10 December 2007

Little did they realize back then

Sorry about being away for a few days, my wife surprised me with a trip, a trip we will talk about later. But, today is a special day, both for the Main Street Gazette and myself; today is my 26th birthday and the 100th article for the Main Street Gazette. Truth be told I never thought I’d make it to 26, especially not 26 and married, I thought the world would end first, and I also never thought that the Main Street Gazette would survive 100 of my musings. So, in honor of us both, I am going to spend some time today poking fun at myself and take a look back at what it has been like growing up Disney.
This first picture highlights my toddler years. Clearly the Disney merchandise has progressed through leaps and bounds since that slightly frightening Donald Duck hat, and thank goodness I lost that baby weight.
Next, is a picture of several of my cousins, my sister, and, of course, the young boy being groomed for Disney. In case the picture is a little blurry, most of the cousins pictured have a stuff animal, a bear, doll, or such, but not me. No, I had to clutch to my Figment doll. Is it really any wonder how I ended up where I am today?

Jumping ahead a few years, we land smack dab in the middle of a bevy of memories. Between our time at Fort Wilderness, I didn’t stay in an actual Walt Disney World Resort until I was a teenager, the various celebrations (Does anyone else ever find themselves randomly singing 15 Years of Magic), and of course the characters that were larger than life.
Here we have our campsite, most likely on the Jack Rabbit Run Loop, always our favorite. There is a tarp and some plastic sheeting above the tent, and across to cover the table, for rain, as well as plastic sheeting beneath the tent to keep the rain waters from seeping in. While not visible in the picture, chances are that there were also some small plastic lantern lights strung over the picnic table so that we had light to play games under at night, and, finally, our bicycles that left us free to explore the campground without seat belts and car seats.
15 Years of Magic, at the time I was only five, but this parade and all the extravagant decorations, like the one my sister and I are standing in front of at EPCOT Center, have withstood the test of time and I remember them fondly.
Then, of course, there was Goofy. As I have grown older, I have a found that through the years I have developed a love of Mickey Mouse, and see some similarities between our personalities (after all, isn’t Mickey an everyman in every sense of the word), my first love for a character was Goofy. It wasn’t his clumsiness, or the hilarity that he brought with him, or even his shy nature, in fact, I cannot put my finger on what it was, or is rather, but he has always had the lion’s share of my excitement when it comes to characters.
A few years later, it was just me being Goofy, or maybe a zombie, either way, I was clad in my finest Mickey Mouse apparel.
Moseying back over to Fort Wilderness, I cannot tell you how many times we staked out a good spot for the Campfire Sing-A-Long and movie. Here my sister, Aunt Keeni, cousin Tam, and I are ready with our sticks for roasting marshmallows. I haven’t been able to revisit the Sing-A-Long itself in a number of years, but I always find out what movies are playing on a given trip and, at least, make a plan for how I am going to revisit my old stomping, or should I say, singing grounds.

According to this sweater, I had visited Hilton Head Island., which isn’t actually true at that point in my life. To put not to fine a point on it, I had never visited Hilton Head Island until this past weekend when, to compensate for the fact that I could not be at MouseFest for my birthday, my wife arranged for us to have a quiet weekend at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort. Hmm, I wonder if I have any stories or Disney Details to talk about from my trip…

I hoped you enjoyed this jaunt down memory lane as much as I did, or that you at least enjoyed them half as much as it embarrassed me to share some of them. Remember though, it was the 80s! Seriously though, looking back at all these wonderful memories reminds me of just how much Walt Disney World has meant to my life, and just how much happiness my family has blessed me with. Perhaps we’ll find some more memories to share, and then we can do this again some time.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Congratulations on your 100th post and thanks for sharing some of your memories. It adds to the notion that it is "a small world" after all.