For this week’s throwback thursday, we are starting all the way back in the 1960’s.
You see, my sister and I have been Disney fans since way back then. When I say Disney fans I’m referring to the parks, not the movies.
Here’s my sister, my brother and I at the entrance to Disneyland on what I believe was our first trip there. I’m not sure, but I think I look about 6 or so, which would make this 1969.
This photo came out of a stash of my dad’s slides that I had converted to digital. And no, my brother and I are not twins, but we are what some used to call “Irish twins” (which is now considered an offensive term so I apologize to any Irish people out there). Basically that means we are less than 12 months apart in age. My mom says that back in the early 60’s her doctor told her that she didn’t need birth control if she was breast feeding. Turns out that was not exactly accurate, as evidenced by my little brother. I enjoy periodically reminding both of my siblings that I am the only “planned child” in our family, my sister having been born a mere 10 months after my parents married.
But, I digress, back to Disney.
This is one of my favorite photos from my dad’s stash.
That is the back of my brother in the orange plaid shirt on the far left, and our babysitter standing on the other side of his horse. We don’t even know the other people in this shot, but I just love that woman in the pink dress with the classy shades and the up-do and her mad men trendy hubby. He could possibly give Don Draper a run for his money.
Here’s my sister Debbie on the carousel.
If you are a serious Disney nerd, you’ll know that the brown horses on the carousel date these photos to pre-1975. After that all of the horses were painted white.
Here’s my brother and my sister greeting Pinocchio. Extra credit to anyone who can tell exactly where they are in the park (and Debbie, I know you’ll know this).
Are you wondering why I seem to be missing from a few photos? The story is that I came down with the measles while we were there, so my mom left me out in our motor home in the parking lot on day two. Gasp! Can you even imagine doing something like that today? She claims she came out and checked on me frequently, but still. Holy cow! Times were definitely different back then. I’m fairly sure my parents could be arrested for that these days.
We continued to visit Disneyland all throughout my childhood. My mom had a friend who lived out in San Diego, so we would leave dad at home and she would load us kids into the motor home and drive out there nearly every summer. We loved it!
Once we moved to Florida in 1976 we started going to DisneyWorld regularly too.
My mom, sister and I have even been to Disneyland Paris. We gave up a trip to the Louvre in exchange for the Disney park back in 1998. Yeah, we’re that big of fans.
It really wasn’t a wise choice though. The crowds were absolutely ridiculous.
We spent most of the day waiting in lines. Now remember, we are Disney park experts, so we know lines. Be we waited more than 30 minutes in line just to use the bathroom at Disneyland Paris. Lines for the best rides were 3 hours or longer. Crazy! And I missed the Louvre for that! Although I understand they have lines too.
Here’s an insider tip on how to avoid crowds at Disney. Sign up for one of their tours. We did a behind the scenes type of tour of Disneyland in 2009 and were able to enter the park before the gates were actually open.
We couldn’t get any further than the castle, but it was still a great photo op.
It worked for us again in 2013 in DisneyWorld. Here’s my niece Kris with Main Street all to herself.
It’s almost a bit freaky to see the place this empty, right?
I have a little bit of a preference for Disneyland over DisneyWorld.
I like that it’s smaller. When we go there we stay at the Grand Californian and we can walk to the entrance of each park, no need for shuttle buses, ferries or monorails.
But in the end, we love any Disney park because even adults are allowed to be goofy and embrace their inner child.
We haven’t been to a Disney park since 2013 and we’re all starting to feel a bit of withdrawal. I’m not sure when we’ll make it back again, but until then, peace out Disney parks!