It was the summer of ’98…the summer before my family moved to Maryland. My mom had planned a trip for not only our immediately family, but also extended family, family friends, and a few of her co-workers. Yes, this was a time before you could book everything online in 10 minutes. My parents had taken my sister and I along to pick up one family’s payment for their trip. When my mom returned to the car, that’s when they told us: we were going to the Walt Disney World Resort!
Now, Walt Disney World was a place I knew a lot about…ever since ’93. My mom had ordered the vacation planning VHS, which I asked to watch almost as much as my “Annie” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” tapes. I had seen the characters of “Full House” and “Family Matters” experience the parks. I was excited to know that my chance had finally come! I’m not sure how much I annoyed my parents about the trip in the months leading up to our departure. I just remember getting excited each time my mom purchased a new short set, bathing suit, or other items for our suitcases!
When we landed in Orlando and arrived at our hotel (Disney’s All-Star Music), it was one of the best feelings in my entire childhood–and we weren’t even in the park yet! All of the Cast Members were nice. My first moment in Magic Kingdom was euphoric. I just wanted to see it all and do it all. Since I was short, I did as much as allowed by height restrictions. It was a trip that I’ll never forget.
Although I’ve been to WDW many, many, many times since then, nothing compares to my first time. It’s a feeling that can’t be replaced, no matter how many new attractions are built. Wait…Perhaps the only feeling that will ever match or top it is seeing WDW through my future children’s eyes. That’s something that will be so special to me. Honestly, that’s why WDW has been in business for so many years. So many parents (including mine) love the look on their child’s face when they see the castle, ride Pirates of the Caribbean or meet Mickey for the first time. While there’s no rush in the production of the babies Nichols, I’m already saving and planning for their very first Disney trip!