A Hug Among Disney Friends – Client Spotlight: The Calhoun Family

To me the human element is such an important part of my travels to Disney or anywhere else. Our lives are all woven together in one way or another. Taking the time to pay attention and to soak it all in is so important. I like to use some of my posts to spotlight someone I have met in the parks or a special client. Today, I am very happy to introduce you to the Calhoun family. They are Disney lovers who have shared the love with their family and have spread it to further generations as shown in this great picture. Wendy not only shared her personal experiences with us but some very nostalgic pictures of Walt Disney World yesteryear. I hope you will enjoy. Thank you so much for letting me share your story with my readers today!
Tell me about your first visit to Walt Disney World.
My first trip to WDW was in 1976 with my husband (who had been there before we were married). We left our young son with my parents as he was too young to enjoy WDW. There was only Magic Kingdom as Epcot was not open yet. I loved the Hall of Presidents as I had never seen animatronics before. We didn’t stay onsite as there were very few places to stay then, but we did stay close by. We bought tickets for things (long before the card system) and enjoyed ourselves immensely. The weather was a bit chilly and the day we left for home there was snow on our car! We only spent two days there, but I knew I would return!
What is it that you love most about Disney?
What I love most about WDW is the whole atmosphere! It is a “happy” experience with characters you know and love coming to life! A great place to vacation and leave the real world behind.
How has Walt Disney World changed since you first started going?
WDW has changed immensely since our first visit. All the new parks and resorts, and the changes in the parks themselves are some of the changes. Then of course, the ticketing system was archaic so technology changed that for the better.
When you first took your children to Disney did you ever think that they would grow up to share that same legacy with their children?
We took our boys to the park for a day in 1981. Our daughter was only a year old, so she spent the day with her grandparents at their home. Our oldest son was 5 and our younger son was 3. The younger was a little nervous around the characters, but the elder loved them! At the time, I didn’t think they would all become such WDW fanatics, but they are! We took all three of them the following year with some friends of ours and the boys were just enough older to enjoy it more.
How is visiting WDW with your grandchildren different from visiting with your children?
We visited WDW with our whole family in Oct. of 2011. Our children (the three WDW fanatics) and their families took us as a 60th birthday gift to my husband and me. It was wonderful. We got to see it through our granddaughters’ eyes. They are princess fanatics so all the Disney princesses were visited and photographed with the girls. Our kids are WDW experts so they filled us in on the best way to see everything.
What is your best advice for multigenerational trips?
We had three generations there and found out the best advice was something I read before we went and it was to figure in some downtime each day. We went out in the morning and did a park, then returned to our resort for lunch and either rest or swimming or just relaxing. It made a big difference for all of us, especially the grandchildren. Another thing we did right was to get a stroller for the girls. They were just turned 6 and 3 and a half and the double stroller was a great way to keep them from getting tired out. We will do the same thing when we visit in February 2013.
What is your favorite park?
I love all the parks, but at this point, my favorite is Epcot. We loved the different countries and the food, and the princesses!
What is your favorite resort?
Our favorite resort is Port Orleans – French Quarter, but that may change as we are staying at Riverside in February.
What is your favorite ride? Show? Fireworks show?
My favorite ride is Splash Mountain, but a close second is Soaring. I still love the Hall of Presidents and am still impressed with it. The Hoop De Doo revue was a fun time for all of us and the kids loved being part of the show. We just loved the Muppet Show and Mickey’s Philharmagic. We took the girls to those and they loved both.The fireworks are spectacular! I can’t decide which one is the best as I love fireworks!!!
What is your best memory, so far, of Disney?
My best memory of WDW is the family visit for our birthdays. We had a fantastic time and it will be very hard to top!
What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming visit?
I am looking forward to seeing the new Fantasyland with the girls and seeing all the changes to WDW. I don’t see how anyone can have a bad time at WDW!

                

 

 

 

 

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