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

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
First trip was in 1983. I was 35. Was with my wife and two daughter (age 9 & 7). We didn't have much money at the time and I was in publishing then and got four tickets as a thank you for running a promotion with a travel agency. We saved money for months and budgeted, with the kids, what we could spend per day. They saved up their allowance. And we made the road trip from Vermont the last week of February. I had to work all day setting things up so everything would get done while I was gone so I got home after dark but we headed out for Albany as soon as I got home. I had a headache that would have killed a lessor man. All the way to Albany my head was throbbing and lights were shining in my eyes. It was awful. When we got to the hotel in Albany, I was so wired that I couldn't sleep much, a couple of hours maybe. The further south we went the better and more excited I felt. We stayed in Econo-lodges the entire trip. We had to guess where we would get and make reservations ahead of time from a pay phone or the last hotel we stayed in. We stayed 3 miles to the west of the main entrance to WDW. Up until about 5 years ago the building was still there, but had been abandoned for quite a while. We only had a three day ticket, so we spent the first day at MK. On the second day we went to EPCOT. At the time it had only been open for about 3 months. It didn't have the organization of MK and long, long lines existed. We spent two hours to get in to Imagination and all we got to see was the 3D movie I don't remember the name of.

Anyway, we spent all the time waiting for a 12 minute movie and that was all that was operating at the time for Imagination. We looked at each other and decided that EPCOT at that stage just wasn't worth it. So we drove to the Kennedy Space Center and had a great time. The next, last day, was back to MK. That's all there was at the time.

The next morning we drove up the westside of the state to Silver Springs, toured there and then headed back up north on I-95. When we got to DC we stopped and set up a bus tour of DC for the next morning. They showed up with a van and said you're the only ones that reserved for the day so where would you like to go. We didn't know the things available so we just told him a couple of places like the Vietnam Veteran Memorial and the air and space museum and the driver just took us to the regular places like the Capital building and the white house. The driver was very friendly and asked my youngest what grade she was in and what they were studying in school. She was in 1st grade and since it was Presidents week they have just studied Abe Lincoln. A light went on in his head and took us to the Ford Theater and the residence across to the road where Lincoln actually died. Quite and eye opener for the youngin'.

Then we drove the rest of the way to Vermont singing "Now is the time, Now is the best time, Now is the best time of our lives" which we all had memorized from the Carrousel of Progress. Memories for all of us and I talk with my middle aged daughters about it even now. That was why we or I ended up going to WDW 47 times and Disneyland once and Disneyland Paris once.
 
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CynBeth

Active Member
I do not remember how old I was on the first trip but it was in the early 80’s and one set of grandparents came with us. It was my first time on a plane and we stayed at Cintemporary. Besides the days spent at MK and Epcot we visited Kennedy Space Center and a few other attractions like Silver Spring and another place that is no longer around but can’t remember the name. Such an amazing trip. I got to go a few other times as a kid once we stayed offsite then again at CR. As an adult my DH and I try to go every few years and stay at a different resort each time.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I do not remember how old I was on the first trip but it was in the early 80’s and one set of grandparents came with us. It was my first time on a plane and we stayed at Cintemporary. Besides the days spent at MK and Epcot we visited Kennedy Space Center and a few other attractions like Silver Spring and another place that is no longer around but can’t remember the name. Such an amazing trip. I got to go a few other times as a kid once we stayed offsite then again at CR. As an adult my DH and I try to go every few years and stay at a different resort each time.
Around that time there wasn't a lot of other things to see other then SeaWorld or Cyprus Gardens. The one you can't remember might have been that one. Silver Springs is quite a lengthy drive from WDW. Might you be confusing that with Cyprus Gardens? The other thing in the area around that time was Gatorland.
 

