To all who are part of the Disney family,
I grew up in rural Pennsylvania. Our family never took vacations, but the summer I turned fourteen, I spent a few weeks visiting an aunt, uncle, and cousins near Reading, PA. They invited me to go on vacation with them to the New York World’s Fair. Imagine, a country farm girl going to New York City for an entire week. The Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Empire State Building … I was totally awestruck.
Nothing has had as much everlasting effect on my life as the two Disney exhibits at the World’s Fair. I remember them as if it were yesterday. I loved the Carousel of Progress’s wonderful take on how far into the future we could go (with modern conveniences in our homes!), as well as how far we’d come. You must remember, I was a farm girl from a very rural area that was seeing many of those conveniences for the very first time, even those of the day. Imagine? That is exactly what Mr. Disney wanted me to do … and, that’s exactly what I did.
In a truly unique way, The Walt Disney Company presented me with many dreams and options – not just of what could be in our homes, but of all that we could be as well. Of all that I could be. The “it’s a small world” attraction filled the heart of this naive country girl with magic that can only be called Disney. At the same time, it took me far from the farm in Pennsylvania to vast regions around the world, each filled with beautifully and authentically costumed children who sing, dance, and continue to delight millions to this day.
I loved seeing it through my children’s eyes the first (and every!) time we visited one of the Disney Parks. They’re grown now and I cherish those memories of them, as well as the two trips my husband and I made to Walt Disney World by ourselves – including the Millennium Celebration. But my first experience at the World’s Fair in 1965 still stirs something in my mind and heart almost 46 years later.
That same Disney magic is still very much alive in this country girl … I am a product of Disney Magic.
Please note I wrote this years ago in honor of Mr. Walt Disney’s 100th birthday. However, I was not adept with computers at that time and didn’t know how (or who) to send it to. I kept it all these years and after seeing an article about Disney World’s 40th Anniversary and “it’s a small world”‘s 45th year at Disneyland, I decided to send it to you. Then another delay – my husband is fighting a battle with terminal cancer for the past two and a half years, and (once again) I didn’t send it.
I do want to say “thank you” to Mr. Disney for creating such a wonderful, inspiring place for me and so many others. And thanks to all who continue to make Disney Parks “The Happiest Places on Earth.” Some of my happiest moments and memories were taking my children to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World and watching them experience “It’s a Small World” and “The Carousel of Progress” for the first time – just as I had. I got the same thrill again many years later when my new husband saw them for the first time as well. We made two trips to Disney World and he recently mentioned to friends how much he enjoyed those visits and loved Disney World. “I’d go again in a minute,” he said – and he was close to 60 years old the first time he visited! It is indeed a wonderful, happy place … at any age. I am proof of that. God bless all of you and thanks for keeping the magic alive for an old (and very grateful) Disney Fan.