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Describe your first trip to WDW. How old were you? What year was it?

Big Phil

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
For me it was early 1991 and I was 10. I can recall being on the plane and landing in Orlando and I didn't have a window seat but I wanted to look out the window to see if I would be able to see the Castle. Here are other memories of that first trip, we only visited Magic Kingdom:

- I couldn't believe how big the parking lots were and thought it was neat they were named after characters. We were in Pluto that year, and this was old school so no taking a picture of it with a digital camera, we had to all remember it.
- I thought the Hall of Presidents were real men. I was trying to convince my mom that they were
- I loved Thunder Mountain and being sort of green to rollercoasters at that point I thought it was pretty intense (it is still a good ride)
- The first ride we ever went on was Small World and we keep that tradition to this day as the first ride we go on each trip
- I was amazed by Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Had never seen anything like that in my life
- Loved 20,000 Leagues under the sea
- I remember talking to an older couple from France in the line up for the Skyway. My parents couldn't speak French, but I could rather well then because of school, and I spoke to them fluently more or less. I remember them talking about how excited they were about Disneyland Paris coming in 1993. Yeah, I know it was 1992, but for whatever reason they said 1993.

We didn't go again until 1995, but I kept the maps and looked at them all of the time in my room.
 

danyoung56

Well-Known Member
I grew up in SoCal, and my first DL trip was way back in 1963 (I was 6!). I finally got to see WDW in 1979, when a show group I was travelling in had a show nearby and then a day off. It was really strange, visiting a place so much like DL but so different. I kept getting lost, trying to get to Frontierland but Liberty Square was in the way! But it was a fun day, anyway!!!
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
My first Disney was to Disneyland in about 1984. I don't remember much except the tea cups and interacting with some of the characters walking around. And seeing Tinkerbell and the fireworks.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
First time at Disney was in 1995 with DW and DS. We stayed at the Poly for 1 week. I was 37 yo. I had dreamed of going to Disney since I was a child going to all the Disney movies and watching the weekly shows on Television. My family was hooked on Disney from the moment we walked onto Main Street and viewed the Castle. The attractions, the shows, the entertainment were all I thought they would be, the CM's helpful and gracious, which sold us on the Disney magic and just knew we had to return for more. PoTC, Splash, HM and Liberty Square/ Frontierland were the big items I remember desperately wanting to experience from being featured on Walts TV shows.
 

Worldlover71

Well-Known Member
My first trip to WDW was in 1979 when I was 7. On that first trip, and for several years after, I though the MK was on an island because you had to take the monorail or ferry to get there. I really thought it was a magical place; it's own world. I wasn't until I was a little older and started reading about WDW that I realized it wasn't on an island, it was on the other side of a lake. We bought a poster size map of MK that hung in my bedroom for years and I studied it until I had it memorized. I still have some books and small toys we bought on that trip too.
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
I was 1 for my first trip to WDW, and it was the 70s, so I remember nothing. But my mom said I responded very positively to the Enchanted Tiki Room... which my wife suspects explains my enduring love of this old attraction, exotica music and mid-century tiki culture in general.
 

plawren2

Active Member
at age 6, Christmas 1971 (yes just a few months after WDW first opened), we drove 3 days to get there and stayed off site, have some vague memories and a few photos but mixed in with those from a 2nd Christmas trip we took 2 years later
 

Minnie Mum

Well-Known Member
My first visit was in 1975 when I was 23. It wasn't planned. Our aircraft went unserviceable at Patrick AFB while on an extended training flight, so we had a day off. A friend and I rented a car and drive to WDW for the day. Since we had limited time, we took the guided tour, which was great, and then rode additional rides later in the day. This was back in the days if ticket booklets. We called it a day when we were down to a few A and B tickets. I was back a few months later for a longer stay. This started the Disney park adduction that still hasn't completely ended.
 