seriously

New Member
I was just reading another thread about is the magic gone & was kinda bummed out. Thank goodness I found this before logging off !
In 1976 and we drove from NJ & tent camped in Fort Wilderness. There was only Magic Kingdom. We stayed a glorious week and looked forward to our 2 days in the Kingdom.
We rented canoes, went horseback riding and had that special dinner out at the Hoop-de-do and the Polynesian luau.
I desperately wanted Chip and Dale stuffed animals but my Dad told me we could only afford one. I reluctantly chose Chip and left Dale. That night at the Luau ,Chip and Dale were there! Can you imagine the joy when Dale handed me the stuffed Dale my Dad had secretly bought and arranged the delivery?
Thanks for reminding me that the magic is never gone!
We leave on 3/26 for my 13th trip and my son’s 7th.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
lol, my very first trip was an unmitigated disaster. It was 1974 or 75. We hated it. A lot of the reasons were not Disney's fault but just added up to a horrible vacation.
First, we drove from NYC to florida. 4 kids and two adults squeezed into a big Buick in the hot summer. Unfortunately my parents were originally from the deep south and had just come off of working in the civil rights movement so they were leery of the the south and refused to stop and let us eat in the restaurants along the way. so we ate in the car food that we had made for the trip.

Next, we were from NYC, lol as a kid there was no better playground. We had amusement parks and ocean beaches. So while we had a good time for the most part, we had no desire to return.

I didn't go again until 1998 when my kids were young.
 

DisneyAubs

Active Member
My first trip was in 1983. I was only 9 months old. We routinely vacationed in Clearwater, so I’m pretty sure it was a one day trip to Magic Kingdom. My parents, grandparents, sister (age 5) and uncle (age 12?).
I don’t remember anything, but my pictures are adorable! LOL

The first trip I remember was when I was 3. We did 3 days I think, so we went to Epcot and Magic Kingdom. I don’t recall any rides, but I distinctly remember several character experiences
 

jocarol

Member
It was 1972 and I was four years old. I remember riding Flight to the Moon. I had grandparents and aunts and uncles in Winter Park so we went often in the 70's and 80's, and most of my memories are probably from later trips. My grandmother had a drawer in her kitchen full of partially used ticket books, and my cousins claimed to have friend working at the gates who let them in for free. I remember the parking lot trams and riding the monorail in and seeing all the topiaries. I remember Mr Toad's wild ride, Snow White, Haunted Mansion, Pirates, If You Had Wings, Country Bears, the People Mover...but I have no memory of ever riding Peter Pan. I found out many years later that my sister never rode Haunted Mansion on any of those trips. As I grew older my favorite ride was Space Mountain and as a young teen I thought it was the only worthwhile ride in the whole park.
 

pixie225

Well-Known Member
My first visit was in 1976. I was 18 years old. My family did not have any money to spend on vacations. In lieu of any kind of high school graduation present/party/money I asked that we go to Disneyworld. My dad did not want to go, so I took my mom (first time there for her at age 48) and my then 12 year old brother. It was my first time on an airplane! Stayed for 7 days, and had a blast. Those were the days of "E" ride tickets. Since that time I have been back over 30x, and took my kids when they were 4 and 7 years old. (they are now 29/32). They have been there over 10x already. Different economics from then to now.
 

graphite1326

Well-Known Member
I'm calling 1996 as my first visit but I had gone in 1978 but MK was the only park there. I was in my late 30's. We took our two boys who were 6 and 9 at the time. It was quite overwhelming even though we had tried to plan. We had to go back in two years just redeem ourselves on doing such poor planning the first trip. We had a blast and have been going ever since. I was most impressed by the animatronics. Especially on SE. I'm a manufacturing engineer and spent the whole ride trying to figure out how they did things. Also, most impressive was how we were treated by the CM's. They went out of their way to make sure you had a good visit.
 
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Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I'm calling 1996 as my first visit but I had gone in 1978 but MK was the only park there. I was in my late 30's. We took our two boys who were 6 and 9 at the time. It was quite overwhelming even though we had tried to plan. We had to go back in two years just redeem ourselves on doing such poor planning the first trip. We had a blast and have been going ever since. I was most impressed by the animatronics. Especially on PE. I'm a manufacturing engineer and spent the whole ride trying to figure out how they did things. Also, most impressive was how we were treated by the CM's. They went out of their way to make sure you had a good visit.
Not understanding. Was the 1996 or the 1978 trip the difficult one?
 

