Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Disney's Pirate League of the 80s

My very first trip to Walt Disney World was back in 1986 as a thirteen year old.  My parents had never been on a vacation and had been married 17 years.  They decided that they would take their very first vacation to Walt Disney World for us kids.  Being new to Disney theme parks, we really did believe it was a place for kids, but I am sure you know how that turned out!  I am lucky enough to have two parents who really would sacrifice anything for my brother and I (and now our spouses and our own children), which they did for this trip and many other events throughout our lives.  Before leaving, my parents let us know that we would never be able to afford to go back so we would be getting up early, going all day in the parks and getting back to the hotel late to make sure we saw everything.  It was a busy vacation but the best one I had ever been on.  Let's just say, my parents quickly realized this wasn't just a trip for the kids, but the whole family.  They loved it so much that we ended up returning every other year until my brother and I were in college.  Then my parents started going by themselves!

One of my most favorite pictures I have of my family is the one you see here.  It was from that very first trip.  I remember getting into the costumes and how much fun it was, especially seeing my dad get into the spirit of it!  I don't think before that trip I would have ever thought he would participate.  This particular set up was just outside of the Pirates of Caribbean, one of the first attractions that gave me a true appreciation of Disney animatronics.  Of course, there was no makeup or lessons in being a pirate, just good old family fun of dressing up and being together.


Today's Pirate League offers a much more interactive experience, including face painting, temporary tattoos and even your own pirate name.  If you'd like more information, I highly recommend checking out The Pirates League on the All Ears website.

It is hard to believe this photo was taken 25 years ago during Walt Disney World's 15th Birthday Celebration.  We'll be returning this October for our 14th trip and Walt Disney World's 40th Birthday Celebration!  It will be our 25th anniversary of our very first trip, which we thought would be our one and only.

10 comments:

DisneyBabies said...

That's hysterical! Why don't we take themed pictures anymore? I think we should bring back that trend!

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

I think I also have a photo of my husband and I taken somewhere in Downtown Disney. I was dressed in the Scarlett O'Hara green curtain dress and he was in a Civil War soldier costume - I might have to dig that out! :-)

I am fairly certain that this type of "Pirate League" needed no reservation and was affordable! Not too many of those types of activities left on Disney property.

Motherhood Magic said...

That photo is amazing. I really need to find out if my mom has pictures of us. She took my sister and I to WDW 4 times. It's been 12 years since I've been. :( I have so many great memories, and I can't wait to take my son. I'm thinking in another 2-3 years though, when he can appreciate it more.

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

I'm working on a scrapbook project that is a timeline of our trips. It is pretty funny to look back at how much we have changed, especially the hair and clothes! But funny thing is, I still remember the moments, even from 25 years ago that stand out to me as magical. And, most importantly, I remember what a great family vacation each trip was.

I've taken my kids at all ages - Emily was just 10 months on her first trip. Even though she doesn't remember it, one of my favorite memories is when we were sitting at our table at Hoop Dee Doo. She was dancing like crazy! We were near the front and one of the performers even came down during the show to tell us what a good dancer she was! My son was 14 months on his trip and met is favorite character Buzz Lightyear. He has on a Buzz sweatshirt, which Buzz made a big deal about. Woody was not so impressed by it, which made for a very cute moment for my son, Buzz and Woody. And, I could give you a million more stories about my kids as infants/toddlers/etc. So your son may not remember it, you will!

The best thing about all three kids, I find they are so immersed in sights and sounds, that when we've returned from trips, their vocabulary skyrockets (of course, I'm talking about the trips when they were 3 and under).

Natalie said...

Beth, you look like your mom. I know, that may be hard to hear:) I love this photo. Funny, I ALWAYS pass this type of thing up when I see them in the parks and dismiss it. But as I can see here, it has longevity that a second ride on the Pirates of the Caribbean does not. Now, I have yet another reason to return to WDW! Thanks!

Laureen said...

I have to say i am sad they took these photo ops away-- we have 2 in my house one from 86 where we are on the back of a Train in full 1930's garb and another from 92 where we are all decked out in Southern Belle wear. They are some of my most favorite pictures. I agree that they should be brought Back!

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

Lauren - I completely forgot about the train one! I remember we saw that one after we had already done another one. They certainly were fun and simple, but brought great memories.

Natalie - If they ever bring this back, you must try it. So fun! And, yes, I do look like my mom! :-)

Debs @Focused on the Magic said...

That is a great memory and pic! I wish we had done it but Tyler was too young the one time we saw them offered. Love that your parents first vacation was WDW:)We have so much in common with them!!

Beth Doda ~ disneymom2jhe said...

Thanks, Deb! It is so funny because of all our trips, I remember this moment like it was yesterday. They really need to bring these experiences back! :-)

Manda said...

lol! Brilliant photo! I love it! :D