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Old 11-09-2010, 02:59 PM   #1
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Share your first Disney World impressions...

Tell us about your first trip to Disney World / Land....

My first trip was before the park even opened, the preview center, but I wont beat that story to death!

Didn't get to go again till college spring break trip, a bunch of us went to Daytona Beach for a week, and I decided to take a solo day trip to Disney World.

I remember driving past the hotels on Hotel Plaza Blvd thinking "I must be getting closer...now start looking for the castle!" (Back then, downtown Orlando was nothing like it is now, so you really didn't see anything till you got to the Hotel Plaza exit on I-4.)

I went all the way down to 192 before I got off of I-4...like a newbee idiot that I was...and turned onto World Drive...Still looking for that darn castle!

Paid to park, got my ticket (Not sure how much it was then, but I remember it drastically cut into my spring break drinking money) still no castle...got out of the car, no castle, onto the tram....I can see a monorail, but no castle!

I decided to take the ferry over, and the monorail back, not realizing I had just cheated myself out of a trip through the Contemporary..oh well. I got on the ferry and we left the dock, half way across the lagoon I finally saw it...THE CASTLE! I got goose bumps!

Coming through the gate I read the sign..."Here you leave today..." And the minute I hit Town Square I couldn't believe my eyes! Here was the land Walt had promised! Everything was just like it was on TV! I couldn't believe I had finally made it!

The rest of the day is a blur, I remember going into the Tiki Room planning to be bored out of my mind, only to be fascinated by the whole thing! I remember I rode the train, Space Mountain, Pirates, Haunted Mansion blew my mind! The day went by so fast!

So that was my first day at Disney, alone, 19 years old, I probably cried a little, who knows......

So what is your story......

Last edited by OrlandoMike; 11-09-2010 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:09 PM   #2
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My first trip was to Disneyland. I was only 7 and it was 1972. I have only bits and pieces of memory from my first visit. I remember having to park out so far and walk for what seemed like miles, then was finally picked up by a tram that took us to the front gates. The DL parking lot was right in front of DL, where DCA is now. I remember holding my Mom's hand, being terrified of talking to any of the characters. I had/have a thing with clowns and it carried over into costumed characters as well. From what my Mom told me, I warmed up to them by the evening, but it took a while.

The parades I remember were America on Parade, with these creepy oversized heads and Mainstreet Electrical Parade, which mesmerized me. It's still my favorite parade. I also remember getting my profile cut out on mainstreet. I had it again done in 1977 and Steven and I did it again last year. That's a huge memory for me. I still have both of the old portrait profiles.

My first time at WDW as only about 4 years ago and it was with my Ex and his extremely needy (but loveable and wonderful (parents). I won't go into details, but it wasn't the greatest trip. I almost like to consider mine and Steven's trip this year, my first. lol
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:18 PM   #3
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My first trip to WDW was in 7th grade with the middle school orchestra, so it would have been 1983. We rode on a bus from Jacksonville.

I remember thinking Main St. was beautiful - SO clean! I think we only managed to ride 3 or 4 things because we had to be back on the bus pretty early. I know we rode Snow White, Mr. Toad, If You Had Wings and Space Mountain. We had lunch at Pinocchio's. I also remember HATING the way the characters were just MOBBED. I said to my friends that there should be LINES to see the characters like the lines to see Santa at the mall. They never compensated me for the use of my brilliant plan!
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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My first trip to Disneyland was in 1965.We live in the bay area of California so it was only a short days drive. I was 9 and loved it. I remember Mom and my sister rode in a Matterhorn Bobsled ahead of Dad and I. Mom is tall at 6'1" and thought the top off her head was hitting the caves!!!!!!!!!! I liked the ride but couldn't wait to get off and see if Mom was okay. The next trip was in 1969 and the park was absolutely filled with new stuff. Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, New Tomorrowland (with the Carousel of Progress, Flight to Mars, Adventure Through Innerspace and People Mover), Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, The Primevil World and it's a small world made it tough to not get more E tickets... we did as Mom and Dada wanted to see everything as well.
My first trip to WDW was in 1996 and it was awesome to experience what I had been dreaming about for a couple decades.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:09 PM   #5
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I feel like I have three first times:

Went in 1978 just after HS graduation with my family. That was the days of "E" tickets. It was my mother, father, me and four younger brothers. We stayed at the Days Inn and got to go to Disney three or four different days. My most vivid memory was all of us going on space mountain. Some, I don't think have recovered yet.

