Our history with Walt Disney World really begins back to when Margita and I were kids. We both were fans of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Disney tv show on Sunday evenings. We dreamed and wanted to
go to Walt Disney World. A neighbor of mine had drove to Disney World with his family. I really wanted to go but we never did go. Margita and her sister grew up with the same wish to go to Disney World.
Forward 25 years and in 1999, I went solo to Disney World on my own. This was a lucky business/education trip to a technical conference called Lotusphere. I’d just joined a new company in
November of the previous year. A coworker had purchased the conference ticket but had to cancel. I volunteered. In the earlier years of the conference, they would sell out the tickets in September for the January annual event. All the closer hotels would be booked solid. I made my reservations in the Downtown Disney hotel called the Royal Plaza. The conference had buses each day to carry us to the conference located at the Dolphin and Swan Resorts in the Epcot area.
This was my first trip to Florida and to Disney World. I was blown away! I love traveling and hotels. I find it fun exploring new places and staying in beautiful hotels. I was amazed at the Downtown Disney area of
hotels for starters. There was a buzz of traffic and I was thinking you really can’t walk around here. You have to have a car it was such a massive area. I did walk to the shopping area of Downtown Disney one evening. This was my first lesson in the walking involved at Disney World.
A cab driver once told me that Disney World is second only to Las Vegas in terms of conference facilities. This trip began my long love affair with the Dolphin and Swan Resorts and Conference area. If I thought
Downtown Disney was cool, can you imagine my amazement at the Dolphin and Swan? This is where my new love affair with the Boardwalk area of Disney began. The Lotusphere conference blew me away too. It was so great to hang out in an awesome place with great weather and learn amazing technical content for about a week. Hanging out with the top people in my career field was awesome. The conference area was over the top in terms of size and activity. I’ve been fortunate enough to return seven times.
On that trip, I did purchase a one day ticket for MGM Disney Studios the Thursday afternoon after the conference ended. I felt a little guilty leaving my young family and Margita behind at home as I wandered my first Disney World park. I purposefully did not ride Tower of Terror or Rockin’ Roller Coaster because I wanted to one day take my family and experience the thrill rides with them. Again, blown away are my words to explain my short experience in the park. I couldn’t wait to tell Margita and get to planning our first trip.