Monday, January 14, 2013

It's A Small World After All!

EPCOT Center - Walt Disney World
Orlando, FL - January 7, 2013


My spirit of wanderlust came directly from my parents, particularly my mother whose eyes still light up when you say the word "go!"  We didn't have much money, so we traveled about in a Starcraft Pop up Camper before moving up to a Cox Pop up camper that had a STOVE before going big time in a Shasta Travel Trailer much like THIS one.  It had a stove AND a refrigerator, but no bathroom!  It sat in my parent's backyard many years after Bill and I married - what I would give to have it NOW!  It was that original Starcraft Pop up that took us to Disney World for the first time.

Every spring, we took a trip to a different area of Florida to watch baseball teams in their spring training homes.  Times were much different then, games were open and the players interacted with the fans following the game.  I've got quite a collection of pictures and autographs of which I'm very proud!  (Can't remember how they managed to take my sister and I out of school for a week each year - need to ask my mom about that.)  We were able to see a new part of Florida and indulge my parents in their love of baseball which continues to this day!

So no surprise that the spring trip in 1972 included a visit to Disney World.  Mom had read about its much publicized opening on October 1, 1971 and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  I distinctly remember NOT being excited about it as I was the unfortunate age of 16, almost 17 and the idea of this was totally UNCOOL!  But I so wrong! We had a great time and I could not begin to tell you how many I have returned to Disney World since then! Bill and I were first there together on choir tour with Carson-Newman College A Capella Choir in 1977 and we've been back time and time again. 

 

Please click HERE if interested in learning more about Walt Disney World.  It had been three years since we visited Disney and we were astounded at the growth.  Walt Disney has got to be one of the world's greatest visionaries!  And from what we understand, there is still much, much more land waiting to be developed!

Most people either love it or they hate it!   They "get it" or they don't.  Bill ALWAYS "gets it" and can never get enough.   Sometimes, I get it and sometimes, I don't!  I "got it" for many, many years and loved it, but have a pessimistic tendency to wonder why we have to keep going back when nothing new has been added and a one day admission to ONE park is so expensive.  Yet the minute we got inside, I felt the magic and was glad we had come!


We chose to visit EPCOT this year and two things played into our having such a wondeful day.   1) the weather - no it was not perfect.   In fact, though plenty warm enough, it was completely overcast, a bit windy and there was the threat of rain (that was predicted) all day, but these factors led directly to reason number 2) there was absolutely NO ONE there.  In all these years, I've never been to any Disney property when there were less people.  We never waited in line for anything - attractions or food.  January (after New Year's week), February, September and the first two weeks of December are touted as the least crowded times to visit, but this was incredible.  Note the absence of people in the pictures.  

 Just after passing through the ticket booth - note the absence of people.

Because of the uncrowded conditions, we felt no need to develop any strategy regarding the most popular attractions or which direction to go within the park.   We just moved as we wanted, enjoyed an attraction when we came to it, sat and rested whenever we wanted and ate whenever we wanted.  We were able to snag the best tables and seats that are often just looked at longingly as you wander how in the world those people got THOSE seats!!  

All in all, it was about as perfect of a day as it could have been!  Again, because of the small crowds, we were done earlier than we expected to be and were much less tired than we normally are because we did so little standing in line.  We rarely stay for the nightly fireworks show, Illuminations.  It is VERY good, but we have a two hour drive back to Flagler Beach that includes driving back through the traffic nightmare that is downtown Orlando, plus we've seen it hundreds of times.  We left just before dark and were back in Flagler Beach before we knew it!  

 
I would imagine just about everyone reading this has been to Disney at least once or has plans to go at some point in their lifetime!   And everyone should - at least once!
 
Last picture before leaving - same place we started this morning!!

 My personal favorites!!

For some reason, I just liked this shot!

Have you been to Walt Disney World?  Which parks and when?
Would you return?

11 comments:

  1. Twice. We went with the boys when our youngest finished kindergarten. All the parks; Animal Kingdom had just opened. And then DH and I went back for a business trip several years later. There certainly is something magical about it all IMO. But I'm not sure I'd go back. There are so many places I haven't been yet:)

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  2. Hi Sharon...I've enjoyed catching up with you and your latest adventures! I enjoy reading about them very much.

    No, I'm afraid I've never been to any of the Disney places. I must admit that I've barely traveled out of North Carolina, but only because of budget constraints. I do hope to someday see more of our amazing country. Meanwhile, I am very pleased to be able to travel vicariously, thanks to blog folks like you and Betsy (of Tennessee). Thank you!

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  3. I went when I was a kid, and then for my honeymoon we went! We love Epcot! :) We've been back a couple times, and the last we said to each other that we think the family had finally outgrown it (we were sad about that. I think Chris and I will still go, but I'm not sure what the kiddos are interested in now.) We've gone in the Jan-Feb time frame too, and it's chillier, but the lack of crowds are certainly worth it!

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  4. Love Disney! We have been 7 times or so? I never get tired of it. This is the best time of year to go as well, and usually when we try to go because there are no lines. It's awesome! We'll be going again some time, but have to get back to New Orleans first :D

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  5. We went somewhere in mid 70's. I was a preteen. I enjoyed it but have never been back.
    Lori

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  6. It's been WAY too many years since I've been to Disney World.. I was there BEFORE Epcot.... I would go back if I could go when you all were there --when there were no people. That is what keeps me away from all of those places these days. I despise crowds and traffic. SO--I'll remember early January IF we decide to go there sometime... Thanks!!!

    Be glad you are not home today.. We have had nothing but rain (lots of it) for several days --with more coming... Crazy!!!! AND--it's gotten colder. 31 on our deck right now and very foggy..... There is freezing rain coming --so who knows what we will get????? Aren't you glad you are there?

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  7. I haven't been to WDW since I was 14 (my one and only time). I would go back in a heart beat! My husband however, grew up with grandparents that lived in Orlando and went so much as a kid he doesn't care for it. He totally doesn't "get it". I will always be a kid at heart, and that place makes my inner kid jump for joy!

    My favorite park is also Epcot.

    Glad you guys had a good visit, with not a lot of other people. That is wonderful!

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  8. I've never been to Disney, but now that I have grandkids, I think I need to go!

    I hope you don't mind I added your blog to my blog roll on Lynn's Weigh :) And I'm stalking you on Google Reader...LOL I'm glad you're out here!

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  9. Funny that you mentioned a Shasta trailer because I was looking at vintage trailers online this morning and noting upcoming rallies so I can be a looky-loo. I'm working on Wayne to agree to one, but for now it's just a dream! I lived in San Diego as a kid so of course I have a few memories of Disney, but they're kind of dim. The haunted house made a big impact!

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  10. Great and interesting post. I like it.
    I also invite you to my blog. ;)
    Yours. Have a nice day.
     
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  11. Sharon, I just has to share yet another thing we have in common. I grew up camping in a 1966 Cox Pop-up Camper, but ours didn't have a fridge . We were thrilled because it had a sink with a water tank that you filled up at home them pumped the water out of it when you needed to brush your teeth or wash your hands. It was way too small or washing dishes. :-). I wrote about it last summer at http://hikingtotheheights.blogspot.com/2012/07/cade-cove-camping-remembered.html?m=0

    You might enjoy that one.

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