Thanks for the Disney Memories


Today I pulled a post from the vault, this is a very special post by our very special Guru Jenn Hart. As everyone knows, Jenn is battling cancer and is no longer writing or planning vacations. Enjoy this very special tribute she wrote a few years back. Feel free to leave her a special comment, I will be sure to share it with her. 

Thanks for the Memories for blog (1)

Thank you Mom and Dad.

Without them, I wouldn’t have a Disney influenced life.

My history with Disney dates back to the beginning.  Walt Disney World meant arriving at our hotel, parking the car and entering a world outside of reality.  Walt Disney World has given me memories with my parents, brother and sister that have become part of me and our family narrative.

In 1973, my parents took a vacation to Walt Disney World for the first time.  The story my parents tell is that one trip made them realize that WDW is a place to return to and experience over and over again.  In the early years, we visited twice a year.

Since I was so young, I don’t have full recollections but here is what I do recall.

–      One trip in the summer I wore a purple fur coat with white buttons during the entire vacation.  I remember this and there is 8 mm film to prove it.

–      I remember the A-B-C-D-E ticket books and where the ticket booths are located inside the Magic Kingdom.

–      Being deathly afraid of most rides and having a most vivid imagination.  I believed you went upside down as you went down the hill in Pirates.  (And you didn’t get soaked because Disney magic made a dome appear over the boat to protect everyone.)

–      Riding in the back of the station wagon and lying in the back seat laid flat playing with fisher price little people toys.


In 1981 (9 years after me) my brother was born.  At that time we would visit once a year staying at either the Contemporary or the Polynesian.

–      My brother took his first steps in the Contemporary on a vacation.

–      I attended the EPCOT Center preview which involved riding the monorail through a partially built EPCOT and sitting along that huge platform just after you exit the monorail.  Then we watched a film on monitors mounted in the pillars and went back to the TTC.

–      We stayed in the Condos on property which were turned into the Disney Institute which were turned intoSaratoga Springs.

–      My Dad and I would sneak out of our hotel room and leave my Mom and my sleeping brother in the room to go back to The Magic Kingdom at night.


In 1985 (13 years after me) my sister was born and we were a family of five traveling to Walt Disney World in July in the station wagon.

–      We had a main floor hotel room at the Polynesian one year and we befriended a family of ducks.  We would feed them Cheerios every morning.

–      We would visit the arcade (Fiesta FunCenter) at the Contemporary.  We would play air hockey andPacMan.

–      When my sister was finished walking in the parks, she would run up to my dad and say “Up me.”

–      I learned that my Mom refused to ride SpaceMountain.  She saw the ride with the lights on once and determined, “It’s made out of tooth picks.” And never rode it again.


In 1992, my parents made yet another brilliant Disney decision.  We were members of the Disney Vacation Club.

–      My sister and I went upside down in a roller coaster ride for the first time in 1992.  (This was at Busch Gardens BUT led to riding any Disney coaster from this point forward)

–      My brother was asked to try out a new technology at EPCOT called “Virtual Reality” which involved a helmet with lots of wires coming out.  He then got to “fly” a magic carpet.  This attraction found its way into Disney Quest later.

–      We happened to be visiting when Tower of Terror was in soft opening.  Our elevator didn’t work and we had to be relocated.  Each row of the ride vehicle had one single lap bar so smaller riders got QUITE a different ride.  The first time we went on it my sister cried and screamed the entire time.  After, my brother, dad and I were going to go again since she was so freaked out… but she dried her eyes and said “I’m going too!”

In this month of thanks, it’s not enough to just say thanks for a lifetime of vacations.

So thank you Mom and Dad – thanks for the memories.

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