1984, we took our first family trip to Walt Disney World. At this time, only Magic Kingdom and Epcot, a small array of resorts, and one waterpark attached to Bay Lake existed. Looking back, it was small compared to the massive infrastructure of the contemporary version of the family destination.
We stayed at a cabin in Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. The campgrounds appeared rustically isolated, even though it was a massively popular tourist destination. I remember marveling at the quiet, so different from the noise of the suburbs. Cars did not rumble down the streets, that was against resort policy. Everyone shuttled themselves around in golf carts instead. There was an outpost containing a general store and restaurant, all down by Bay Lake, where you could see Magic Kingdom. That’s how close we were to all the magic, but turn around and enter the enveloping forest and wildlife to transport yourself to something simpler.
Finally, the parks. My strongest memory is riding It’s a Small World eight times. I had to tell everyone I knew that I did. It was just so magical, so different. My parents decided to extend the vacation by two weeks! We stayed an entire month. Time doesn’t mean much to a six-year-old, but by the end of the month, time lost meaning and I was suspended in perpetual Disney. From then on, I was hooked. So was my family, every other summer we would go back.
The ‘magic’ continued at home. In the eighties, cable was the new thing. My parents heard that there was a premium channel run by Disney. Looking back, it is fascinating how all that Disney culture streamed into our house. It was a conspiratorial thing with our parents. Disney was our thing. I am sure many other families felt the same, but to us, it was almost a fervent thing. At that time, the Disney Channel did not have much original content, so they would fill much of that time with older movies in their catalog. The absent-minded professor, the Swiss family Robinson, Davy Crockett, and Zorro quickly became part of our family. The Disney cartoons made us chuckle with laughter and the death of Bambi’s mother haunted us with sadness. Original programming like Mousecercise and the New Mickey Mouse Club enthralled us.
Check out Part Two tomorrow, where I will discuss my journey to Florida.
View the January edition here.
The month of February is fresh and sparkling… with snow. And all these snow days are contributing a rising stress-level within me. I started this semester with a healthy outlook on how to tackle the transfer process. I seriously had to-do lists and battle-plans ready when the semester started. Before I knew it my classes and clubs have inserted their own debris into this stream and it is getting muddy now.
My classes and clubs should be requiring my time, but I foolishly forgot how much I had planned for this first month. It is week four of the school-year and I am embarking on my second trip on Friday! Also, Ivy Tech has doubled the amount of paperwork I need to do because of their refusal to use the online systems so I have to collect signatures and bother my professors to get that done. Thankfully after this upcoming trip I should have time to just to concentrate on transfer work.
On to other news, I got to visit Washington DC mid-January. While there I was able to tour Georgetown University with an American Honors alum, Russell. Great campus, love the town. Way too many stairs! After talking to Russell and feeling the vibe of the campus. Even though they are fairly progressive and an amazing school for diplomacy, the tone was far too serious and entitled for me to be comfortable. However, I fell in love with the vibe of DC. The public transit is great and the locals I met were amazing. Another great thing about DC is the American Honors headquarters are there. I could seriously see myself interning there during my time in DC. So I looked into George Washington University. They are one of a few schools to offer a political communication degree at the undergrad level. That would be great for me, that is the exact intersection of politics and journalism I am looking to get into.
I still really want to be living in Florida, there are people there I consider family. It is my other home. Yet I still wonder what will I do when one of the reach school offers a me a full-ride to their school? I have some hard choices coming up soon.
University of Central Florida
This remix is so baller, check it out.