Fletch

Active Member
First time for me it was 1991 on honeymoon; 28 years old. DW went there as a kid before Epcot opened. Some of my recollections from 30 years ago:
  • We stayed off site. It was November and it was sunny crisp morning. The boat ride across the lake felt like I was going to different world.
  • The first ride was the Tiki Birds. My wife thought to herself “once he see’s this he is going to kill me”. Well I walked out of there very impressed on how everything was so coordinated. I sigh of relief on her part. 🙂
  • The rides and attractions. I love crazy roller coasters....not for everyone. But this place offered fun for all.
  • The detail on everything. I am in the quality field so my eye always looks at things very closely. I thought is was close to perfection as possible. It got to the point when I went to other parks, I noticed the lack of cleanliness and attention to detail.
  • Cruised through Hollywood Studios in 4 hours on the last day.
  • The food stunk. However, we were on a tight budget at the time so it was mainly just fast food for us. It has come along way for sure.
 
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ppet

Well-Known Member
My first trip was also my wife's and my son and daughter's first trip. It was in 2000 and I didn't even mind the big Mickey hand on SSE. By my driver's license I was 35 years old, But I would swear I was 10 when I met Donald Duck that day. Our first park was EPCOT and the impression that illuminations made on me will never fade.
 

GraysonsDad

Member
Wow, good questions. I was probably 4-5 years old and really don't remember anything other than the electric light parade. This was mid 1970's. What I remember is my parent's packing up the car and leaving Indiana when it was still dark out. We would drive down pulling our little pop-up camper and camp in Jellystone Park- I don't remember the exact location but we could see the parade. We did this every summer for probably 8-9 years in a row.
 

fox_198

Well-Known Member
I can't even remember my actual first time because I was 11 months old then in 1998!

There were plenty of visits afterwards, but as for the first trip I can remember vividly I went with my parents and sister in December 2007. We stayed off-site at the Nickelodeon Hotel, and the thing I remember most was going to Epcot in the evening and having a great time. This was during the SSE renovation as well.
 

Robbiem

Well-Known Member
summer 1989. I was 14 and it was the first time we’d (including my 40 year old father) ever left the UK and the first time I’d ever been on a plane.
the whole trip was so exciting we stayed offsite and visited all three parks including the new MGM studios, I can still remember the excitement seeing spaceship earth for the first time And visting kennedy space centre
 

GinaD613

Member
August 1974 and I was 11. I remember Mission to Mars, a mos
nsanto 360 movie, Grand Prix cars, 20,000 leagues, haunted mansion, the skyway, prob rode Peter Pan and Snow White. waiting 2 and a half hours to ride jungle cruise. I was so happy to be there.

didn’t ride dumbo because the line was too long, and still haven’t to this day.

just missed the soft opening of space mountain.

obviously. No other parks, no splash or btmrr.

we drove down in our small motor home, which kept breaking down. Didn’t stay at ft. Wilderness. Stayed at a less expensive KOA in Kissimmee.
 

jloucks

Well-Known Member
For me it was early 1991 and I was 10. I can recall being on the plane and landing in Orlando and I didn't have a window seat but I wanted to look out the window to see if I would be able to see the Castle. Here are other memories of that first trip, we only visited Magic Kingdom:

- I couldn't believe how big the parking lots were and thought it was neat they were named after characters. We were in Pluto that year, and this was old school so no taking a picture of it with a digital camera, we had to all remember it.
- I thought the Hall of Presidents were real men. I was trying to convince my mom that they were
- I loved Thunder Mountain and being sort of green to rollercoasters at that point I thought it was pretty intense (it is still a good ride)
- The first ride we ever went on was Small World and we keep that tradition to this day as the first ride we go on each trip
- I was amazed by Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Had never seen anything like that in my life
- Loved 20,000 Leagues under the sea
- I remember talking to an older couple from France in the line up for the Skyway. My parents couldn't speak French, but I could rather well then because of school, and I spoke to them fluently more or less. I remember them talking about how excited they were about Disneyland Paris coming in 1993. Yeah, I know it was 1992, but for whatever reason they said 1993.

