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Old 23 Aug 21, 09:56 AM  
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The First Trip 1993 – Day Five – Magic Kingdom – 14th September 1993

So, we were five days into the trip and we eventually decided to venture into one of the Disney parks and today it was the Magic Kingdom. You may ask why we waited five days when my interest in Florida began with Disney? Well, we found that in September 1993 the crowds were relatively non-existent and whilst we started with a loose plan of what we wanted to do and when, we found that we could just busk it on the day and we felt that it would be better to visit MK when we were into the swing of things.

We set off from the hotel for the short trip in the car along the192 and for the first time passed under the Disney World sign which felt great and really meant to me that we were finally here and were visiting a place that I had dreamed about my whole life to that point. I remember all of us felt a sense of elation and excitement as we saw the various signs pointing off the different areas, hotels and parks on the Disney property. We marvelled at the size of the carpark and made a note of where we were parked and hopped onto the little train that took us from the carpark to the ferry/monorail station and we decided that we would get the monorail there and the ferry back because the monorail was sat there ready to go as we arrived. I wish we had done it the other way around as on subsequent trips the ferry over to MK in a morning and the first sight of the castle is just magic. We passed through the Contemporary Resort which we thought was amazing and we all said we wanted to stay there one day, walked off at the end and straight to the turn styles – no bag check then and we carried a ruck sack with us in those days. We had our tickets stamped and punched and we were through and into the park. We had our photos taken as we came in and I was lucky that the train was passing and the driver waved at my wife taking the photo.

Under the tunnel and onto Main Street. I can’t remember feeling any kind of emotional thing as some do and there was no tears from any of us, but it was certainly a wow moment. There were very few people around at this stage so we had our photos with some of the characters – I remember Chip and Dale were there and Donald Duck and then we took more photos as we headed down Main Street as a few more crowds arrived. I remember the music playing, the colours and the sights and we headed down the street trying to take it all in. We had never been to anywhere like this and before we went to Florida we were trying to guess if it would be like Blackpool Pleasure Beach or Alton Towers, which had just started to form as a theme park, but our first imprssions were that it was a million times better. I have to confess at this point, that despite this being a seminal moment in my life, sadly I remember little of the details of the day, however there were some highlights.

I remember we decided to turn left and to go around the park in a clockwise direction, so we first went up the Swiss Family Treehouse and then round to Jungle Cruise. I then saw the Tiki Room and dragged everybody in there. I think it is just a fantastic piece of Disney nostalgia and I have dragged various people in there on every trip since. Others look at me when they exit as though to say what have I just watched? If you have never seen the show, I recommend it!

Onto Pirates which we thought was really good as it was the first time we had really seen lifelike animatronics and then around to Small World. Again, we all just looked at each other wondering what we had been through. Remember, we had no idea of what was in the park and just went with the flow. Everything we went on was a surprise.

From here it gets a bit hazy.

I remember definitely going on the 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ride in the photo and thinking it was rubbish, looking out of the portholes at plastic fish and murky green water. It was quite a big attraction as well with a huge pond and was somewhere behind the teacups ride and the speedway. Opposite the attraction was one of the experiences that will live with me for the rest of my life. We saw a small queue for a character meet with Goofy and when I say small queue, probably 10 people. In front of us was another British family with a son who was obviously severely disabled and in a wheel chair. We started chatting and they were from Uxbridge and actually knew a friend of ours who we had gone to university with, as his dad owned the dry cleaners in the town and was well known in the community. They explained that Goofy was their sons favourite and they had messaged Disney in advance to find out where Goofy would be in the park and when. As they came to the front of the queue, their son literally lifted himself out of the chair and launched himself at Goofy who caught him in the biggest hug ever. I looked around at my party and the queue behind us and literally everybody had tears rolling down their cheeks at the sheer delight in this boy’s face. It really brought home the power that Disney has and the joy that these simple characters bring to people. I have seen this kind of thing countless times now in the parks and it kills me every time.

We then went on the speedway twice, once so I could drive and then we swapped over for the second time. I can still recall the smell of those cars now and whatever fuel they run on. I am absolutely sure we went on Space Mountain as well as I vaguely recall it.

I think we then went on the cable car that used to run across the park – in fact even though I have zero recollection of that I am sure of it, because I am posting a photo below that proves we were on it!

We doubled back and headed towards Splash Mountain, for which there was no queue at all and agreed to meet our friends later, as they didn’t do coasters, so the wife and I got wet and then headed to Big Thunder Mountain where there was a queue of around 15 mins. I remember we also went on Space Mountain and the Haunted Mansion, but sadly I remember little else of the detail of the day, apart from the 3 o’clock parade as we sat on the kerb on Main Street waiting for it to start, just outside Casey’s Corner as we had arranged to meet our friends there. I also remember having photos with more characters as I have these and I recall standing in front of the castle at night watching fireworks.

This was the view looking down Main Street and as you can see, they cleared away a lot of trees and plants when they built the plaza area that is there now.

When the fireworks ended, we made our way back down Main Street using the shops as a passage. I think we bought a few things as well and got into the crush to get on the ferry. As we sailed across the water I looked back across at MK and wondered if this was the only trip we would make and if this was it. It had been a long day and we jumped in the car and headed back to the hotel.

It was a day that I had looked forward to for so long and it delivered in so many different ways, some of which I can’t remember!
Trip report 1993: The First Trip 1993
Trip report 2008: The Stacey J Aswad Memorial Tour
Trip report 2013: What No Stacey?
Disneyland Paris 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2014
Florida 1993, 1997, 2008, 2013

Edited at 03:34 PM.
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Old 24 Aug 21, 03:04 PM  
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Brilliant , I can relate to so much of your day . 🤗
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Old 25 Aug 21, 12:32 PM  
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I remember going on 20000 leagues and loving it on our 1st trip, I have some old photos from 89 i have posted on a brief trippy here. If you want to look.

If I added it all up I probably could have bought a 4 Bed Detached House
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Old 26 Aug 21, 01:47 PM  
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You are doing such a good job at remembering that trip. We went in Feb 96 and I can remember very few details. I do remember meeting Chip and Dale at MK - they were just wandering round the park.
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Old 28 Aug 21, 08:44 AM  
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I wish I could remember more of our first visit . I know we went to tiki room first and were not impressed

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Old 5 Sep 21, 05:31 PM  
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Did you get to Mr Toads Wild Ride? And there was something about If you have wings! I might have dreamt that!
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