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Old 12-20-2006, 04:47 PM   #1
Ellester
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The Epic continues.....The Party's Over (***COMPLETED 3/19***)

Do you ever have the feeling that the anticipation of something is better than the event? That’s how I feel about this trip-report. I’ve been thinking of how to start it for some time now, but the report in my head is bound to be so much better than the actual report. But, I’ve found DISer’s to be particular forgiving, so I will plunge ahead!

Disney has been apart of my life as long as I can remember. My first movie at age 2 was “The Lady and the Tramp”. Thirty-five years later my mother still tells how I was inconsolable when it was over, screaming for the dogs to come back. I remember waiting in an enormous line to see “The Fox and the Hound” when it came out, similar lines for the rerelease of “Pinnochio”. This is so foreign to my kids, it’s laughable. I know many of you are contemporaries of mine and have probably had a similar conversation with your kids:

ME: “When I was your age, we only got to see Disney stuff on TV on Sunday nights when “Wide World of Disney” came on after “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”.

DD8 or DD5:“What about Disney Channel or Toon Disney?”

ME: “Well, we didn’t have cable” (insert look of disbelief on faces here) “if we missed the show, we missed it.”

DD’s: “Why didn’t you tape it?”

ME: “We didn’t have VCR’s then” (insert mouths gaping and eyes bugging)

DD’s: “Couldn’t you rent the DVD?”

I think you get the point, my kids have no conception of only being able watch a show when the networks dictated you would watch it. This is when I usually segue into the story of going to the video store when I was in high school to pick a movie to watch at my friend, Susan’s house, and having to make sure you were in the BetaMax sections. My how times have changed!

But, I digress….My first trip to Walt Disney World was in 1973 at the tender age of 4. It was a PR trip for my dad to convince my mom to move from Chicago to Florida. I remember snippets of that trip, eating at King Stephan’s (now CRT), seeing Space Mountain being built, riding in the skybuckets, being less than impressed with the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, not being sure whether the animals on the Jungle Cruise were real or not, loving the Country Bears, buying extra tickets when we used up all the “D” and “E” tickets in our pack, etc. We did move to South Florida in 1974.

Being only 3 house from the Mouse, trips became at least a once or twice a year event. My parents divorced in 1976, so I had trips with both of them. We’ve stayed at everything from the Save Inn to the Royal Plaza at DTD and everywhere in between. Sometime in the late 70’s we stayed at the Treehouse Villas. I remember lots of stairs and a very deep bathtub. My grandmother saved a bag from that trip, I found it with our silhouettes in it after she passed away.


There were lots of day/school trips too. Here is my friend, Christy, on the AstroOrbiters. Notice the skybuckets in the background. I miss those!


Once camping in Ft. Wilderness with the “gifted” program while in Middle School, our leader on that trip was good friends with one of Disney’s early executives and we were treated to a trip “underground”.

Here's what Prince Charming was up to in 1983. I'm on the right.


We took one of the Institute classes/tours. I did the photography option. They loaned us Polaroids and then showed us different ways to photograph the world. Here's the monorail reflected in the Universe of Energy building.


Day trips once a year sponsored by the high school, get on the bus at 6am, return at 1am. Then the much anticipated “Grad Nite”, senior year, leaving the school at 4pm and returning at 8am. Kids had to be appropriately dressed, collared shirts and ties for the boys, dresses or pantsuits for the girls. The headline band for my year was Wang Chung. “Everybody have fun tonight!” After a last precollege trip over the summer, I moved to Atlanta for college. Fell in love and discovered that my now-DH had NEVER been to Disney.

This one is from the summer of 1987, by the TTC. I'm wearing my GradNite shirt. I think that one actually disinigrated, I wore it so much.


It was such a foreign concept to me. Growing up in Florida, I assumed everyone knew how to swim and everyone had been to Disney at least once! This disturbing discovery about my DH’s past was remedied over spring break in 1989. This is us in the parking lot applying sunscreen!



After college, we made a few more short trips but we had moved Iowa by then and driving was no longer an option, ruling out those quick weekend trips I had grown up with. But kids and a return to the South were in our future....

