In July 1997, my family took me and my friend, Meredith, to Disney World for the summer. We met up with my Aunt Terry, my cousin Rich and one of his friends from school. I had two disposable cameras with me and took a lot of photos of the 25th anniversary castle, our hotel and other various photos of the park. I was around 13-14 years old on this trip and it was the biggest family trip I had ever been on!! (most of our trips were us driving from Atlanta to visit the family we had left back in the Pensacola and Destin, FL area)
Since this was over 20 years ago I don’t remember a whole lot other than the Board Walk Hotel (where we stayed) was AMAZING, it was really neat being able to walk around Disney without parents for the first time, discovering things I remembered from my childhood visits in the late 80s was absolutely fascinating, and that I loved riding the boats and monorails everywhere. This probably began my interest in living in walkable areas with public transit - something I hadn’t experienced in the suburbs of Florida or Georgia.
Almost all my traveling experience up to this point had been to see family and staying in their homes. I had never stayed in a big hotel like this in my life and was blown away. I remember walking through all the hotel lobbies along the board walk at night with my family and feeling like they were so amazing, huge and never ending!
In 2017 I was able to walk through this hotel again while on a trip with my mom (below is a photo of me and Autumn on the same couch above!) and it was fun to see it hasn’t changed too much… it was like walking through glimpses of my teenage memory of the experience. I always thought my memory was exaggerated and it was nice to see the way I remembered it was correct! Kinda funny comparing the two photos and seeing I have a very similar outfit and hairstyle in both… Guess I haven’t changed too much either! LOL
I’ve read some people didn’t like the 25th anniversary version of the Castle but I LOVED it and still do. I feel so lucky that I got to see it in person and take photos of it. Above is a photo of myself walking with my dad down main street. I don’t have too many photos with my parents in my personal possession but I’d love to look through my mom’s photos during my next Atlanta visit and see if she has anything interesting to share. (If so, I’ll update this post with it!)
I remember being very disappointed that the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage was no longer running since I had great memories of that from my childhood. They now had Ariel’s Grotto near the water area which was cool, but the 20,000 leagues water was still there as if the attraction might open any minute… which drove me bananas. I wanted to ride it again so much!!
It’s neat to see old fantasy land in these photos and the older version of the castle hub area. It’s amazing how much everything has changed in those areas!!!
I also remember being SO impressed by Epcot since I had great desire to travel and the world showcase seemed so real to me at the time. Being able to walk into Epcot from my hotel and catching a monorail to the Magic Kingdom was amazing.
Most of my photos were of Epcot, our hotel or Magic Kingdom but there seem to be a few of various large themed buildings I just thought were neat. (I’ve only included photos that were clear or interesting. There were many odd and boring photos… LOL)
One last fun note… I recently discovered looking through old photos that my husband was at Disney World at the SAME TIME I was!! How crazy is that?! I wonder if we were ever near each other or on the same rides at the same time… :) We wouldn’t cross paths again for 9 more years.