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Magical Mondays

New year, new blog schedule! Every Monday, a new Disney World post will be published in the “Magical Mondays” series. To start, I’ll share my brief history of Disney World visits and what to expect in the weekly posts.

Visiting Disney World as a Kid

Walt Disney World has been my “happy place” since I was a child. My family first visited during spring break in 1984 as part of a longer trip to visit my grandparents in Florida. I was five years old and remember loving the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and getting stuck on the Haunted Mansion in front of the hallway door wrapped in gnarled hands, being shaken from behind. The ride was stopped for quite some time so I just shut my eyes to erase the scary view and fell asleep even after it resumed!

After moving to Florida several years later, my family visited when friends and family came south on vacation. My mom, sister, and I were annual passholders for several years and took advantage of other Florida resident ticket deals and random visits in our non-AP years.

The ‘90s were our prime Disney time. Throughout the decade, we spent countless weekends at Mickey’s place, enjoying so many favorite attractions that no longer exist: Horizons and World of Motion at EPCOT, the backlot and animation tours at MGM Studios, and the Skyway gondolas and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Magic Kingdom. When I step foot inside the parks now, I get a rush of nostalgia from those years.

The glory days of the 80’s when characters roamed the park: Minnie in EPCOT’s China pavilion, Eyore, Minnie Mouse, and 80’s space-chic Donald

 The Dark Years

Our last Disney World visit was sometime in the early 2000’s. My sister and I graduated from college and began our lives away from home. With that, the Disney trips unnoticeably ended.

Disney World visits were scarce over the next ten or so years. There were a couple of one-day visits, but I got married, started a family, and moved away from Florida. For years, I didn’t set foot inside the parks. Favorite attractions closed while new ones opened.

Magic Kingdom decked out for Mickey Mouse’s 60th birthday circa 1989 and the main mouse’s house in Mickey’s Birthdayland, where Storybook Circus now exists

EPCOT in 2000 and the MGM Studios backlot tour

Visiting Disney World as a Mom

As our two boys outgrew toddlerhood, Jeff and I began to consider taking them on their first Disney vacation. Our decision was made after learning that children under the age of three don’t require a ticket so we planned the trip as Jasper was still three months shy of his third birthday in February of 2013.

Over two years later, my mom and I took the boys on their second trip in November 2015 and it was after this trip that I really caught the Disney bug again and decided that an annual trip should be made for as long as possible.

The boys’ third Disney vacation is currently being planned for late January. It’s during this time of year, when the boys are tracked out of school for several weeks in late January and early February while Disney World prices are cheapest, crowd levels are lowest, weather is the coolest that we hope to make Disney vacations an annual tradition.

My boys on their first visit in 2013 (above) and again in 2015 after New Fantasyland was completed (below).

Disney World on Tulip + Snowflake

A new blog post will be published every Monday in the Magical Mondays series. Topics will include reviewing current and past trips, planning tips and travel plans, recommended dining and attractions, and anything else Disney World!

Walt Disney World is my happy place, a place where I truly feel at home the moment I step on the property. At Disney World, I’m transported to a place where life’s problems disappear and for several days, I’m in a happy bubble of magic and fun. I’m thrilled to be sharing my tips and memories, and making Disney World part of my weekly blogging plans. I hope you’ll join me!

NEXT MONDAY: How We “Do” Disney