The first trip was in 2001. With my business trip “experience” at WDW, I thought a good place to stay for the first family trip would be in the Downtown Disney area. First, in this area, your on the Disney property.This was my first thought and a thought that has grown more important over the years. Location is my #1 priority in a Disney vacation resort. Price was a consideration and having a family of 5
was an awkward number to fit in accommodations that are often geared to a family of four. Considering “trip experience”, location, price and our family of 5, we choose the Double Tree Suites in Downtown Disney. The cost was around $100 per night and the suite was nice with a separate master bedroom.
Margita was a fan from the start. As kids, we dreamed of coming to Disney World. It was more than we ever dreamed. We really appreciated the experience and the joy of sharing it with the kids. We were big kids and still are when it comes to Disney World.
When the kids were about the ages of 7, 5 and 3, I remember vividly taking them to a local amusement park. Immediately after entering the park, the boys wanted to go to the water park area. We told them no because we didn’t want to get wet before enjoying the rides section. They threw a hissy fit as young kids often do. Late in the afternoon, there was a “moment” when all three were exhausted and crying at the same time. I took one look at Margita and our eyes met and I said, “We are never taking these kids anywhere till they’re old enough to enjoy it.” We’re often amazed at the young families we see in the Disney World Parks and impressed if they can keep it all together.
When we did take the whole family, the kids were 9, 7 and 5. We were so proud of our youngest, Ben. He was only 5 but after some encouragement, he went on all the rides. Actually, the toughest was the Haunted
Mansion. Margita started teasing him early as we entered the park about how scary the Haunted Mansion would be. She loves creepy, scary stuff. Ben shivered as we approached the attraction and stopped. He wasn’t going in. We finally convinced him it would be ok and he went in. Of course, he loved it. Haunted Mansion has remained the traditional first ride over the years.
It’s fun to look back at some of the old pictures and I’ll continue to chronicle our story by the pictures. Over the years we’ve stayed as a family at the Double Tree Suites, Royal Plaza, Port Orleans/Riverside, Polynesian(twice), Swan, Bay Lake Tower(three times) and combined with a split stay at Contemporary and Boardwalk Villas. Margita and I have stayed for the Lotusphere conference at the Beach Club, Yacht Club, Caribbean Beach and Dolphin. I’d say we’ve had a good look at many of the resorts.
We’ve progressed from Downtown Disney to buying into the Disney Vacation Club(DVC). In 2010, we purchased a piece of our dream at Bay Lake Tower. We really struggled on this decision on becoming members and which property to purchase. In the end, I’m so glad we made the DVC move and we’re enjoying our piece of the magic. I believe a big key to happiness in life is about relationships and experiences. Our trips to Disney World contribute to that philosophy. Margita and our daughter, Lindsay, remain huge Disney World fans. The boys enjoy on occasion but not to the level we do. Our first trip to Bay Lake Tower was great and it was cool to have the whole family with the “kids” at ages 18, 16, and 14.