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Disney World and Memories of Childhood

It’s strange the things you remember from childhood. I spent the past week in Disney World for the first time as an adult and I’m having an odd sense of disconnect between the memories I have of Disney World from when I was a kid and the way it seems now.

I don’t remember what I did for my eighth birthday. I certainly couldn’t tell you where I was when I lost my first tooth. I know I went to Bermuda once, but all I remember is falling asleep on the floor of a church. But I can tell you every single thing they’ve changed in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World in the past ten years.**

It’s was a bittersweet trip. I was (and am) a Disney kid 100%. I have seen all the movies and I know all the songs and I am the dork who sings along with “Be our Guest” when it comes on in the park (and I do my best Jerry Orbach while at it). The magic of Disney still exists for me, but it’s tempered now with too much awareness, both of myself and of the mechanism behind the magic. (Plus, now I get the awful puns on the Jungle Cruise.)

But what I’m finding even stranger than the fading of the Disney I remember is the Disney I flat out DON’T remember. I’m here with my boyfriend, who seems to have far more distinct memories about the parts of Disney that are gone or forgotten. Which made me think. If I can’t remember everything about how it used to be, does that mean it wasn’t as good as I thought it was?

I wonder, will all my childhood memories go through the wringer when I re-experience them as an adult?

Have you ever returned some place you loved as a child and found it substantially altered in some way?

**For the record, the changes to Pirates of the Caribbean are: the queue line, the opening scene(s) (THE BEST PART IS GONE), the wench-chasing scene, and the fact that they have randomly thrown in Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush figures at semi-awkward intervals, whose animatronics are so much more detailed and advanced than the others that it’s SUPER obvious.


Me and Tigger! (spelled T-I-DOUBLE GAA-ER!)

-Beth

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