An Introduction

Watching “The Wonderful World of Disney” (or was it “The Wonderful World of Color”?) was one of the mainstays of our family’s viewing line-up. I remember when we got our first color television (yeah- do the math; I’m that old!), the first show my dad wanted to see was the Disney program. They always showed fireworks at the beginning in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland.This instilled in me a desire for all things Disney – going to the movies, owning Disney merchandise (I’ve worn a Mickey Mouse watch most of my life) and going to Disneyland (and, later Disney World).

We never went to Disneyland as a family; we lived in Michigan and California might as well have been on the other side of the moon – Disney World in Florida came later, but never seemed to be an option. I am not sure if it was finances, logistics (there were 7 of us including my parents) or some sort of combination.

My first visit was to Disney World between my sophomore and junior years in high school (1975?) which only had the Magic Kingdom and Epcot at that time. I went with a friend who had grown up going to Disneyland in California, and her family. When my friend asked me to go, I was pretty sure my folks would say no, but her mom called my mom and somehow talked her into it! I have no idea if my folks subsidized my trip in any way or if my friend’s family picked up the tab – probably the later. This was the first time I remember taking an extended trip without any of my family. We drove down from Michigan, taking about 3 days, I think. What I remember most is being disappointed that my friend didn’t want to go into Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom because she had been so many times in California. So my first Disney Park adventure did not include the Tea Cup Ride, Dumbo’s Flight, or the Peter Pan ride, but – for whatever reason – we did go on the Small World ride. I should have been scarred for life after that and I wasn’t – I wanted to see Fantasyland! It was quite a long time before I was able to do that…


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