Can you inherit a love for all things Disney, or is it purely a learned trait?
Growing up, I assumed that Disney World was the only place that families went on vacation. It was certainly the only place our family went. In the years we didn’t have enough money to go down, we saved and went the next year; but we never considered going somewhere else more affordable, closer to home. In fact, until I was 18 years old, the only planes I had ever been on were flights that ended at MCO.
My mother always seemed to enjoy the trips to WDW, but I got the feeling that she would have been just as happy at a beach or some other vacation spot with our whole family. My father, however, was in all of his glory as soon as our rental car pulled into the entrance off of I-4. I don’t remember many specifics from our trips, but I can still see the look of pure happiness on his face as he walked down Main Street as if it were yesterday. He seemingly loved everything about The World, including the things that drive most people insane. Case in point; He would whistle “It’s a Small World” to himself as he walked through the parks, all day. You’d think that would have been enough to turn his kids off to that ride forever, but it still remains one of my favorites. A normally frugal man, he wouldn’t blink twice at paying 50% more for an item because it had the Disney logo on it. To this day I make the increasingly outdated Carousel of Progress a must do on every trip because of my memories of my father marveling at Walt’s ingenuity every time we went on as kids. You can call me a sucker for Disney’s marketing (among many other things), but I do subscribe to the idea of Disney “Magic”, and if you could have witnessed the transformation that my normally stoic father went through when he was in WDW, you would too.
My father passed away well before he could enjoy Walt Disney World with his grandkids. Among his possessions he left us more Disney clothing and paraphernalia than we could count. If you’re ever in need of a specific color Mickey tie for any occasion, just let me know. But when I get to see the look on my daughter’s face as she walks down Main Street with me, or watches one of her Classic Disney DVD’s, I’m most thankful that my father left me a love for Disney that I can pass down to my kids. In the end, whether it’s in their blood, or they grow to love Disney because of how much their parents do, I can’t say for sure. Either way, I pray that I can leave them with the memories of their Dad in his all his glory like I have. But at the very least, they’ll get some Mickey neck ties.