Father’s Day Thoughts – A Disney Legacy

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 To this day I make the increasingly outdated Carousel of Progress a must do on every trip because of my memories of my father marveling at Walt’s ingenuity every time we went on as kids.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.

6 thoughts to “Father’s Day Thoughts – A Disney Legacy”

  1. Those memories you have that will last a lifetime are the exact definition of Disney Magic. Well written post and the perfect thing to read as we head into the Father’s Day weekend. Maybe some day your daughter will look back on her childhood trips and think of you in a similar way.

  2. Paul,
    Well written sir. Had me a little choked up there. My shirt drawer has been raided many nights for the use of jammie shirts by my kids. It is full 90% of Disney related shirts. I hope that my kids realize that we are trying to give them memories that will last forever. I can still remember the only “family trip” we ever took as a kid. We went to Great America on San Jose and The Winchester Mystery House. They truly do last. Our kids may not realize that some bills dont get paid when we decided to go to WDW. We would rather live cheaper so our kids can have those memories. I wouldnt change it either!
    Thanks for the post Paul!!

  3. Paul-
    Very nice job! I lost my father when I was 14, so while I don’t have many memories with him, I hold the ones I do have very dear. I’m sure we’re all trying to pass on our own father’s wisdom to the next generation, plus adding what little we can.

    My kids will get a nice Hawaiian shirt collection. 🙂

  4. Thanks so much guys, I enjoyed writing it, and I really appreciate you taking the time to read it. Big thanks to Aaron for the chance to put it up here.

  5. Well said, Disney has a special place in my heart and it is about the memories that my family and I share there each and every visit.

  6. Nice post, Paul. Maybe the look on his face was a result of the look on yours when you entered the gates. I know it works on me every time!

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