When most people think of 'Disney World',
they are really thinking of the Magic Kingdom. Even I call it 'Disney World'
when I mean 'Magic Kingdom' sometimes. That's because (like for so many other
folks with kids now) in the early 80's on my first visit, it WAS Disney World.
The carousel, Dumbo, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean,
Peter Pan and Pooh and Snow White, Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, the teacups,
the race cars, the Haunted Mansion, the Carousel of Progress, Astro Orbiter,
Tom Sawyer's Island, Splash Mountain, Small World, the statue of Walt and
Mickey holding hands. The Castle. Fireworks, Tinkerbell, princesses and their
matching princes dancing in the courtyard, the wishing well, the train, the
flowers shaped like Mickey's head, the paddleboat, Main Street USA. Mickey,
Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Chip and Dale, the parade of lights. Every corner of
the place holds magic, it's the park that adults lie awake and dream of taking
their kids, it's the park thousands of kids have their first rollercoaster
ride: Space Mountain. Their first character encounter and the scene for many
public meltdowns as lines move slowly and hunger and boredom set in.
Pooh has replaced Mr. Toad, the Philharmagic is amazing, you can no longer go 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea but you can call on a certain little mermaid in her grotto. You ride in seashell cars to visit, Jake and I had discussion as to if that was like riding around in a bra cup. Now instead of a scary visit to Snow White, it's a swinging coaster mine train that runs through the dwarves' mine and all the passenger belting out the words to "HI HO!" You can go go on a shooting spree with Buzz Lightyear, laugh at monsters that hide under beds, be secured in your chair and then belched on by an invisible alien. You can barnstorm with Goofy-the shortest coaster ride in the world! I really don't think 2 loops would take THAT much more time!
I have a photo framed on my wall of my grandmother
on Tom Sawyer's Island, pretending to shoot a rifle from the fort. I remember
my brother already in his back to school shoes, them 2 sizes too large and
he kept stepping on my sister's heels and making her mad. She had been married
3 years by this time, I am pretty sure this one experience kept her from having
children for another 15 years. I remember it was HOT. I was scared of most
of the rides, we waited in lines forever. My brother rode the submarine, I
was convinced a shark would get me, so I went to ride the carousel and teacups
and Dumbo. We rode the cars, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain
and Astro Orbiter. We stood in line for Space Mountain, but I was too scared
to ride it. My brother, the same one who said a shark could get me in the
submarine, told me the ride transported you to space and you had to hold your
breath the whole time. And that it went 300 MPH.
I remembered the Carousel of Progress so well, I could still sing bits of the song when we went 25 years later! It's a Small World felt the same, Astro Orbiter still made me giddy from spinning up so high. We were there one day when I was 7 (June 22, 1982, I still have my ticket!) and SO much of it came back to me, stepping on the monorail the first day. Riding through the huge hotel, I was just as jealous of the little girl all in pink with a Minnie hairbow and backpack waiting on the platform as we whizzed past as I was at 7. hahaha! To get to sleep THAT close! Wow!
EPCOT's Future World was open, but not the World Showcase (that was October of 82) , but we parked in their lot and rode the monorail to Magic Kingdom. Parking was .95 with a nickel tax. Today, it's $17. We did Spaceship Earth, but that's all I remember of EPCOT that trip.