Monday, December 12, 2011

Disney History

When it comes to childhoods, I know that mine was spoiled. I had amazing Christmases with piles of presents. I had a small children's books library that I only had to share with my brothers and sisters. I had two amazing parents who adored us and spent time with us. But when it comes to vacations, we were well past spoiled. We dragged my poor parents to 6 Flags, Busch Gardens, any amusement park we could find really. We spent time out West and down South. But our favorite (or at least mine) was going to Walt Disney World in Florida.

I think I've been to Disney World 6 or 7 times in my lifetime, most of them as part of family trips. One year Jeff and I went by ourselves but a majority of them were during my childhood. Even now I get the urge to go every three years or so. I am a Disney World fanatic. And it doesn't stop with just visiting. I read books about the design and engineering that went into the parks. I read about the history of the Disney Corporation, Disneyland, Disney World, and about Walt Disney himself. 

Recently I went through a bag of stuff that my parents had found in their house and packed up for me. Much of it was old school papers and things but I found a couple of books that I thought were fun. I found my Birnbaum's Guide to Disney World for both 1985 and 1993. I found some vacation guides I had picked up while in the parks back on the 1994 trip. It included information about the new MGM Studios. The 1985 book covered the newly opened EPCOT center. I found both of these hilarious. So much has changed for the parks since then. So much has been added or changed. 

But my favorite find was an old souvenir map that I had brought home from one of the trips. It shows the resort area, as it was at the time with some of the popular characters of the day. The funny part is that many of the character featured were 80s and 90s TV characters that were big then. The characters from DuckTales, Gummi Bears, TaleSpin, and Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers make an appearance along with Figment, the long defunct (but still beloved) character from Journey into Imagination. Many of the hotels and recreation areas picture above don't exist anymore. But the big change is the expansion. The park has spread and changed. New things have popped up all over. So even though I know the map is outdated I love it. I know the book I bought in 2007 will soon be outdated in the same way. At Disney World things change constantly. But it was nice to find this bit of history to remember the parks of my youth. And look forward to going back. 

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