I grew up Disney. Like really grew up Disney.
I’ve been to the two United States resorts no less than thirty times and, for never living in either of the states where the parks are located, I’d say that makes me a childhood super fan. I remember the summertime road trips with three to five days of open-to-close park enjoyment sandwiched between each leg of the trips. A chorus of “Are we there yet?!”’s echoing from the backseat of the car, bless my parents’ sweet hearts for powering through it and then choosing to do it over and over again.
Now that I’m a parent myself, I want Dylan to experience the same level of magic that I did as a child. We brought him for his first Disneyland trip back when he was two years old. Steve wasn’t entirely on board, pulling the “He’s still too little to get it.” card, but I WAS NINE MONTHS OLD ON MY FIRST VISIT! So…suck my left knuckle, I said. Fast forward to last week and Dylan’s Disneyland visit tally comes to a total of three…in two years. As it stands, we are on course for him to be an avid pin trader by his 18th birthday.
Disney folk are a breed all their own. There are the Disney lovers who, well, you know who they are. Everything that they own is Disney. Window decals on the their minivan? Check. Apparel? Check. Dinnerware? Check. Framed theme park napkins? Check. How I manage to soak up every last drop of Disney magic, constantly yearning for more, and not desire my throw pillows be shaped like Mickey heads is beyond me. And after you read the list below, you’ll be amazed that I managed to survive adulthood without a Tinkerbell tattoo.
A little glimpse into just how Disney I grew up:
- We drove across the country to celebrate my 11th birthday as Disney World’s Magic Kingdom celebrated its 25th anniversary by converting Cinderella’s castle into a giant pink and white birthday cake. That was my favorite birthday.
- The first time I was ever pooped on by a bird, I was watching the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland and eating a hot dog. The bird pooped on that too. To this day, I hate birds and hot dogs.
- Summer Disney trips meant everyone was getting new tennis shoes. And blisters.
- I remember when all day parking was right by the front gate to the park…and five dollars.
- I was there when California Adventure opened.
- I was there when The Animal Kingdom opened.
- I was there when Rock’n’Roller Coaster featuring Aerosmith opened at Disney-MGM Studios (before the park had to be re-branded because of the nasty litigation between Disney and MGM in 2007)
- I was there when Indiana Jones opened.
- I was there when Tarzan’s Treehouse was The Swiss Family Treehouse.
- I was there when Test Track opened.
- I went to the parks before Fast Pass was a thing.
And most recently
- I was there before Cars Land opened…
…to be continued.