John park hopper

Well-Known Member
Spent a year in SE (Nam) and was discharged from the service in June 1972 I was 23 year old. Headed to South Florida to start college and stopped at Disney World with the 1st wife. The only park at the time was the Magic Kingdom. I can still remember how clean it was and having e-ticket, parking was 50 cents loved the place, total escape from reality from where I had been . Still remember that trip-- first wife long forgotten.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Spent a year in SE (Nam) and was discharged from the service in June 1972 I was 23 year old. Headed to South Florida to start college and stopped at Disney World with the 1st wife. The only park at the time was the Magic Kingdom. I can still remember how clean it was and having e-ticket, parking was 50 cents loved the place, total escape from reality from where I had been . Still remember that trip-- first wife long forgotten.
This is scary, I also was discharged on June 6, 1972. I was still 23 at the time as well. I turned 24 a month and a half later.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
Early 1970's, and I was very young.

On one of my early visits, I had what I thought was a really cool bucket hat with a green visor. (white hat with green plastic rectangle worn over my eyes like sunglasses.) It made everything green, which I loved, because everything looked like the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz.

Another early memory...Minnie came up behind me and put her hands over my eyes. I was just floored that she chose ME! I was young enough that the characters still felt real to me. I partly knew they weren't real, but they were also partly real to me.

I distinctly remember the ticket books, when Space Mtn was brand new, If You Had Wings, and the frustration of being too short to see in the Circle-vision theater. I liked the film, but I hated having to stand the whole time, and how the adults kept blocking my view.
 

AFoodie

Member
I don’t remember much about my first trip to Disneyland in 1980 because I was 5, though the memory of that scientist’s eye through the microscope stuck with me my whole life. I didn’t realize what ride that was until recently, when I watched YouTube videos documenting Adventure Through Inner Space.
My first trip to WDW in 1987, tho, I was 12 and my family drove to Florida from up north with my older sister’s to-be in-laws. I just remember falling in love with Epcot, especially Spaceship Earth, Horizons, Journey Into Imagination (the original) and World of Motion. It felt like we spent hours at Imageworks and we got to be in one of those Western movie things. My love of Epcot from that first trip remains today! It’s what I miss most about not going to the parks right now, although since my husband and I moved to Orlando, I have developed a love for Animal Kingdom, too.
 
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EngineerMom

Active Member
Disney World 1972. Hard to remember since we went every year after that during my childhood as my dad had conferences down in the area and eventually at Disney itself. It was great when the conferences were there. They were at Lake Buena Vista so condos where my brother and I could take the bus over to Magic Kingdom. When we were old enough they let us go over at night when they were busy and it was so pretty all lit up and when typically not crowded so we would ride things over and over.

My memories of my 1st trip are mostly that we stayed at the contemporary and my brother and I would run out to the hallway and look down on the monorail and it was "so cool". I remember fantasy land and loving Peter Pan and It's a Small World. Then thinking the Haunted Mansion was so cool. My grandparents were with us and I remember riding Small World with my grandma and thinking it was soooo pretty. I wasn't a big Space Mtn fan but when that opened my brother was obsessed and my dad had to ride it a bunch with him. Grandpa got roped into it as well but we gave him a hard time as it said you shouldn't ride with a heart condition.
My memories are all "magical" as I loved Disney. The only negative thing I remember was BAD food. We ate at the contemporary and it was HORRIBLE. We went to the luau at the Polynesian and it was just awful although all of us enjoyed the show.
 
