Article nr3 - 'We're Going To Disney World!'

Is there any better sentence you want to hear as a child?


Welcome my fellow Retro Junkers and follow me for the holiday of a lifetime, that's right we're going to Disney World!

But we're not just jumping on a plane and heading to Orlando Florda, oh no no, that would be too easy!
Instead you'll be joining me in heading back 19 years ago to 1990, the year of the Italian Football World Cup, sorry soccer,
And I believe it was the year of Super bowl XXIV where the 49ers stomped the Broncos 55-10 to take home their 4th title (just thought I'd look it up to help my US cousins relate to the year!) and Madonna was prancing around on stage with ice cream cones covering her jubblies.
so climb aboard and please keep your hands, arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times and do not attempt to get off until we have reached our final destination and come to a complete stop.

As some of you may have read from my previous article (childhood memories) me and my family were very close, especially during the early to mid 90's. Well the adults got together in the beginning of the year and come to the conclusion that we needed a holiday together, but this was not to be any holiday, not your 'run of the mill' week away, this was going to be the milestone, this holiday would raise the bar and set the standard for future holidays to come...

Kids 'We're going to Disney World'!
I nearly wet meself with excitement

So the holiday was booked and the head count was made, the lucky travellers would include, my mum, dad and brother, nan and granddad, 2 aunties 2 uncles and 4 cousins (3 girls and 1 boy, which made the girl/boy tally 3 and 3 including me and my brother)
The time between the holiday being booked and the date for departure seemed like an eternity, we was going in September, which was an added bonus as we would be there for me and my brothers birthdays!
But then it came, it was finally September and we was all packed and ready to go.
One of my uncles, who wouldn't be joining us for the vacation, took us all with our suitcases to Gatwick International Airport by mini bus.


Mini Buses - Great for getting people where they gotta go



Once checked in we headed to our gate, and that's when I saw it, the jumbo jet we was goin to be flying on, it was amazing, I was awe struck, id never seen anything as big in all my 7 years of existence, the North-West Boeing 747 I was very impressed!
Although I was less impressed to find out that we had a 9 hour flight ahead of us.
I was a fidget you see, I found it hard to sit still for 9 minutes let alone for 9 hours!
The excitement didn't help either, I was going to Disney Land, and on top of that I had just learnt that there was more than one park! There was Epcot, M.G.M Studios, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Sea World and many other smaller themed parks like wet 'n wild.


Airport Check In - Did you pack your bags yourself sir?



North West Boing 747 - Just astronomical to a 7 year old




Wet 'n Wild - Oh yes we certainly will be


The flight seemed to go pretty quick though, and so did collecting the baggage.
So we was now on a coach, heading towards what we would be calling home for the next 3 weeks, The Gateway Inn on International Drive.
Upon arrival we saw it had its own miniature golf course, already this placed kicked ass!
I remember entering the lobby at some obscured time at night and seeing a cage with a throw over it, hmmmmm what was in the cage?!?!?!?

Well its morning now, and no park today, instead we'll start off with breakfast at the on site Perkins, pancakes and iced tea, man I wish they had Perkins in England!
The day was spent around the pool, lapping up the sun, playing about and organising our next 3 weeks.
We had alot of time and alot of things to see, like all the different parks, Daytona and Cocoa beach, John F Kennedy space centre, and some of the other local attractions, Rosie 'o Grady's, the outlets, the florida mall and the close by miniature golf courses.

My uncle Tony had convinced every one not to hire cars
'we're on international drive' he said, 'most things are walking distance and the hotel offers free bus transportation to the parks' what he failed to mention was that international drive was long, not just long length wise, but width wise too!
It was freaking huge!
He also failed to mention that the buses kept to a very strict time table and you had to return when they did, whether you were done in the park or not.
Needless to say, every visit to Orlando afterwards included car rental!


Perkins - Iced tea?!?! As in cold tea? With lemon?



Rosie O' Grady's - Too young to drink, but there was other local attractions



Nasa space centre - Out of this world


Oh and remember the covered in cage? Well now that its morning and the covers off, and what was behind that cover?
A toucan!!!!
This place was awesome, they had a freaking toucan as a pet!!
I was only used to dogs, hamsters, rabbits and gerbils so already I loved that bird! I can't for the life of me remember what his name was, but I was loving this holiday already and it was only day 1.



The Gateway Inn Toucan - I want it I want it I want it


Now what I was going to do here to aid everybody in this trip back in time was scan in the original park maps, I had collected them and kept them all from all the years I have been, 1990 1991 1993 1995 2004 and 2007, its good to see how the parks have progressed through the years, but can I find them now? No I cant, I apologise, and we're just going to have to imagine that little bit harder and get the images in our head.
Concentrate now!

Imagine your 7 years old, a few days away from 8, your standing in a busy hotel lobby waiting for a bus to take you to the place where dreams come true...

Right, now your back in the right frame of mind, ill continue

Now it was day 2, the park rota had been set and we all knew what and where we was going and when, it was obvious where we was going to first, the Dinsey World park itself

In morning when the bus rolled in, an orderly queue of tourists eagerly awaiting the psssch of the doors to open, and when they did I just wanted to run on, I wanted that driver to put the pedal to the metal and burn rubber!



Park buses - air conditioned as standard


I remember the driver would come over the tannoy 'Welcome to the Gateway Inn Bus service for Disney World Florida USA, if you wanna go to Universal, you're on the wrong bus!'

'You're on the wrong bus' would be a catch phrase me and my family would use for years to come, it was great, it was comical, and when we said we would always attempt it in an American accent!

After a short journey, we was on Disney property, all the road signs had changed, this was it, we was almost there, the last few months had boiled down to this one moment ...



Walt Disney World Florida - is this what the pearly gates of Heaven look like?



...To be continued