Hello internet! As I posted about a week ago, Carl and I are planning to take my Mom to Disney World for the very first time in only a matter of weeks now! In the spirit of preparing for this trip, I decided it would be fun to question my Mom on all things Disney. How her love for it started, what she remembers and what she’s most excited for in her first trip! Little did I realize that this would turn into a very cool moment as I came to learn a few things about my Mom’s childhood that I never even knew! Without further ado, let’s get started.
Jaysen: (Talking to my Mom now) So since we’re going on the trip soon, I wanted to get some preliminary thoughts from you. Do you have any really early memories of Disney that you can remember?
Mom: Yes, the very first Disney movie I remember ever seeing was Mary Poppins, and I was probably 4 years old. What year did it come out?
J: I’ll have to double check, but I want to say 1964. (I was right!)
M: Then I was probably 4. I remember we walked up to the theater and while we walked back home I was crying the whole way, “Why did she have to leave, Daddy?! Why did she have to leave?!”
J: Ha ha, oh Gosh. So around that time was when they started doing the television show, The Wonderful World of Disney, which was in black and white and Walt would introduce the show and talk about the park. It all started right around the time the park opened. Do you remember any of that?
M: Yeah, we used to watch the Disney show every Sunday night.
J: What was it like?
M: I remember really liking the shows that had Goofy in them and I really liked whenever there were animals. Like there was this one where they had geese sliding around on the ice and I thought it was pretty funny. But it always started with Walt talking and then it went into the show.
J: Right. And, as kids, what were your thoughts or your perception of Walt Disney? Did you have those thoughts?
M: I don’t remember thinking anything like that. But I remember that when we saw him, we knew the show was about to start. That was one of the only shows that Dad would let us watch every week so it was special.
J: And what other early memories do you have of Disney? I know you’re a fan now, but did you see a lot of the movies growing up?
M: I didn’t get to see a lot of them growing up because we couldn’t really afford it. I didn’t really get to start seeing the movies until I was a teenager. We always watched them on TV though. We were always excited when one was on. I don’t think we even thought about the park all that much because we didn’t know too much about it or even what an amusement park was because where we grew up, there was nothing like that.
(A side note here is that my mother grew up in rural Nebraska and moved to Utah in her teens.)
J: So when you went to see them as a teenager, do you remember any of them in particular?
M: Hmm. Not really. I didn’t really start to remember the movies we were seeing until I started taking you to things like The Little Mermaid.
J: Okay, so when you took me, do you remember the first Disney movie you took me to see?
M: I thought it was The Little Mermaid, but I could be wrong.
J: That was right around the year I was born, so that would make sense.
M: And you really liked the Disney Sing-A-Long videos so I bought almost every one of those.
J: Were there any other movies than Little Mermaid that I really liked?
M: You liked The Jungle Book, and you really liked The Emperor’s New Groove. That was your favorite. The Black Cauldron. I don’t know that you really got into Snow White as much because it was older and you didn’t find it as exciting.
J: So I want to talk about the fact that you turned my old room into a Disney room. The whole room is now filled with Disney. So when did that love for it begin?
M: There used to be a Disney store at the mall near our house and it kind of started when I used to buy movies and if you pre-ordered you got a lithograph picture from that film and I started to collect them. I don’t know if they still do that, because that Disney Store closed. From there, I just started adding other things that I’d find.
J: Would you say that you have a favorite Disney movie now?
M: I still really love Mary Poppins. I’m sure as soon as we stop talking, I’ll think of them all. I’m excited for the new Jungle Book that’s coming out. I also just saw The Good Dinosaur and I really liked that.
J: I know we talked about this a little bit before, but why has it taken you this long to go to a Disney park for the first time?
M: Mostly because of finances. Oh you know what? I just remembered I really loved the first Pirates of the Caribbean!
J: Ha ha. Growing up, was going to the park something you ever talked about as a family? Like, did you want to go?
M: As teenagers we asked if we could go but for such a big family (2 parents, 4 kids) It was financially impossible, so we just ended up doing things around Utah.
J: That’s so funny because Disney parks were cheaper at the time and getting to California from Utah would have been pretty easy I think.
M: Yeah, just with such a big family, it was hard.
J: Fast forwarding, you found out we were going to do this trip last December. Did you have anything that instantly popped into your head? Any initial excitement?
M: I’m pretty excited to see the Main Street of Disney, just because you see that all the time, but to actually be there, I think that’ll be pretty cool. And I want to get my picture taken with Tigger if at all possible.
J: That might be possible. We saw him last time we were there. We didn’t get a picture with him, but he was there. So the thing you’re most excited for is Main Street?
M: I think so.
J: Any thoughts on Epcot or Animal Kingdom?
M: I’m excited for Animal Kingdom. It looks pretty interesting.
J: Well, to end here, are you excited?
M: I am! I’ve told a lot of people I’m going. I usually don’t tell people I’m going on vacation because I don’t want everyone to know my business, but I’ve told a lot of people. So yeah, I’m excited.
J: Final thoughts?
M: Minnie and Daisy are cranky old women. They’re mean to their spouses.
J: Not really what we’re looking for, but okay.
M: Do you remember when you and I dressed up like Minnie and Mickey for Halloween when you were really little?
J: Okay Mom, that’s enough. Interview over!
So that’s that! We’re so excited to share this adventure with my Mom, and we’ll be sure to share everything along the way so stay tuned for more Disney goodness over the next few weeks!
Have a question for my Mom, or me, or anyone regarding what’s here? Let me know in the comments below!