. I had no business dragging my new baby and my newly postpartum ass to the Magic Kingdom, but I was just as obsessed about Disney then as now.

Back then, running into characters was a hit or miss thing. There were never announcements or special locations to find them, so to run into so many characters that day with Tristan was so cool! Especially this one with Mickey!

December 24, 2021

  • I first went to EPCOT September 28, 1982, during one of the preview days. I was hugely pregnant with my first (he was born October 20, 1982) so technically, he was at a Disney Park before he was even born!
1st look at EPCOT September 28, 1982.
Inside the Land September 28, 1982.
  • It’s really weird seeing people wearing masks at Disney Parks. I am rarely out so they are still foreign to me. Others have said it looks weirder when people do not have them. I suppose I will get there, too. I have to say, it does make me happy to know Disney still takes COVID seriously. I would wear my mask everywhere, not just inside rides, but that’s just me. I can only attend to my own safety. I am willing to bet I will wear a mask every day now forevermore. Remember how we used to roll our eyes at the Japanese tourists who wore masks all the time? Look who’s eye-rolling now.

December 23, 2021

I am finally getting back to blogging. It’s been awhile and having to let go of a lot of things to get some work done. I totally missed NaNoWriMo, wrote on Day 1 and then dropped it to get work done. I am having a great time with work, so that is good, but it is time consuming.

BACK to DISNEY WORLD!

  • I discovered a Live Stream of Disney Parks from Josh and Jenna, a brother and sister who call themselves ResortTV1. I accidentally came across them in Instagram, as a recommendation, and that night they were doing the first Candlelight Processional after the pandemic began. I had to watch and it was amazing! I told mom and my youngest daughter Aimee and we all watched together. It was great. We’ve watched the Candlelight Processional as a family for as long as they have been having them (the began in 1994).
A photo I took years ago of the Candlelight Processional in EPCOT.

Now I am in love with ResortTV1! Their Live Stream is so wonderful because they stop talking when on rides. Not everyone has that courtesy. Thanks Josh and Jenna! You now have a fan!

  • Memory when watching Retro Disney World Josh did as I watching IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. I loved that music and downloaded it onto (what is now an ancient) iPod. Months and months later, after listening to it dozens of times, I had a client who needed to have her baby before she could even go home and get her things and she was most upset she didn’t have her Reflections of Earth music. I laughed and pulled out my iPod with headphones and she listened to it during her cesarean. We thought that was the craziest thing ever. Who would have guessed a midwife being a doula would have something so obscure, IN SAN DIEGO, as Reflections of Earth from Orlando’s EPCOT at Disney World on her iPod?
Photo I took of IllumiNations

  • I wonder how many videos I am in from being in the parks so much over the years.
  • I just learned they removed my Dancing Fountains (aka Fountain of Nations). The last show was on September, 7, 2019. You can see how out of touch I have been with my Disney Self. I am immersing myself again and it feels good. I used to dance like crazy when Yanni’s Standing in Motion played and wonder if people recorded the crazy fat lady dancing like a banshee to a fountain.
Photo I took of “My” Dancing Fountains.
Another angle of “My” Dancing Fountains.
  • Looking at these Live Streams, I see how much things have changed since I was last there about 3 years ago… maybe 4. I was sad to not see the Christmas Arch in EPCOT from the Dancing Fountains to the Christmas Tree next to the World Showcase Lagoon.
Photo by Disney Addicts
From Disney Tourist Blog