We didn't go again until 1995, but I kept the maps and looked at them all of the time in my room.
For me it was Haunted Mansion and 20,000. I've told the story before, so I will keep it short, but when I went back as an adult I asked if the 20,000 Leagues was gone and the CM did an amazing job at not making me feel like a tool while letting me down easy.

Oh, and the light parade and Crystal palace
 

NelleBelle

Well-Known Member
My first Disney trip was to DL. I was ~6 wks old. My parents had just moved to Glendale, CA. They rode all the rides and would hand me over to CMs, who would hold me while they rode SM, BTMRR (70s were indeed another era). I grew up going to DL and can't even remember my first memory there because they are all a blur. But I do remember my first WDW trip. It was 1995, I had just turned 18 and we went for my senior class trip. We drove 20-something hours straight through from the Ft. Worth suburbs. Stayed off-site and visited all the parks. Epcot was our one of our "education" days and I loved it! Instead of buying mouse ears, I bought a sun bonnet from frontier land (loved that thing...very practical for keeping the sun off of fair skin)! Have been hooked ever since!
 

WannabWalt

New Member
My first time was February of 1975. There were 5 of us in the family (I was 9 years old) and we drove our car and pop up camper down from Wisconsin and stayed at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. There were ticket books at that time, so we only got to go on rides once. We went on Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Dumbo, 20,000 Leagues Submarines, Skyway, Train, Haunted Mansion, Small World, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. We also saw the Tiki Birds, at the time you had to stand and watch the Country Bears and the Mickey Mouse Review. I remember drinking lots of orange juice and some family giving us their unused tickets from their booklet to use. I also remember long lines, but as a 9 year old a long line could have been a half hour!
Since then, I've been back over 30 times, usually on a yearly visit lately and still enjoy it as my 9 year old self did a long time ago.
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
My first trip to WDW was in April of 1985, and I was 11. We flew and stayed offsite at a place called Larson's Lodge. We went to Sea World on our arrival day because my dad didn't want to use a travel day for a Disney park. The following day, we went to MK and the first thing I remember was the signs changing and tuning into the special radio station for park information. I know we took the monorail to the park and I know my first ride was Mission to Mars. I know for certain our second ride was Space Mountain, but it's all a bit fuzzy after that. I know I bought a Donald Duck t-shirt in that area. I remember riding the Skyway and long lines for IASW and PotC, but that's about all I remember of that trip to MK. The next day, we went to Epcot...I remember my dad trying to book dinner at one of those video kiosks near the park entry, only to find that Morocco was the only TS option with an opening. World of Motion and Horizons were our first two rides, and we waited a long LONG time to ride the original Imagination after that. The Rainbow Corridor was absolutely magical! Dinner was not good, but the menu was very different back then. He was afraid of fighting crowds, so he made us leave before any nighttime shows. I just remember seeing laser lights from the motel balcony and knowing it was what we were missing in Epcot. The rest of the trip was non-Disney, which made me sad, but in hindsight...I'm glad they did it this way. The following day, we went to Kennedy Space Center and during our tour...we just happened to luck out and see a Space Shuttle that had just been pulled out of its bay and was being prepped to be moved to the launchpad. That shuttle was Challenger...and it was being prepped for it's 7th mission. We all got to get off the bus and as a kid, it felt like we were ridiculously close to it...and maybe we were. It felt like no more than 1000 ft. After that, we drove to Sanibel and spent the rest of our trip at the beach... shelling and fishing.
 

SaltyD

Active Member
I went to Disneyworld on my honeymoon in 1993 and started on a life of Disney obsession with my husband! Went back for our 5th anniversary and came home with our little Disney souvenir aptly named Mickey 9 months later :) I had been to Disneyland for business prior to Disneyworld and loved all of it! When we went for your honeymoon we rode every ride, I even made my husband wait an hour for Dumbo. I've been back so many times I've lost track but it never loses it's magic for me :) My parents never took me as a child since we lived overseas and my dad used to say it was all cartoons and just for kids. But we took my parents when our kids were young for the first time and my father was converted to a Disneyworld afficionado :)
 

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