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My First Disney Memories, Dining and Attractions

Crystal Palace from a post card in my memorabilia

Recently, my favorite Disney Podcast, the Dis Unplugged, did a show about their first Disney Dining experiences.  I really enjoyed hearing their stories.  As I started thinking about my own first Disney Dining experience, I was sent down memory lane and into full nostalgia mode.

My grandparents moved to Sebastian, Florida in the mid 1970’s. All of my summers following their move involved a trip to visit them. Most times with my mom, but on a few occasions, I was sent on a bus or plane and spent the majority of the summer with them.  We always went to The Magic Kingdom for a day during my visits. I always looked forward to that day with great anticipation! 

It took about 2 hours to get to the Magic Kingdom from their house. We only stayed on property once and it was at the Fort Wilderness Campground. I don’t remember much about it except that I was terrified of the dark water at River Country and refused to get in, which upset my Grandfather.

Fort Wilderness from a post card in my memorabilia

We usually ate at McDonalds for breakfast while on the road.  Then when we arrived to the parking lot I was always super excited about riding in the tram because that meant the next stop was The Magic Kingdom.  The anticipation nearly made me burst!  I remember entering the park and seeing the castle down main street.  My Grandfather bought me my very first Mickey Mouse watch at a shop on Main Street.  I remember riding the pirates of the Caribbean and my Grandma laughing because the drunken pirate sitting on a bridge had hairy legs.

Crystal Palace from a postcard in my memorabilia

The one Disney restaurant I remember eating at as a kid was the Crystal Palace.  I remember thinking it was so grand and beautiful.  I remember that it was cafeteria style at the time, which as I recall was kind of a popular restaurant trend back then.  I remember standing in the line and picking food to eat, but in all honesty, I don’t remember any of the food.  I’m sure I thought it was tasty. 

What I do remember was sitting with my family, my mom and Grandparents, as we ate and talked about what exciting attractions we wanted to ride next.  Mostly I remember my grandma.  I remember talking to her about the building, and how excited she was for my excitement.  I remember her telling me about her favorite attractions and all of us discussing our plan of action for the rest of the day.  I think there was pie too.

I remember my mom and I riding Mr. Toad and Space Mountain. The first time I rode Peter Pan's flight and being fascinated by the London scene and thinking that the boats being attached at the top was the best thing ever!  The swan boats and how picturesque they were. I remember the skyway and not enjoying it because it was too high.  I remember going on the Haunted Mansion for the first time and my Grandfather telling me to look up at that one part in the stretching room, and how much fun it was seeing our hitchhiker in our doom buggy. I remember riding the train to other parts of the park.  I remember going on If You Had Wings a million times because I thought the technology was so cool and it didn’t need a ticket.  I remember absolutely loving Mission to Mars! I remember running out of E tickets and having to buy more. 

Tickets from past trips in my memorabilia

I have so many amazing, warm, and exciting memories.  I realized recently that I am sort of a Disney old timer.  Disney has been a part of me since I was very young.

Thanks to the DIS team, and you, for my trip down memory lane.  It’s been really fun!

Sadly I do not have any photos from back then, just a lot of post cards and tickets from my trips.  I should really put them in display boxes.


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