Happy Anniversary, WDW! From Estelle with Love.

I’ve said this before but back before I started 6thgrade and went on my first Walt Disney World trip, I never thought it would have quite the effect it ended up having. On me and my family. I guess you never go somewhere and predict you are going to get seriously obsessed with it. But – as you know – that’s just what happened.

Today, on the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World’s opening, it’s hard for me to imagine a time when EPCOT didn’t exist or even the great love of my life, the Boardwalk. Forty years wasn’t really that long ago either which makes it even more unbelievable. Look at all that has grown and changed (not always for the best) since that day in October. Walt Disney was just a little train that kept on chugging and turned into a world-class, extra-leg room express ride.

Now, without further ado, just a few nifty lessons I learned during my visits to Magic Kingdom through the years.

1. Be sure to check out the windows.

2. Romance is always alive and kicking.

My parents.
Proof the Beast lives as as prince sometimes…
Hubs & I during our last trip… we don’t have a lot of MK pics!

3. There’s no age limit when it comes to riding on an elephant.

4. There are always new things to try even after a million or so visits.

My first Dole Whip in August of 2011.

5. You must always be impeccably prepared for holidays.

These were up in early November.

6. Expect the unexpected.

Impromptu wedding ceremony with Chip & Dale.

7. Even aliens get a little jealous.

8. Twinkly lights are a necessary accessory to any outfit.

9. A great big beautiful tomorrow is just a day away.

10. There’s nothing better than sharing the magic with those you love.

While I can’t sit here and say that Magic Kingdom is my favorite park, I realize that without its conception I’m not quite sure the person I would be right now. I certainly would not be sitting at my dining room table on a Saturday morning working on this post, drinking coffee out of a Mickey cup, or reading notes out of a Mickey journal. My husband and I may not have gone on a majority of our trips to WDW or even our honeymoon. I certainly may not have met the wonderful people I have so far – my friends are the Disney Store, Chelle, Alan Menken for God’s sakes, and all our Twitter pals, of course. My days at work would certainly be quieter without the hum of park audio or the reading of many, many blogs.

Disney has certainly made my life very full. I am so happy I got to spend so many special moments there with my family, my best friend, and my husband. I’m looking forward to more of this in the future – more pictures to sort through, more material to think of for THP, more reasons to rant and rave about a place I adore and hold very close, and of course, many more amazing trips to plan with family and friends.

Happy 40th Anniversary, WDW! Thank you for everything you’ve done to make me the gal I am today. I couldn’t be more appreciative.

See ya guys real soon! (In five weeks, 4 days – to be exact!) Quick sidenote… just wanted to mention a few of my favorite 40-year tributes!

  • Distherapy: Their “40 Days of 40 Years” series has been amazing! Facts, personal stories, and my favorite old, dug-up photos. I was so happy to work on the 2002 post.
  • WedWayRadio.com: Do you listen to their podcast? I hope you do, but if not… they just finished their 40 Years of Magic series. You can tell Nate & Matt diligently researched these episodes and they brought back some great memories.
  • WDWRadio 40 Hours of Coverage: I don’t know how Lou is going to do this… lots of coffee and sugar I think… But for interviews and all sorts of hi-jinks you should definitely check it out.

* * *

As a special bonus, happy 29th birthday to the park I would live in if I could… EPCOT!

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A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

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