A Little About My Disney History
I’ve been writing this blog for a little over a year now, so it may be past time to share a little bit about allllll of my Disney trips thus far! I won’t go into too much detail since I’ve now been to Disney World 13 times and Disneyland 1 time and you’ve read about my 2 most recent trips.
Our very 1st family trip was in 1994. My sister and I were really little (clearly) and Disney hadn’t quite mastered the Magic Shot as they have today.
My memory is a little foggy on some details, but I’m pretty sure we stayed for either a week or 9 days. We stayed at Dixie Landings (now part of Port Orleans Riverside). I distinctly remember falling asleep in the booth in the food court (the same one currently at POR). I had an allergic reaction to the sunscreen so I spent a bunch of time in the medical center and my parents had to buy me a hat to protect my pasty skin. That’s pretty much all I remember distinctly from the trip, but I know my sister and I were immediately in love.
Those ears my sister and I are wearing were plastic and I actually still had them until probably only 8 years ago or so and I have since lost track of them. That boat behind us was the Empress Lilly (named for Walt’s wife, Lillian), where we had a character breakfast. Over the years it became Fulton’s Crabhouse and it’s now the Paddlefish restaurant.
Our 2nd ever trip was also the first time we ever vacationed with other people. Our family went with another family we were very good friends with. Both daughters are about the same ages as my sister and I, and we’ve always been good friends (still are, to this day). We went during spring break stayed at a brand new All Star Movies in hotel rooms diagonally across a corner from one another and there was a blizzard in the northeast while we were enjoying the Florida sun.
This was back when the sky ride still existed in Magic Kingdom and I have distinct memories of the kids switching up so the friends could be together, and both my mom and their dad with dueling camcorders in the two cars filming everything. I also remember we were there for Easter and Epcot was absolutely deserted on Easter Sunday! We parked our rental cars in the 1st row of the parking lot and everything!
As you can see, this was the year of the 25th anniversary and the pink cake castle. I’m definitely in the camp of people who loved it and I can’t wait to see what they do for the 50th in just 4 short years! Speaking of, way back in 1997, the 4 of us girls said we should all go back together for the 50th with our husbands and kids and, guess what? The 8 of us and all the respective significant others and children are actually talking about and planning to do just that! 2022 can’t come soon enough!
We also had the COOLEST experience with the villains 1 night! We were the only people there and Cruella was absolutely hysterical. Plus, a photo of all 4 kids with all 3 villains was pretty amazing.
In 1999, we stayed at the brand new All Star Movies resort. I got the 1st hat I ever thought looked decent on me and I wore it constantly. My dad got that hat and I guess none of us had the heart to tell him no?
I’m sad to say the only photo I can find from this trip is of Spaceship Earth. We loved that they kept the hand and wand and changed out the millennium 2000 for Epcot. I hate to say I don’t remember a lot about this trip but I know we stayed at an All Star resort because we always did back when we were kids.
This trip was another with other people. This time, we went with my mom’s best friend from high school and 2 of her sons (they’re basically aunt and cousins to us). They were supposed to have gone during February break but there was a huge snowstorm so they moved the trip to end of June/beginning of July and my mom decided we should join them!
I think we stayed at All Star Sports (if not, it was All Star Music) and I remember wandering the resort and the 1 next door one evening with my sister and the younger of our cousins.
I also remember dinner at Chef Mickey’s 1 night and were convinced Minnie was trying to flirt with them. And my dad swears Dale had a thing for me and my sister. Ahhhhh memories.
In 2005, my high school best friend was going on a trip to Florida, with plans for a couple days in Disney World, with her mom, step dad, and sister. She invited me to join her family on the trip, so I got to go to Disney World without my family for the very 1st time! This was also my 1st time staying off Disney property (we stayed at the Marriott Grand Vista, which I think was in Orlando). It was also my 1st time not flying to Florida (2 days in a mini van…never again). We also only did a 2-day Park Hopper and tried to do 2 parks a day, which was crazy and rushed but we still had fun! Sadly, I can’t find any pictures from that trip.
That’s not a typo, this was the 1st time I got to go twice in 1 year. The whole family hadn’t gone on my trip earlier in the year, and I’m pretty sure my mom was already planning for us all to take a trip together, so I got to go again! Somehow, I don’t remember a ton, but I know we stayed at Pop Century and I know it was brand new.
I won’t share too much here, but I went to Disney World for a few short days with my high school / college boyfriend during a winter break. I think it was his 1st time going to Disney World and my obsessed self didn’t know if my family had plans to go again and I just had to get my fix. We stayed at Pop Century and had an awesome time, but that relationship is no more and I don’t really have much in the way of pictures from the trip.
Turns out, my mom can’t resist a deal. Disney offered free dining plan for trips in various times in August (I think this was when the dining plan was very new and was probably the 1st time they offered it for free). My parents, thinking this would probably be our last big family trip since I was already in school and my sister was starting school as soon as we got back, they decided to go for it and even splurged on a stay at the Boardwalk! You can read more about that hotel in this post, if you’re interested.
This was the 2nd time my mom decided relatively spontaneously that we were all going to Disney World. Disney offered free dining for trips in August again so we went. It was just as brutally hot and disgusting as the other August trip we took and I swore I’d never go in August ever again. But, this trip was my 1st time staying at Port Orleans Riverside (unless you could the trip 15 years prior to Dixie Landings, which I barely remember) and I absolutely loved every bit of the resort!
I have so much love and amazing memories from this trip! I hadn’t been to Disney World in over 4 years and was having some major Disney withdrawals. My husband (then boyfriend) recognized that and surprised me with a change in our intended plans for the winter and told me he instead wanted us to take a Disney trip together. Our 1st. And he also told me he’d thought about surprising me with the trip but knew how much I love planning and didn’t want to take that away from me. He was SO right on that and I was so thankful I got to do the planning! Since I was so in love with Port Orleans Riverside from my last trip, we stayed there!
We happened to plan our trip while my parents were there (not actually on purpose, I swear!) so we met up with them a few times. Once for my 1st (and, it turns out, only time seeing the Osbourne Lights) and once for dinner at ‘Ohana, followed by watching Wishes from the balcony of my parents’ room at the Polynesian!
The most magical trip ever! This trip was as spontaneous as Disney trips get. I planned it about 2 1/2 months ahead of time because I just randomly decided I’d love to be in Disney on my birthday. Well, unbeknownst to me, my then boyfriend knew this was the perfect opportunity to propose and he dropped down on 1 knee on the 1st night of our trip, right in front of the castle.
Other details of the trip:
- This was a quick, 4 day trip
- We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside again, this time on the Alligator Bayou side
- He toyed with the idea of proposing on my actual birthday (3rd day of the trip) but instead decided to do it on day 1 so I could have the chance to revel in it for the whole trip
- A cast member took the carriage photo after the park closed for the evening, as we were leaving dinner at Mama Melrose
You read extensively about every detail of this trip, but I’ll share a few noteworthy details:
- It was our niece’s 1st trip to Disney World
- It was my sister’s 1st trip in almost 10 years
- My husband and I stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge
- My parents, sister, and niece stayed at Saratoga Springs
You also read all about every detail of this trip, our 1st ever to Disneyland and even my 1st ever trip to the state of California, but here are a few key details:
- We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel
- We spent 3 days in the parks with a 3-day Park Hopper ticket
- We splurged for the MaxPass and it was worth every penny
- I was way more in love with Disneyland than I ever expected and I’m dying to go back already
How many trips have you taken to the happiest place on earth?