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I cannot say with any great certainty when my love affair with Disney began, I just know that it’s always been there. Our first trip to the Walt Disney World Resort was in 1975. There was only the Magic Kingdom and we made the trip in a day after staying with some friends in Ft. Lauderdale. We went back the following year and then it would be the early 80’s before we would go back.
I didn’t appreciate the true wonder of it all until I became an adult and went back in 1998. For some reason, everything amazed me. I remember being near tears on Main Street as I shopped in the stores of my youth and could remember so clearly the many times we had bought blown glass figures for my Nana. Each and every ride held me mesmerized. I felt like I was seeing it all for the first time but that could have been because it was my then-6-year old’s first trip as well as my husband’s. As much as I love the Walt Disney World Resort, it’s the only Disney park that I have been to. We live on the East Coast and it’s always been a trip that we could make. With family living in Florida, it makes it a convenient trip as well.
My dream is to visit Disneyland. Why? Most people will tell me that it’s so much smaller and that we’ll get more ‘bang for our buck’ by going to back to Orlando and doing Disney World but for me, I want to walk where Walt Disney himself walked. Now I realize that the Disneyland of today is much different than the one in Walt’s time and that millions of people have walked those streets since. I’m still fascinated. That park was his dream and he was there for every aspect of it. I think Disney World is wonderful and it has a lot of Walt Disney’s ideas but Disneyland was truly and completely HIS.
There is a book called “Disneyland: The Inside Story”. It’s a huge book (very tall) with tons of pictures of the construction of Disneyland and there was Walt right in the middle of it. It intrigues me. From a purely sentimental point of view, I would like to see where it all began. I want to ride the rides that were his original concepts and dreams; I want to take a walk and imagine what it all must have looked like back in the day.
It’s corny and it’s silly but for as much as I love the technology of the newer rides and the shininess of the newer parks, I think there is something to be said about the older ones. They were built in a simpler time and though many of the rides have been renovated/rehabbed and whatnot, I imagine that in the original Disneyland park, you can still feel a little bit of the magic that was Walt Disney himself.
I’d love to experience that and see if it is true…maybe someday.