Last edited by Ellester; 03-19-2007 at 08:19 PM. Reason: Because I'm never happy the first time!
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Old 12-20-2006, 05:30 PM   #2
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Woo, I'm first!

Great pics! I love the vintage Disney photos- so much has changed, but so much never changes!
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:29 PM   #3
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Hello fellow PEEP,

Love you, love the pictures!!!!!
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Old 12-20-2006, 11:17 PM   #4
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Hey Peep!

Love the "vintage" pictures and the trip down memory lane. I grew up in California at the other Disneyland. I have similar yellowing photos of fresh-faced, innocent ME and my friends and grad night memories and first date memories etc. ((sigh))

I really cant wait for more.

P.S. Your babies are adorable!
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:26 AM   #5
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Great start, Ellester! I love knowing the Disney background story. You and DH are so cute as are all the early pics. I miss the Skybuckets, too!! I had forgotten about riding them on our 1972 trip. Sounds like you have loads of Disney experience. Can't wait til you bring us into the present. I want to hear all about your upcoming trip!

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Old 12-21-2006, 07:57 AM   #6
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Oh my word I love your photos, I went for the first time aged 9 in 1982 (a long way from the UK) and remember those sky buckets. I even still remember the 15th year song (probably a different trip) 15 years we're having a party, Walt Disney world, the party's going on!!!!!! I think any way.

Well enough of my singing can't wait for the rest of your TR.
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:28 AM   #7
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Thanks for the props all! I wish I could find some earlier photos. I have some somewhere, but we are part in boxes/part in storage while we bide our time in our rental house. We have old video of the first trip too, on Super8 that my mom had switched over to VHS. There are about 10 people on Main Street and the trees are 2 ft. tall! I hope to get the next installment up today.

Last edited by Ellester; 12-21-2006 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:08 AM   #8
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Enter the children. Our oldest daughter was born in 1998 and I was anxious for her to be a Disney lover too. We moved to North Carolina in 1999, but money was tight. My father decided his grandbabies (my stepsister has a daughter 7 months younger than my dd) needed an introduction to the World. So a trip was planned for May 2000. We stayed at Shades of Green that trip, my stepsister’s now ex-husband is retired USAF. My dd had just turned two and it was pure joy watching her take it all in. She loved the princesses, not so sure about the non-face characters at first. We had dinner at the Castle and after Anabelle met Cinderella (picture below) she came back to me and whispered "Cinnerella dance wif me?". I said she could get back in line and ask, which she did and I have the sweetest memory of my little girl twirling with Cindy in the castle. We didn't have our video camera, but I'll never forget it.



We had a wonderful three days introducing Anabelle to the World. We spent another quick trip, one day MK/one day Epcot that October while vacationing with my DH’s parents in Orlando. Then more babies arrived. My stepsister had a little boy right after meeting us for that trip in October (he arrived via emergency C-section 8 days later, her doctor didn’t want her to go but the call of the World was too great!) and we welcomed our Rebecca the next August. My father declared that once everyone was walking, we’d go again. In the meantime, my mom found the last of the unused tickets from our earlier trips. When Disney switched from individual tickets for each attraction to passes, we had traded most of our single tickets in for one day passes. Those were long gone, but passes bought back in the day never expire (I know you can pay for no-expiry now). We had one day left on two of our passes from our May 2000 trip (we had forgotten them at home for our October 2000 trip). My mom had found a Magic Kingdom 2-day Passport from 1981 with one day left on it and a 5-day Worldpassport (MK and Epcot) from our 1989 trip with one day left on it.

The price on the back is $18. I think a junior was from 10-17. I was 12 when I first used it, 34 the next time! Pretty good return on investment I guess! The price on my mom's 5-day pass was $105, the special Magic Kingdom Club price.


We were already planning on going to the beach with my mom in May of 2003 to stay at the timeshare she inherited from my grandparents in Treasure Island. We decided to take a quick trip over to Orlando to hit IOA(I much prefer Disney, but DH and I love them coasters!) and the MK for one day each. We stayed one night at All Star Music. That was Rebecca’s first taste of the world. She was only 18 months but again, it was pure joy watching her take it all in.



