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

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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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.

 

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.

 

Tink86

Member
What a fun thread! It was spring 1977. When we got off the plane, the steps were brought to the plane and you had to walk into the airport from the tarmac. You needed tickets to ride the attractions at Magic Kingdom and I remember my mom's S/O, who was funding the trip, being frustrated with the ticketing concept and running out of the good tickets! I was almost 11 but distinctly remember Orange Bird, Tiki Room, Skyway, 10,000 Leagues under the Sea; Wild Toad; Snow White, Pooh, Peter Pan, Small World; Country Bears, Swiss Family Tree House, and Jungle Cruise. Possibly Space Mountain and definitely Carousal of Progress. We stayed at the Contemporary and they had a huge game room with a movie theater in it. I saw Song of the South there. We also went to Disney Village and Water Country. Water Country was so fun, I remember that clearly. I believe we also went to Sea World while there then we went down to Key West. Thanks for taking me back in my way back machine!
 

Joseph Megrey

New Member
My 1st trip was to DL in the summer of 1965. My family drove cross-country from Ohio hitting a lot of national parks, Carlsbad Caverns, the Alamo, etc. Disneyland was the highlight of the trip. I remember the Skyway, Autopia, the Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan, Snow White, Mister Toad, the Tiki Room, and the characters. Lines were not too long from what I remember. Went back again to DL in 1969. First WDW was December 26, 1977. Learned never to go at Christmastime. Waited over 2 1/2 hours in traffic just to get into the parking lot. They closed the park just after we arrived. Capacity crowd.
 

chriskbrown

Member
Magic Kingdom day trip from our vacation in the summer at Daytona Beach. summer of 77 as I was9. July - hot and humid. It was simply amazing.
 

maj

New Member
Ignore my image, it's old. I think we're up to trip 13 (had three trips on an annual pass '15-'16).
But the first trip...would've been in 1975 I think. We have a retail slide set of the Bicentennial Parade. The ticket-books determined what you rode and we had to choose between the Main Street vehicles: doubledecker and horsedrawn streetcar (see, at that age, 9, the extra 10-cent option for a ride wasn't happening). Tom Sawyer Island was fun. I'm sure we rode the keel boats. I think it was the only time we went through 20,000 Leagues.
My dad pulled the pop-up for six of us behind the tan van to Fort Wilderness where we swam in the lake, enjoyed the wandering wildlife, rode the train, my brother rode a horse, we enjoyed hammocks and the campfire program.
Three images to share: the Fort Wilderness train and the Cinderella Castle at night, old style, at quarter-to-midnight and the beach at Fort Wilderness (that's me behind the appropriately-themed garbage can).
 

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NelleBelle

Well-Known 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.
ME TOO! I couldn't remember the name of that ride until I described it here several years ago. I just remember that eye and riding in "doom buggies" like in the HM. The other thing I remember about the ride were the snowflakes. I'll have to look it up on YouTube now!
 

macefamily

Well-Known Member
My first was as an adult. I was 26 yrs old attending a software convention right outside the old Hard Rock at Universal Studios. I actually went to Universal first because it was right across the street. I was amazed and hooked. The next evening I went to Downtown Disney and was overwhelmed. I visited Magic Kingdom and couldn't believe it. When I got home I told my wife that we need to get back down there. That was 1993. For several years, my wife couldn't stop having babies, I don't know why. So as we raised those three kids we began our Disney adventures after I worked for a company that was based in Melbourne, FL. When I visited headquarters, the family tagged along and we did the Disney thing starting in 1998. 23 years later, and around 32 trips to FL, we're going again as a family on 3/9/21. I'm super excited because my two boys haven't joined us for almost four years.
 

zurgandfriend

Well-Known Member
1st trip to DL 1960, my dad drove cross country in the Chrysler Town and Country Station wagon ala the Griswold’s to visit family and, of course, see Disneyland. I remember the submarine ride the most.



1st trip to WDW 1994 with the soon to be DW. We stayed at Dixie Landing, Enjoyed the 3 parks and Discovery Island. The thing I remember most was being able to pick up the phone in the morning and make a dinner at any restaurant for that night. We decided to stay at the Contemporary for our Disney-moon and have done deluxe every trip since.
 

Edward Jackson

Well-Known Member
My first trip to WDW (The Magic Kingdom), was in 1986, as part of my honeymoon. I was 26. We had not done any research.
We were staying in Clearwater, Florida. We knew the park opened at 10:00am. (It was October) So, we drove over, got to the
"toll booth" at about 10:00am. Took the tram to the ticket & transportation, found we then needed to take the ferry to get to
the main gates. All told we go into the park around 11:00am. Had a nice day in the park, still have some nice pictures taken
from the skyliner over fantasyland and 20,000 leagues under the sea in particular. We left at around 6:00pm and went to
Medieval Times for dinner.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
It was 1983: I was 7 and my sister was 5. It was done on a shoe-string budget, too! My parents bought a second-hand pop-up camper with a crack in the roof (Dad was handy, and patched it up so well the camper lasted another 10 years) for $400, and hitched it up to our big old van. The van, by the way, was from Dad's single days and had originally come with two seats in the front, and a cool booth and table (that converted to a queen-sized bed) in the back, but no rear seats. So Dad bought a couple of extra bucket seats from a junkyard and bolted them to the floor (back-to-back with the front seats, for reasons I don't understand), along with seatbelts, for me and my sister.