My next first trip was with my own kids. My most vivid memory there was standing in line with my 3 year old waiting to go on Splash Mountain. I wasn't sure of height requirements. It was a very long line and we hadn't been in it along at all. A cast member walked by and looked at my daughter and said, "She isn't big enough to ride this." My daughter put her hands on her hips and said to him, "But I'm three now!"

My most recent first trip was in 2009. I had not really been in contact with my best friend from college. We hadn't seen each other since 1991. He had moved to Florida and I live in Massachusetts. I was due to drive my mother to Florida for her annual snowbird trip. I called him out of the blue and asked him if he was free to go out to dinner. That was in October. We went out and had a nice dinner. We then started communicating regularly and decided to go to Disney together. It was very odd knowing that I was going with this virtual stranger. We arrived at the Sports Resort and went to Cape May for dinner. The next morning we got up and checked in at POFQ. We then headed to the Hollywood Studios. We stood in line for well over an hour at Toy Story. That's when everything really fell into place and we became best friends again. As my daughter says, we're like two peas in a pod.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by OrlandoMike View Post
Tell us about your first trip to Disney World / Land....

My first trip was before the park even opened, the preview center, but I wont beat that story to death!
My first trip was also to the WDW Preview Center. It was 1969 and our family did a 3-week tour of Florida in a pop-up camper. I remember the Preview Center having a film and large model of the Magic Kingdom which later re-appeared on Main Street with the Walt Disney Story. And of course, there were the topiaries around the building.

I remember a number of years later on vacation at WDW with my ex (we were staying at the Hotel Royal Plaza) and looking out the room window one morning, and there across the street was the building of the original preview center!! I still think of that trip everytime I pass that building on the Hotel Plaza.
Heigh Ho!!

First Disney Adventure: WaltDisneyWorld Preview Center - 1969 (I've been hooked ever since!)
Next Disney Adventure: Food & Wine Festival (Sep '14-BLT)
Previous Disney Adventures: Hilton Head Island Resort (May '12), DVC Member Cruise/Food & Wine (Sep/Oct '11), Viva Italia ABD (Sep '09) to name a few!

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Old 11-10-2010, 12:52 PM   #7
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the first WDW trip - I was 8 with the family - we stayed at the Poly - Loved it! Next time was with Chris back in 96 - we stayed at CBR and fell in love with WDW. We booked the trip in April, for an October trip - it was the 25th anniversary. Chris Mother bought me the birmbaum guide since I had no clue whet to expect. That book became the bible. And thank goodness because Chris would not have known how to get from point A - point B!

I planned every meal and every day out! My first impression (coming from NY / NJ) was how clean everything was. It was a perfect vacation and we are now DVC owners and still love going about every other year!
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:16 PM   #8
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I can remember my first dinner - it was at the Adventureland Veranda. And although I'm now sure that it was about the quality of a tv dinner, at the time every bite was delicious!
... and without knowing why, they always say "We must go!"

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Old 11-10-2010, 05:52 PM   #9
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My first trip was in 1983 and was with my Police Explorer Scout troop. I was 16. After a super long drive from Chicago, we stayed in the Fort Wilderness mobile homes. The freedom we had to come and go was amazing. I felt safe going to MK by myself (unlike taking transportation in inner city Chicago). The boat ride over the lake to go to the Magic Kingdom was heaven. I think that was the year Epcot opened (check my facts, please) and loved Journey into Imagination.

I made my Mom & Dad go in 1986 since we never went when I was a child. Mom loved it. Dad was starting to use a wheelchair to get around and felt guilty when the CMs would move us up to the front of a line.

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Old 12-10-2010, 04:02 PM   #10
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Back in 1989, my boyfriend at the time, Paul, and I decided to fly down Florida to see my Dad. At the time my father was a butler for a woman who would winter in West Palm Beach and he offered a bed for a few days. We decided to hit EPCOT for one of the days we were down there.

It was the worst travel decision I have ever made.

We arrived at Florida without a hitch. The night before we went to the car rental agency whose name I didn't "nationally" recognize but was dirt cheap. I didn't care. I was going to EPCOT!

You see, I grew up in a family of 5 kids. The possibility of my parents wrangling us unruly rug rats all together and make the trip to Florida was extremely remote. While I heard stories of how awesome the park rides were from lucky kids in the playground I would have to be satisfied with watching Disney's Wonderful World of Color on CBC, and remotely marvel at the shots of the parks in the fancy title sequence. I yearned

The morning of our big day we got up real early and jumped into the car. The trip would take us close to 5 hours to get to EPCOT along the interstate. While we weren't going to make it for rope drop, we'd be there before the mid day rush, no problem.

