July 3, 1969: Lincoln Lives!

In my head: “Wait, I’m pretty sure that dude is dead. He definitely has some issues with mobility and speech. Poor Abraham Lincoln. Let’s go ride the train.”

Seriously, this show freaked me out. We boys had been immersed in American history in our few years in Virginia, so I was one confused little 4-year-old.

I don’t remember much more of that day at Disneyland. I was too small to ride the Matterhorn (something I finally checked off my list 25 years later). I have the feeling my first day at Disney was a strictly A-Ticket affair.

FUN FACT: E-Tickets Matter!

Those old Disney ticket books could be worth big coin! Even if you just have a few individual tickets from way back when, Guest Relations at the parks can calculate what they’re worth and pay you on the spot. If you have complete books in good condition, Ebay can calculate what they’re worth, and the sum total might be worth college tuition to a decent, in-state school.

Had a time getting Mike’s allergy shot but finally managed. Picked up Jim and got to Disneyland about 12:30. Had pancakes etc and visited everything. Stayed until 9 o’clock fireworks. Big crowd.

Marge Binder, July 3, 1969

Disney and Life

This was my first Disney park experience. I wouldn’t return to Disneyland until 2001.

In the meantime, I was introduced to Walt Disney World just a few months after it opened in 1971. As I do the math, that was a scant two years after my Lincoln freak-out. No matter, WDW became a big part of my youth; Mom and Dad arranged for the Family to spend every other Christmas there for years. More fond memories of roadtrips and camping and so much more. (Blog-worthy, yes, but not nearly as epic as this journey we’re on.)

When I worked at WDW in the 80s, in a number of capacities, I thought of my Mom whenever I dealt with families in distress. They’d planned, they were protecting family, they just wanted to enjoy the experience, but sometimes things don’t pan out as they’d hoped. If I had the ability to make things right (which I most often did in Guest Relations), I would, because I know what it would mean to Mom.

That empathy made me really good in those WDW jobs, and I think it affects my approach to work and people to this day.

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