Anabelle, at the ripe old age of five was ready to ride all she could. It was a whirlwind fun time. My father kept true to his promise and we returned to the World with that half of the family on New Years Day 2004. Shades of Green was closed for refurbishment so we stayed at the Contemporary with the overflow rate.



It was our first time at a deluxe and it was wonderful, although I hadn’t seen the parks that crowded in years. I was five months pregnant with our son, so I had to sit most of the rides out but I enjoyed the non-comando pace. We enjoyed seeing all the Christmas decorations and I acheived my one goal, seeing the Country Bears Christmas show. It was another quick trip, three nights this time. DH and I often talked of how we’d love to go to Disney for a full week. That’s something I had never done in all my trips. I dreamed of one day owning DVC, but knew that it just wasn’t in the budget anytime soon. But, you just never know what the future holds....

Last edited by Ellester; 12-21-2006 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:11 AM   #9
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Ellester, this is great - I'm in!!
You and I were on almost the same Disney time-line, so I'm loooving the walk down memory lane! I remember hearing about Grad Nights when I first moved to FL 15 years ago. Do they still do those?
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:22 AM   #10
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awwwwww! "Cinerella dance wif me?" how cuuuuute!

Love all the memories! This TR is an "E" ticket!
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:32 AM   #11
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Love it!
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:04 AM   #12
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In March of 2006 my mom mentioned that she had gotten a brochure on DVC in her Disney stock statement (an advisor steered her right many years ago) and asked me to look into it. Little did she know I was already an expert thanks to the DIS. I honestly tried to give her an objective opinion. DH wisely steered clear of the whole thing. My mom eventually decided to buy 200 points at Saratoga Springs and use them as our defacto gifts for holidays and birthdays. We own the points jointly with her, but for now she pays all the fees. I am an only child and my mother has never remarried, so I am on many of her accounts to make it easier when she gets older and I may need access to take care of her expenses (and to make it easier when she passes away, although I’m hoping that’s MANY years away). We were in the process of deciding when to first use these points when my DH was quite unexpectedly laid off last April. While he was laid off, we had decided to schedule a trip for just the five of us taking advantage of free dining in September knowing that we would cancel if he didn’t have a job by the 45 day mark. He didn’t and I waited until the last day, but I did cancel and got our deposit back. At that point we figured we’d go ahead and plan a January 2007 trip with my mom. That was fine with her and we booked at SSR for 8 nights in January. After a rather painful search, DH accepted a job in Columbus, Georgia and we moved in September. The ADR’s are set, the Pirate Cruise booked , the tickets purchase, the dining plan reserved. All this has been done without the kids’ knowledge. We decided to make the trip the kids’ Christmas surprise. They think the big box is a TV or game system, it actually holds four more wrapped boxes. The first one says “Guess” on the top, the next box says “Where”, the next “You’re”, the final box says “Going” and contains the personalized autograph books I made and a Disney brochure I picked up at the Disney Store. I just hope they’re not disappointed it isn’t a TV or PS3! Next Monday will be the big reveal…..

Merry Christmas everyone!
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:07 PM   #13
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YAY!!!! They'll be thrilled!

A vacation is actually a GREAT gift idea for kids. My kids could not tell you really what they got for Christmas last year, but they can recall even better than me all the little details of our Sept. '06 and '05 vacations!

I hear SSR is just gorgeous! And the Pirate Cruise will really impress that little blonde guy of yours!
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:20 PM   #14
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What a great pre-trip report! I love the 70s photos and the memorabelia!

We're going the week after you with my Mom. My husband is the only one who has been before and he hasn't been since the 80s, so it will be a trip down memory lane for him as well.

Thanks for sharing, can't wait the read the rest!
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Old 12-25-2006, 07:25 AM   #15
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Oh I love your report so far! I too am of the same generation so the pics of old WDW are great!

And you are doing your reveal today! I hope it goes just as you hope! (I saw you on my report so you know how mine went, LOLOLOL!) It will be great and you will have a wonderful trip in just a few weeks!

Looking forward to more!

Allyson
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