I was around 4 or 5 the first time I went to Disney World. I remember my parents, my grandparents, and I all getting in the car really early in the morning and not telling me where we were going. They wanted it to be a huge surprise for me. When we were getting closer, a lot of the road signs change to have Mickey ears on them. I was dancing in my seat, knowing that I figured out where we were going. My grandpa (bless his heart), said, and I quote, “That little shit knows how to read!” I was really proud of myself for figuring it out all on my own. That year we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge in one of their cabins, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever that I got to sleep in a bunk bed. I totally got the top bunk (but no one got bottom since I’m an only child).
Disney World is synonymous with happy memories for me. They all kinda blur together because we’ve been so many times (I think my last count was around 20), but I like it that way. It’s one giant happy memory. I’ve spent many birthdays there, but I think the most special one for me was my 20th birthday. It was my last trip there with my parents before they divorced. I remember having so much fun on that trip, but I was bummed because we were leaving on my actual birthday and I didn’t want to be in a car the whole time. As we were pulling out of the property, my dad was getting lost. I thought it was pretty weird, because my dad never gets lost. We turned into a parking lot, and it was to a different hotel! My parents booked another night at the resort so I wouldn’t be stuck on my birthday.
I’ll always connect Disney World with happy times. As things got worse with my parents, we would still go on our annual trip. Disney World was the one place where all our issues couldn’t touch us. We could just leave them at home and enjoy our time together. I want to take my son one day when he’s older so he can experience the same happiness I feel when I pull into the property. I want him to have happy memories just like I do.
If you’ve been to a Disney Park, what did you think? What memories do you associate with happiness?