This is what we used to make the 20+-hour drive to Walt Disney World, the camper behind, full of coolers of frozen food and cardboard boxes packed with our clothes. Since my sister and I were facing the back of the van (where there were no windows except two tiny ones in the rear doors), our mother packed us huge "care package" boxes full of new coloring books and crayons, picture books, travel games and toys, and snacks. Mom and Dad took turns chatting with truckers on the CB radio to pinpoint speed traps and find a family-friendly diner for dinner. We probably went through our entire collection of 8-track tapes -- Kenny Rogers, Tammy Wynette, ABBA and Alabama -- half a dozen times over. Still, my sister and I were so excited about our destination, I don't think it really occurred to us to get bored.

We left before dawn on the Saturday before Easter (Mom and Dad were teachers, so the trip had to be over a school break), and when Dad got too tired to drive any more, somewhere north of Georgia, we pulled into a rest stop, converted the rear table into a bed, and crawled into sleeping bags for the night: when we woke up, Dad had already arisen and driven us just over the Florida border (no seatbelt laws in Georgia in those days!), where we stopped at the welcome center to get some orange juice and maps, and look at the first palm trees we'd ever seen in person.

We stayed at the Fort Wilderness Campground, where Mom set up an impressive outdoor kitchen. We had breakfast and dinner at our campsite, and Mom would stuff her giant "Mom purse" with lunch things (sandwiches, chips and fruit) for when we were in the parks. Honestly, I think it was several years and two Disney trips later before I even realized there were sit-down restaurants in the parks. My parents had done their homework ahead of time and knew to show up before rope drop at the parks (of which there were only two), so I remember chaotic mornings where we got a lot done.

My favorite memories from that trip were it's a small world, the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Journey Into Imagination (which had opened just a few weeks before), riding the monorail (even getting an invitation to join the driver in the FRONT!), watching the electric light pageant on the water from the beach at the campground, and meeting the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. (We happened to run across him on Easter Sunday, so my mother was convinced it was a special "Easter Bunny" and not a Disney character, and my sister and I couldn't convince her otherwise.) I remember we also did the Hoop-dee-Doo Musical Revue, after much consideration by my parents over whether our budget could handle it. For some reason, I have really clear memories of the campground shower/restroom areas as well, which were a big novelty for us kids. We were each allowed to bring home a souvenir, and we each selected one from the Mexico pavilion: a pinata for me (shaped like a chicken), and a giant sombrero for my sister that became a treasured costume piece for home skits for many years.

In short: it was perfect.
 
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SyracuseDisneyFan

Well-Known Member
1987 for me. I was 2 or 3. I kind of remember staying off site in Altamonte Springs. They only had Magic Kingdom and Epcot at the time. I had fun. Just me, my parents and my older sister at the time.
 

PopPopBear

Member
My first trip to WDW was in 1976. I was six. I went with my granddaddy, step grandmother (called her Nanny), step aunt (13), and step uncle (9). We drove all night from north of Atlanta and stayed off property. The ride memories that stand out the most are of the Tiki Room, It's a Small World, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (the train tunnel part scared me) and the PeopleMover. Another memory that I will never forget is losing one of my shoes (brand new for the trip) while we were running to the ferry boat when a thunderstorm started. Mind you I was deathly afraid of thunderstorms then and didn't tell my Nanny I had lost the shoe until we got on the boat. It must have been quite a sight. There I was soaking wet, missing a shoe, and of course crying. I don't think we ever found the shoe. Over the years it became and remains a fond memory. At the time, was quite traumatic. It was quite a few years later (1992) until I was able to return but have been able to enjoy many other trips in the years since taking my children, and now grandchildren. Looking forward to the day when we can go again and enjoy the World as we did pre-COVID. Fingers crossed it is sooner rather than later.
 

Park Snacker Matt

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
My first trip was in November of 1994 when I was 6 years old. I went with my two older sisters and my mom & dad. My dad filmed a portion of it on VHS which I watched a lot growing up until our next trip in 1998. Most of my memories are from the VHS tape. What's not on the tape is our stay at Fort Wilderness. I remember staying in the cabins and visiting River Country but it's tough to remember anything else.

Last week I posted our 1994 Disney World Home Movie to Youtube if anyone wanted to check it out.
 

spock8113

Well-Known Member
1981 and was young........................no EPCOT yet, no MGM, no Universal, Just the Magic Kingdom and the day ticket was $7.50.
The only resorts were The Contemporary and the Polynesian. From what I heard and read up on.....no computers or internet in 1981.....
The Magic Kingdom was just like Disneyland that I had been to in 1968 (to see the newly opened POC-haunted Mansion was not open yet) and in 1977 so I had an inkling what to expect. First in, the castle is ginourmous! Otherwise, many similarities. It sat in the middle of a fairly vacant treed property like DL used to. At that time in 1981, there was no Big Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain, still memorable. No video cameras, just stills.
 

NickMaio

Well-Known Member
My first trip was back when they had the gondolas in MK going to various lands.
20,000 leagues, mission to Mars, and that lively Mr.Toad..........
Can't remember the year though......I was quite young when my parents first took me.
After that, they bought into Florida timeshare and we went back every summer, we always drove.
26 hours straight through.
Man good times. Have been with my wife for 16 years, we have gone on 15 separate WDW trips.
She has become a bigger fan than me.....well almost.
 

John park hopper

Well-Known Member
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...
Welcome home brother
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
My first trip was back when they had the gondolas in MK going to various lands.
20,000 leagues, mission to Mars, and that lively Mr.Toad..........
Can't remember the year though......I was quite young when my parents first took me.
After that, they bought into Florida timeshare and we went back every summer, we always drove.
26 hours straight through.
Man good times. Have been with my wife for 16 years, we have gone on 15 separate WDW trips.
She has become a bigger fan than me.....well almost.
Wow, did your parents share the driving?
Second are you and your wife making the same drive?
 

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