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Why I Won't Be Taking My Kids To Disneyland (But Their Grandparents Will)

walt disney world 1975My earliest memory from my childhood is when I was 5. I took my first plane ride with my grandparents and aunt to Florida.

I remember waking up early with my grandfather to walk the beach and play in the surf. I remember climbing trees to pick oranges, and I remember driving moon buggies at the Kennedy Space Centre. Oh, and I also remember Disney World. The Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and getting my name embroidered on a hat.

It was, without a doubt, one of the greatest vacations I have ever had, and the fact my grandmother scrapbooked the entire thing for me in huge detail has let me relive it my entire life.

I was the oldest grandchild, and that spring of 1975 started a family tradition: when you turned 5 years old, my grandparents would take you to Disney. It happened for my brother, my sister, and my cousins.

The tradition has taken a few decades off as my brother, sister, and I have only just recently started our families, but last spring it started up again when my parents took my niece to Disneyland.

So, this spring, in the advance of my oldest turning 6, it won’t be me taking him to the Wonderful World of Disney, it will be my parents – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I can imagine my parents will be taking a lot of pictures of my son on his adventure. Probably a few videos too. I’ll be able to Facetime or Skype with him from the hotel every night, and maybe even while he’s waiting in line at Space Mountain.

It wasn’t quite like that in 1975. I have a few dozen photos in scrapbooks to remind me of the trip. Here are some of my favorites from my first trip to Disney.


  • The Magic Kingdom 1 of 12
    The Magic Kingdom
    Hands up if you have this pic. Me and my Aunt Karen, April 1975.
  • Minnie Mouse 2 of 12
    Minnie Mouse
    My first girlfriend.
  • Winnie The Pooh 3 of 12
    Winnie The Pooh
    I LOVED rediscovering this picture. I am the exact age of my oldest son in this pic - and this is the exact same "smile" he gives when posing.
  • A Dwarf 4 of 12
    A Dwarf
    While the Pooh picture shows off my oldest's smile, this is the look my youngest gives.
  • Donald Duck 5 of 12
    Donald Duck
    I wear glasses because of a weak left eye. Whenever I see this pic I think of that.
  • Tom Sawyer 6 of 12
    Tom Sawyer
    Check out those comfortable Buster Brown shoes. Runners on kids? Not in 1975, apparently.
  • Main Street 7 of 12
    Main Street
    Got my name with a hat on it, waiting for the big parade.
  • Disney 1975 8 of 12
    Disney 1975
    My grandmother saved everything in a big scrapbook, right down to the map of Walt Disney World.
  • Moon Buggy 9 of 12
    Moon Buggy
    We didn't do *just* Disney. We also went to Kennedy Space Center where I got to ride in a real moon buggy.
  • Picking Oranges 10 of 12
    Picking Oranges
    Climbing trees with my Grandpa at a U-Pick orchard in South Florida.
  • Donuts In Bed 11 of 12
    Donuts In Bed
    I was with my grandparents, for crying out loud. Cartoons and donuts were a morning ritual.
  • Swimming Pool 12 of 12
    Swimming Pool
    Even after a full day at Disney, I would still demand a splash in the pool every day.

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