Somewhere along the way, something dragged itself out of the swamp and decided to lay across the warm highway cement. We never really saw what it was, but we felt it as our front passenger side wheel ran over it and it flew up into the engine compartment, where it dislodged something important. The engine started to run like it had cancerous asthma. We limped into EPCOT's massive parking lot and Paul called the rental company. After a shouting match ensued, the company said they would replace the car but someone had to be at the front gates of the park to meet the representative, driven in from some suburb of Orlando.

We went into the park but didn't do anything for fear of missing the agent. We wandered near the entrance and looked at buildings for a bit but were too nervous we'd miss the rep and be stranded at EPCOT. After the fourth hour went by and we had had our 5th snarkfest at each other (of course after the second hour we resolved ourselves not to leave the spot we were in), the rep showed up with a mechanic and a replacement car. After an hour, keys and car were exchanged. We headed back into the park.

By this time it was early afternoon and the place was packed. Rides and pavilions were experiencing an hour’s wait to get in. We wandered some more and decided that we should choose one ride at least.

We made the obvious choice: the iconic Spaceship Earth it was!

If you know your early EPCOT history, Spaceship Earth was notorious for breaking down, which was part of its charm I guess. We got half way up into the sphere and of course, klunk... we stopped. For 45 minutes. We were stopped in front of a teenage girl who lived in an underwater research facility who was fixing her jet ski while video conferencing her boyfriend somewhere on dry land. In retrospect today, I hope to god she had a good data plan. The last 15 minutes, the audio and animatronics just shut off and we sat in the dark. Then, we moved forward in the dark. I never saw the original ride in its entirety.

After a large argument as we exited the sphere, we confided to each other that the day couldn't get any worse and we had to battle traffic on the way home. We decided to go home early.

About 2 hours from West Palm, the replacement car started to shudder. And shudder. We stopped by the side of the road and let it cool. After getting home the two of us were barely talking to each other.

You can see how my view of Disney was directly and indirectly turned sour.

However, my first moments inside Magic Kingdom erased all the bad –
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the great stories. So interesting to here them! My first trip was in 2000 as an adult. My DP and I were engaged and my grandmother had just passed away and my DP wanted to do something special with me. So she convinced me and my family to go to WDW. She had been going yearly with her family since she was a small girl. Anyhoo, we started planning what my family and I called "our once in a lifetime trip!"

I wasn't a huge Disney fan at the time but I did absolutely adore Pooh Bear and friends. They were my favorite when I was growing up and I had actually decorated my apartment with a lot of Winnie stuff as an adult.

I was never the same after walking down Main Street for the first time. I was TOTALLY blown away!! The castle was breathtaking. I never imagined that it would be so realistic and magical. Then at the end of the Main Street, who do I see? TIGGER! I sprinted toward him while my DP screamed behind me....stop....there is a line......I bolted forward and ran in front of all the kids (totally unaware that there was a line) and was politiely told by the hanlder that I had to wait in line. I was so embarrassed

Somewhere there is a family with a photo of some lesbian jumping in front of their kids and yelling "TIGGER!!" I know adhere to proper character etiquette.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:48 PM   #12
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My first visit was in 1994. My dad had been made redundant and had got a large payout so promised that we would go to America. We flew out on 5 February 1994 from Manchester on UK Leisure air, my mum, dad, nana, brother and sister came along and we stayed in a villa off the 192. I remember the first time we went to MK we parked in Goofy or Pluto and got on the tram, my nana wore her best sun dress and had matching sandals and a large handbag. When I saw the castle I cried a little and we got my nana (she was nearly 74 at the time) on big thunder mountain by telling her it was the train around the park. Good times.

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Old 12-11-2010, 08:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Heva2015 View Post
... we got my nana (she was nearly 74 at the time) on big thunder mountain by telling her it was the train around the park. Good times.
Holy crap that is hilarious! Did she continue to speak to you after that?
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:24 PM   #14
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My very first time was in 1988 at Disneyland. I took the bus from Downtown L.A. by myself and made the trek, and although I was alone to walk about and ride all the rides, I couldn't have been happier to finally live what I had seen during the intro of Wonderful World of Disney for so many years during my youth. Especially Space Mountain.

At the time, they had just put walls up to build Splash Mountain.

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Old 12-13-2010, 04:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dead Robot View Post
Holy crap that is hilarious! Did she continue to speak to you after that?
She did until we somehow got her on Back to the Future!

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