My first ever trip to Walt Disney World
Prologue / I'm goin' to Disney World !!!

In 1996 my moms union held their annual convention in Orlando FL. So, my mother, my sister Michelle, and her husband George asked if Carmella and I wanted to go down too. Actually first they told me they were going I didn't react much so they pointed out that maybe we could come along too. This had not occured to me right away. Although I had been a big fan of Disneyland, which we lived near when I was a kid, a visit to WDW had never seemed a realistic posibility to me. When we first moved to WV (My mom, sister, and I) we had a couple really tough years getting settled in until my mom managed to get back on with the post office (for which she had always worked in Ca.) Then I got married kind of young (nineteen) and my wife and I struggled for a few years trying to make a living in WV (and getting into debt due to that effort) before we moved to Charlotte. Although things had gotten much better for us that very fact meant we had just moved into a house so spending alot on vacation didn't seem feasible. Well, my sister and her husband George had a good rate on a room they were going to pay for, and my mom said she would pay for our tickets . All we had to pay for way our air fare and our food. I looked at Carmella it was apparent that she already knew about it before I did. It was then I realized " I'm goin' to Disney World !! " We said yes (well I said yes!!! Carmella said ok).

Once I saw that it was ok to think of myself as a person who would take a trip to WDW I threw myself into it with feverish abandon I had my first copy of the unnofficial guide to WDW doggeared before the trip even began. Carmella ended up changing jobs a few months before the trip and so decided not to go . I talked to her about it and she was ok with me going so I did .
Thursday August 8,1996

It was my first time flying since I had been a small child and the first time ever alone. It was a really neat flight I could see where we were for much of the flight first due to I-77 which we followed for the first part of the trip then looking out our windows on the right at the citys along the coast estimating which citys they were I seemed to know where we were for the whole trip. My flight was scheduled to arrive before everyone elses by about 20 minutes so I was a bit surprised when George met me at my gate. Obviously thier flight was early. Orlando airport is a neat place with it's shops and it's elevated rail system. Some would say monorail but I don't think it meets the monorail societys definition of a monorail.
the following is thier definition

  MO*NO*RAIL n. 1. A single rail serving as a track for passenger or freight vehicles. In most cases rail is elevated, but monorails can also run at grade, below grade or in subway tunnels. Vehicles are either suspended from or straddle a narrow guideway. Monorail vehicles are WIDER than the guideway that supports them.

From there George and I met my mom and sister at the rental car desk. I had all my stuff in two carry on bags , they were still allowing that at that time. And mom and Shell had picked up thier luggage already. Once in our rental we rode a toll road to I-4 and headed to SR 535 where our hotel was (Days Inn Apopka-Vinland Rd.the days inn next to the pizza hut and across the street from Shoneys) After getting settled in and taking a dip in the pool we headed out for a little exploring and dinner . We didn't want to waste any of our park hopper days. on a half day so we headed out for International Drive hitting a few of Orlandos more minor attractions. The Ripleys believe it or not museum (I didn't believe it hehehehe) Dinner at a food court at the nearby Mercado shopping center from there I called my wife (she had just gotten home from work) after dinner we played a round of miniature golf on a nearby Pirate themed course (Blackbeards somthing or other I think) it was a nice course and good fun.

On to First Encouter The Magic Kingdom and Epcot

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August 1996 trip report index (on trip reports index page)

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