Monday, May 2, 2011

Almost There; 40 years

October 1st, 1971.  The Magic Kingdom opened it's gates for the first time.  It must have been a bittersweet day: a Park without its Creator.  Nevertheless, Walt's brother Roy gave the welcoming speech, reminding everyone of the collaboration involved with making the dream come true. 

“Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney… and to the talents, the dedication, and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney’s dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place… a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn — together. Dedicated this 25th day of October, 1971.” ~ Roy O. Disney
Months earlier, a significant day in my history was occurring.  On the second of May, 1971, my parents were married!  This sense of Disney connection might have been lost on them, save for the fact that on our trip to WDW this past fall, there were 40th Anniversary signs everywhere!  Disney is huge on celebrations of all kinds, and is never a stickler about the exact date.  So the fact that we were celebrating my parents' anniversary seven months early was no problem (hey, Disney was celebrating its own birthday a whole year early!).

Upon check-in at any Disney Resort, the cast members cheerfully ask if you are celebrating anything on your trip.  You see, they have bins full of buttons for every occasion.  First trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth?  There's a pin for that.  It's your birthday?  There's a pin for that.  Anniversary?  Yep, there's a pin for that.  Once you get your pin, you are encouraged to wear it as often as you like.  Other cast members around the parks are on the lookout for said buttons and will congratulate you in casual passing.  Sometimes catching you off guard if you've forgotten you were wearing the button.  "Hey, how'd you know...?"  Oh, right.  Duh.  Even fellow guests can get in on the congratulations; again, often throwing us off.  I blame the heat.  It was fun to be on the reciprocal side, though, spotting buttons on others and shouting out congratulations to forgetful celebratees.

In 40 years, Walt Disney World has grown from one park & two resort hotels, to four theme parks, two water parks, and twenty-three resort hotels (with more on the way!).  In those same 40 years, my parents have grown from a family of two, to parents of one, to grandparents of three.  Kinda glad their expansion wasn't quite as prolific as the Walt Disney World Resorts...that would have made a very crowded Thanksgiving table indeed. 

Happy 40th, Mom and Dad! 
With Congratulations & Love,

Ooh!  Sometimes along with the congratulations
came complementary cupcakes - yum!
{Mom & Dad at the Contemporary Resort} 

{Happy soon-to-be 40th, Magic Kingdom... you're almost there!}



  1. Happy 40th Grammy and Boppa! Love the pictures, Mom!

  2. Oh! What a wonderful Happy 40th Anniversary "greeting"!!! Thank you Heather - and Allie - and Walt Disney World - for remembering us in such a special way and for helping us to celebrate our 40 years together!!! It's been a Great Adventure for us and we're looking forward to what God has in store for us in the years to come!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...