Throwback Thursday – 1998

This week’s Throwback Thursday image is from one of the happiest vacations of my life!

A happy Throwback Thursday memory from Walt Disney World's Disney Springs. Follow Aydin at Pure Magic Vacations for fun Canadian Disney travel memories.
My dad, Atilla Turgay in the World of Disney store at Disney Springs (what was then called Downtown Disney).

My dad and I visited Walt Disney World in 1998. It was the only time we had ever visited just the two of us, and it was also my first visit where I started looking at the park from a more grown-up perspective.

I have so many great, distinct memories about this trip, including:

  • Calling Disney in Orlando and booking all of the hotel and dining reservations personally (a big deal when you’re 17).
  • Staying at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter for the first time (we were usually a Riverside/”Dixie Landings” family).
  • Visiting a park by myself for the first time, when my dad bought me a ticket for the E-Ticket Nights event at Magic Kingdom. These events would take place after the park closed and they’d sell far fewer tickets than during today’s special events. He got to take it easy for a night while I got to walk on all of the most popular rides. I even got to stay on Splash Mountain for a 2nd consecutive ride! And there was a cheerleading competition going on at the time, so 17 year-old me had a very fun night.
  • Tasting roasted garlic for the first time. Roasted garlic was still a new, upcoming food trend in North America. It was part of the pre-meal bread service at Portobello Yacht Club, in what was then Downtown Disney.
  • Getting to finally eat at San Angel Inn, at Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion. I had always dreamed of dining inside the pyramid! This is one of those restaurants that can be inconsistat at times, but during that meal, the food did not disappoint. I remember having Carne Asada for the first time and loving it!
  • Having a meal of epic proportions at Fulton’s Crab House (now known as Paddlefish). As seafood lovers, we were shocked by the size of the king crab claws and took pictures with them next to our heads for scale! For years after that, we would reminisce about how good that meal was.
  • Riding Horzions several times. I didn’t know at the time that my all-time favourite attraction closed for good in 1999, just one year later, or I probably would have gone on a few more times! There was absolutley no line, so we were able to walk on several times, and made sure to see all three versions of the film at the end. “Everyone can choose – majority rules”!

Isn’t it amazing how much comes back to you, when you think back to a specific trip? We lost dad back in 2010, but I’m so happy that I’ll always have these wonderful memories of him.

I know some people don’t get it and never will, but I feel so fortunate to have found this magical place, where we can go to create new memories that will stay with us forever. And it’s where we go to remember those people we can’t be with anymore.

Is there someone you like to remember when you visit Walt Disney World or any other travel destination?

Please comment below.

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