I was 20 and I was going into the army the day after Thanksgiving 1971. Not a great time to enlist, especially since I had just gotten married and finished college, and there was a certain "unpleasantness" going on full tilt in Southeast Asia, but I did it because I didn't want to get drafted, which ended while I was in the army. My wife wanted to take me on a farewell vacation (both figuratively and possibly literally), and I chose the just opened that month (October) Walt Disney World. We went and had a great time. We were on line for the Davy Crockett canoes (I later became good friends with Fess Parker) - actually there was no line because in October it was just about empty - and a couple from Florida was amazed that we came "all the way from New Jersey" to WDW. Years later, I thought it was good I didn't take any stock tips from them - LOL! Well, I survived although in combat arms units the entire time, and we have been back over 100 times since then, and now living in the Atlanta area, we are DVC members and go 2-3 times a year. My three sons are also DVC members and we now have 6 grandkids that fill the 2 bedroom villas regularly. I just found out after many years of having annual passes for both DW and Disneyland, I couldn't purchase an AP, so I'm going with the regular tickets. It costs about the same and I'm not limited to dates. One note - Disney's treatment of long time customers (I've also been to Disneyland about 100 times and Paris Disney 4 times and we are Disney Cruise Members) is absolutely horrible and if it wasn't the only way we could get to see our grandkids on a regular basis, I'd sell my DVC properties (between my sons and I we have 7) in a heartbeat and say "Adios". There is so much wrong with Disney now that was so right in the past. If they do away with Peter Pan, that's the last straw and I'm gone...But the memories of the past there are so good...I wish Walt was still alive...his memory is being desecrated it seems daily...so sad...
 

Randyland

Member
In the Spring of 1972, ( just a few months after the opening on October 1, 1971), this young boy of age 11, had his first trip to Walt Disney World...

We stayed at the Contemporary Resort, had room 4624, ( tenth floor towers Bay Lake side, far North corner last room), and we were there for ten WONDERFUL days!

Everything was amazing and wonderful, and the best thing were the Cast Members themselves...

They had the magic and we're living the dream!

The last night, I stood outside on the fire escape stairs landing next next to out room at the end of the hall...

And I looked across at the Magic Kingdom with it's night lights glowing....

With tears in my eyes flowing down my face, I never wanted to leave...

I wanted to live right there forever.

I made the biggest wish possible to be able to live at Walt Disney World, and I cried many times on the ride back home to New Jersey...

I would get to return every year after that, and maintained that wish to stay there...

In 1984, I made much of that wish cone true, by becoming a Cast Member at Walt Disney World!

And I had the BEST position possible; Main Street Operations, right in the center of all the Magic!

I watched Parades everyday....

Castle shows were almost everyday...

Fireworks all the time...

Drive the Main Street Vehicles right up and down Main Street USA...

And even was a Conductor in the Walt Disney World Steam Railroad!

It was the perfect fit fore, who found myself living the dream every day, and wishes really do cone true!

I became quite the icon at Walt Disney World, as my love for being there was plain to see.

After several years, I was called away from my home on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom...

God's plan called me to return to New Jersey to take over an amusement Operation, which I knew well from my youth, and to make a huge impact by changing things there, by righting the wrongs of injustice from early events which had taken place.

Although I continued to return home to Walt Disney World each years, my path was to require me to stay in Amusement Operateions on the Boardwalk in New Jersey for over 35 years since...

As a champion for goodness, my influences have made incredible impact through the years.

But STILL being the young guy living the Dreams on Main Street at Walt Disney World, I brought as much of the Magic with me as Possible!

I purchased the former Woolworths 5&10, which had the same yellow brick construction and Red Robbin signage as the Emporium on Main Street, and I made that home base for me...

The Gold letters went up on the Red Robbin signs; on the corner it reads Emporium, and on the front it reads Randyland.

And I brought up the Main Street Omnibus, so I could drive around the Streets giving life to the area in the same way that I once did on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom...

Inside my Emporium onain street at Randyland, you find it stuffed with treasures from my life I. The Amusement Business...

Every book and cranny is filled with Amusement Games and Artifacts from Amusement Places of our past...

There are hundreds of life-sized mannequins made in my image to be found throughout the complex...

Many wearing Disney Cast Member Costumes, and all with Randy Disney name tags...

Authentic tributes to Walt Disney World, including the Diamond Horseshoe, 20,000 leagues under the Sea, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and more...

Even the ceiling is lined with the original Orange and Silver lighting strips which once outlined the Guest Hallways of the Grand Canyon Concourse from floors 5 through 12, at the Contemporary Resort Hotel, who h is were it all began with the biggest wish possible in Spring of 1972...

Yes, I gave been living the dream all these years!

No one could ever have asked for a better wish to come true, and if you are true to your dreams, you will never lose them.

 

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