By Diane Forrest
In the spring of 1994 I took my son to the happiest place on earth. This was my first real vacation too. I had been working for a year as a nurse, and was working the night shift. I had spent months planning this wonderful trip. Since I was working nights, I didn’t feel safe driving, but figured I could handle a 60 mile trip to the train station. I just laid my head down for a second, and a few hours later I woke up realizing that I would be late for the train departure. Luckily, I made it in time, with a few minutes to spare, but I forgot all of my personal care items.
We took the train to New Orleans where we boarded a plane to fly to Orlando, Florida. I was just as excited to see the entrance as my son was. We were indeed at the happiest place on earth. 6 years later we accompanied my husband on another trip. This trip was just as exciting as the first one, especially watching the wonder and excitement in his face. My son was also older, and didn’t remember much from his first trip.
These wonderful memories were made possible by Mr. Walt Disney, who had a vision for a place where families could spend time together and forget their troubles for a while. Disneyland, in Anaheim California, was the first park conceived by Mr. Disney. His original plans were to be a park built for employees and their children, but the vision grew larger and larger until it reached the place you see today. At the dedication, which was attended by Ronald Reagan, Walt gave this speech, "To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America ... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to the entire world."
Walt Disney's name is synonymous with family entertainment both in the movies and cartoons he developed, and his theme parks.
Today in 1901, Walt Disney was born. 65 years and 10 days later he passed away leaving the world a better place than how he found it. If you have ever visited a Disney theme park, or watched a Disney movie, then give a thought today for Mr. Walt Disney for having the visions to create wonderful memories for you too.