October 1, 2021

  • For years before WDW opened, there was the Walt Disney World Preview Center in Lake Buena Vista between 535 and down what was then called Preview Center Road. It opened in January 1970 and closed right before WDW opened in 1971. In that year, we had to have visited it more than a dozen times. I have in the recesses of my memory, every word of the spiel.
  • Here is one of the many pics I have taken of the Preview Center over the years. I remember being there, dirt road out front, as if it was yesterday.
  • I stepped into the Magic Kingdom when I was 10-years old. It was a couple of months old. I remember it like it was yesterday. I can see Cinderella Castle at the end of Main Street. The place was pristine. Magical does not begin to describe that memory.
A photo I took from the catwalk outside California Grill at the top of the Contemporary Resort.
  • My mom started working at Walt Disney World (WDW) in 1973 at the Pueblo Room at the Contemporary Resort. The Pueblo Room was where George Kalogridis also got his start as a busboy. My mom, a seater, worked with George for several years. He is now the President of Segment Development and Enrichment for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products (whatever that is).
  • Because mom worked there, we got in free. This was when tickets were a thing, but there were rides that didn’t need one and we went on them a lot.
  • This is a WDW Tickets in 1973 site.
  • One of my faves was If You Had Wings. There was never any line and it was ice cold inside. Looking at the video, I am reminded of the growing hanging fish… and the people in the waterfall. Wow.
  • We went to River Country a lot. That was on Bay Lake (a natural lake, whereas the Seven Seas Lagoon is man-made) by the campground, Ft. Wilderness. Early on, and for a long time that I can remember, there were no alligators (that we knew about or saw) in Bay Lake. We used to swim in the lake a lot and there were and swimming races by Discovery Island, across from the Contemporary in Bay Lake, early on, too. We knew about the amoeba early on (Naegleria fowleri) but until several people died from the primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, the warning about swimming in lakes in the summer were rare. Now we know much more.
Bay Lake behind the Contemporary Resort.
  • When we went to the Magic Kingdom when my mom was working, as it got close to her getting off work, we would hang out in the arcade on the ground floor of the Contemporary Resort. It is still there, but much larger now. We did not have arcades back in the olden days, so this was fascinating. I cannot imagine my parents giving us much money to spend, but I do remember playing air hockey, probably on someone else’s dime.
  • How did we find people who were lost in the park? How did we do this without cell phones? I can’t even remember. My mom says we had to meet at certain places at certain times and BE THERE or else. I guess we found each other. I know where everyone is tonight!
A photo I took of the welcome arch.
  • I remember when Space Mountain went so fast they had to slow it down when someone got hurt. Sitting one in front of the other? No thank you!
  • Ahhh, the Buckets… the Sky Ride. I loved that thing so much once I got on them. I was scared for years, but once I finally climbed in, it was great! Wonderful place to make-out.
  • Speaking of making-out, when one was at the Magic Kingdom (MK) at night, there were tons of places to get naughty with a boyfriend or girlfriend. How was there ever a time without cameras everywhere? I liked by the Liberty Tree Tavern… very dark there.
  • Tomorrowland Terrace. Remember the eccentric Michael Iceberg? He was fascinating with his musical computer!
  • I also saw Maynard Ferguson and other jazz musicians on the Tomorrowland Terrace stage. So much fun with my band friends.
  • Grad Nights! I don’t know how I got to go to so many Grad Nights, but I went to several. Here is a list of the performers for Grad Nights from 1972-2008. I graduated in 1979, but know I was at other people’s Grad Nights, too. Tickets were expensive! 1972, they were $9. Get a look at the Dress Code. HA!
  • I knew the MK so well, I could do tours and did. Later, I went with a couple of families who were on vacation and photographed them, allowing everyone in the family to be in the pics. I took some great shots! Do I still have them? Nope.
Photo I took from Liberty Square.
  • I do have some of the (now missing) thousands and thousands of pictures I took at Disney World during my Rec.Arts.Disney.Parks (Radp) days. I need a separate blog just for all the posts I have from there.
  • We took Tristan to WDW when he was 4 weeks old. Here are a few pics of him. How tired do I look in my 1982 giant glasses? I should have been home nursing my newborn! I tried nursing in the Baby Care Center… lovely with rocking chairs in a darkened room that was cold and cozy. I had a hard time nursing in bed. The rocking chair was nigh on impossible. My boobs were so swollen!
Tristan and Me at the Magic Kingdom November 21, 1982.
  • Remember the Year of a Million Dreams? 2006-2008. I love this pic of a monorail I took. The moon high above.
  • Here’s an early monorail leaving the Contemporary Resort.
  • Oh my god, do you remember the hoopla surrounding when the “Fry Cart” was coming into the Magic Kingdom in Frontierland? If you were in online Disney groups in 1996, you will. If we had known it would be gone by 2008, I wonder if we would have had such heated discussions. I love McDonald’s fries, so I was all for the fry cart.
  • Do you remember when Tape Art came to the 2nd floor of the Contemporary Resort? I happened upon it accidentally and let the Radp group know Michael Townsend and Erica Duthie were decorating the hotel, inside and out. I LOVED the Tape Art! Here’s Meghann and Aimee after their own creations… while imitating what they made!
  • Here’s one of my fave pics I took of Cinderella Castle from the top of the Contemporary Resort.
  • Another Castle pic I took. Same vantage point.
  • And a few moments later, when the Castle changed colors.
  • The 5-Legged Goat on the wall closest to the monorail going through the center of the Contemporary Resort. When riding, I would always make sure to show it off. I told parents if they looked at it, their kids would not cry all day. The craned their necks.
  • This next one is Tristan and Meghann behind the Contemporary Resort when they were 3 and 9 months respectively, in 1985. Mickey sunglasses. Go, Tristan!
  • Meghann on her 21st Birth Day in 2005. Crystal Palace.

I have many more memories to share but want to get this out on Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. I will add more as I can.

A photo I took of the Cakesle 25 years ago. Everyone hated it but me. I loved the Cakesle!