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by Doctor Disney Devo
I was 4 years old when my father first took me to Disney World and I remember it as if it were yesterday.
I remembering being in absolute awe when I first saw Cinderella’s castle, but actually what I remember the most was when we walked through the castle and turned right, there was a small attraction called Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
My father conceded to allow me to ride with him when I first saw those small cars with the steering wheels on them. As we got to the front of the line my father said “I’m going to let you drive this car, Johnny!” I got very nervous because I thought we were actually about to go on an adventure and I was going to be the driver. Once we got into the car I grasped the steering wheel and prepared for our departure. The car began driving and I noticed that as I was moving the steering wheel the car would turn. We entered the different rooms that the car would travel through and noticed other people driving wildly in the room as well. At times, my father would jokingly shout out to me “WHERE ARE YOU GOING!!! NO!! YOUR GOING TO DRIVE INTO THE WALL!”… Thinking he was serious and that I was really driving the car. We then made our way through a fireplace that opened and found ourselves outside, soon to go head on with a locomotive train coming right at us. At that moment the 4 short years of my life flashed before my eyes as I realized that this might be THE END! The doors then opened up and we were back in the unloading dock. I looked up at my father and he had the biggest smile on his face as he put his arms around me in reassurement. I still remember that as being one of the best memories with my father to this day.
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1984- My Mother feeding me in front of Cinderella’s castle

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1984- My family in Epcot.My father in the middle. I’m the one on the far right!

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1984- Riding the Swan Boats with my father, always joking around with me

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1984- Meeting Mickey for the first time!

Disney World has continued to give us memories like that every year for the last 30 years. Every year our family has gone and every year I would ride something with my father and be reminded of my first trip. Wheather it was clinging tightly on to him as we rode through the Haunted Mansion as a child or laughing at Figment on Journey into Imagination at Epcot there were always new magical memories to make. And what would be the most memorable was our family trip in 2008. And I remember that one specifically because that would be the last one I would ever go on with my father before he passed.
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2008- Last trip to Disney with my father

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2008- Full family picture with everyone in the same boat. My father and I in the front always riding together.

Now I am married and I have a 12 month year old daughter of my own. Last November, I was able to share these magical memories with her going on It’s a Small World and holding her on my lap as she stared in awe with an amazed expression on her face looking at the dolls in each of the rooms. It reminded me so much of me with my father and all the memories we had. And as I held her on my shoulders for the parade as she gazed at the characters going by, I knew that she was instantly in love.

2014- My Daughter’s first Trip to Disney World (30 years later)!!


2014-Lily’s First Disney ride on It’s a Small World (30 years later!)


The Look of Amazement! She’s in love!

 So finally, the reason I love Disney World so much? It reminds me of my father and all the joy and happiness we shared while we were there!
My advice for anyone going to Disney World, whether it is their first or hundreth trip, is to make magical memories with your family, friends or any loved ones and pass it on!!